The Duck (originally named Drunk Duck) was created by Dylan Squires (Volte6) in 2002 as a place for comic creators to post their work online, at a time when good webcomic hosting sites were hard to find and not necessarily free to join. The site gained popularity quickly and became notable for its strong community and acceptance of beginners and amateurs. Many comic creators found the site easy to use and were able to rapidly build an audience, sometimes using Drunk Duck as a launch toward publication and other profits.
Although in the past the site has suffered several setbacks due to hardware failures or new ownership, it has always carried on strong. Its current owner WOWIO! is dedicated to improving the site's features and performance and has recently relaunched it as The Duck, with a new codebase, new server system and new features and functionality.
Why Drunk Duck? Dylan says, "the site mascots were modeled after my pet Duck and Quail I owned prior to making the site. The duck died and a friend drew him dead as a joke, and he looked drunk to me rather than dead. So that became our first logo, see Drunk Duck. I thought it was better than Dead Duck."
For a more complete history of the site, please visit its Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DrunkDuck