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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 02/ 3/2010

THE BEST WEBCOMIC: Can 'Penny Arcade' reign? It's time to cast your final-round vote...

By Michael Cavna

First off, congratulations to the webcomic-slash-cultural-powerhouse that is "Penny Arcade."

In recent days, "Penny Arcade" has had twin victories to celebrate ("power to the PAX!"). First, after nearly a half-million votes, "PA" (mobilizing that mighty-mighty fanbase) led with 36 percent of the vote in the semifinals of Comic Riffs's Official Best Webcomic Poll when polling closed last Wednesday.

Then, just this week, it was announced that "PA" writer Jerry Holkins and artist Mike Krahulik (along with biz partner Robert Khoo) will receive the Ambassador Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards on March 11. (According to the literature, the award recognises [with lofty British spellings, no less] those who have "helped the game industry advance to a better place, either through facilitating a better game community from within, or by reaching outside the industry to be an advocate for video games and help further our art.")

We are not certain which of these two honors that Holkins & Krahulik hold more dear. (Okay, okay, we could take a wild guess, but we don't want to overly glamourise [is that even a British spelling?] the powerful sheen of Comic Riffs.)

Today, though, comes the true test: The finals of Comic Riffs's Best Webcomic of the Past Decade Poll begin. The seven top-polling webcomics from last week are in the running. They are: "Girl Genius"; "Hark! A Vagrant"; "Least I Could Do"; "Penny Arcade"; "Perry Bible Fellowship"; "Schlock Mercenary"; and "xkcd."

This is The Big Ballot. Polling will close at 11:59 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 10.

So support your favorite webcomic below. As we like to say: It's fast, it's free -- and it helps drive more eyes to some of the best cartoonists working today.


The direct links to the seven finalists are:

"Girl Genius"
"Hark! A Vagrant"
"Least I Could Do"
"Penny Arcade"
"The Perry Bible Fellowship"
"Schlock Mercenary"

(Note: Just because Comic Riffs is conducting this unscientific and nonbinding poll does not mean we or The Post automatically endorse or share the views of any of these webcomics. Consider this our official disclaimer, O barristers and the readily offended.)

By Michael Cavna  | February 3, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  The E-Mailbag, The Webcomic  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: THE OSCARS: Pixar's 'Up' soars to score a historic nom
Next: THE RANT: Did the HuffPost misplace its 'funny'?


If my own server stats are to be believed, there are about 10 times more people voting for Schlock than currently read my comic.

I don't know who has automated the spoofing of your poll, but your poll has definitely been spoofed. I am embarrassed by the inappropriate enthusiasm, and trust that the guilty party or parties will find something safer to automate, like perhaps the search for terrestrial intelligence.

Posted by: HowardTayler | February 4, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

>> Howard:

Thanks for posting that. I should also note: Comic Riffs is tracking "run-script" votes and will toss those out in the final tally.


Posted by: cavnam | February 4, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Funny thing is 3 of the top 7 used scripts to vote in the last poll. And now all three are using scripting again just to catch up to schlock.

In the last poll about 2 million votes were thrown out if the final results are accurate, when I checked it the day before it was to end there were 2.6 million votes cast and now when I check it there are only ~500k votes. I am willing to bet though that another 30% of those votes were from bots.

The bot running schlock voting has received and is complying with the cease and desist order based on my viewing of the poll. Schlock is gaining 0 votes per second when it used to be gaining 60+ votes per second.

Now if the authors of the other 3 scripted voters would post something like Howard did, maybe, just maybe we could get a real result.

Posted by: DjGilcrease | February 4, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh I just thought up a fair metric for actual results. Take all the unique IPs that accessed each comics site in the last 30 days, filter out all IPs that are cross viewers (I like many people read several of these) and then you should have a list of IP's for each of the top 7 that only view that comic, the number in each list would be the votes cast for that comic.

By that metric I expect Penny Arcade to win by a large margin, though I am sure it has a large cross over with xkcd.

Posted by: DjGilcrease | February 4, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

In the first poll, the only valuable thing that came out of the first poll was that people who were irritated with the selection suggested names of additional comics that should have been included. Well and good, but that still would have happened with an "honest" system that prevented the "robots" from voting.

I can't see ANYTHING worthwhile in this runoff. Wake me up when the robot servers have ground the results into the dust. I'm not even going to bother looking at who's ahead, since it is utterly meaningless.

Posted by: kilby | February 4, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I see that at nearly 16 million votes we have almost reached parity. All the strips are equally liked.

Posted by: elyrest | February 7, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

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