Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Webcomic with Highest Circulation?

Until today, the webcomic with the highest circulation was Cyanide and Happiness.

As much as I like the strip at its best, I've always been a little put out that the top spot should be a strip held by a team of contributors.

Today, Luke Searl, a cartoonist from the UK, reported circulation figures for another comic that place it about 60% higher than good old CH. And it's done by one person: Jorge Cham.

All I have to go on is the author's own report of his Google Analytics for May, but when you've analyzed a lot of comics, you get a sense of which self-reports ring true and which don't. Until Google gives us a public disclosure option for our data, we'll have to rely on self-reporting quite often. There's a few things I'd like to ask, just to tidy up, but until then, take your hat off to: the webcomic circulation champion.

As with all news stories that appear short and tidy, this one has a problem: PhD is published (free) in scores of university newspapers, giving it a publicity edge that most webcomics lack. I've always been focused on pure play webcomics that only print reprints, to keep our stats fair and tidy. Even 150,000 campus readers disqualifying web readers 1:1 wouldn't overcome PhD's lead, so thought it gets an asterisk for being a straddler, it's still an amazing accomplishment.

All you cartoonists reading this: I want you to go out and make this column look quaintly dated by this time next year.

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