Sueness and Popularity: Scored Data Files

It’s been two years, but my Sueness and Popularity project is back on track!

Today I’m posting a file of Mary Sue Test scores from the Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test, for (almost) every identifiable character from the first 50 webcomics added to The Webcomic List after August 12th. There are a few exceptions (e.g. The Science of Cookies isn’t in a language I speak, and several comics shut down before I could collect all the data), but overall I’m happy that I should be able to analyse this data file.

For legal and privacy reasons, I haven’t included links or full author details in this version of the file. You should still be able to find the comics through The Webcomic List or a search engine. If you are playing along at home, be aware that Syera has updated the Mary Sue Litmus Test since 2016; I’m using a version of the test from the Web Archive to make sure my scores are all on the same scale.

To find out if the test can predict popularity, I still have to add up the scores and do my data analysis. But in the meantime, here’s some things I’ve learned so far:

  • Nothing stays still on the Internet. Aside from the test being updated, several of the comics I was scoring have moved, been renamed, rebooted themselves, or disappeared altogether.
  • Scoring webcomics is a bad idea, as they’re usually in the middle of a storyline and I can’t answer questions about (for instance) how the plot resolves. If I do this again I’ll probably score something where I can be sure of reading the whole thing (maybe text fanfic?).
  • Science is hard work! After all I’ve done to get even this modest data file, I have a lot more respect for data collection in science.

Hope to see you soon with the final results!

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