What’s the formula for keeping a Web comic alive? Is the key to keep the post count high? To develop a continuous storyline? The satirical blog Slacktory has whipped up an infographic to determine if there’s any correlation between a comic’s lifespan and such factors as frequency, level of continuity, and average length.
Among the 36 comics plotted, the pattern isn’t terribly cut-and-dry, although continuity clearly isn’t key: Two of the longest running of the bunch, Penny Arcade and Cat and Girl, rank low on that front. And keeping the length down seems to help: Both of those comics, along with PvP and Diesel Sweeties, and MegaTokyo (three more stalwarts), keep the strip length down. But there’s always an exception, right? Goats bucks both trends, delivering a high level of continuity between longish strips.
The more relevant questions, perhaps, aren’t addressed, such as: How big is the readership? How many ads are on the homepage? These factors may contribute just as much to an artist’s output as her creative habits. Unsurprisingly, Slacktory’s readers haven’t wasted much time pointing out numerous omissions. “Kind of baffled why Homestuck (MS Paint Adventures) isn’t included here,” writes one. “Where the hell is Girl Genius?” balks another. OK, the infographic is flawed, but if nothing else, you’ll probably discover a few more addictive strips to add to your daily bookmarks.