The webcomics blog about webcomics

A Case Of The Sundays

Sunday comics. Bigger, better, colorful editions of your favorite strip to sink your teeth into on a relaxing weekend afternoon. Well, sometimes. But it isn’t the syndicated artists’ approach to Sundays that we’re looking at. It’s the web comics. Obviously.

A lot of web comics don’t include weekends in their update schedule, even some of the biggest ones. They are clearly of the opinion that the Sunday tradition does not apply to them. Many of these people have jobs and would probably like to have some kind of social life at the weekends. I suppose we have to respect that. No one is going to suggest that web comic creators are obliged to engage in a practice that a lot of syndicated strips don’t even bother with any more.

For good of for ill, there are some on-line strips out there that try to bring us a full blown Sunday strip every week. I know there are people out there who think that web comics should be moving away from the conventions of printed syndicated comics, but a good artist and writer can really make the day of rest a day to look forward to for his/her/their readers.

Howard Taylor, for example, is a man who knows his Sundays. For Schlockers, Sunday is the day where they get to see the panoramic space panels, the gigantic alien shark, or armed troops being air dropped onto an apartment block. This is what it’s all about. A good comic should be full of good writing and good art 7 days a week, but the truly talented and the truly dedicated (some might say truly crazy) creators will take the opportunity to add a little spectacle and fit it seamlessly into the plot.

Bill Watterson once did a whole storyline in Sunday format. It was one of the defining moments that got me into reading comics. It showed me the potential of the medium. Maybe because the Internet itself has given so much new potential to comics, some creators have forgotten the impact a few more rows of panels and some extra color and shading can have on a reader.

You’re really, really right.

I’m all for bigger comics on occassion, but putting them up on a Sunday is a huge waste. Everybody’s readership drops like a stone on the weekend… that’s the real reason why so few people update on those days.

I’d be curious to know if Schlock Mercenary’s traffic stays constant through the weekends or if he experiences the same dip in visitors that most of us non-weekend-updaters get.

The real reason I don’t update on weekends, of course, is that weekends are when Sam and I do battle.

Don’t forget Sheldon. Dave Kellett throws down a full-color Sunday like no one’s business.

My readership drops noticeably on a Friday. It’s really strange.

Actually, my readership drops on Friday as well, too. I think it’s because, on Sunday to Thursday, you have people on the west coast tuning in around 10 or 11 PM to catch the following day’s comic early. (I know I often do that.) But on Friday night, there is no comic to catch early because there is no comic on Saturdays.

Also, on Friday night I’m usually too busy to read any comics because I’m getting ready to fight Jeph.

The Sunday strip tradition began because people had more time to read the newspaper on Sunday than on any other day.

In webcomics, Sunday is actually the day with the lowest readership. Monday is best, with a gradual drop-off through the week and then a sharp fall-off on the weekend.

One solution which, to my knowledge, no one has tried?

Do your extra-large comics on MONDAY.

I get a drop on Fridays as well and I think Sam’s theory is right- Saturdays are always my quietest day, because lots of people tune in on Sunday nights to catch Monday’s strip.

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