Skip to main content

Best Webcomics of 2005

The Best Webcomics of 2005 -- as selected by... everyone!

It seems to be the time of year when the “best of 2005” lists start appearing. Most of the “best webcomics of 2005” lists are basically, whatever the people working on that site happen to like. Some are created by panels and some are created by individuals. If they don’t like the genre or the artwork themselves, it won’t be on their list. I guess in that way they’re like mini Academy Awards… with a lot less glitz and glamour.

That got me thinking about del.icio.us (mmmmm), the social bookmarking tool I’ve been using this year. It lets you check how many other people have bookmarked a particular site. If you think of a bookmark as being a vote for a particular website, then the info from del.icio.us provides a fairly good listing of the Top Webcomics of 2005 as selected by the audience. I guess in some ways that makes this list the Webcomics People’s Choice Awards.

So here they are, the— Best Webcomics of 2005!

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Erik Melander's picture

technically this isn't a comixpedia feature, its a submitted news item. But discussion is of course welcome regardless.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joe Zabel's picture

Um, Ryan, isn't that why 'Pedia has a comment section, so that people can say what they think about the 'Pedia features?

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Jesus, man... It's "AssTRADA"

Get it right.

How's India treating you, Ryan?

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

SCREW YOU ASSTOWN

Kristofer Straub www.starslip.com

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Ryan Estrada's picture

Good god, people! The dude made a list! Look at it! Agree or disagree! Who cares if you wouldn't use the same criteria! At least take note that this is how it works under this particular set of criteria.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

And here I thought a "best of" list should be based on consideration of the quality of material rather than goldbricking habits and an desire for a return link from one of the high traffic sites.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joe Zabel's picture

Duh! Actually, I didn't notice the list of comics below the top ten. There's some google ads stretched between them, and I thought that was the bottom of the page.

Cthulhu Circus is a revelation. Dr. McNinja doesn't quite grab me.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

It's actually more valuable to me than a list of the top 10 comics I read. I mean -- what's the use of that? I know what I'm reading. This list gives me all sorts of new comics to check out -- ones that a lot of other people are already enjoying.

I've already looked at a few of the "new" comics on the list -- Dr. McNinja, Cthulhu Circus... which don't seem like what you'd find on most "best of" lists.

Keep in mind -- I'm the audience for this list just as much as anyone else.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Tyler Martin's picture

Yeah, I made a really long list like this once, was interesting and surprising.

And yeah, like I said, if that's what "best" is referring to, then there's that list. But if it's opinion then of course it's limited to the group stating it. I think using the word "best" is always opening a can of worms.

The main problem here is it's too generalized. What's the best metal? Depends what for, the best for making money might be gold, or the best for stopping bullets might be steel. What's best, gold or steel?

There might even be a top 10 webcomics to print out and wipe my butt with list. =) At least I would know what it was best for.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joe Zabel's picture

You're no fun, Stuart, you're too laid back to debate with about anything!

But, you know, you wrote the article about this list, and yet you yourself didn't care about the list enough to even look at the comics on it. What does that tell you about the value of a list such as yours?

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joe Zabel's picture

Actually I think these statistics are very interesting and worth knowing. My only objection is when the most trafficked webcomics are equated with being "the best."

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

"Considering the title of the article, I am forced to assume that you believe User Friendly is better than Sinfest. What else could the title possibly mean? Unless you were using that title ironically. The straightforward intent of the article, as I read it, is to say that the most bookmarked comics are the best comics. If that is not your stance, what is your stance, and why did you choose the title you did?"

Hey, let's argue semantics! Ye-haa! :-D

The article is titled Best Webcomics of 2005, because I started by saying

"It seems to be the time of year when the “best of 2005” lists start appearing. Most of the “best webcomics of 2005” lists are basically, whatever the people working on that site happen to like." The list I actually publish in the article is titled Top 10 Webcomics of 2005.

The real question is... what did I mean by "top"?

Disclaimer: I haven't read one panel of either User Friendly or Sinfest. I do consider Sinfest superior though because on loading the page for the first time I saw a cute doggie. Cute doggie = better!

"The Examiner staff do not claim authority over anything-- they only claim the right to state their opinions.

I think you know that you *do* tend to claim a bit of authority on the subject. That's okay though -- I mean, why not? If you guys didn't do it someone else would.

Unlike your list, ours was the result of people voting for something after thoughtful consideration, and of them knowing what they were voting for."

I'm very proud that this list represents thoughtless impulsive voting with no knowledge of the chaos it would eventually bring about. :-)

Re: Bah... come now....

Joe Zabel's picture

Actually, Stuart's list is quite different from the People's Choice Awards. The PCA's don't take the box office winner of a given year and say "This is the winner for best picture." Instead, the Gallup organization conducts an opinion poll asking people what film they think is the best. So the respondents reason and judgement is part of the process.

That's why the People's Choice Awards have a different meaning than cold box office statistics. And the results are generally far different than box office results. For instance, the Green Mile was a winner (apparently in 2000) for best picture, but it wasn't the biggest box office draw that year by a long stretch.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Tyler Martin's picture

These are all communities or circles of people, including del.icio.us, so of course they are going to have their own particular picks. Also the term "best" doesn't necessarily mean popularity, everyone in the world may have a link to penny-arcade, but there is a chance that it is not a single person's "favorite" comic, it might be everyone's second favorite.

At any rate, if "best" is about traffic/popularity these are Alexa's ratings of visitors per one million internet users.

248 Penny-Arcade
184 Ctrl-Alt-Del
150 PVP Online
132 VG Cats
128 Megatokyo
102 User Friendly
97 Questionable Content
94 Something Positive
94 Sluggy Freelance
81 Diesel Sweeties

Although to be more fair to get strips read per one million users you would multiply these numbers by 7 and divide by the number of strips that comic does a week.

Popular Webcomics on Delicious

Using Delicious is pretty easy-- and each bookmark in that specific category someone entered in, makes it no real mistake-- the only mistake that could be made would be entering a different URL for that comic-- you'll notice that OMEGA HAIR takes you to PENNY ARCADE, etc...

http://del.icio.us/popular/webcomics

Bah... come now....

It's not flawed at all. It's pretty dead on. Sinfest is on that list, not because it's a keenspot comic and there are accidental links to it-- it's sinfest.net --

Go sign up for delicious and use it if you want to know your anwers.. there are "tags" for webcomics, etc... so it's easily trackable. THAT is how you know it was marked as a webcomic and not a gaming review. You're simply splitting hairs. I think it's a diservice to the popular webcomics to be left off of "BEST OF" lists simply because they're popular-- you know? That's kinda the vibe I'm getting-- that if you become TOO popular, your not going to be written up unless they want traffic from you or something. Hahhaha... And god forbid if you're actually making money! Then the same type of folks would just call you a "t-shirt salesman" --

Also, I think Stuart clearly wrote this would be sort of the "People's Choice Best Webcomics of 2005" on his blog and in this article-- it's even in BOLD if you read the article.

He wasn't trying to say this list was BETTER than the Webcomics Examiner list... even though, it clearly is. :)

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

"amatuer"?? Don't you mean.. "hack"??

hehehe...

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joe Zabel's picture

Yes, I certainly would.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

But, assuming for argument's sake that the methodology is suitable-- does that mean that we should seriously assume that User Friendly is "better" than Sinfest in any signifigant way?

Yes. Yes it does. It does so much that it counts as super evidence.

Also, the webcomic examiner list is an elitist list of comics no one has ever heard of featuring - comics people have heard of.

<a xhref="http://www.kiwisbybeat.com" target=blank>Kiwis by beat!</a>

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

I wonder how you would react if User Friendly were below Sinfest. Would you be raising a shitstorm about whether or not Sinfest was actually "better" than User Friendly?

In other words, if popular opinion just so happened to coincide with your asthetic preference, would you still be giving a damn?

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joe Zabel's picture

Uber-- I don't think it's merely hair splitting to object to the assertion that the most popular is the best. That's a pretty radical assertion, actually. It places traffic patterns above meaning and judgement. It dehumanizes opinion-- there's nobody to answer the question, why is User Friendly better than Sinfest.

Most people who deal in opinion polls of various kind avoid making that assertion. Yahoo lists something called a boxoffice report-- they don't call it the ranking of best movies. Zogby measures the preferences of voters-- he doesn't say the guy with the better numbers is going to be the best President.

So I think it's perfectly legitimate to ask Stuart why he's taking this stance.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

The problem is, D.J., that an amateur failed to consult with another group of amateurs before indexing his list. There are metrics to be considered, weights to be applied, and other amateurs to be disregarded before one can conclusively call something "the whiz-pow best comics in history of zowie!"

Kristofer Straub www.starslip.com

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Again with User Friendly! Why are you so fixated on User Friendly? What the fuck did J.D. do to you, run over your cat?

You are working overtime over what is a pretty common loose use of the english language. I suppose he could have written "Most Popular Webcomics" just to be more accurate, but then again, "most popular" roughly equates to "best" for all those people who made them so damn popular.

Lord, deliver us from hair-splitters.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Chris Crosby's picture

Here's another webcomics popularity list based on (I think) what readers choose to bookmark: http://www.thewebcomiclist.com/profile.php?order=ranking

Though that attracts a more webcomic-centric audience, the rankings appear to be similar. For example, my comic SORE THUMBS seems to be #50 on the del.icio.us list and #51 on thewebcomiclist (at the moment).

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joe Zabel's picture

Airsick-- When somebody says "the best movie of the year is...", it's a given that it is that person's opinion. So I make no apology for calling our list the Best Webcomics.

Stuart has every right to hold the opinion that the most bookmarked webcomics are the best webcomics, period. That's what his title implies. But apparently he doesn't really think that, and is not willing to stand by the article's assertion that User Friendly is a better webcomic than Sinfest. So I think his title is misleading and not very well thought out.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joey Manley's picture

Both lists have a lot of value. Also the list DJ posted over on Yirmumah has a lot of value. If the Examiner's list does nothing else, getting lots of people really thinking and talking about what "best" means, in the context of webcomics, well, that in and of itself seems to me to be a fairly interesting function to serve.

As long as everybody doesn't end up just yelling past each other.

Which, you know, is what's gonna happen.

And that's fun, too!

Joey
www.moderntales.com

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

This I don't understand. "Unlike your list, ours was the result of people voting for something after thoughtful consideration, and of them knowing what they were voting for." Is it the word "best" you're complaining about? Would there be a problem with calling them the "most popular?" Should the Examiner roundups include the subtitle "as selected by five submitters to Webcomics Examiner" so there's no misunderstandings?

Kristofer Straub www.starslip.com

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joe Zabel's picture

Some other ways the polling method is flawed:

*Sinfest is part of Keenspot. Therefore, a signifigant number of their audience may have a bookmark for Keenspot and not a bookmark for Sinfest specifically.

*I'm not sure this bookmarking thing works the same with all comics. A lot of comics have a separate URL for each page. If they have bookmarks for pages 1 thru 365, does your method add up all those bookmarks to come to a total?

*Penny Arcade publishes game reviews as well as webcomics. How do you know whether the person is bookmarking it for the comic or the reviews?

*For that matter, how can you determine what the readers' intentions were in bookmarking something? Does it necessarily constitute a vote for "Best Webcomics of 2005?"

Considering the title of the article, I am forced to assume that you believe User Friendly is better than Sinfest. What else could the title possibly mean? Unless you were using that title ironically. The straightforward intent of the article, as I read it, is to say that the most bookmarked comics are the best comics. If that is not your stance, what is your stance, and why did you choose the title you did?

The Examiner staff do not claim authority over anything-- they only claim the right to state their opinions. Unlike your list, ours was the result of people voting for something after thoughtful consideration, and of them knowing what they were voting for.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

"flawed"???

It's not flawed. It's what people are actually reading.. so in a "popular" way, these ARE the best online comics.

I kinda like this list because it's fair to print comics too, like Dibert is on there. Im no fan of dilbert.

There really wasn't anything wrong with the Webcomics Examiner list-- but who's an actual authority on whatever...

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

The methodology here is pretty flawed-- I mean, how many people use del.icio.us or have even heard of it?

How many people have heard of the Webcomics Examiner? And why the fuck should we assume User Friendly ISN'T better than Sinfest? Just because you don't think so?

(For the record, I love Sinfest. I also love User Friendly.)

The methodology he used is pretty good for determining how may people that use del.ico.us are motiviated enough to link to particular webcomics. I'm sure there even more people using d.i.u who read webcomics daily that they don't link to -- just like there are people using Internet Explorer who read my webcomic but don't use the Alexa applet. The only methodology can accurately represent popularity in terms of traffic is taking every web comic site's traffic logs and dumping them all into a spreadsheet and crunching numbers. All other methodologies are representative of specific segments of the web only (i.e., people who use d.i.u, or people who use the Alexa web tracker).

And the *rest* of the lists are the opinions of people who claim authority on a topic.

Which is more "valid?" Who cares? The Webcomics Examiner top 10 list was interesting, this list is interesting, Alexa rankings are interesting... and that's as far as it goes. None of them are particularly authoritative as far as I can tell. Ultimately, all of the lists I mentioned -- including your own -- use "flawed methodology" to a certain extent.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I thought this was a good use of an existing web tool. No method is perfect - but understanding how it works, everyone can decide if it's a useful approach for oneself. I think Stuart's point about capturing the inclinations of a larger group of readers is a good one but I'm not sure if the need to bookmark is a positive or a negative.

Not a bad list anyhow, however it was generated.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

There are things about the methodology that could be improved, but really how is it any more flawed than the list put together for theWebcomics examiner? It's just a bigger pool of people voting for what they like. ;-)

I mean, how many people use del.icio.us or have even heard of it? Are its users representative of the webcomics reading populace as a whole?

Take a look...

del.icio.us has Google PageRank 8/10.
penny-arcade.com has Google PageRank 7/10.
comixpedia.com has Google PageRank 6/10.
webcomicsreview.com has Google PageRank 5/10.

Alexa Traffic Rank for del.icio.us 1,568
Traffic Rank for penny-arcade.com: 4,847
Traffic Rank for comixpedia.com: 154,968
Alexa Traffic Rank for webcomicsreview.com: 210,593

Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it's not big. I'd never heard of "A Softer World" but I'm willing to give it a chance now that I have.

This list doesn't say User Friendly is "better" than Sinfest, just that more people voted for it... again, like the People's Choice awards. The same argument could be made about the people who win that award. It perhaps says that User Friendly is slightly more popular than Sinfest. It definitely says that both of them have a lot of people reading them.

A bookmark on del.icio.us is more like a vote, because after reading the comic the user had to conciously decide to bookmark it. Alexis could be recording a comic that's getting a lot of traffic, maybe from Banner ads or listing in a Top 10 List, but doesn't reflect how the person responds to it.

that effectively calls bullshit on the assertions that ours is an elitist list of comics that nobody reads and nobody has ever heard of.

It's a list of comics that you guys like, which is cool. You have your biases -- everybody does. Other people have other lists with their own criteria for what's good and what's not. What I found interesting about putting this together is it's a list of a much larger group of people that cuts across the spectrum from Webcomic "community" types to people who read webcomics on a more casual basis. It includes a lot of webcomics that seem to get overlooked by the community lists more often than not as well: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Ornery Boy. Order of the Stick -- some good stuff people might not be reading already. I think it's a good mixture.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

One thing I like about this list is that Perry Bible Fellowship is on it. Since it's on the Webcomics Examiner's Best of 2005 list, that effectively calls bullshit on the assertions that ours is an elitist list of comics that nobody reads and nobody has ever heard of.

Yes, congratulations, Joe! You certainly nailed that one.

Re: Best Webcomics of 2005

Joe Zabel's picture

The methodology here is pretty flawed-- I mean, how many people use del.icio.us or have even heard of it? Are its users representative of the webcomics reading populace as a whole? Alexis might be a better method, though it has its flaws as well.

But, assuming for argument's sake that the methodology is suitable-- does that mean that we should seriously assume that User Friendly is "better" than Sinfest in any signifigant way?

One thing I like about this list is that Perry Bible Fellowship is on it. Since it's on the Webcomics Examiner's Best of 2005 list, that effectively calls bullshit on the assertions that ours is an elitist list of comics that nobody reads and nobody has ever heard of.