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We’ve taken 36 top webcomics and graphed out their post counts, size, continuity and age to see what we can learn.

What keeps a comic creator turning out new strips for years? It’s not continuity, though it might help to have short episodes. It’s mostly frequency — most of the long-running comics we picked publish multiple times a week.

PVP, the oldest comic on our graph, turns out one comic every day. Only one other series beats that frequency: Unless we’re missing something, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal sometimes updates more than once a day.

Click the chart below for the full size.

 

What did we miss? Tell us in the comments and we’ll add it to our second edition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gweezer.sota Gwen Fritcher

    You need to put Least I Could Do. My guess is it’s pretty high up there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/francisco.noriega Francisco Noriega

      Exactly how I felt. Ryan Sohmer has been playing in the comic arena for a long time, has won multiple awards, has several high quality comics, all of them updated regularly (and LICD 6 times a week) and they actually host Girls With Slingshots and the logo even appears in that comic too!

  • Terraileader

    MS Paint Adventures has at times updated 10+ times per day.

    • Wheresvince

      Dint forget the Day of Forty Updates that happened a few months ago.

  • Nony

    Add Sinfest! It’s been around since 2000. Hasn’t skipped a day.

    • Red

      Seconded.

  • http://twitter.com/haroldPDX Harold Phillips

    A very impressive chart! I’m surprised Something Positive doesn’t show up, though; I think Randy’s been working at it for just about as long as the Penny Arcade guys (though I could be wrong…)

  • http://twitter.com/kuraiou Zach L

    Kind of baffled why Homestuck(MS Paint Adventures) isn’t included here.

    • http://twitter.com/NerdbotMkII Evan

      2 reasons I can think of:

      1. It isn’t really a traditional comic–1 page to Homestuck is nothing like 1 page of any of the comics here.
      2. The chart would have to grow several thousand pixels to accommodate for it.

      Andrew Hussie is incredibly prolific but you can’t rank him on the same scale as these.

      • http://toomuchnick.com Anonymous

        Nope, it’s just because we didn’t think to include it. We’ll put it in the next graph!

  • Alyssa

    If they put MSPA on here, it would break the graph.

  • Luisdjm

    What about Sam and Fuzzy? Or Cyanide and Happiness?

  • Carl

    the Warehouse comic has been active for nearly 6 years and has 690 strips

  • Anonymous

    PVP only updates on weekdays now. Also, +1 to the MSPA thing. Also, PBF is updated only a few times a year now that Mr. Gurewitch has moved to other projects.

  • http://twitter.com/D1S4ST3R0US Corey Dimond

    Whay about Rage Comics

  • JesseTheKid

    Tooth paste for dinner?

  • Ross

    What about Jerkcity??

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seth-Turner/688795594 Seth Turner

    schlock mercenary! one comic a day for over 10 years. complete continuity.

  • Tehhatter

    Least I Could Do is another daily update comic that’s been going since 2003

  • Wolf

    Sinfest and sluggy freelance?

  • http://twitter.com/Sxeptomaniac Matthew Jacobs

    Sluggy Freelance is very obviously missing. They’ve passed the 14-year mark and update daily, with pretty high continuity.

    http://www.sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20110825

  • andy

    as Seth Turner stated, “Schlock Mercenary” is a good addition. Started in mid 2000 and hasn’t missed a single day.
    Kevin and Kell started in 1995 updating every weekday without a miss. Then it added the weekends.
    Megatokyo has a thrice a week average? How is this calculated? 1313 comics divided by 11 years divided by 52 weeks equals 2.3 comics per week. I think the lines are off.

    • someguy

      Oh man, I had no idea Megatokyo was updated so regularly.

  • Kurt

    Sinfest, Sluggy Freelance (Don’t read it these days, but it’s been around forever), Something Positive. Also Gunnerkrigg Court, perhaps?

  • Artificialbliss21

    Yea I was also surprised Something Positive was missing.

  • Cryolithic

    Order of the Stick!!!

    http://www.giantitp.com

  • Alasdair

    I think this chart would be more interesting if you included the popularity of the comics – their number of readers, or Alexa rating, or something like that.

    Also, where the hell is Girl Genius? (www.girlgeniusonline.net) It’s been going for over a decade, and has won Hugo awards!

    • Sushux

      current popularity or past popularity? I feel like many of the long-running ones have seen a lot of fluctuation as the internet changed around them… Perhaps it would be more interesting to choose the comics depicted on the chart based on some popularity cut-off line.

  • http://twitter.com/icapants ica

    Megatokyo (which I love) isn’t really hitting 3 a week these days.That may be the schedule, but reality it’s maaayyyybe 1 a week.

  • Simón Saint-André

    MS Paint Adventures has like 6000 pages (around 4000 of Homestuck), and I think Homestuck has an average of 5 pages a day.

    • Mongoosiandmeese

      Homestuck just reached 6000 pages

      • Simón Saint-André

        MSPA reached 6000, Homestuck is “only” over 4000.

  • Luvdollar

    How about this webcomic based on the word of the day on dictionary.com? http://mattlassen.blogspot.com

  • Wouter

    Sinfest
    Wulffmorgenthaler
    Little gamers
    Dilbert

  • Brew

    Superosity going since ’99 every day

  • your cousin

    Brevity

  • Mark Hall

    I’m baffled by why Schlock Mercenary isn’t on the list… 11 years, never missed a daily update, and built on continuity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=649536808 Jason ‘Krenn’ Baker

      Indeed. And he’s one of the rare _professional_ webcomics, in that he maintains a buffer of ready comics and gets concerned when he has less than _two weeks_ in the buffer.

  • Velarn

    +1 for Girl Genius to be on here

  • Thejesusgoatman

    I second Gunnerkrigg Court. The regularity with which it updates (three times a week) is impeccable; the author has a system which is both predictable and reliable.

  • http://jraff.tumblr.com jraff

    I’m putting in another vote for Sinfest. It’s the only “old school” one that I still read, out of PA, PVP, DS, megatokyo, cat and girl… They’ve all felt stale for a long time!

  • Cayen

    Add Drowtales to the list. They produce a daily page plus tons of extra pages. Also Megatokyo and Penny arcade seem a little wonky on the chart.

    • Xenozergie

      The perceived skew on the chart is because the “three comics a week” and “one comic a week” lines are based on the full 7 day week, and not a 5 day work week. 

  • Crudstone

    ExtraLife. 10 yrs and counting.

    • Anonymous

      Scott has trouble posting a new comic a week though. Hardly a prolific artist.

      To me, he’s far more famous from his Podcasts than he is for his comic.

  • Anonymous

    Webcomic’s I’d like to see added:

    - Order of the Stick
    - Sheldon (long running comic, used to be 7 days/week, now 5)
    - Evil Inc
    - Starslip

  • MMichael

    No American Elf?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1456760252 Daniel Cariño Jr

    what about P.H.D.

  • http://www.cerealsforlunch.com Joao Valagao

    Has anyone at all seen Cereals For Lunch?

  • Anonymous
  • Mage_cat14

    +1 for Girl Genius. Also I think Skin Horse deserves a mention. It updates daily and has been running for almost 4 years now. Its predecessor, Narbonic, ran for six years with the same update schedule.

  • Anonymous

    YAFGC daily updates since 2006
    You could set your clock after Sam and Fuzzy (since 2002) or Locus (2008) Both thrice weekly.

  • http://profiles.google.com/katsaris Aris Katsaris

    You really

  • Gorgon MacTavish

    Others have pointed out Schlock Mercenary, but Goats is up there despite explicitly ending (Jon Rosenberg’s new comic is Scenes From a Multiverse).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=562155263 Ryan Zelnio

    PhD Comics has been around since 1997 and still going strong. Calamities of Nature is another one I enjoy and has been around since 2007.

  • http://docs.rackspace.com/api David Cramer

    Please add Basic Instructions.

  • http://twitter.com/neri_peri Nerisa

    Sinfest, PhD Comics and Amazing Super Powers!

    Sinfest has been going since 2000 and updates everyday. It is my favourite :)

  • Kaitou

    What you’re missing is any correlation whatsoever. Sorry to say this, but the chart doesn’t really show anything relevant.

  • slashjpl

    Kevin and Kell. Daily since 1995. Seven days a week. Literally “off the chart”…

  • MrGraves

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WebcomicsLongRunners – I think you will find this page full of good ideas if they’re not already on the chart.

  • Klaus Æ. Mogensen

    Girl Genius
    Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic
    Zap!
    Gunnerkrig Court
    Zebra Girl
    The Dreamland Chronicles

  • Stacyannetaylor

    Some of the top professional webcomics that you’re missing:

    American Elf
    Eric Monster Millikin
    Girl Genius
    Piled Higher and Deeper
    Schlock Mercenary
    Sluggy Freelance

  • Alison

    Dominic Deegan! And all the others mentioned.

  • Anonymous
  • Guest

    How about “Garfield minus Garfield”?

    • http://toomuchnick.com Anonymous

      Well, technically it’s the same episode over and over and over.

  • http://www.motmaitre.com/search/label/Blog%20Posts Motmaitre

    What did you miss? An interpretation I’d say. For example, Dresden Kodak and Oglaf have so few relative to their age because they’re full-page complex comics.

    My own comic is deliberately very minimalist, so despite being about a year old, I have a large number of strips as I can publish twice weekly sometimes more.

  • Jasoncox

    Where’s User Friendly? http://www.userfriendly.org It’s a pretty classic geek strip that’s been around and daily since November ’97 (essentially 14 years)

  • Jack

    Sluggy Freelance?

  • GreatDaneDogMom

    Surviving the World!

  • Hgdfg

    darkcartography: you missed it

  • Frank

    Seems to me you lack any form of correlation whatsoever. It’s a pretty even spattering all over the chart. Besides, you can’t draw a correlation between updates and time active unless you include the years running. That a series that has run for two years today has a certain amount of updates a week compares to a series that has run for five years today, tells us absolutely nothing.

    The only interesting thing about this infographic is as a list of webcomics to check out… So please add links. And next time you try to do science, try to do science rather than just throw together a graph and taking a random guess at what it might show.

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