Question for webcomic makers

Canadian teenagers jus' kickin' it 24/7.

Moderators: MarkusN, Josh Phillips

Forum rules
Locked due to spam magnet.

Question for webcomic makers

Postby Savant_Guarde on Sat Sep 07, 2002 12:04 pm

Question for Josh but I would be interested to hear from the other webcomic makers I see that frequent the board :)

Typically how many visitors does Avalon ( or you own webcomic) Get per month? Thats Visits NOT hits btw :) Made the mistake of getting all excited about my statistics but a little maths revealed that the hits did not equal the amount of people that had visited my site. So I was just curious how much traffic some of the bigger comics get. :-?
check my webcomic, now updated at least weekly! http://cascadefailure.keenspace.com/
Savant_Guarde
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Fife, Scotland

Postby Darth Paradox on Sat Sep 07, 2002 12:12 pm

Er. Josh told me that a good indication of the actual numbers of readers you have is to look at the number of "Sites" (not visits) on a day that you update, if you have a normal schedule. The extra sites from people checking the site more than once will balance out the people who don't check the site at all that day.

I hope I got what he said right.

That being said, Scatterplot updates thrice a week (MWF) and my "visits" fluctuates wildly - anywhere from 65 to 165, over the past month. My "sites" is holding relatively steady at about 140, though, usually about +/- 20 depending on the day. I really need to publicize more, though.
User avatar
Darth Paradox
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1406
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2000 11:00 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI, USA

yah

Postby Savant_Guarde on Sat Sep 07, 2002 12:16 pm

Yeah im just after an indication Really of what I need to aim for :)

that 140 per day or per month?
Savant_Guarde
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Fife, Scotland

Re: yah

Postby Darth Paradox on Sat Sep 07, 2002 12:26 pm

Savant_Guarde wrote:Yeah im just after an indication Really of what I need to aim for :)

that 140 per day or per month?


Per day, thank god. I'm really not that successful, as far as webcomics go - after 10 months (exactly, tomorrow) of comicry, I've got ~ 140 people reading the comic - if you want something to aim for, look at Avalon. I think Josh told me at one point that he's getting around 5,000 readers daily now - but that may have changed in the several weeks since he said that.
User avatar
Darth Paradox
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1406
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2000 11:00 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Postby Walky on Sat Sep 07, 2002 12:27 pm

On Thursday (the last non-weekend day), It's Walky! got 8119 unique visitors.

In 1999, around when Ruth died, Roomies! had about 300 unique visitors a day.
User avatar
Walky
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 2776
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Postby Josh Phillips on Sat Sep 07, 2002 1:23 pm

The most objective measure of site "popularity" is pageviews (objective because it's so easy to calculate - just let the web server count the pageviews). Right now, Avalon gets 54000 to 60000 per day... which is deleriously higher than it was two weeks ago (around 20000-25000 per day). I attribute the increase to new readers sent from It's Walky and ClanBOB.

Pageviews don't *really* measure popularity, though. It'll be artifically high if a new reader comes along, since he would read a bunch of archive pages in a batch (as opposed to the average reader just checking the front page). "Sites" is a bit better at measuring actual people, except it suffers from the reality that there isn't a single IP address per person. But I imagine the error stays pretty much consistent day-to-day, so it's a good way to monitor readership trends. At the moment, Avalon gets ~6300 sites per day. Again, this is higher than a while ago (~5500) thanks to IW and ClanBOB.

Finally, "Visits." This a weird stat which is supposed to calculate how many times individuals browse your site in one sitting. When a unique IP address hits your site, it counts as a single visit. If it hits it again at least 30 minutes (IIRC) after the previous hit, that counts as another visit (assuming that person was done viewing your site after the first visit, looked at other stuff or left his computer for a while, then came back to your site a second time). I've seen this stat do weird things before (like somehow being lower than the Sites stat), so I don't really trust it. Nonetheless, Avalon gets 7300-7600 visits per day (up from 6000-7000).

Also, I usually only consider weekday stats. Weekends are always lower.

And Avalon's stats were highest at the end of 2001, getting ~1.7 million pageviews in each of November and December. That was before I started sucking. :-)

JOSH.
User avatar
Josh Phillips
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 2683
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Postby Walky on Sat Sep 07, 2002 1:33 pm

I'd just like to note that when Josh regularly updates, his site's popularity kicks my site's ass. In the grand scheme of life, Avalon uses It's Walky! for a napkin.
User avatar
Walky
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 2776
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio

I would just like to say...

Postby Predator on Sat Sep 07, 2002 3:58 pm

I'd just like to say that while I'm not an artist, both Walky and Avalon are amazing comics though I don't want to sound like a gay ass fan boy, you two both write and draw great.
Predator
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Oakville, Ontario, CANADA!! WOO!

Postby Gigafreak on Sat Sep 07, 2002 4:11 pm

Walky wrote:I'd just like to note that when Josh regularly updates, his site's popularity kicks my site's ass. In the grand scheme of life, Avalon uses It's Walky! for a napkin.

Amazingly, when I put myself down like that, people tell me it's not true.

And, well, since Josh is on hiatus due to moving-in problems, this would be your chance to catch up with him. Or something.
Sticks and stones may break my bones...
But a giant mallet will break them faster.
ImageImageImage
If you can't see these images, I hate Geocities and I'm too lazy to register elsewhere.
Ever try dodging rain without an umbrella?I couldn't do it either.
User avatar
Gigafreak
Keenspot Juggernaut
 
Posts: 3887
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2002 9:42 am
Location: Under a mop of hat hair

Postby packy on Sat Sep 07, 2002 4:34 pm

Ah, the black art of trying to translate pageviews into more useful numbers.

Another thing to be aware of is that some large ISPs (particularly AOL) have mongo proxy servers that do all the page requests for thier customers in order to save bandwidth. So, DW and Josh could have 1,000 fans on AOL all requesting the latest comic at once, but they'd never know because the 10 or so AOL proxy servers would request the page once each and not again for a long time. On the positive side, it's good for Keen's servers not to have to answer each of those requests, but it's bad for Keen's bottom line since they get revenue based on the advertizing in each pageview.
Proudly hosting the It's Walky!/Avalon Fanart Gallery to ensure that spreading quality fanart doesn't require your own webserver. Email or PM for a login to post pictures.
User avatar
packy
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 2661
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Troy, NY USA

Postby liveacoustic on Sat Sep 07, 2002 4:56 pm

I'd just like to say that while I'm not an artist, both Walky and Avalon are amazing comics though I don't want to sound like a gay ass fan boy, you two both write and draw great.


Speaking of which, ever noticed how about 99% of all Avalon fans read It's Walky and vice-versa? Isn't that weird?
User avatar
liveacoustic
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2001 12:00 am
Location: City, State, Country

Postby Gigafreak on Sat Sep 07, 2002 5:37 pm

liveacoustic wrote:
I'd just like to say that while I'm not an artist, both Walky and Avalon are amazing comics though I don't want to sound like a gay ass fan boy, you two both write and draw great.


Speaking of which, ever noticed how about 99% of all Avalon fans read It's Walky and vice-versa? Isn't that weird?

Not really. Josh and Willis are pals, remember?
Don't a lot of Sluggy Freelance's readers also read User Friendly?
Sticks and stones may break my bones...
But a giant mallet will break them faster.
ImageImageImage
If you can't see these images, I hate Geocities and I'm too lazy to register elsewhere.
Ever try dodging rain without an umbrella?I couldn't do it either.
User avatar
Gigafreak
Keenspot Juggernaut
 
Posts: 3887
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2002 9:42 am
Location: Under a mop of hat hair

Postby Darth Paradox on Sat Sep 07, 2002 8:08 pm

Heh. I suppose theoretically the only way to have an accurate count of readers is to have a temporary poll on your page - "All readers, please respond to this EXACTLY ONCE - I'm trying to get an accurate view of my readership."
Of course, some people would be lazy. How many? Hell if I know. Out the window goes the accuracy.
User avatar
Darth Paradox
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1406
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2000 11:00 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Postby Aramchek on Sun Sep 08, 2002 6:47 am

packy wrote:Ah, the black art of trying to translate pageviews into more useful numbers.

Another thing to be aware of is that some large ISPs (particularly AOL) have mongo proxy servers that do all the page requests for thier customers in order to save bandwidth. So, DW and Josh could have 1,000 fans on AOL all requesting the latest comic at once, but they'd never know because the 10 or so AOL proxy servers would request the page once each and not again for a long time. On the positive side, it's good for Keen's servers not to have to answer each of those requests, but it's bad for Keen's bottom line since they get revenue based on the advertizing in each pageview.


Since when is getting viewers from AOL a GOOD thing? :-)

Note: it is just a silly joke, please don't kill me.

/Aramchek (biased)
"I have opinions of my own - strong opinions - but I don't always agree with them" - George Bush
User avatar
Aramchek
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2002 4:00 pm
Location: Area 52

Postby Savant_Guarde on Sun Sep 08, 2002 7:05 am

tnx for the figures guys, *sigh* got a wee bit to go before my webstats start showing those kind of numbers :S
Savant_Guarde
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Fife, Scotland

Postby dDave on Sun Sep 08, 2002 9:07 am

Howdy,

I draw a webcomic and a half.

Pander got an average of 153 visitors a day and 865 pageviews in the month of August. After ten months, my best month ever. I was help by a mention on Kung Fool! and by a guest art strip on Tsunami Channel, though. On the flip side, I suspect that Pander has a harder time than most with attracting readers because of it's dark, involved, character driven storyline with no humor, anime, gaming or Canada references.

The Other One is my blatant sell out attempt at popularity. Anime style, it promises to have a lively and fun story line along the lines of Ah! My Goddess. After several months of just posting concept art as I hammer out details about the comic, it gets an average of 31 visitors and 113 pageviews. It certainly is doing better than Pander's early days considering I have yet to draw any actual strips.

Best,

Dave
dDave
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Ask Schroedinger.

Postby packy on Sun Sep 08, 2002 10:27 am

Aramchek wrote:Since when is getting viewers from AOL a GOOD thing? :-)

Note: it is just a silly joke, please don't kill me.

Hey, if they're stupid enough to give money to AOL/Time Warner maybe they'll be stupid enough to give money to me.

Then again, I'm stupid enough to give money to AOL/Time Warner, but at least I get a broadband connection out of it.
Proudly hosting the It's Walky!/Avalon Fanart Gallery to ensure that spreading quality fanart doesn't require your own webserver. Email or PM for a login to post pictures.
User avatar
packy
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 2661
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Troy, NY USA

Postby Josh Phillips on Mon Sep 09, 2002 8:13 pm

Sanna wrote:-- How did you keep your story straight while you were creating it?
Did you write things down in one central place, or just amass tiny ideas in your head until such time as you could spill them out in one huge orgy?

At the moment, I have notes scattered about my PC and Palm IIIc. I also have some things in my head (some because I'm too lazy to write them down, and others because they're too secret. :-) ). But in general, whenever I have an inspirational burst, I write most of it down before I have an opportunity to forget.

-- Did it come out in any kind of linear fashion? Or do you write lines 1-5, line 43, line 98, line 6, lines 120-200, lines 20-24, etc? ('Lines' meaning only where said event happens in relation to other events.)

Hm... I'd say the story developed linearly, but the details filled in at random. For instance, look at Phoebe's history: I started by thinking that she'd be a stereotypical man-hater. But then I fleshed that out a bit, and decided that eventually she'd enter a depression, and then come out of it feeling better about herself. And a while after that, I started thinking about why she was a man-hater (she wasn't, really), why she'd become depressed, how she'd come out of that depression, who would help her, what she'd do about it afterward, etc. It's kinda like watching an interlaced GIF load... it comes in linearly, but not in very much detail. And then the detail fills in over time.

-- For people like Josh, who said he had the end in mind when he started:
did you add 'side-trips' in as you were writing, or did you have the whole thing out on notecards before you started writing scripts at all?

Hm... I didn't really have everything mapped out from the very beginning. I know that I've never been open or less-than-vague about this, so I'm sorry for any confusion. :-)

I started by having a couple short storylines in mind, and they were mostly random hijinks (and you can see it in the early parts of Vol. 1). But ultimately I had character development in mind, and that pushed the long-term story arc. So I eventually started mapping out what I wanted the characters to experience and how I wanted them to grow and change, and from that I devoloped an outline of events over the whole three years.

And from time to time, I try to add some "non-arc" stuff. "Ah, Spring" is a prime example, though it came along quite early. But even the non-arc stuff ends up with a lot of character development, if not continuing the storyline.

-- Creating charactors:
Did you write out pages and pages of history, even if we never see it in the comic? (Perhaps, for example, Deirdre's dating history: even though we never hear the entirety of it, does Josh have it all written out somewhere, just to give believable depth to her?

Well, here's the thing... I came up with Avalon about 8 years ago. All of the main characters were there, except for Phoebe and Deirdre. And the characters were all I really had (along with a really lame script for a manga-style comic book which I'm glad I never wasted any more time on). I was just going to have them interact and develop and stuff.

But as Avalon the comic strip went on, the character development demanded more detailed histories (as opposed to, say, having no history at all). I follow the theory that I should not develop anything at random, because that will limit my storytelling freedom in the future. So generally, I leave things undefined so that I can "cheat" when I need to bring in some conveniently coincidental background info at the last second. :-)

But there is some character background that I've developed without presenting it... there's a lot of stuff about Ryan's family that I conjured up to help Darth Paradox with his Ryan & Deirdre mini-series. And Ceilidh's family has a history that really isn't much more than trivia (like how Maire is an abnormally skilled cook -- whenever you see her with a book and a pen, she's refining her recipies).

Or the thing about the open bottle of alchohol at the Christmas party and the incredible amount of tension in the Bradley household: does Josh know every tiny detail, and just chooses to release info as he deems fit?)

In that case, I know every tiny detail. :-) At this point of the story (which is quite close to the end) just about everything left to tell is being carefully released for dramatic effect. I had a heck of a time coming up with how to tell the current "Small World" storyline, since I was originally going to keep the Alison part and the Joe & Ceilidh part completely separate, but eventually I decided to try combining them ('cause whichever one came first would reduce the effect of the following one). Of course, it didn't help that I ended up making the storytelling as sporadic as possible with delays galore, but I tried. :-/

JOSH.
User avatar
Josh Phillips
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 2683
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Postby RJ Shep on Mon Sep 09, 2002 8:37 pm

Sanna wrote:yaaaaaaay! all hail Josh-sama! ty!


another question, this for anyone:

how did you decide on charactor names? do you take an archetype, tweak it, and then find a name that fits? or take a name and create a personality around the name?
(do you flip through the phone book and just put your finger on a name, and use if you like it?)


I've got a novel outlined that I've been sitting on for awhile. I named the characters "Jack and Diane" because that John Cougar song was playing when I started making notes, and I've just never altered them.

For the characters in the story I'm trying to get published, I deliberately chose "water" names (Mr Poole, Dr. Waters) to try to subtly suggest the spiritual aspect of the story.
User avatar
RJ Shep
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1421
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: AZ, USA

Postby Darth Paradox on Mon Sep 09, 2002 8:55 pm

Sanna wrote:yaaaaaaay! all hail Josh-sama! ty!


another question, this for anyone:

how did you decide on charactor names? do you take an archetype, tweak it, and then find a name that fits? or take a name and create a personality around the name?
(do you flip through the phone book and just put your finger on a name, and use if you like it?)


(for anyone wondering, SC is way farther along than these questions make it sound. A lot of this is just my rampant curiosity, and to see if I can do anything better later on/next time around.)


Um, that part was kinda easy for me. My middle name is Charles, and Stefan goes to "Steve" rather easily.

I also have a repertoire of names I always draw from when creating alternate persona.
I drew them out of a book of names to reflect my various personality types, and they still fit.
User avatar
Darth Paradox
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1406
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2000 11:00 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Postby Josh Phillips on Mon Sep 09, 2002 9:21 pm

Sanna wrote:how did you decide on charactor names? do you take an archetype, tweak it, and then find a name that fits? or take a name and create a personality around the name?
(do you flip through the phone book and just put your finger on a name, and use if you like it?)

Well, I've been meaning to write this all out at some point... :-)

Ceilidh: From my OAC Finite Math teacher. He named his newborn daughter Ceilidh, and it kept popping up in word problems during the course.

MacFarlane: My family's clan (at least, that part of my family three generations ago that came from Scotland).

Maire, Pol, Ciaran: All members of the Irish band Clannad.

Cecil: The name of a pet cat I had in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign (my character's name was Ciaran).

Page: Taken from the musician Martin Page.

Joseph: This one's actually random, but according to the J. Michael Straczynski school of main character naming, Joe's initials had to be J.P.

Hildegarde: I wanted her to have kind of a funny name, solely for this strip. Cynthia and I went through several dozen possibilities before I finally settled for Hildegarde.

James: Chosen completely at random, and I later regretted it. But now I just figure his parents were big on Zeppelin.

Alison: As a rule, every creative project of mine contains a character named Alison. And specifically with one L.

Ryan: Named after a friend of mine from elementary school who kinda looks like the character.

Aberdeen: Taken from the Aberdeen Pavilion in Ottawa ('cause the name sounds cool).

Phoebe: I became enamoured with this name for some reason at the time I came up with her, but I personally hated the pronunciation (mostly thanks to the TV sitcom Friends). So she got the name, and her own personal preference as to how it should be pronounced. I've since come to prefer the proper pronunciation.

Bradley: Not sure where this came from... I think it was the name of one of my family's neighbours.

Deirdre: Originally, she was supposed to be a flighty, new-age, gypsy-like person, and I wanted a name that fit that. It has something to do with mythology and/or astrology, I believe. Also, like "Phoebe," I thought it was really cool at the time.

Noelle: By this point, the funky names had become a pattern.

Helène: Pretty much random, but I needed something decidedly Quebecois.

Richer: The name of the street a friend of mine used to live on.

Alan: Originally, he was based upon the Amano character in Vision of Escaflowne, so I named him after Allen, Amano's Gaian counterpart in the anime.

Gunderson: Fargo.

Iain: This is the name of an Australian coworker of mine.

Nancy: Just a common North American name that seems appropriate for a Japanese girl.

Kawasaki: I really wanted to give her a Japanese family name, and the only ones I could think of were common brand names, or total rip-offs from anime. So I scoured my high school yearbooks for Japanese names, and the only one I could find was that of a teacher named Mrs. Kawasaki. So I gave up. :-)

Erin Maynard: Erin is pretty much random (actually, I think I chose it because there were no "E" names to date in Avalon), but Maynard is taken from a captain in Babylon 5.

Todd: It's a name I really hate. :-)

Pascale: It's a cool name that doesn't seem to be really popular, and when I heard it a few years back, I made note of using it somewhere in Avalon.

Roman: The name of a guy I know who has a similar disposition to the character.

Mr. Corner: I think there was a curling game on when I had to give him a name. I also wanted it to rhyme with Porter, the name of a teacher I based his design on.

Every other name was probably just chosen at random.

JOSH.
User avatar
Josh Phillips
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 2683
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Postby packy on Mon Sep 09, 2002 10:10 pm

Well, Jesus Placenta Love Fest is modeled after my siblings and I, so the names were somewhat taken from ours. I can see how my sister got Patty from Packy and Dan from Denise, but the one that completely throws me is how she turned Kevin into Levi. All the secondary characters are my creations, and their names are suppsed to evoke the people they're modeled after. Ken, Patty's ex-boyfriend (who's never actually seen in the comic but is referred to by Patty and her friends) is supposed to be my ex, Karen. My friend Paul is... ok, he's named Paul.

Oh, and for those who are curious, my sister and I did a lot of development work before we started writing strips, so we've got a lot of details worked out. Each major character not only has a full-page character writup, but my sister drew up model sheets. What held us up was I didn't have three months of scripts ready before my sister and I had a big fight. Eventually, things will work out, but it's gonna take some time.
Proudly hosting the It's Walky!/Avalon Fanart Gallery to ensure that spreading quality fanart doesn't require your own webserver. Email or PM for a login to post pictures.
User avatar
packy
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 2661
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Troy, NY USA

 
Next

Return to Avalon

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest