September 1, 2018

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Graphic Nonfiction: Maki Naro on AIM's Passing

Welcome once again to another appearance of Graphic Nonfiction, where I pick out something true drawn instead of reported on with just words. Today's entry is inspired by a recent conversation where a friend and I were bemoaning the loss of ICQ, aka the Live Journal of Instant Messaging. They got gobbled by AOL, and a little while ago, Maki Naro talked about how AIM was shuttered at the end of last year.

Her feature for The Nib is here, and it's a great trip back into the early days of the internet, much of which I remember well--if not always fondly.

Here's a typical panel, showing all the different web search services we used to have, done in a great comical manner, but all are easily recognized. (At least if you're old, like me.)


In this panel, Naro repeats and varies an image for effect around a quote, in this case the ever-present AOL CD-Roms:


Kinda looks like a Flying Toaster screen saver, doesn't it?

One more example, referencing ICQ and its signature sound for a great joke about buying internet properties only to see them lose value (Here's looking at you, Yahoo):


It's a fun walk down memory lane if you came of Internet Age around the same time as me, and a reminder that the things we assume will always be with us can fall from grace so fast their investors' heads spin. (Hope you're paying attention, Jack.)

Have a look at Maki's entire comic here.