flail doyou ?

Thursday, August 10, 2000

Wednesday, August 09, 2000

Tuesday, August 08, 2000

Yeah, the car was on the wrong side of the road, yesterday. I realised that at 5:00pm today, and I've decided that's just the sort of hooligans those guys in the jeep are to be driving on the wrong side of the road. Anyway.

Ok. I'm not really comfortable saying this, but I'm just so angry. Anyone who only draws a comic because they want a large number of readers, or because they want to have as many readers as another comic, should just put down the damned pen now. I'm not going to pretend I don't compile my stats every evening within seconds of the log file showing up. I won't pretend it doesn't bother me that comics I hate have orders of magnitude more readers than I do.

I know I'm something of an oddball - I draw this strip because I want to draw it, and because I want people to be able to read it. I wouldn't think about stopping even if there were only one person reading flail each day, and each and every day he sent me an e-mail telling me how bad I suck, and not even bothering to say why. I draw a strip because I love the comic strip community dearly, and want to participate in that community on some level. I don't expect everyone who draws a strip to have the same desires I do.

What I do expect is for them to at least respect the fans they do have. It pisses me off so badly when a comic strip artist closes up shop, and the last thing they do is say, "Yes, I know there were X people out there who supported me, but strip Y has 30X people supporting it, and frankly, if I don't have 30X people supporting me, I just don't see why I should go on." I translate this as, "You, my loyal fans, just aren't doing enough for me," or, more loosely, as, "Fuck all y'all."

I'm going through a lot of profanity and bold tags here. I'm mostly done with the angry part of the rant, so it should get safer from here on out.

I think what makes me especially bitter about this is the fact that my "market share," as it were, is so pathetic. Things are getting better - I'm up to 859 views of my main page, now. That's an average of 13 page views per day. I know I'm getting better, because I've averaged 18 page views per day in the past 7 days. It gets more depressing than that, though - in the past 7 days, my main page has been served to 112 hosts. I'll bet you can't guess how many of those hosts had ever been served the main page before. I'll give you a hint - it's not the loneliest number that you'll ever do, but it's awful close. Two of the 518 people who saw flail sometime in between June 14 and July 31 decided to come back and see it in between August 1 and August 7.

I'm not going to mention the actual numbers that the comics I'm griping about were kicking around, but just to give you a sense of scale, if I were to get 10 times as many hits per day, I would still be well below any number I've seen mentioned. (It's surprisingly hard to come across readership numbers for online comics, in my experience. Mine are at http://flail.com/log/log.html, if you were wondering. I strip out all visits from domains my friends frequent, and all search engines I know pathologically hit my site.) I know UF claims half a million unique visitors per month, so there's the upper bound for an indie. They say they have 42% of some mysterious quantity when compared to Dilbert online - if we assume that whatever that quantity works as a scale for unique visitors, we guess Dilbert has one million a month. I doubt I've got the lower bound locked up, but there's not that much difference between what I'm getting and "No hits. Not one, ever." I know some other comics are in the "Thousand or so a day" range.

Personally, the way I see it, we're not dividing up a pie, here. We, each and every one of us who draw a strip, are trying to get more people in this world to read comic strips, and to read more of them. I like knowing that thousands of people read Goats each day - it means that there's thousands of people out there who might be interested in reading a Goats rip-off like flail. I don't know why anyone out there, especially someone who has a reasonable readership of their own, would be upset that another comic has a better readership. I certainly don't know why they would go out of their way to shit on what fans they do have.

Speaking of which, whoever you two guys are, I love you. Even if you're just search engines I haven't noticed, I am deeply affectionate for you, because you saw something here that made you come back. Just from reading what I've written, I see how hard it is to gripe about your low readership without sounding like you don't care about the people who are reading your strip. Believe me - I do care. I show I care by continuing to draw a strip ever Sunday-Thursday.

Oh, one more thing - I almost used the "fill" tool today - I got kind of addicted to it doing the guest strip for Avalon. But I was able to hold back. I know you're proud of me. I'm really having a great time doing this - I just hope that the story isn't getting lost in the bad art.

Monday, August 07, 2000

Friday, August 04, 2000

Thursday, August 03, 2000

Wednesday, August 02, 2000

Tuesday, August 01, 2000

copyright 2003

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?