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Penny-Arcade vs xkcd

MithrandirMithrandir Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited December 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
Some sources suggest that xkcd is approaching or surpassing penny-arcade in popularity. And yet, penny-arcade seems to be so much higher-profile what with PAX, Child's Play, and the penny-arcade game currently under development.

So, is there any evidence that the above linked sources are unreliable? I.e. do you suppose these sources are inaccurate for comparing one site to another? If the stats are accurate, it occurs to me that the business model of xkcd seems noticeably different than that of penny-arcade. Penny-Arcade seems much more community-oriented (which really shows when comparing these forums to the xkcd forums). But Penny-Arcade also seems more business-minded, being an ad-driven site. PA doesn't even publish their comic strip in their RSS feed, you need to visit the site (and view the ad) to view the strip. Both Penny-Arcade and xkcd tend toward esoteric topics, but Penny-Arcade's are more likely to be crass or objectionable. Do you suppose any of this prevents Penny-Arcade from out-ranking xkcd? Or is xkcd just a quality strip which deserves to be every bit as popular as PA is on its merits? What do you think?

Mithrandir on
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Posts

  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    What is xkcd?

    deadonthestreet on
  • darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Penny Arcade is the United States and xkcd is China. Fight!

    darthmix on
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    What is xkcd?
    Another webcomic. One that has been pretty good in the past but is currently in a slump. I blame the cocaine and hookers that the author has been buying with the cash that came from his sudden jolt to success.

    Mojo_Jojo on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Uh, doesn't PA also have a RSS feed? :P

    Aldo on
  • TarranonTarranon Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I've never understood the validity of a page rank system that requires you to install an extension for you to count. It just doesn't seem like you'd get accurate results.

    Tarranon on
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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Well, since i've never been to xkcd and whenever I see the comic name I think about mIRC. No.

    DasUberEdward on
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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yeah that's like saying "My audience is too stupid to avoid spyware"

    Preacher on
    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

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  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    I think that XKCD is more funny as a comic. I like PA almost in the same way I like political cartoons: it's most often commentary in comic format. The news posts are great, too.

    Doc on
  • MithrandirMithrandir Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    What is xkcd?

    Sorry, xkcd. A math/physics/geek-humor web-comic by Randall Munroe

    Mithrandir on
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    http://xkcd.com/50/

    It's pretty funny, since it's clear from his other comics involving PA that he's actually at least a bit of a reader/fan.

    Doc on
  • MithrandirMithrandir Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    Doc wrote: »
    http://xkcd.com/50/

    It's pretty funny, since it's clear from his other comics involving PA that he's actually at least a bit of a reader/fan.

    indeed.

    Mithrandir on
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Mithrandir wrote: »
    Or is xkcd just a quality strip which deserves to be every bit as popular as PA is on its merits?

    basically this.

    xkcd lacks on the art side, but the writing side is top notch. the art is the one thing holding it "back". it's a unique and accesible style, though.

    i'm not sure what's the point though of pitting them "in a fight".

    fightinfilipino on
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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    What are these graphs of? What do they measure? And why are all three completely different?

    Thanatos on
  • TarantioTarantio Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Can webcomics even be said to really compete? It's not like people are going to stop reading one comic they like because of another one they like, as the only limited resource involved is time, and that's never more than seconds a day.

    If anything, XKCD has probably helped Penny Arcade just a smidge, because of the people who read the two parody strips and decided to come check it out (there must have been some).

    I definitely enjoy XKCD, though. One of my favorites.

    Edit: Oh, and for the new readers, check out the hover-over jokes on every comic.

    Tarantio on
  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    XKCD isn't about videogames much, so they're not really competing. PA has that industry clout still.

    Æthelred on
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  • Idi AdminIdi Admin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    I would think xkcd has a more narrow audience because a lot of the strips are math/science oriented. While it is a quality strip, I honestly don't get some of the math jokes.

    Penny-Arcade is more gaming commentary, and I think it's fair to say most people reading webcomics are also familiar with video games. Nerd culture and all that.

    Idi Admin on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Truth be told, I came in here wondering "what the hell is xkcd? Is it another one of those guys who plagiarised a strip and put it on a shirt?"

    Gosling on
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  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Idi Admin wrote: »
    I would think xkcd has a more narrow audience because a lot of the strips are math/science oriented. While it is a quality strip, I honestly don't get some of the math jokes.

    Penny-Arcade is more gaming commentary, and I think it's fair to say most people reading webcomics are also familiar with video games. Nerd culture and all that.

    ahahahaha whose alt are you? :o

    fightinfilipino on
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  • MithrandirMithrandir Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm sorry if I somehow framed my OP as some sort of competition, I didn't intend that. I'm not trying to argue against penny-arcade, I'm just trying to figure things out.

    What actually happened was, I stumbled across the youTube video of the xkcd guy giving a talk at Google. This got me to wondering just how popular is xkcd, overall? My expectation was that it would be maybe half as popular as Penny-Arcade. PA has been around for at least 3x as long, PA is widely acknowledged and looked up to as an industry leader in the web-comic space. PA is a company employing at least half a dozen individuals, and AFAIK, xkcd is just a guy and a webserver.

    So, those graphs I linked to really challenged my pre-conceived notions.

    Maybe the graphs are wrong. As Thinatos points out, it is difficult to say in any detail where the data for the graphs even comes from, let alone how accurate it is.

    But, if they are right (and they all seem to show a similar trend, though not the same exact path), then the question that nags at me is, "how did he do it"? How, in such a crowded field, did xkcd reach the same heights as an industry leader in such a short time? And then the next question that occurs to me (from the other side of the coin, so to speak), is, "is this a demonstration of xkcd's success, or of Penny-Arcade's failure?" Has Penny-Arcade in some way failed to capitalize on their status and notability to climb to ever higher heights? Should Penny-Arcade really be 2x as high on those charts as xkcd but they've somehow failed to manage it?

    I just really, really expect to see Penny-Arcade higher up on those charts. When my assumptions are proven wrong, I really, really like to know why. I've not been able to come up with an explanation that I'm happy with, on my own.

    Mithrandir on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    I like both. should you all be sharpening the pitchforks at this stage or something?

    The Cat on
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  • Idi AdminIdi Admin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Idi Admin wrote: »
    I would think xkcd has a more narrow audience because a lot of the strips are math/science oriented. While it is a quality strip, I honestly don't get some of the math jokes.

    Penny-Arcade is more gaming commentary, and I think it's fair to say most people reading webcomics are also familiar with video games. Nerd culture and all that.

    ahahahaha whose alt are you? :o

    Shit. Uh, this is the "admin" account for the present phalla game. I forgot to log out. This is James.

    Idi Admin on
  • HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    He is producing something that is concise and funny. So it spreads quickly on the internet.

    Hoz on
  • an_altan_alt Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I loves me some xkcd, but I don't see any competition either.

    Oddly enough, none of the strips Doc listed are my favourites.

    an_alt on
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  • BeedleBeedle Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Mithrandir wrote: »
    I just really, really expect to see Penny-Arcade higher up on those charts. When my assumptions are proven wrong, I really, really like to know why. I've not been able to come up with an explanation that I'm happy with, on my own.

    Penny Arcade can't really be expected to increase its popularity forever. It's a pretty limited audience the strip appeals to. xkcd has become really popular by virtue of being really good. The Internet has no barriers to entry that would stop a single person's site becoming about as popular as something like PA. I don't see any central mystery here.

    Edit: eugh, top of page'd. So much pressure!

    Beedle on
  • ChurchChurch Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Tarranon wrote: »
    I've never understood the validity of a page rank system that requires you to install an extension for you to count. It just doesn't seem like you'd get accurate results.

    I would theorise that the people that are willing to install such software just to "count" are the same people that read every webcomic they hear of ever. Religiously.

    Church on
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  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Tarranon wrote: »
    I've never understood the validity of a page rank system that requires you to install an extension for you to count. It just doesn't seem like you'd get accurate results.
    Think of it as every time you hear a polling figure about politics or some current event. Same concept. See also, Nielson ratings for television.

    Mithrandir wrote: »
    Or is xkcd just a quality strip which deserves to be every bit as popular as PA is on its merits?

    basically this.

    xkcd lacks on the art side, but the writing side is top notch. the art is the one thing holding it "back". it's a unique and accesible style, though.

    i'm not sure what's the point though of pitting them "in a fight".
    ++

    xkcd isn't held back by the art at all. The "shit" art really helps the style, I think.

    Satan. on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    the Digg crowd seems to have a penchant for xkcd.

    not saying they dislike PA, but i see xkcd on Digg more frequently than PA which may explain some of the traffic data you see.

    Djeet on
  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Heh, I must be super fucking busy as I barely get to keep up with either comic. xkcd has the dry with that I love though. It's like comparing Jerry Seinfeld to Eddie Murphy.

    FoxTrot could have ruled them all...

    PA is Eddie Murphy

    LondonBridge on
  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Eh...

    I actually prefer Xkcd over PA... Sorry.

    XKCD, even recently, just "hits" more often than PA does.

    JamesKeenan on
  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Eh...

    I actually prefer Xkcd over PA... Sorry.

    XKCD, even recently, just "hits" more often than PA does.

    That's because you're too fucking young to be old sk00l and to know what it was like playing ET on a fucking 2600 masturbating to Intellivision.

    Sorry sorry, didn't mean to explode.

    SERIOUSLY! GETTING A FUCKING NINTENDO NES AND READ BLUES NEWS AND COME BACK IN FOUR WEEKS, THEN MAYBE YOU'LL GET THE FUCKING JOKES!!!

    I'm sorry, it's the PA humor... I'll be quiet now...

    LondonBridge on
  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I owned an NES and a fucking Turbografix. My grandmother played every Japanese RPG that existed up until the point that I could handle a controller. She got me into gaming. She still plays Everquest, actually.

    I have my roots. I just think XKCD is more funnier more often. It's highs are higher. It's lows are higher.

    It's not always better, though. PA's still hilarious. It's just a matter of "most hilarious."

    JamesKeenan on
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    if you look at that third graph the only mini-chart in which xkcd leads is Cambridge, MA

    which I think sums up all of the observational data pretty well

    Oboro on
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  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Oh, wait. I haven't played this.

    penny_arcade.jpg

    JamesKeenan on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I am tempted to say "Oh, wait" and then post the comic again, but people would get mad at me.

    Gosling on
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  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Actually, I'm just a retard.

    JamesKeenan on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I find xkcd is hitting home for me more often these days - I suspect because I'm pretty well off the console reeservation for the most part and that's just the more active (and thus more talked about) section.

    electricitylikesme on
  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I like both pretty much equally. If I had to choose I'd probably go with PA only because I dislike math and don't understand the bulk of the math jokes on xkcd.

    http://xkcd.com/150/

    Though the above is, by far, my most favorite comic ever.

    Quid on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The best part is he actually built a playpen like that.

    electricitylikesme on
  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    God bless him.

    Quid on
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