Posted in communication and networking, electronic imaging and displays

“Dr. Horrible” a great idea, or already been done?

People are making a lot of noise about Joss Whedon and crew’s new creation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. You can either view the episodes for free or buy them off itunes. Both venues have had a stunning success, with the first episode being the #1 purchase off itunes the day of its debut. Reviewers and studio executives are calling this concept of having scripted, brand new, exclusively online webisodes available for viewing and purchase a wonderful, fabulous, and so-crazy-it-just-might-work idea.

The thing is, this has already been going on for years, just not with live action. Literally gazillions of cartoonists, animators, and graphic artists have been producing short, scripted cartoons for years and offering them online for free as well as for sale. Homestarrunner is probably one of the more famous ones, as is Weebl and Bob in the UK. Both of these sites offer free cartoons, and then offer merchandise or DVDs of their work for purchase, with much success. The Homestar gang has been able to live off of their website for a few years now.

But for some reason live action gets more street cred, plus it’s Joss Whedon and several famous actors starring in the show, which also adds weight and grabs critics’ and fans’ attention. But considering how much of a comic buff Joss Whedon is, I’m surprised he hasn’t done an online cartoon series already (he has an online comic series).



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.