Statistics August: People Want Me To Explain If The Phantom Is Dead Already


Once again, not to spoil things, but the man who cannot die. But people are very interested in the current, yearlong-and-still-going, story in which Mozz foresees and tries to prevent The Phantom’s death. And the wholesale destruction of his family’s heritage. Let me start off by sharing the five most popular things published in August, for the month of August:

Also ranking high were earlier essays about what was going on in The Phantom. I trust that’s from old links or imperfect Google matches. I’m sure everyone found their way to something useful, sooner or later.

Comic strip recaps remain my most popular feature here, though. Let me share my plan for those comics for the next couple weeks. It’s to cover these, at these times:

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. After a peak in April 2021 the months hovering around 4500 views per month, without strong direction one way or another, until a new peak emerged in April 2022. A smaller peak reappeared in August 2022.
Only 1.94 views per visitor, so there’s no way to use this data to test Benjamin Franklin’s aphorism about fish and visitors smelling after three interactions with the main content repository server.

As for readership totals? Those were doing pretty well in August. All that Phantom trade, I’m sure. There were 6,375 page views here in August, well above the twelve-month running mean of 5,109.1 views per month. It’s even farther above the twelve-month running median of 4,702.5 views in a month.

There were more unique visitors too. 3,292 unique visitors stopped in over the course of August, which was a dogleg left under some lovely shade. The running median is 2,742.8 unique visitors, and the median 2,682.5. I was even better-liked: the number of likes given was 206, way above the mean of 148.7 and mean of 147. It was chatty on top of that, with 61 comments, compared to a mean of 46.8 and median of 47.

85 countries or their equivalents sent me any views at all in August, up from 81. 19 of them sent a single view, barely down from 20. Here’s the roster of all the origins of my viewers:

Country Readers
United States 4,378
Australia 527
India 221
Canada 195
United Kingdom 157
Italy 104
Brazil 73
Germany 47
Nigeria 42
Bahrain 41
France 41
Sweden 40
Ireland 39
Spain 37
South Africa 33
Philippines 23
Romania 22
Malaysia 20
Finland 18
Mexico 17
Netherlands 15
New Zealand 15
El Salvador 14
Indonesia 14
Japan 14
Austria 13
Kenya 13
Saudi Arabia 11
Denmark 10
Portugal 10
Belgium 9
Serbia 9
Singapore 9
Czech Republic 8
Norway 8
Switzerland 7
Bangladesh 6
Greece 6
Thailand 6
Turkey 6
Russia 5
Taiwan 5
Trinidad & Tobago 5
United Arab Emirates 5
Estonia 4
Iraq 4
Argentina 3
Chile 3
Ecuador 3
Egypt 3
Israel 3
Poland 3
Slovenia 3
Sri Lanka 3
Ukraine 3
Vietnam 3
Colombia 2
Croatia 2
Honduras 2
Kuwait 2
Lebanon 2
Montenegro 2
Pakistan 2
Peru 2
South Korea 2
Uganda 2
Albania 1
Bahamas 1
Barbados 1
Belarus 1
Cameroon 1 (*)
Cook Islands 1
Costa Rica 1
Côte d’Ivoire 1
Dominican Republic 1
European Union 1
Guam 1
Guatemala 1
Hungary 1
Libya 1
Liechtenstein 1
Madagascar 1
Morocco 1 (*)
Namibia 1
Zimbabwe 1

Cameroon and Morocco were the only single-view countries in July also. No country is on a three-month streak.

Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink.
I learn the location of so many minor islands I would otherwise have thought was crud on my computer screen by dragging the window around a little, and vice-versa.

WordPress figures I posted 19,115 words in August, which is my chattiest month this year. It brings my word total for the year to 138,526. Since the debut of the original Card Sharks to the start of September I’ve posted 3,499 things here. They’ve drawn a total of 314,034 views from a recorded 177,643 unique visitors.

If you know someone who could be my elusive reader from Greenland, please let them know about the RSS feed for my essays, the most convenient way to read anything online. Or that they could get essays e-mailed them as I publish them, once a day, slightly later each day of the month, before I fix the typos. Or they can click the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button in the right column of this page, and add the page to their WordPress reader. If you don’t know anyone in Greenland, I’m not surprised. I don’t either.

Statistics July: Some Round Numbers


I do like looking at my readership figures, once a month, as it’s a convenient way for me to think that I should be more popular. It also lets me lay out what my plans are for the coming month. This plan is always that I’m going to keep recapping the plots in the story strips, since that’s always the most popular thing I post. Let me start with that, come to think of it. My schedule for the coming weeks is to describe the goings-on in:

Going to be a fun month. The Dick Tracy-to-Mary Worth swing is a bunch of strips people are often asking Google about. And, you know, people have been hopping mad about Mary Worth lately, and we’re getting more Wilbur Weston in, my readership prospects are good.

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. After a peak in April 2021 the months hovering around 4500 views per month, without strong direction one way or another, until a new peak emerged in April 2022. July's figures are about the same as June's.
Once again I didn’t get a snapshot exactly at the end of June because I was doing things. But they were different things that I was doing than I was doing at the end of June. I bet the end of this month I get the screenshot exactly on the dot, though. Who ever heard of doing a thing on a Wednesday?

To the specifics, though. There were, WordPress says, 4,727 page views here in July. That’s just five fewer than there were in June. This is below the twelve-month running mean of 5,082.3 views per month, although that figure’s skewed a bit by the spike of readers in April. It is above the running median of 4,585 views per month, suggesting a bit of general growth overall.

There were 2,700 recorded unique visitors, again down a bit from June, but in line with the averages. The running mean for the twelve months leading up to July saw 2,714.6 unique visitors each month. The running median was 2,616.5.

There were 100 likes given around here in July, a second suspiciously round number. This is the first one that looks a bit sad, as it’s below the mean of 154.1 and median of 154.5 likes given in a month on average. And the number of comments — 26 — was similarly way below the running mean of 56.5 and median of 51.5. The implication is that people may see my writings more as something to read than as something to engage with. And that’s not bad, really, as I’ve struggled to engage with things myself lately. Hi, every WordPress blog I’m subscribed to but have left comments in as recently as never.

Despite the lower numbers of likes and comments, stuff got read a good bit around here. These are the posts from July with the greatest number of views, in descending order:

I do expect a Gil Thorp surge for a couple months now, while new author Henry Barajas establishes things like that Gil Thorp flies now and has an unsettled home life.

Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink.
I look at a map like this and I think is it possible to have at least one country in red for each line of longitude, the whole world round? It’s got to require Greenland to do, right? Anyway so if this is your first encounter with my writing, this photo caption is a good representative one.

81 countries or things as good as countries sent me readers in July, down-ish from June’s 82. 20 of them got a single page view, though, up from 16. Here’s the roster:

Country Readers
United States 3,546
India 169
Canada 152
United Kingdom 136
Australia 98
Italy 67
Germany 53
Brazil 38
France 32
South Africa 25
Singapore 22
Serbia 21
Austria 18
Philippines 18
Denmark 17
Finland 16
Pakistan 16
Poland 16
Spain 14
Sweden 14
Norway 13
Belgium 11
Jamaica 11
Iraq 10
Ireland 10
Japan 10
Mexico 10
Switzerland 10
Netherlands 8
New Zealand 8
Nigeria 8
Croatia 7
Peru 7
El Salvador 6
Argentina 5
Malaysia 5
Portugal 5
Romania 5
Bangladesh 4
Barbados 4
Colombia 4
Greece 4
Israel 4
Russia 4
Saudi Arabia 4
South Korea 4
Thailand 4
Tunisia 4
Bosnia & Herzegovina 3
Czech Republic 3
Hungary 3
Vietnam 3
Chile 2
Georgia 2
Hong Kong SAR China 2
Indonesia 2
Macedonia 2
Trinidad & Tobago 2
Turkey 2
Ukraine 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Algeria 1
Cambodia 1
Cameroon 1
Congo – Kinshasa 1
Ecuador 1
Egypt 1
Fiji 1
Honduras 1
Jordan 1
Kuwait 1 (**)
Lebanon 1
Lithuania 1
Mongolia 1
Morocco 1
Namibia 1
Nepal 1
Oman 1
Qatar 1
Taiwan 1
Venezuela 1

Kuwait has given me a single view for three months in a row now. No other country has been a single-view country more than one month in a row. Greenland has resumed not being a country that looks at me at all.

WordPress calculates that I posted 17,264 words in July, an average 556.9 per posting. This is down a little and brings my year-to-date average to 563 words per posting. I’m at 119,411 words posted for the year, as of the start of August.

Between the development of the lunar rovers and the start of August I’ve had 307,659 page views here, from a recorded 174,357 unique visitors. Who’ll be number 175,000? I don’t know. Probably someone from Greenland.

If you’d like your chance at being that reader from Greenland, though, good luck! The best route to reading my essays is to add the RSS feed for my essays to your reader. If you don’t have a reader, but you do have a WordPress account, you can click the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button on the upper right corner of this page. If you don’t have a WordPress account, you can use the box beneath that to get uncorrected and typeo-ridden posts e-mailed to you the moment they’re published. Or you can just click on a page that looks good and read that. Whatever’s brought you here to read this you could do again tomorrow. And maybe the rest of this month as I finally run out of 1960s Popeye cartoons to watch. I know, I’m baffled that could happen too.

Statistics June: How Much People Wish I Could Have Done Something More About Mary Worth Last Month


I did my best to work out the baffling plot point that Helen Moss, longtime teacher at Santa Rosa Community College, had to leave after her onetime crush Ian Cameron told her to stop being a jerk to his wife. I’m still not confident I have the reason clear, but I offered what I had. And people wanted to know! As I look over what the most popular June 2022-dated postings were here, the last month, my Mary Worth plot recap tops the list. Here’s the five most popular new articles from June:

Mind, the most popular thing I had of the entire month was an October 2020 post where I admitted finally getting this one Far Side. People always like hearing when someone else was baffled by a comic strip. It’s one of Gary Larson’s many gifts to us all. Anyway my favorite of the last month remains the resolve to eat Cheese Idaho.

Still, the comic strip talk is always going to be my most popular thing here. Were I to shut down the rest of the blog, that’s the part that would go last. So here’s my plan for what to talk about this coming month, and when:

Meanwhile, I still like to keep track of how popular my slightly popular blog is, and how that’s changing. And I share that because somehow that’s usually a well-liked feature too. In June 2022, according to WordPress, I had 4,732 page views here, which is below the running mean of 5,034.2 views for the twelve months leading up to June. It’s above the running median of 4,449 page views, though. These came from 2,742 unique visitors, which is above both the running mean of 2,696.7 and running median of 2,547.5. So, hey, more visitors, all of whom get tired of me faster! That’s a something.

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. After a peak in April 2021 the months hovering around 4500 views per month, without strong direction one way or another, until a new peak emerged in April 2022. There is a small wedge of July 2022's readership figures included at the end of the chart.
I know, it’s weird that I didn’t get a picture of the readership as of 7:59 PM Eastern Time the 30th of June but, understand, I’ve got stuff to do. Sometimes. Like twice a year or so. It happens.

There were 143 likes given to anything at all over the course of June, which is a little below both the running mean of 153.3 and median of 154.5. And there were 40 comments, which seems like more than I remember, but is below the mean of 56.7 and median of 53, again both of which seem like more than I remember. I have no explanation for this phenomenon.

There were 82 countries, our country-like entities, to send me any page views in June. That’s up from May’s figure of 75, if you like. 16 of them sent only a single page view, down from May’s 17. None of these countries was Greenland. I know, I’m feeling it too. Here’s what countries it was:

Country Readers
United States 3,336
India 219
Australia 169
United Kingdom 168
Canada 146
Brazil 68
Italy 54
Germany 42
El Salvador 35
Sweden 34
Philippines 30
Spain 27
Netherlands 17
Nigeria 17
Romania 17
Serbia 17
France 16
Ireland 16
Japan 16
Mexico 16
Finland 14
Thailand 14
South Africa 13
Norway 11
Vietnam 11
Croatia 10
Kenya 10
Malaysia 10
Singapore 10
Czech Republic 9
Denmark 8
Colombia 7
Austria 6
New Zealand 6
Poland 6
Taiwan 6
Chile 5
Ecuador 5
European Union 5
Hungary 5
Pakistan 5
Peru 5
Switzerland 5
Turkey 5
Albania 4
Bahamas 4
Bangladesh 4
Belgium 4
Egypt 4
Indonesia 4
Sri Lanka 4
Bosnia & Herzegovina 3
Iraq 3
Israel 3
Jamaica 3
Russia 3
Saudi Arabia 3
United Arab Emirates 3
American Samoa 2
Costa Rica 2
Estonia 2
Hong Kong SAR China 2
Jordan 2
Lebanon 2
Panama 2
Portugal 2
Anguilla 1
Argentina 1
Belarus 1
Bolivia 1
Dominican Republic 1
Ethiopia 1
Greece 1
Guam 1
Kazakhstan 1 (**)
Kuwait 1 (*)
Montenegro 1 (**)
Puerto Rico 1
South Korea 1
Trinidad & Tobago 1
Tunisia 1
Uruguay 1
Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink.
This struck me as pretty good coverage from South America but it turns out it’s almost always like that. I’m just not paying attention well enough.

Kazakhstan has been a single-view country for three months running now, even though I’d think Kazakhstan has other things to do than check in on my a very slight bit. Kuwait’s been a single-view country two months in a row now, although I guess maybe they have fewer things to do? Montenegro is also on its third month giving me a single view per month. I don’t know how to much to expect they have to do.

WordPress figures I posted 18,738 words in June, my most talkative month this year. It’s an average 624.6 words per posting, and brings my average for the year up to 564 words per post. This may be too many words. It brings me to 102,147 words for the year 2022, so far. Between the Broadway debut of the musical 1776 and the start of July, I’ve posted 3,437 things to this blog. They’ve attracted a total of something like 302,932 views from 171,984 visitors.

If you’d like to read these posts regularly, I’m flattered. The best route is probably to add the RSS feed for my essays to your reader. If you don’t have a reader, but you do have a WordPress account, you can click the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button on the upper right corner of this page. If you don’t have a WordPress account, you can use the box beneath that to get posts e-mailed to you the moment they’re published and before I’ve corrected some embarrassing typos. And if none of that works for you, eh, I suppose you know your business. Carry on with what seems reasonable. Thank you.

Statistics May: Finland Doesn’t Love Me Anymore, But …


The subject line gives it away, unless I change the subject line. Another Blog, Meanwhile saw the readership from Finland return to what seems like a normal level after April’s big spike. Without that, and without the number of people looking for my Paas Easter Egg color pictures, the monthly readership figures are more normal.

They’re also lower. There were, according to WordPress, 4,378 page views here in May. That’s a great number compared to, say, 2019. But it’s a fair bit below the running mean of 5,078.5 views per month for the twelve months running up to May. And the running median, less vulnerable to weird fluctuations, of 4,585 views per month. There were 2,501 recorded unique visitors, below the running mean of 2,736.5 and running median of 2,616.5. Not too much lower, though.

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. After a peak in April 2021 the months hovering around 4500 views per month, without strong direction one way or another, until a new peak emerged in April 2022.
I know the plot shows 2,500, but I went back and double-checked, and someone snuck in between when I took this screen shot and when the month ended, by Universal Time, one minute later. So it can happen!

There were 188 likes given in May, a greater number than any month since May 2021 somehow. It’s well above the running mean of 154.3 and running median of 154.5 likes in a month. (And not all these likes went to things published in May.) There were 43 comments, below the mean of 56.3 and median of 53, but still a respectable number as I make these things out to be.

My most popular posts of May were the usual mix of me talking about comic strips or cartoons, with a dose of old-time radio and me generally complaining mixed in:

My most popular piece of original comic writing was In Which I Am Terror-Stricken, culmination of a set of second thoughts I had about the thing I devoted most of March and April to.

But, as mentioned, it’s the story strip plot recaps that bring so many readers here. My plan for the coming month is to cover these strips, on these dates:

As ever, this is subject to change as breaking news warrants.

75 countries sent me page views in May, down from April’s 81. 17 of them were single-view countries, the same number as in April. Here’s the roster of those countries, and take a look at the big exciting news for one of them. Do you spot it? I’ll let you know after the strangely popular table of countries.

Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink. For a change of pace, Greenland is in pink also, reflecting some readership there.
Not surprised Bangladesh hasn’t been reading me. They’ve got bigger problems. I assume, anyway. I don’t know but it seems fair to suppose all the other countries out there have bigger problems than would be helped by reading me.
Country Readers
United States 3,073
United Kingdom 171
India 157
Canada 125
Germany 90
Australia 72
Philippines 51
Brazil 41
Thailand 36
El Salvador 35
Italy 35
Nigeria 32
France 28
Spain 26
Finland 24
South Africa 24
Ireland 22
Sweden 22
Netherlands 21
Singapore 19
Austria 17
Vietnam 17
Malaysia 16
Romania 16
Peru 15
Argentina 12
Japan 11
Colombia 9
Czech Republic 9
Hong Kong SAR China 9
New Zealand 9
Mexico 8
Portugal 8
Norway 7
Denmark 6
Ecuador 6
Greece 6
Switzerland 6
Indonesia 5
Nepal 5
Pakistan 5
Poland 5
European Union 4
Mauritania 4
Russia 4
Saudi Arabia 4
Turkey 4
Venezuela 4
Belgium 3
Chile 3
Croatia 3
Cyprus 3
South Korea 3
United Arab Emirates 3
Bangladesh 2
Jamaica 2
Kenya 2
Puerto Rico 2
Bulgaria 1
Cambodia 1
Egypt 1
Greenland 1
Guatemala 1
Hungary 1
Israel 1
Kazakhstan 1 (*)
Kuwait 1
Lesotho 1
Malta 1
Montenegro 1 (*)
Oman 1
Palestinian Territories 1
Qatar 1 (*)
Serbia 1 (*)
Slovenia 1

Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Qatar, and Serbia sent me a single page view in April also. There’s no countries to have sent me a single page view three months running now. But did you notice it? That’s right, I got me a reader in Greenland! Woo-hoo!

WordPress figures I posted 17,161 words in May, my second-most for any month this year. That’s 553.6 words per posting in May, although my average for the year remains 552 words per posting. Between the start of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the start of June, I’ve posted 3,407 things to this blog. They’ve drawn 298,200 views from 168,914 visitors.

And I’m happy to have readers, regular or sporadic. The easiest way to read me regularly is to add the RSS feed for essays to whatever your reader is. If you don’t have an RSS reader, you can get one by signing up for a free account at Dreamdwith or Livejournal and put them on your Reading page. If you’ve got a WordPress account, you can click on the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button on the upper right corner of this or any page. If you’ve got an e-mail account, you can use the box beneath that to get posts sent you as they’re published. To read sporadically, carry on with whatever you’ve been doing. It’ll probably work out all right. Thank you.

Statistics April: What Does Everybody In Finland Want With Me?


It’s rare, but now and then this blog gets noticed. Usually it’s someone more popular than me linking to one of the images from my story strip recaps. So, turns out the 10th of April was one of those days. More mysterious is that it was someone in Finland doing it: that day I got 3,405 page views, a number that’s not far off my usual monthly total. This all came from 109 unique visitors, a figure that’s on the high side, but not outrageously so.

Also baffling is I can’t figure what everyone in Finland was looking at. I don’t mean literally everyone in Finland; Finland has a population of something like 5,500,000 people and 3,405 page views isn’t enough. Even if we suppose each page view was shared by a thousand people that’s still only about three-fifths of the population. But it’s still a lot all at once. It wasn’t any of my posts, so it must have been an image. But which one? So if you were one of the three-fifths of the Finland population who looked at something from my blog on this past 10th of April, could you leave a comment? I’m just curious what everyone was looking for.

The effect, anyway, is to give me a weird, distorted readership spike in time to replace the one in April 2021 that’s been distorting my twelve-month running averages. WordPress logged 8,350 page views around here, the second-greatest monthly total on my record. As you’d expect that’s well above the 5,167.9 running mean and 4,585 running median. If we take the Finland spike out, the month turns out to be close to the twelve-month running mean. WordPress figures there were 3,090 unique visitors, which is close to in line with the running mean of 3,028.5 and running median of 2,616.5 visitors.

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. After a peak in April 2021 the months hovering around 4500 views per month, without strong direction one way or another, until a new peak emerged in April 2022.
I’d have liked to have got this screen grab at the moment when April 2022 ended, by WordPress’s clock, but I was doing things that involved not staring at a computer to watch for one particular second of the month. I know, I don’t know what I was thinking.

Likes and comments continue to dwindle out of existence. There were 133 likes given to things in April, and 42 comments. The mean for the twelve months leading up to April was 154.8 likes and 56.1 comments. The median was 154.5 likes and 53 comments.


So here’s the five most popular posts from April. Stuff from earlier than April was more popular than even the top position, yes. But you don’t need to know that around Easter people find my post about which Paas tablets are which color egg. I am annoyed that the color gnomon I used — the Coke Zero can — got redesigned, though.

This is the first time in ages I remember my most popular thing not being comic strip news. That’s sure to change for May, since my schedule for story comic recaps is:

I’m aware people really, really want to see The Phantom die already. Again, though, Man Who Cannot Die.


So even though Finland sent me like 3,250 more page views than usual in a month, it still wasn’t the country to send me the greatest number of page views. The United States was, as it ever is. Here’s the roster of readership by country.

Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink. The exception is Finland, which is almost as dark red as the United States.
Finally, a challenging sphere-of-influence map for Victoria Revolutions players! It’s been ages.
Country Readers
United States 3,768
Finland 3,259
United Kingdom 197
Canada 157
India 150
Australia 113
Germany 79
Brazil 58
Sweden 45
Philippines 42
Singapore 37
France 36
Kenya 23
Italy 22
South Africa 21
Colombia 19
Nigeria 19
Denmark 17
Spain 16
Ireland 15
El Salvador 14
Chile 13
Mexico 10
Romania 10
Malaysia 9
United Arab Emirates 9
Czech Republic 8
Peru 8
Taiwan 8
Ecuador 7
Egypt 7
Hong Kong SAR China 7
Netherlands 7
Norway 7
Russia 7
Poland 6
Saudi Arabia 6
Austria 5
Belgium 5
European Union 5
Pakistan 5
South Korea 5
Switzerland 5
Thailand 5
Argentina 4
Bangladesh 4
Costa Rica 4
Jamaica 4
Japan 4
Lebanon 4
New Zealand 4
Bulgaria 3
Greece 3
Iraq 3
Jordan 3
Kuwait 3
Latvia 3
Ukraine 3
Vietnam 3
Hungary 2
Indonesia 2
Israel 2
Kosovo 2
Portugal 2
Bahrain 1
China 1 (*)
Cyprus 1
Dominican Republic 1
Guadeloupe 1
Guinea 1
Honduras 1
Kazakhstan 1
Mauritius 1
Montenegro 1
Morocco 1
Namibia 1
Nepal 1 (*)
Qatar 1
Serbia 1
Trinidad & Tobago 1 (*)
Venezuela 1

That’s 81 countries altogether, same as March, with 17 of them single-view countries. That’s up from March’s 13. China, Nepal, and Trinidad & Tobago are the only countries to have also sent a single page view in March. No countries are on a three-month streak. I am surprised to have seven page views from Russia, and three from Ukraine. I would have thought people in both countries have anything else to think about than my nonsense.


WordPress figures I published 16,407 words in April, which is almost suspiciously in line with the rest of the year. It’s the great formalism of that March Pairwise Brackety Contest Thing, must be. That and my decision to stop listing every single incident in the story strips in favor of summarizing plots. This all brings me to 66,248 words published for the year, and an average of 552 words per posting.

Between the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the start of May, I’ve published 3,376 posts here. They’ve gathered 293,822 page views from 166,414 unique visitors, although have left most of those gathering dust in the linen closet.

If you’d like to be a regular reader, please be one. The RSS feed for essays is at this link, and if you need an RSS reader sign up for a free Dreamwidth account. You can add RSS feeds to your Reading page there. If you’ve got a WordPress account, you can click the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button at the upper right corner of this page. There’s also a box to have posts e-mailed as they’re published and before I can edit my typos. Thank you for being here and here’s hoping this is a good month ahead.

Statistics March: How Much People Want Me To Explain Comic Strips To Them


For most of March I put a lot of time into the Pairwise Brackety Contest Thing, an ill-defined matchup of items. I figure to do four more of these, so there can be sixteen pairs, which I only just now realize is half the number of first-round contests in the actual March Madness. Well, too late now. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed doing these a lot. It’s fun thinking of good Dadaist pairs, and coming up with two quick jokes on the topics has felt like a good exercise. It’s been a relief, too; as sometimes happens, the tightness of the format makes it easier to write.

Ah, but does anybody else like it? And from looking over WordPress’s statistics, the evidence is people kind of tolerate it. The system records me as having had 4,985 page views in March. This reinforces how I should hit refresh from a private-browsing account fifteen more times each month. This is below my twelve-month running mean, for the months leading up to March 2022, of 5,259.0 views in a month. It’s also a second straight month of decline. However, it is above the twelve-month median, which was 4,585 page views.

There were 2,888 unique visitors, which again is below the twelve-month running mean of 3,087.3 visitors. But it’s also above the running median of 2,616.5. This is all consistent with a slow rise in popularity, muddled by January 2022 having been an unusually popular month around here. That popularity was likely spurred by Mary Worth, which teased us all with the prospect of Wilbur Weston dying in a cruise ship accident. Well, tomorrow I expect to recap Mary Worth again, but sorry to say, Wilbur Weston won’t be dead for it.

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. After a peak in April 2021 the months have been hovering around 4500 views per month, without strong direction one way or another. After a local peak in January 2022 readership has declined month-to-month, but stayed above the typical figure for the past year.
Of course the story comics give me a lot of readership, but I am wondering what’s going to happen when I run out of those 1960s King Features Popeye cartoons. And what’ll I review after that? Cartoons people like, instead? … Probably not that.

Still, I can always find something more ambiguous in the data. There were 140 likes given here, in March, which is below both the mean of 153.8 an the median of 154.5. And there were 26 comments given, which is great compared to my mathematics blog. But it’s less than half the usual, where the mean was 60.3 and the median 56.3. This despite the head-to-head nature of the Pairwise Brackety Contest. I’d have imagined that would inspire jumping on to the joke. I always fear that my jokes are too closed, but I also don’t know another way to write.


Here are the five most popular posts from March. There were a couple posts from before March even more popular, mostly people who wanted the goings-on in Judge Parker explained. We’ll get there soon enough.

And my plan for this month’s plot recaps for story comics is these strips, in this order:

This is a pretty high concentration of the strips people really want to know about. I’ve thought some about rearranging the strips to spread the popular things out, but I’m not sure that I could do much better. Dick Tracy hasn’t been a huge attention-getter lately, but it has some hot streaks, you know?


Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink.
Hey, it’s an inverse map of the Non-Aligned Movement countries!

There were 81 countries, or things like countries, sending me readers in March. That’s down from 90. Thirteen of them were single-view countries. That’s down from 24. Here’s the roster:

Country Readers
United States 3,466
Canada 207
Brazil 180
India 165
United Kingdom 146
Australia 101
Germany 68
Italy 66
Philippines 58
Hungary 38
Spain 32
Sweden 27
Denmark 20
Egypt 20
France 19
Singapore 19
European Union 18
Finland 18
Ireland 18
Czech Republic 17
Nigeria 17
Mexico 14
Norway 13
Austria 11
Saudi Arabia 11
Japan 10
Kenya 10
Belgium 9
South Africa 9
Malaysia 8
Netherlands 8
Taiwan 8
Hong Kong SAR China 7
Indonesia 7
Jamaica 7
Poland 7
Serbia 7
Turkey 7
Greece 6
Macedonia 6
New Zealand 6
Thailand 6
Ecuador 5
United Arab Emirates 5
El Salvador 4
Guatemala 4
Peru 4
South Korea 4
Argentina 3
Bulgaria 3
Colombia 3
Malawi 3
Mauritius 3
Papua New Guinea 3
Switzerland 3
Costa Rica 2
Croatia 2
Estonia 2
Israel 2
Lebanon 2
Pakistan 2
Portugal 2
Puerto Rico 2
Romania 2
Russia 2
Slovenia 2
Sri Lanka 2
Vietnam 2
Albania 1 (*)
Belarus 1
China 1
Curaçao 1
Ghana 1 (*)
Gibraltar 1
Latvia 1
Morocco 1
Nepal 1
Oman 1 (*)
Palestinian Territories 1
Trinidad & Tobago 1
Yemen 1

Albania, Ghana, and Oman were single-view countries in February also. No countries are on a three-month streak for sending me single views. I’m surprised to have two views from Russia as I would think they had other things on their mind than whatever the heck Wilbur Weston’s problem is. Maybe they needed the break.


WordPress calculates that I published 15,472 words in March, an average posting of 499.1 words. This gives me a year-to-date total of 49,841 words published, and an average post length of 554 words.

Between the marriage of Agent 99 and Maxwell Smart and the start of April I’ve published 3,346 things in this blog. They’ve drawn 5,052 comments over the course of 285,472 page views from 163,332 unique visitors.

If you’d like to be a regular reader, I can’t stop you. I can help you a little bit, though. The RSS feed for essays is at this link, and if you need an RSS reader and can’t find one anywhere, try getting a free Dreamwidth account. You can add RSS feeds to your Reading page there. If you’ve got a WordPress account, you can click the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button at the upper right corner of this page. There’s also a box to have posts e-mailed you as they happen, and before I can edit my typos. I feel awful about that, but I’ve tried copy-editing my posts before they go up, and there’s still errors even in stuff I fixed years ago. I have no explanation for this phenomenon.

We Probably Shouldn’t Waste Too Much Time, Is What I’m Thinking


Don’t get me wrong, I’m as excited as everyone else was by Two’s Day. I’m just stuck thinking how much work it’s going to be getting ready for the 33rd of March, 3033 to be on a Threesday. I suppose we don’t have to worry about it right this minute, but, you know how fast and hard deadlines hit these days.

Ominous news from Discover Card Master Command


Discover Card sent me an e-mail. It’s all right, I have a Discover card (not to brag) so I expect them to send me things, mostly offering for me to transfer a balance. But they wanted me to know my Year-End Spending Summary was ready.

So this is either six weeks late or else they figure I’m done with spending money for 2022 and either way that seems troublesome.

Statistics January: Nearly 7,000 People Wanted To See Wilbur Weston Die


One hates to be morbid. But it’s hard not to notice how many people come visit my blog here because they suspect a comic strip character is going to die. The Phantom’s projected death has brought hundreds of page views around here in recent months. Wilbur Weston falling from a cruise ship to wash ashore on an unknown island? That’s brought even more. It also looks like somebody on Facebonk mentioned me in some way that made people curious. So that’s all pleasant enough for me. Not so good for Wilbur.

My readership jumped considerably in January, rising to 6,892 page views from 3,853 unique visitors, as WordPress counts things. That’s well above the twelve-month running mean for January through December 2021, which was 5,055.4 page views per month from 3,004.7 unique visitors. It’s also well above the running median of 4,585 page views from 2,616.5 unique visitors. This will all die down as Wilbur Weston does not.

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. After a peak in April 2021 the months have been hovering around 4500 views per month, with a sudden new spike upward in January 2022.
I don’t feel bad about missing 7,000 by 108 page views like this. If I had missed by eight, now, that I’d be fuming about until I remembered absolutely anything else going on these days.

The things suggesting engagement were up, but not much. There were 158 likes given in January, compared to a running mean of 148.4 and running median of 141.5. There were 59 comments, compared to a running mean of 58.2 and running median of 52.5. And some of that was passing messages on to people. Well, it’s all content, say people who write algorithms instead of read.

My most popular post in January was this past October’s Mary Worth plot recap, because it asked how Wilbur Weston could be so incompetent. By far. It was almost twice as popular as the second-place finisher. My most popular posts from January were also Wilbur-centered. And the rest? Here’s the five most popular things published this past month:

It does all suggest that people know what they like from me, and it’s me talking about comic strips. Sometimes without even complaining about them. Granted, yes, it’s fun and funny to complain about the trivial. Anyway, TCM (United States feed) is showing Please Don’t Eat The Daisies this Sunday, and I might catch that again. Among original, non-comic-strip writing Statistics Saturday: Gifts Given for Squirrel Appreciation Day This Year was my most popular thing this past month.

Still, I’d be quite the fool to drop my story strip plot recaps. All the story strip recaps should be gathered here. And my plan for the next couple weeks is to cover:

Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink.
So if I’m reading this map right, Alaska is strawberry-flavored. Can somebody go and lick it for me?

Once again 80 countries or country-like entities sent me page views. 17 of them were single-view countries, down from December’s 18. Here’s the roster:

Country Readers
United States 5,059
India 239
Canada 238
United Kingdom 191
Australia 131
Bulgaria 116
Japan 82
Brazil 63
Finland 57
Germany 57
Sweden 56
Philippines 51
Italy 48
Austria 36
France 33
Ireland 30
Spain 29
Thailand 28
Portugal 24
Denmark 18
New Zealand 17
Singapore 17
Egypt 14
Romania 13
Argentina 12
Indonesia 12
Israel 11
Netherlands 11
South Africa 11
Turkey 11
Hong Kong SAR China 10
Macedonia 10
Malaysia 8
Peru 8
Venezuela 8
Nigeria 7
Belgium 6
Mauritius 6
Mexico 6
Norway 6
Poland 6
Taiwan 6
Costa Rica 5
Ecuador 5
Greece 5
South Korea 5
Switzerland 5
European Union 4
Hungary 4
Lithuania 4
Pakistan 4
China 3
Croatia 3
Czech Republic 3
Puerto Rico 3
Saudi Arabia 3
Trinidad & Tobago 3
Ukraine 3
Bangladesh 2
Chile 2
Russia 2
Serbia 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Barbados 1
Colombia 1
Estonia 1
Guadeloupe 1 (*)
Iraq 1
Jamaica 1
Kosovo 1
Kuwait 1
Luxembourg 1
Mongolia 1
Namibia 1
Panama 1
Sri Lanka 1
St. Lucia 1
Uganda 1
Uruguay 1
Vietnam 1 (*)

Guadeloupe and Vietnam were the only single-view countries on a two-month streak. Nobody’s on a three-month single-view streak.


WordPress figures that I published 18,198 words in December. (I reused a bunch of words, though.) This puts me at an average 587 words per posting this year, though I expect that figure to change. I’m not going to do the work needed to keep it constant.

Between the debut of short-lived game show Whew! and the start of February I’ve published 3,287 things to this blog. They’ve drawn a total 275,048 views from 157,401 unique visitors, they figure. And, for what it’s worth, a total of 4,974 comments. This suggests lucky comment #5,000 might come to the blog this month. It’s going to be people asking why Wilbur Weston isn’t dead.

If you’re looking to be a reader there’s nothing you need to do but read. If you’d like to use your RSS reader to get posts, here’s the feed. If you want to subscribe, there’s the ‘Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile’ button at the upper-right corner of this and every post. And just beneath that is a box to have posts e-mailed to you. I don’t do anything with that e-mail address except send posts. I can’t say what WordPress does with your address. Leave them in the junk drawer with a promise to do something about them soon, is what I would do with them.

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