xkcd

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Several years back, cartoonist Scott McCloud waxed elegant on the concept of “Infinite Canvas,” urging webcartoonists to cast off the shackles of the print world and utilize the endless boundaries available within websites. To be honest, some cartoonists did flirt with Infinite Canvas, such as Damonk’s classic series Framed!!!, but one of the kings of IC would have to be Randall Munroe of the stick figure comic xkcd. Munroe has long indulged in comics that shift outside the venues of print, but his latest work has taken the cake. Labeled merely ”Time” it uses an animated .png that gradually showed two people building a sandcastle. But unlike most animated .gifs, ”Time” moved at a glacial pace; indeed, initially I was unsure if it was an animated comic or a trolling by Munroe. The strip’s story took two days to fully emerge, though fans did craft a more rapidly moving version. As of my writing this, however, a giant wave has not appeared to wash the sandcastle away, though I’d not be surprised at this last-moment twist.

Addendum: Still no tidal wave. However, as of Friday, 5:25 p.m. EST, the two figures have wheeled out a tiny catapult and are now bombarding their (now massive) sand fortress.