The webcomics blog about webcomics

Turns Out The Title I Was Going To Use Was Already Used Seven Years Ago, Go Figure

That title was “Linkapalooza”, and it featured a photo of Frank Zappa in an Uncle Sam-patterned oversized novelty tophat because at that time that title produced that result in a Google image search. Anyhoo, things to point you towards today.

  • James Kochalka may have retired American Elf, but he’s keeping plenty busy what with voicing Grotus in the SuperF*ckers shorts [NSFW, obviously] and starting a new strip for his local newspaper¹, and collaborating with Shmorky on a comic that fits hopes and dreams and malice and loss into one page. What I am basically saying is that you can keep up with all your Kochalka needs by keeping an eye on his Tumblr.
  • Jim Zub, one-man living embodiment of the creation/destruction duality that undergirds comics, is back with more of his ongoing series of analyses of how the heck you make it in such a crazy industry. His latest looks back at a year of Skullkickers² running on Keenspot (starts here), which has brought the online reader to the end of the second story arc and just into the first story of the second Tavern Tales collection. It’s a topic that we at Fleen have discussed with Zub more than once over the past year, but seeing numbers puts everything in perspective:

    Skullkickers online has garnered just over 5.8 million pageviews and been visited by 272,000+ people over the past 12 months. More than 90 times the number of people who buy our monthly issues have checked out Skullickers online so far. Each month an average of 22,600+ new people come on board the story and the site generates almost 486,000 pageviews. I don’t know how it compares to other webcomics (though I’m sure it’s far lower than a lot of the long running and financially self sufficient sites) but it’s reaching 7-8 times our floppy comic print run worth of new readers every month, building up awareness of the title day by day using content we already had archived and ready to go. [emphasis original]

    That bit about “content we already had archived and ready to go”? That’s Zubese for “free money”.

  • Over the years, we at Fleen have been eagerly waiting for Jess Fink’s We Can Fix It, her very sexy time-travel self-makeout story of sexy sexiness. Unfortunately, over the years, We Can Fix It (which has been complete forever, come on guys) has been repeatedly delayed by the publisher, which to be fair, they may have had extremely good reasons for doing. It may be working out for the best, as Top Shelf³ have had Fink go back and make everything even prettier than it was before Also, because she loves you, Fink has posted a seven page preview where Future Jess resolves that make the past as sexy as possible by making out with it. Oh, like you wouldn’t.
  • A bare 24 hours since our posting yesterday, and Zach Weinersmith’s newest book collection has gone from about US$40K on Kickstarter to damn near US$110K (as of this writing). He’s burned through twelve more stretch goals, extended the Map Of Mystery twice, and had to space out new goals to increments of US$10K instead of US$5K, because they were being achieved too quickly.

    One may note that Science: Ruining Everything Since 1543 is in the Kickstarter Comics category, and the not-quite-resurrected Ryan North’s To Be Or Not To Be: A Choice-Filled Adventure By Ryan North And Also William Shakespeare Too is in the Publishing category, meaning that Weinersmith cannot break North’s record ’cause different categories. However, looking at their respective backers-and-dollars reports at Kicktraq, one can see that Zach may well hit Ryanesque numbers by the time this is done in — my glob — a month.

¹ Note for our younger readers: a “newspaper” is a means of distributing information by printing it on multiple sheets of thin paper, folding to a convenient size, and making it available for sale to interested parties. Formerly, they roamed the American landscape in vast herds, but the population has lately dwindled to near-extinction levels.

² Which tends pretty much all the way towards the “destruction” end of the spectrum.

³ Who are all the very best people, and I always make sure to drop by their booth at any show I attend to buy anything I don’t have already, but also just to say hi. Seriously, they’re wonderful.

I’m sure Zach won’t explode like Ryan did. Maybe a stroke from constantly updating the map though.

It’s always interesting to see other comics’ analytics, even if any sort of raw number is generally meaningless in terms of income or… social cache or whatever. The ability to send your readers off to game a poll or something.

My own little comic so far has almost twice the unique viewers as Skullkickers, but about half the pageviews, which makes sense considering they post daily and I’m once a week. I had 6 people working on my comic too. :) I bet my readers wouldn’t mind the more aggressive post schedule as well.

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