A quiet time for webcomics?
It looks like I’m not the only one being a little quiet these days. I decided to take a look at some page views on compete.com and found a few interesting things: looks like readership of some of the most popular webcomics is a little down lately.
Take xkcd, for example. The titan of webcomics could usually be counted on picking up a million page views a month. Compete, though, shows that current readership is at 300K right now. It’s not terrible, but there’s definitely been some drop off.
Ctrl+Alt+Del, which turned 10 this year, has surprisingly slipped down the pack, too. Though it was inexplicably in the 100K’s as recently as March of this year, the comic is now picking up a readership of 28K lately. Those are PVP numbers… or it used to be PVP numbers, as that comic is now at 12K readers.
The Oatmeal, which may be the webcomic with the higherst current viewership, is relatively strong at 475K, but it’s also down from what I remember to be the 2 million and 3 million range. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has suffered a slow decline, going down to 60K from 200K a year ago. Hark A Vagrant! drops to 12K views, but that’s to be expected as Ms. Beaton has gone into semi-retirement.
Things don’t look sunny for longform webcomics either. Gunnerkrigg drops to 12K (down from 30K in February). Dresden Codak has an appalling update schedule, but it only had 6K unique visitors in the last month recorded. Dr. McNinja is hovering at 7K.
Seriously, those last two are a little alarming. Those should be numbers for blogs writing about webcomics, not webcomics themselves.
Shining triumph? MS Paint Adventures, which joins the 100K club as it gains 28K readers in the last two months recorded. Questionable Content also remains strong, despite some recent controversies. It manages to hover around 116K unique visitors a month.
Looking at these numbers, though, it looks like February 2012 was the high waterpoint for webcomics.
Are these symptomatic of the fickle trends of online readerships? Or am I missing some recent comic success stories that have been quietly supplanting the old guard that, in some cases, are over a decade old?