Time once again for another edition of Measuring the Webcomic Audience. Last month our list relied on visits, page views, and links data derived from Ranking.com and Alexa.com. This month we drop links data from our methodology, and instead rank webcomics based on Ranking.com data for visits and page views and for Alexa.com rankings.
Once again Penny Arcade topped our chart and also dominated all categories of data we reviewed in our methodology. Overall, however, there was a much greater number of webcomics moving on and off the Most Read List this month.
In 1999, there were a number of webcomics in regular publication, but nothing like the vast number of creators today. It was before Keenspot and Modern Tales, when the webcomic community was a much smaller world. In this smaller universe of webcomics, creators seemed more aware of their fellow peers, more prone to help each other out, and more likely to collaborate with one another. There were crossovers between webcomics, guest art for other webcomics, and on April 1st of 1999, Terrence Marks organized the first Great April Fools' Webcomic Swap, where webcomic creators surprised their readers by swapping webcomics with other creators for a day.
Time once again for another edition of Measuring the Webcomic Audience. Last month we explored some of the tools and methods developed by the blogging community, in particular the use of links between sites to rank blogs.
For this month's edition of our measurement project we again rely on information from Ranking.com and Alexa.com. We calculated a score for each webcomic based on their rankings for unique visitors, page views, and new for this month, links. For example, Penny Arcade ranked first for unique visitors, page views and for the number of sites linking into the Penny Arcade website.
So you draw and/or write a webcomic?
No matter how good you are, there's always something more to learn. One way to learn is to read a lot of webcomics. You can also learn a lot from countless free tutorials created by some truly talented artists.
According to the mainstream press, it's the year of the blog. And in many ways that's absolutely true. To name just one example, political blogs are making an impact beyond just providing the kind of thoughtful commentary no longer found on screaming-head talk shows; arguably blogs helped to keep the Trent "We Would Have All Been Better Off" Lott scandal alive until he resigned as Majority Leader of the United States Senate; Howard Dean, candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, has used his blog as a means to inform, organize and raise significant funds; and we can read Andrew Sullivan and Tom Tomorrow exchanging witty quips as if they were at a virtual table at a virtual Algonquin Hotel.
There are two issues of interest to explore here. First, why are blogs with significantly smaller audiences than webcomics having an exponentially larger impact on popular culture? Second, why are blogs doing a much better job of building community and drawing attention to other worthy blogs than webcomics?
Mike Leffel burst onto the webcomic scene in 2000 with the colorful, hilarious, and slightly controversial Fat Jesus. He later created Owlie! (with help from Bob Scott), a semi-daily strip on Keenspot about a really cranky owl and other forest animals.
The comics medium has more than its fair share of awards. There are multiple awards for comic books and comic strips including the Eisner, Harvey, Ignatz, and Reuben, (see sidebar for more details) so it should not be surprising that with the explosion in webcomics publishing, there would inevitably be an award, or even two, for webcomics. But while everyone seems to agree that webcomics should be recognized for excellence, there is no agreement on the best way to present awards to webcomics.
In May, Comixpedia published a "most-read" list based largely on information obtained through comparative traffic rankings from Alexa and Traffic Ranking. For July, we present version 0.2 of our audience measurement project. Remember that this project is still in beta mode, and that we welcome your feedback.
There are plenty of webcomics you can read for free, but a growing number of sites are beginning to charge for some or all of the webcomics they publish. Now that you may have to hand over your hard-earned cash to read your favorite webcomics, it’s important that you know what you’re getting so you can decide where to hand over your hard-earned cash. This article is part one in a series that will review sites where you pay for webcomics. We will tell you the costs of joining such sites.
Underground. Edgy. Raw. Inventive. Independent. Webcomics have all of that and more. That said, the following may seem like an absurd question, but it needs to be asked: are webcomics having an impact on mainstream popular culture? When do we get to pay 8 dollars to watch Sluggy Freelance II: The Search for Oasis or an animated Fanciest Froglin on the big screen, or flip the channel to Mad Science with Doctor Helen Narbon on the television?