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Explodingdog is a webcomic series drawn by Sam Brown featuring stick figure characters based on short phrases Brown receives via email or Twitter.
Sam Brown, the pseudonym of Hartford, CT based artist Adam Culbert, began drawing in this stick figure style in 1996 to take his mind away from school work. After a few hundred poster-size pieces, he stopped and moved on to web art. He also noted that he sees most people he interacts with as robots, talking fish, and monsters, making them recurring themes in his art.
The domain explodingdog.com was created on October 27th, 1999, but the first comics were not posted until January 10th, 2000. On the homepage of the site, Brown stated he would draw pictures from user-submitted titles, leaving his email address for submissions. He began posting several drawings a day, ranging from two to eleven for the first several months.
Initially, Brown did not do anything to advertise the site. However, within the first week the link had spread in through business emails within different companies and he began receiving between 20 and 30 emails a day with title suggestions. By 2003, Brown had posted over 1100 drawings. As of 2006, Brown was using a 12" by 12" Wacom tablet to create his art, coloring the pieces in with Photoshop.
As of May 2012, explodingdog.com has an Alexa US rank of 364,350 and Quantcast rank of 303,023. Brown continues to maintain the site, as well as a Tumblr, Twitter, and online store where he sells prints of his work. The official Facebook fan page for Brown’s art has over 1,400 likes as of May 2013.
In 2006, Brown allowed readers to mail him a self-addressed, stamped envelope in exchange for a personal drawing. He received between 800 and 1000 requests, and by April 2008 had only completed about 500.
There are several recurring visual themes in Brown’s work including red robots, stars, monsters, and rockets. The art tends to focus on love, loss, and loneliness.
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