2013 Andertoons Cartoon Blog Recap

So this is my last post for 2013, and it’s also my 2500th Andertoons Cartoon Blog post. I started this way back in May of 2004, so next year I’ll have been doing this for a decade. Can you believe it?!

Last year around this time I wrote about how I’d changed the scheduling and content of the blog to some success. So I thought this year I’d do the same sort of thing, ponder next year’s blogging direction, and highlight some of my favorite posts from 2013.

2013 Blog Stats


Let’s start with the bad news. Blog pageviews dropped an average of 37% this year over last, which sounds awful, right? But when you look back, it’s not really that bad. Pageviews went up 293% for the same period (first 49 weeks of the calendar year) from 2009-2010, went up again by 1837% from 2010-2011 (I know, right?!), and went up again 21% from 2011-2012. And a lot of 2012’s traffic was spiky, especially around popular How-To-Draw posts.

Also, average time on blog pages increased this year over last by 28%, the bounce rate dropped by 12%, and overall pageviews on all of Andertoons.com were up. So it’s not as bad as it first sounds.

Here are the top blog posts from 2012:

  1. Blog Home Page
  2. How To Draw A Cartoon R2D2
  3. How To Draw a Cartoon Bunny
  4. LEGO Alphabet Spaceships A-Z (From 2011)
  5. How to Draw a Cartoon Shark
  6. LEGO Robot Santa Claus (From 2011)
  7. How To Draw Batman
  8. How To Draw A Cartoon Leprechaun
  9. Adding a Cartoon (Or Any Other Image) To Your iBook in iBooks Author
  10. MetLife Cartoon Superbowl Commercial – Characters, Errors & Where Waldo Is

And here are the top blog posts from 2013:

  1. Blog Home Page
  2. How to Draw a Cartoon Shark (From 2012)
  3. 20 Educational Cartoons for Back to School
  4. Teacher Cartoons for Back to School (From 2012)
  5. How to Draw a Cartoon C-3PO
  6. How to Draw a Cartoon Turkey (From 2012)
  7. How to Draw a Cartoon Bunny (From 2012)
  8. How to Draw a Cartoon R2D2 (From 2012)
  9. LEGO Alphabet Spaceships A-Z (From 2011)
  10. Teacher Cartoons for Teachers Appreciation Week (From 2012)

Here’s what I’m taking away from this. The How To Draw lessons were a good new draw (no pun intended) in 2012, but in 2013 they were less novel and garnered less interest. So while I think I can expect some nice evergreen traffic from them in the future, the HTDs are going away for 2014.

The blogs from 2013 that performed well were collections of cartoons on a single topic (thanks, teachers!), so I’m probably going to be doing those more often going forward.

And although video takes some time to do well, and it hasn’t performed as well as I’d like, I’m probably going to continue with the occasional watch-me-draw post. The people that watch them really like them, and I enjoy doing them. Plus, I get to just talk and let someone else transcribe the audio!

Best of Blog

So now that the numbers are out of the way, here are the blogs I thought were some of this year’s standouts, as well as the ones that got the most pageviews.


My pick – How to Draw a Cartoon Polar Bear – I did some GIFs for a few How-To-Draws this year and this is one. Plus, polar bears are great.

Most viewed Same as above.


My pick – Success in Comics 2013 – The Daily Cartoonist did a better job reporting this, but I had to include it here because it was just a truly fantastic event.

Most viewed – LEGO Valentine Spaceship – This was super fun to build, and, except for the pilot and the “arrow,” every piece is red!


My pick – Writing Cartoons – 9 Ideas For Generating Ideas – I talk in depth about how and where I find stuff to play with and make fun of.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon Baby Chick – Tutorial – I think this isn’t one of my better HTDs, but the numbers disagree.


My pick – I Get A Caption With A Little Help From My Friends – I document how my Twitter followers help me figure out a caption.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon C-3PO – Tutorial – This is just barely in April (on the 3oth), but like R2D2 the year before, it brought in big numbers.


My pick – FAIL! – A few of my most notable failures and why they’re fantastic.

Most viewed – Same as above (but just barely…)


My pick – 5 Cartooning Books You Should Read Right Now – $47 on Amazon will buy you a first rate cartooning education.

Most viewed – Same as above


My pick – Jack Kirby’s Lone Ranger (1971) – So the movie was a dud, but you have to see this Kirby card game art.

Most viewed – How to Draw a Cartoon Giant Robot – I loved Pacific Rim, so this makes me happy.


My pick – Custom Cartoons – A Look Behind the Scenes – Follow along as I create a custom cartoon for a client from beginning to end.

Most viewed – 20 Education Cartoons for Back to School – The little post that could.


My pick – Sketching, Resketching & Inking Cartoons – The 15 minute video takes you from pencil to final ink.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon Scarecrow – This trounced the above video, but I stand by my choice.


My pick – LEGO Zombie Spaceship Powered By Brains – I didn’t post as much LEGO as I’d have liked to this year, but I really enjoyed building and sharing this for Halloween.

Most viewed – Halloween Cartoons for 2103 – Halloween cartoons always perform well.


My pick – OSU Festival of Cartoon Art – 2013 – I think this is a good overview of the weekend, and there’s loads of pictures.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon Pilgrim – Maybe I need to rethink this whole dropping the HTD thing. Sheesh!


My pick – Christmas Cartoons – 2013 I just think this is a pretty good batch.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon Reindeer – Tutorial – So when I wrote this is was too early to tell, but based on the rest of the year I feel pretty confident on this.

Wrapping Up

So that’s it for the blog for 2013. When I checked in early December I was ranking #6 on Google for “cartoon blog” behind such notable blogs as Cartoon Brew, cartoony pal Mike Lynch, and The New Yorker. And while I’d prefer to rank a bit higher, that’s pretty OK with me. I sometimes need to remind myself that as much as I enjoy writing this blog, the whole reason I started it was to draw more traffic to Andertoons.com. So as long as it’s fun to create and driving traffic, I think you can probably expect another 2500 posts.

Happy New Year!

5 Totally Amazing Cartoon/Comic Blogs and 1 Guilty Pleasure

It’s difficult to believe, but I’ve been blogging for over seven years now. That’s a long, loooong time. In fact, when I began my developer wasn’t yet familiar with the word “blog.” And every so often I think it’s a good to take a step back and take a critical look at what this blog is and should/could be. (Stick with me, the list of awesome cartoon blogs is coming right up.)

So recently, in addition to completely revamping the site, I’ve been rejiggering how and what I present here at the Andertoons Cartoon Blog. For a while I was blogging a wider range of interests in an effort to connect more personally with readers, and I think I’ve done that. (But just in case, I really like jazz trombone and LEGO.) But I think it’s time I got back to blogging more about cartoons.

My idea is this – blog less often, but more in depth, and mostly about cartoons. I’m tentatively looking at about one blog per week. (Probably on Tuesdays, but don’t hold me to that.) Occasionally it will be more, sometimes less, but when I write I’m going to really write.

But I don’t want to leave you out in the cartoon blog cold the rest of the week, so I’m going to recommend five additional totally amazing cartoon & comic related blogs you should read, and one awesome guilty pleasure.

(Note – a lot of these cartoonists are friends or acquaintances of mine, but I never said it was unbiased. So there.)

1. Mike Lynch Cartoons

mike lynch cartoons blog

Mike’s long-running blog is a must read for any cartoonist or fan of cartoons. Honestly, there’s so much great stuff here it’s almost a crime to point out only a few notable posts, but here’s some current standouts to peruse:

Mike’s not only a cartoonist at the top of his game (and my brother-in-ink), he pretty much knows everyone and everything related to cartoons. Put Mike’s blog in your RSS reader ASAP!

2. The Daily Cartoonist

daily cartoonist

Alan Gardner does a really great job of digging up all kinds of cartoon news, presenting it clearly and succinctly, and, in what I’m assuming is a massive undertaking, keeping his commenters on-topic and mostly civil. Some recent must-reads:

Wanna keep up on pretty much on all the latest cartoon happenings? Check out The Daily Cartoonist.

3. Comics Alliance

comics alliance

Covering the world of comics thoroughly and entertainingly is Comics Alliance. There’s just gobs of new, deep, and downright fun stuff here almost constantly. A few newish notables:

Laura Hudson and crew deserve top bookmark billing in any comic fan’s browser. Do it now!

4. Webcomics.com


So far I’ve featured blogs covering what can be considered the traditional mediums of cartoons, comic strips, and comic books, but the world of webcomics, if it hasn’t already become mainstream, is well on its way. And Brad Guigar’s Webcomics.com is a terrific guide. Here’s some fresh examples:

A quick note that this is the only entry here that charges for its content, but if you’re really serious about succeeding online it’s money well spent. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean.

5. Cul de Sac

cul de sac

If you’ve by chance missed every other glowing review of Richard Thompson’s Cul de Sac, I think you could trust Calvin & Hobbes creator, Bill Watterson, who said, amongst other heady praise, “The artwork in Cul de Sac bowls me over.”

Even better, we all get an inside look at the Cul de Sac blog! A few of my recent faves:

Do not miss!

And last but not least, my favorite guilty pleasure:

F**k Yeah Bruce Timm

f yeah bruce timm

I’m not sure I completely understand what makes Tumblr different from regular blogs, but there seems to be a whole host of these F**k Yeah Tumblrs. That being said, I love, no, LOVE Bruce Timm‘s art! So a constant stream of Timm awesomeness? I think F**k Yeah Bruce Timm about sums it up. A few recent posts:

OK, well that wraps it up. Please be sure to give each blog a try, and be sure to stop in each Tuesday (or even better, subscribe to my RSS feed) for more Andertoons Cartoon Blog goodness!