In a long (and not kid-safe, as the case for much of web comics) discussion of web comics and their future, Savage Critics' Abhay writes this great passage, in reference to a typical (and typically bad) web comic:
It [the web comic] basically conforms to my most base prejudices of what to expect from webcomics visually. It kinda-sorta-almost-not-quite-not-really-okay-not-at-all looks like manga. It crudely imitates the surface elements of manga, but none of manga’s underlying intensity of craft. That seems to be the norm for a vast swath of webcomics; it’s to be expected: after all, manga won the battle for youth culture, for various reasons. (One reason: it showed up to the battle for youth culture, at all, in any way whatsoever.)I'd say that's a fair assessment. We can expect Manga to heavily influence comics and other aspects of youth culture for this generation into the next, because it was a part of this generation in a way that traditional American comics weren't. Those (superhero) comics were part of the previous generation (mine), and while that generation didn't let them die out, they also didn't really share them with the new generation coming up. The comics--and themes--aged with us, and were not for the kids. Expect the next 20 years to be shaped by manga and (more importantly, I'm guessing) modern video games.
(Thanks to Newsarama.)