Measuring the Webcomic Audience Version 0.4

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 and This month we drop links data from our methodology, and instead rank webcomics based on data for visits and page views and for 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.

As always, this project is in beta so please provide feedback on any aspect of our efforts. We have also continued to add webcomics to our watchlist. As before, this list only ranks those webcomics actually on our watchlist. To the extent that we are missing a webcomic on our watchlist that potentially would place on our most-read list, we rely on you, the readers, to bring it (them) to our attention.

On this month's list, coming in right after Penny Arcade, MegaTokyo continues its hold on second place, 8 Bit Theatre creeps up to third, and User Friendly and Sluggy Freelance round out our top five. New entrants to this month's list include Captain Ribman, Schlock Mercenary, College Roomies From Hell!!!, Scary Go Round and It's Walky. Slipping off the list this month are Avalon High, Diesel Sweeties, Movie Comics and Angst Technology.

List 0.4

Rank Name URL Last List Time on Chart
1 Penny Arcade 1 4
2 Mega Tokyo 2 4
3 8-bit Theatre 5 4
4 User Friendly 11 4
5 Sluggy Freelance 4 4
6 RPG World 7 4
7 Bob And George 13 3*
8 Player VS Player 12 4
9 Mac Hall 6 4
10 Exploding Dog 8 2
11 Sinfest 3 4
12 Mall Monkeys 10 3
13 Errant Story 14 3
14 Real Life 9 4
15 White Ninja Comics 19 2
16 Sexy Losers 1
17 Get Your War On 2*
18 Little Gamers 17 2
19 Broken Saints 20 2
20 Captain Ribman 1
21 Schlock Mercenary 1
22 College Roomies From Hell!!! 1
23 Something Positive 1
24 Scary Go Round 1
25 It's Walky! 1

* Non-consectutive appearances.

Watch List

Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.


  1. Quick correction on the watch list.. should be

  2. Thanks for the comments so far. We can certainly add Dragon Tails to the Watch List so we’ll see how it does next time.

    As to Captain Ribman, you’re raising the “Am I webcomic or not” debate which is probably always going to be open to differing opinions. Clearly the “line” can’t be once you’re published somewhere in print you’re no longer a webcomic since many many webcomics publish books, some are published in news papers (Greystone Inn for example), some are published in weekly alt mags, some in comic books (heck some newspaper strips are also published in comic books).

    I included on the list b/c Ribman (1) does publish its comics online and (2) it clearly has made extensive use of the web in presenting itself to the world. Ribman and its creators haven’t really been “newspaper” guys nor is Ribman really a newspaper strip.

    But this list project is in “beta” which means it can change a lot depending on feedback and our own trial and error process.

  3. i think this would better be described as a ranking of how well indexed in google and/or how often a particular comic is written about rather than as a list of who has the most traffic.

    i know the traffic levels of some of these sites on the list is lower than mine, yet they rank higher. (just an observation.)

    it’s probably not realistic, but the only way to *really* do this project is to share actual server logs and have a third party (like comixpedia) process them once every week or month.

  4. You have to remember that the Measuring List is based on data from 3rd Party sources like Alexa – it’s not as accurate as if I received audited server data from every webcomic (as R Stevens is sort of suggesting above).

    One reason why the Scandal Sheet example doesn’t trouble me – even if the above numbers are accurate (and I have no way to verify Smith’s number) – is that the List is taken over a period of time – a number of sample days are used to obtain data. A webcomic that does really well b/c it got linked by Penny Arcade one day isn’t going to jump up the charts unless those visitors return again and again.

  5. There is probably something to that R. One thing we (mostly I) have spent some time on without success yet is whether we can run a chron job to scrap data from website counters, specifically Extreme and Site Meter. does this for blogs. (See it’s Ecosystem link). I think this would, while not necessarily providing accurate numbers, provide a better set of data for comparing audiences than Alexa and

    As far as actual server data I’d need some help (or have to do some more research) on creating a way to verify it’s accuracy.

  6. agreed.
    there’s been 400 uniques in my first month. although a quarter of them left after 30 seconds.
    you should go deeper into the observation.

  7. Just wanted to point out that should be I think it will show up on the list once that’s corrected.

  8. Curse you, Ellen! You’ve made me look foolish!

  9. Another one to add to the watch list is

  10. In other words: The list is biased or incomplete and invalid. -_-‘

    I don’t even see in there. Maybe cause most of our readers are too smart to allow Alexa to look over their shoulder?

    – Zimzat

  11. Man. I don’t trust the ranking on this list much. Sinfest should be much higher. It easily gets more than twice as much traffic as, say, RPG World. Sinfest is king.

    And I know I get more traffic than that Sci-Fi guy Schlock Mercenary! 😀 (Not by much, though. I need to hire hitmen before he gets too close. Oh so very close.)

    Anyway, the method of tallying them up seems to have a flaw somewhere. What’s’s results based on?


  12. Itswalky? What’s that crap doing on the list? Mediocre at best, juvenile at worst.

  13. the ratings are based a lot on the google toolbar spyware that grabs visit information and usage statistics. Alexia also uses generic page visit data (from somewhere, dunno where for sure) but it weights more heavily the toolbar info, so the data is skewed. Ahh, well, if they were totally impartial someone would complain about their ratings drop.


  14. Yep. In a recent Q&A session here at comixpedia, Tycho said “On a given strip day, we can expect around 120,000 uniques or so.”

    During the recent Something*Positive/Scandal Sheet crossover, Troy Smith (author of Scandal Sheet) saw his pageview count jump from his average of 1400 a day to over 140000 on the first day of the crossover (see this journal entry).

    Of course, these figures probably don’t measure the same thing (for one thing, I suppose a lot of Scandal Sheet pageviews probably came from newcomers browsing the archives), but still it makes me wonder how S*P’s readership compare to that of PA.

  15. You can’t compare a unique hit to a page view. On person can account for multiple page views. Of course a uniqe hit is measured as a unique IP and an IP could be one person or a bunch of people at an office or school. There is honestly no good way to measure a sites traffic. Everyone has a different way of calculating their numbers.

  16. Could you include all of the comics currently listed on the top 10 of I’m curious about how such ranking sites affect a site’s popularity.

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