100 is a fairly small sample size, but, as I’ve said, I did the best I could to get a representative sample and I actually feel that the results are fairly accurate, or at least the line up closely with most of what I’ve read online.
I am interested in expanding the study, but at the moment, I absolutely do not have the time. I actually have some interesting nudity stats from this study that I’ve been meaning to turn into an infographic, but can’t find the time for that, and doing that would take a fraction of the time this first study took. (Those will be published eventually though!)
But I mentioned before to another Anon question that if someone wanted to find the stats for the webcomics they read, I would be happy to run the numbers and average those results in as well, and publish the adjusted results here. If you (or anyone reading this) has any interest in that, message me, and I can make sure you have all the information you need!
If there are webcomic creators who want to do this for their own comic, that would be great too!
This was a research project that looked over the 25 latest installments of 100 web comics and studied the characters that appeared within.
A character was defined as:
The webcomics had to fit the following parameters:
How the webcomics were chosen:
Characters were studied to find:
(I decided this needed to be at the top again, so I’m just readjusting order)
If you have questions, feel free to ask, anonymously or not. I will answer and publish them as long as they are not repeats or purposely offensive.
Please respond to the question if you have something to say. I’ll discuss things with you until I feel like we’re going in circles or until it gets rude. Feel free to reblog or ask a question to respond. (Or ask an initial question)
If you’re question is longer than tumblr allows and you don’t have the option of reblogging because you want to be anonymous or you don’t have a tumblr, please, submit it in more than one ask. Just please use (cont.) or Part 1 or something.
You’re right. It’s entirely possible one of the background characters- or even one of the main characters- was a trans* character. I only read the most recent 25 pages. One of them could have a storyline earlier that addresses it. Or it could be addressed not at all which is another possibility.
If it was addressed earlier or will be addressed in the future, that’s wonderful. It is possible. However, I did go through the character pages and some have quite detailed biographies. This was never mentioned and, from my experience with trans* people and what I’ve read, it is a large part of their life and has influenced their experiences greatly, even if they pass now. But yes, this is a possibility and one I would celebrate if it were true. I could only work with the parts I read and I did the best I could with it.
But what about the other possibility? What if it was just never brought up? After all, some trans* people can go through life without people realizing. Either they naturally look enough like their gender that no one questions it or they’ve undergone hormone and/or surgery to do so. If they were minor characters, then yes, it may just never be brought up at all. As I said, this is very unlikely with main characters. It’s a large part of their life and probably not something that could be hidden. So a side character where the author just thinks of them as, oh hey, they aren’t cissexual. They pass and no one questions it. How is this representation though if it is never acknowledged?
If it’s never acknowledged, not part of the story at all, it’s just like me saying Uhura (from Star Trek) was actually MAAB. The creator could at this point, but if it is never addressed in a movie/tv show? I don’t think it matters because readers and viewers generally only deal with what they are given in the narrative of the story. I’m not saying it has to be a big deal, but it does have to be addressed at some point to be considered representation.
Cissexual people are never going to recognize a trans* person unless if it is brought up or made obvious. In a better, more accepting world, maybe no big deal would have to made of it, but as in society today, unless it is brought up or obvious, most people aren’t going to recognize that a person is trans* and it’s not representation.
On the other hand, do you think you read all the same things as everyone else? The comics you read every week are probably not the same ones I read every week or the same ones Joe, the IT guy, read every week. A few big ones didn’t fit the parameters (XYCD, Cyanide and Happiness) and a few of the other ones that I know that are really large (Questionable Content, Ma3, and LICD) were all in the original list of 500, but weren’t pulled. Those are pretty much the only large ones I know of. This wasn’t a survey of the most popular webcomics anyway (although that could be something to do in the future) this was one of ALL webomics. (And by the way, they were all “real, live, and updating”.) Thewebcomiclist has almost 20,000 comics on their site and there was an estimate a few years ago that there are almost 50,000 webcomics online, and honestly, I believe that’s somewhat low. There are so many webcomics on the web, and most of them AREN’T popular. If I missed most well-know, widely-followed webcomics, that’s probably a very good thing, because how many is that? The popular webcomics are a tiny percentage of what’s out there so they be a tiny percentage of what’s in the study. (Also, some really popular webcomics were included. Girlswithslingshots, Family Man, Scandanavia and the World, and Gunnerkrieg Court were all mentioned over and over again when I was talking to people about this. If you’ve never heard of any of these, then guess what? My theory that everyone reads very different webcomics might just be true. I had never heard of 3 of those, but they were mentioned like 10 times each.)
In short, the comics YOU read every week are a tiny, tiny, miniscule percentage of what’s out there. It’s not possible to keep up with a majority of comics that update regularly.
As for it not being the best statistical model, I’m not up on statistics, but I did a little reading, and it looks like for the large set of data I had, simple random sampling was the best choice. Other options seemed to need more data than is available. There has not been any studies on webcomics really, that I’ve been able to find, other than this one. The distribution of webcomics isn’t known. How many comics are fantasy, how many are romance, how many are pornographic. There is no way to get a representative sample in that regards either, although I would have liked too.
The data on choosing the list is here.
Also, just because I didn’t study the popular ones, doesn’t mean it’s not true for them anyways. I would love to know how everyone’s favorite webcomics compare and if you want to submit stats on your favorites, I can start compiling a list of those. Just make sure to read all the parameters* that the webcomics had to fit to be included in the study and what qualifies as a character*.
*This information can be found at the same location as the data on choosing the list. Link found above.