The Theory of Webcomics: Superstar Theory

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. MARK WHEATLEY says:

    Chuck, this is perfect. I've been using all sorts of examples to explain this to my studio mates and assistants over the years. But I've never seen it so well expressed as you do it here. I'll be forwarding this link to a few people.

  2. Rachel Keslensky says:

    It's not so much that I disagree with the model — I'm quite aware of how superstar economics is "supposed" to work — but rather whether the notion that only the few comics that ALREADY have press out the yin-yang will always be there, or that the path to good fortune is littered only by those who can afford the press. After all, on the internet a comic can hang around much longer even if it's no longer being produced, and since time has a direct correlation to the size of a comic's archives, the longer a comic has been in production, presumably the more "superstar" power it has (and the harder it makes for newer comics to gain popularity out of sheer inertia).

  3. Bengo says:

    I believe your count of active comics is high. I haven't included titles that never leave Duck, Jeeves or CG, but I think a more accurate estimate is 2000-2500. This is based on a six month census project that is ongoing, but I think I can see where it's leading. The 1% or so of the worst — mere scribbles a page or two long, updated ages apart — are not included. Note the the Web Comic List figure is an unculled historical count. Don't feel bad, everybody thinks there are at least ten thousand. That's why I'm counting. :)

  4. Chuck Rozakis says:

    I'm not sure such a correllation necessarily exists. While there are plenty of older comics that built Superstar power, there are also some relatively new ones that built up very quickly. There's more to this than just "the big dogs keep running".

  5. Chuck Rozakis says:

    Bengo: I'd love to see the results of your count when you finish. (I was also impressed by what I've read of your work on FloatingLightbbulb, particularly the deconstruction of the How to Make Webcomics business model.)

    • Bengo says:

      Thank you. The piece I most wanted to share hadn't been printed on my last visit:…Oddly, it received unusually little reaction from readers, so maybe I have over-estimated it. Perhaps you'll form your own opinion.I believe a comic can be analyzed with these figures either subjectively by a well-read comics expert or by standardizing them, resulting in a fairly strong prediction of success potential, and highlighting weaknesses the creator might be overlooking.These dynamics plus the census plus audience appetite tells us how many of us poor souls might make a living via webcomics. The census, meanwhile, is troubled by certain data issues, but currently suggests 1500 -1800 comics outside the Duck/CG/Jeeves communities, including the members of those communities who wander out. Within the communities, we're getting 700 (CG -source), 5000+ (Jeeves – source) and 3000 (Duck – source is a Duck veteran who has helped me often when they fail to communicate). Request for all three was "comics updating within last 90 days." I'm not called Jeeves a liar and appreciate their candor, but I require a verification, so I am sort of waiting to see if Duck fails, saving me a lot of trouble and allowing me to set up a Jeeves count. Other problems: elusive furries, ComicSpace turmoil, an alternate way of counting TWCL that would suggest a higher count despite redundancies.

  6. Bengo says:

    I also need suggestions on how to estimate the spread of income to determine full time income titles and part-time income titles.The amount of false reporting in the community is incredible. Probably second only to Hollywood.