DrunkDuck was founded in 2002 by Dylan Squires. By 2003 the site was rapidly gaining comics (thanks, in part, to severe bandwidth issues experienced at the time by Keenspace, another comic hosting site), and Platinum Accounts were introduced to provide users with extra hosting options. These accounts helped to fund both the site and later projects, such as the DrunkDuck comic anthologies.
Since its founding DrunkDuck has accumulated thousands of comics, though the majority are dormant accounts. The last known statistics held that the site averaged around 150 updates per day.
Partnership with Buzzcomix
DrunkDuck announced its partnership with BuzzComix in early 2004, allowing a symbiotic cooperation between the two sites. This partnership has since decreased in importance and is no longer directly visible on the DrunkDuck site, though BuzzComix continues to use a special category for sorting DrunkDuck members.
Crash and relaunch
DrunkDuck suffered a crash in late 2005 due to loss of data by the site's host. The hosting company was experiencing financial issues due to lack of income and profitability causing the server that DrunkDuck was then hosted on to be shut off. The future of the site was deemed uncertain by Squires, who stated that though the site would likely return, it was not clear what sort of services it would provide.
On January 1, 2006, Squires announced that DrunkDuck would make a full return. Several beta testers were chosen who gave the new system a thorough tryout, eventually clearing the way for open enrollment. Many of the original site's features were restored and new functionality was added.
In late August 2006, Druck Duck moved to a new dedicated server with daily back-ups and high bandwidth capability. Soon after, Squires unveiled the new DrunkDuck page layout. It quickly managed to polarize the community; the majority of users agreed that it did look more professional, but criticized it for its cluttered appearance and cutting the recently updated list down to only 5 comics. Many also complained that some of the more popular comics were being given an advantage as they were given thumbnail links in a large red window right above the recent update list. Squires promised another update within 30 days, but upon hearing the complaints of users, the site was quickly modified to restore the recently updated list to 25. Version 1.1 also removed the thumbnail window for the most popular comics.
Version 1.1 also launched a new comic browsing tool. In this release comics may be searched by genre, type, or statistical values (popularity, page count, or update frequency). The browse search tool allows the user to control all the variables to allow for targeted searches. The site now features a universal control bar at the top of all pages allowing access to favorite comics as well as the browse/search function, site store, forum, and user controls.
Version 2.0 was launched near the end of September 2006. The news about Drunkduck being bought by Platinum Studios was more evident in this extra large update. The user favorites bar previously on the left hand side of pages had been moved to the right hands side. The comic categories have increased and the icons changed. New features included a private messaging system, an integrated forum, and featured comics section on the front page. Five featured comics are displayed one by one on the front page, these comics being reviewed and chosen by an administrator. The Old PhBB forum was removed with the new integrated forum, Drunkduck users use their Drunkduck accounts to post on the forums rather than signing up for a forum username. Within the first hours of the launch of the new forum complaints poured in about the layout of yellow text on a blue background. Not too long after this was replaced with black text on a gray back.
Also new from the release of 2.0 was the homepage feature for comics. Although still being worked on, the homepage feature allows the user to give his or her comic 'main page' allowing the listing of chapters, description of the webcomic, and recommended comics from the users favorite list to be displayed. On the other hand, to emphasize it being the 'homepage' ratings for are left off and it requires users to go to the actual comic page in order to rate that particular page.