Merry Christmas!

I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Once again, my family has the bestest Christmas tree:

Christmas tree

Raccoon Nation

Raccoon Nation is an excellent documentary about urban raccoons. US-Americans can watch the full episode at PBS. Canadians can watch it on CBC. Visitors from other countries unfortunately have to buy it for $1.99 on Amazon if they don’t have access to an US proxy or manage to find an illegal copy somewhere.

Screenshot from Raccoon Nation

Raccoon Nation gives an overview of the life of urban raccoons, following the endeavors of a mother and her kits in Toronto over the course of six months. The documentary prominently features Stan Gehrt and Frank-Uwe Michler, the two leading raccoon experts in the world, so the scientific accuracy is pretty good. New research results and the raccoon populations in Germany and Japan are presented as well.

It is argued that raccoons, which have been living in urban environments for many generations now, develop skills not seen in raccoons living in natural habitats. By trying to make city life harder for raccoons, humans might “accidentally” also make them smarter.

Copyright infringements and you

More and more frequently, I receive e-mails from readers who want to inform me that images from our comic(s) are posted on other websites. This can be very helpful to detect copyright infringements, so I’m grateful for every notice I receive.

Note, however, that not every usage of our comics is automatically a copyright infringement. Our comics are published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. In short, this free license allows the publication on non-commercial websites if proper attribution to the creators is given (more info).

But even if you believe that there’s a massive copyright infringement going on, you should never file a take-down request yourself! This is still my job if I feel that some kind of reaction is required. What you can do, apart from informing me, is to write a comment beneath the submission/blog post/… with a link to our comic website. Plenty of readers have found our comics this way.

Website stats and outlook for 2013

Here is a chart showing the visitors per day on Sandra and Woo and Gaia:

Website stats for Sandra and Woo and Gaia

The number of visitors is probably the most important measure of success for a webcomic creator. So I’m very glad that the number of readers of Sandra and Woo is still increasing. Especially Software Engineering, Now With Cats! has quickly become one of our most popular comic strips, resulting in 39,000 visits on Monday, 19 November, and Thursday, 29 November.

Thanks to everybody who spreads the word about our comics and posts links to them on his Facebook page or website!

Next year will bring two important milestones for Sandra and Woo. In July or August we will publish our 500th strip which will be a particularly complex one. Its creation will take a lot of time so we might have to publish some guest art instead of new strips in preparation for it. Later, on 19 October 2013, Sandra and Woo will celebrate its 5th birthday. While we don’t plan to publish another special strip on that occasion, you can look forward to some other special features. The year will begin with a story arc that introduces Sandra’s alter ego Sandy South, private eye extraordinaire. A parody of the detective genre is just something I always wanted to do.

Top 10 comments from comics #326 to #345

Here is my top 10 list of the best/funniest comments from the strips #326 to #345 in our archive. The top 10 of the strips #311 to #325 was posted on 17 November 2012.

Our reader Greenwood Goat was responsible for four of the following comments. Congratulations!

Comment by Sand Fox on the strip Monster:

This is the part were her Dad bursts in with two super soakers, screaming, “Long live the Queen!”

Comment by Greenwood Goat on the strip Punishment:

Cloud: You can stop kissing now….

Sandra: I thought I deserved life enkissionment!

Comment by Azure Link on the strip The Poem III:

You want to do something but your body doesn’t obey your commands. Do you know what this is called?
A cutscene.

Comment by Gahbriel on the strip The Poem IV:

Remember folks: Tackling people undress them.

Comment by Greenwood Goat on the strip The Poem IV:

Ye Thuza (with binoculars): Heart captured. Outer garments lost. Room for improvement…

Comment by Greenwood Goat on the strip The Contender I:

Unless that Hand of God keeps an omniscient eye out, Tom the talking toast will become Nom the talking stomach contents. This is Woo, sly scavenger extraordinaire, that he is up against!

Tom, the talking toast: Crumbs!

Woo: You will be.

Comment by SpiritWolf15 on the strip The Contender II:

Should I be concerned that this ( ) is the ad I saw before making a post?

Comment by Blitz on the strip The Contender III:

The lesson: if Sandra doesn’t find you funny, SHE WILL DEVOUR YOU RIGHT THERE.

Comment by Greenwood Goat on the strip The Contender III:

Well, that was unexpected.

All ready for buttering up, Tom finds himself heading for the toilet – by the long but not exactly scenic route.

Unless… the Hand of God arrives in time to stick a finger down her throat! (sorry)

Hand of God: Where is Tom the talking toast?!

Sandra: (innocent) I don’t know.

Sandra’s stomach: YES YOU DO!!!

Hand of God: ???!??!

Woo (stepping in): Ahem! I must ask that this interview be suspended, as my client, Miss North, appears to have eaten something that disagrees with her.

Comment by Draccoon on the strip The Contender III:

It’s a good thing she’s eating him… because he probably would’ve just loafed around.