A medium gains legitimacy and respect when people making work in that medium legitimize and respect it.
Comics as a whole are in the process now of gaining that legitimacy, and it’s because of the people doing good work in that medium, more than any other reason. Superficial aspects like deciding to call them “graphic novels” instead of “comics” don’t help. Good work helps.
Webcomics are a subset of comics, and for the time being are seen as a distinct thing because of their mode of distribution. They’ll probably lose the prefix before too long, but who knows. They are in some ways becoming the new “indie” comics, and replacing the niche filled by minicomics and zines, bit by bit. Because it is effectively free and easy to put this stuff online, it will naturally have a lower signal-to-noise ratio than print comics, and a lower percentage of good stuff—and I hope it is always that way.
There are a lot of really excellent and varied comics being published online, and if there are more it will help all of us: the ideal self-policing culture that decides which comics are good will become more streamlined and accurate. Creators will work harder and have more good comics to judge their work against. More people will care about webcomics. There will be more good things to read on the internet.
If you are making or aspire to make a webcomic, take your work seriously, be engaged in it, and believe in it. Do good work, and be consistently critical of it so you will keep improving. You have your reasons for choosing this particular means of distribution, so own it: don’t think of it as a shortcut or an excuse to do anything less than the best you can.
I totally agree with him.