I figure that since the idea behind this blog is to help webcomic creators in their own goals for starting and growing a webcomic, it’s fitting to talk about moments that TIS reaches new milestones. For you webcomic artists, you can use this information however you want, but for me this is just a way to review what has happened this week, why, and what it means for later on. Maybe I can do another post like this the next time milestones are reached.
So here are some new milestones for Things in Squares that happened this week.
My comic hit the front page of Imgur
I’ve been posting all my comics to imgur to share to reddit. Usually, my comics get around 30 ‘points’ or upvotes on imgur, but they can get much more upvotes on reddit. This week, however, one comic hit the front page of imgur for the first time, and I learned that the front page of imgur might be more potent than the front page of reddit.
It was the Cultural Torture comic that made it to the front page of imgur, with over 12,000 points, 1200 comments and over 800GB of bandwidth used. My server could never handle that much bandwidth! This comic also got viewed more than any of my other comics, and received more comments. And to be honest, I was thinking of not posting it, since it was so different from the absurdity I usually stick with.
This is what the comic’s stats page on imgur looks like:
The comic also hit the front page of 9Gag
I’d had a comic show up on the front page of 9Gag before, the dog one. But the comments show engagement, and as far as that goes, the Cultural Torture comic broke that milestone this week, and it’s still growing at writing this:
I’ve talked about places to share your webcomic before, and 9Gag makes the list. This comic also topped funnyjunk.
There’s a question as to whether webcomic artists should share their comics on third-party sites, whose readership rarely wants to click away to your independent source website. I think it’s crucial to post to these websites when you’re just starting out, like I am. A webcomic like xkcd or The Oatmeal has a dedicated following that frequents their super-quick websites, but it takes a lot of time, effort, skill and luck to get there. I’m not sure that I have what it takes.
So that this information is useful to you webcomic creators, I wanted to mention that I suspected that the Cultural Torture comic would work on 9Gag. It’s a long-form comic that talks about something that hits close to home. And it’s easy to have opinions about the nationalities represented there, and, more importantly, about the nationalities not represented. Also, the title on 9gag and everywhere else I shared this comic was “Can you think of any others?” This title was another crucial element because it sets up the comic and the reader’s reaction. It’s a call-to-action title that makes someone curious as to what they might be able to contribute to. It is also pleasantly ambiguous. You don’t know what ‘others’ refers to until you click and read the comic.
Look to reddit posters like JimKB, shenanigansen or sellyourcomputer to try to crack the code of posting. Those guys are the champs.
A comic finally elicits tons of comments on reddit
My comics have done alright on reddit sometimes, but what’s surprising is that some that I’d think were prime material for a comment storm came up empty handed there. But this week, the Cultural Torture comic received over 700 comments on the /r/comics subreddit! I was super happy that redditors used my thread the have a cool discussion.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, I still haven’t figured out the cricks for how some comics work on one subreddit but not the other.
Milestone: most upvotes on reddit!
Like a lot of other webcomic creators, I watch the /r/comics and /r/webcomics subreddit regularly. I love reading through the comics and discovering new ones. I really wish people wouldn’t downvote the newer non-OC (original creator) stuff as much–I want to see new stuff at the top.
But I also like seeing familiar faces. Jim Benton, John of NHOJ, Zach of Extra Fab, Enzo of Cheer Up Emo Kid, Mr Lovenstein, Owl Turd, and a host of other creators. All of these guys have seen posts in the 5000s, and Zach even had a post recently that broke 7000!
This week, I reached my own personal milestone by breaking above 4200 with the Claw Crane comic, and more importantly I’m excited to see my comic alongside some of my favorite webcomic artists:
The comic’s Facebook page milestone
XKCD doesn’t have an official Facebook page. But my niche isn’t as well-defined, and I’m not as witty. I need social media to grow my audience. So this week was a great boost to the ego when my last comic, the Claw Crane one, turned out to be the most successful post to Facebook yet, with over 70 likes and 11 shares. Thanks Facebook fans!
Those are the milestones this week! I hope this post didn’t come across as tooting my own horn. I’m happy that Things in Squares is growing, and I feel that sharing this kind of post may come in handy for someone else.