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Posted at 9:05 AM ET, 01/29/2010

THE BEST WEBCOMIC: The Eight Burning Questions from readers

By Michael Cavna

After hundreds of comments and e-mails -- and a vote total that exceeded our next-largest poll ever by, oh, nearly a half-million respondents -- Comic Riffs is just rested enough to begin fielding some of your most common questions about our Best Webcomic Poll. Let's go right to the tongue-in-cheek FAUX e-mailbag, shall we? (I took the liberty of paraphrasing wildly a small handful of your sentiments)...

READER QUESTION No. 1: Why did you not include my favorite webcomic in your poll, you $#&@! moron? Why, I therefore declare your poll to be irrelevant, Vote-boy!

COMIC RIFFS: Well, we called for reader nominations some weeks back, and we fully realize that at least a coupla hundred-thousand of you might not have visited Comic $#&@! Riffs before. So first off: Welcome to the jungle that is this comics forum. Second, we encourage you to return, because as we cover more webcomics in the future, we will surely run many more irrelevant polls -- or my name isn't Vote-boy.

READER QUESTION No. 2: You DO realize that some of the nominated webcomics mobilized their ginormous fanbases to stuff your ballot box, don't you?

COMIC RIFFS: Well of course we do. Whom do you take us for: complete $#&@! morons? As a matter of fact, our reams of revealing ballot-stuff-detection analytics are so vast, they could fit on the head of -- well, on the head of Apple's new iTampon. But we gleaned the most such knowledge because -- well, because you good folks kept sending us direct links to the sites that were mobilizing their teeming armies of obedient readers. To which we say: Thanks heaps, "Girl Genius" and "Penny Arcade"! To show our undying gratitude, 'Riffs will keep linking back to you and your kin, even if we have to insert conspicuously random syntax to do so. (e.g., "You hear the Duggars just had their 19th spawn?" "Duh! And it's a girl, genius !"). Although working in the title "Sex, Drugs and June Cleaver" could prove to be a mighty tough challenge on this front.

READER QUESTION No. 3: But seriously, dude -- don't you think somebody was "running script" on your vote totals, to pump up their numbers?

COMIC RIFFS: We did notice things sure got busy at 3 a.m. at once point. But most of the votes DO check out as legit, based on our reams of teeming iTampon analytics. Or my name isn't Vote-boy. (Unless, that is, my name is, um, Penny R. Cade.)

READER QUESTION No. 4: So why have a "popularity poll" at all, even if it's, like, totally accurate? The webcomics with the largest fan bases will ALWAYS win.

COMIC RIFFS: Because at the end of the day (or at 3 a.m., whichever comes first), the real "game" here is to spotlight as many webcomics as possible, in the hopes that both newbies and veteran readers alike will discover some new faves along the way. It's kinda like when Johnny Depp narrates a low-budge documentary or Tom Hanks decides to back a little one-woman show about a lovable 30ish Greek woman who just can't seem to find a fella or a career track: That is, you hope someone gets wooed anew along the way. (That make sense? If not, it's because I was preoccupied trying to work the words "Devin Crane, Comic Strip Ghost Gagwriter" in there fairly inconspicuously.)

READER QUESTION No. 5: So when will you publish the list of the finalists and open The Official Comic Riffs "Best Webcomic" Final Poll up to more irrelevant and illegitimate voting? ('Cause seriously, dude -- I can't wait to vote again in your moronic poll.)

COMIC RIFFS: The Official Comic Riffs "Best Webcomic" Final Poll will publish/post on Wednesday right here at Comic Riffs. And if you can persuade a newbie friend to vote in our moronic poll, too, we promise to work a link to YOUR name into an awkwardly conspicuous reference here, too. (Or our name isn't Queen Victoria.)

READER QUESTION No. 6: Speaking of conspicuous titles, do you have any favorite webcomic titles yourself?

COMIC RIFFS: Why thanks for asking, dear reader. (It's as if you're some kinda bloody mind-reader. Really, it's kinda creepy.) But yes indeed. Based strictly on their catchy and/or cool titles, we are particular suckers for: "I Can't Draw Feet" (we have artistic/podiatric issues ourselves) and "Templar Arizona" (sounds like the most quotable Coen Bros. film evah) and "Gun Show" (anything that reminds us of "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" makes us smile) and "Hark! A Vagrant!" (looks vaguely like an anagram for an Israeli-spawned form of self-defense) annnd of course, "Rabid Purse Squirrels" ("Squirrels" -- like "cheese" or "pants" or "spleen" -- is just plain funny. Name your webcomic "SpleenSquirrel CheesePants" and we might literally die of chronic tittering.)

And please note: Comic Riffs would love to hear your favorite webcomic titles. Dude, seriously. List 'em below.

READER QUESTION No. 7: With all this promised webcomic coverage, does this mean you will bail on covering other types of cartooning? [CUE: Mild whimper masking a magma-core of potential liquid rage.]

COMIC RIFFS: Why no, not at all. [Cowering slightly.] Seriously, we promise to cover the launch of "Marmaduke: The Movie" (slobbering its way to a theater near you) just as feverishly as "xkcd" (aka The Order of the Stick-Men). Plus, a recently ignored Woodstock keeps writing us letters of complaint (" !!!!! ") -- at least we think it's complaint; we can't quite decipher his chicken-scratch.

READER QUESTION No. 8: It's about time more of the mainstream media began covering more webcomics. And sorry, dude, that wasn't really a question. I just like to rag on the MSM. You guys are an easy old-skool target, jah!

COMIC RIFFS: We feel you, Keanu. Seriously, we ourselves first had a comic online way back in 1998 -- not so many years after the internets were just a glimmer in Al Gore's left eye. Honestly, it's about time the mainstream media finally discovered us. Jah? Or our name isn't [sex, drugs &] JUNE CLEAVER.

By Michael Cavna  | January 29, 2010; 9:05 AM ET
Categories:  The E-Mailbag, The Webcomic  | Tags:  Webcomics  
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Posted by: rhompson | January 31, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

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