Here's how a comics survey usually unfolds. And in this column from Jan. 30, 2005, I also mentioned one of those cheating attempts (emphasized in bf type). This column was published on "Baldo's" site because "Baldo" had ranked #7 out of 42 strips and single-panel features that year. Hey, Baldo's a fine strip and it was good to see it score well and claim strong results. Here's an excerpt from the column:
By David House/Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Every page in a daily newspaper holds personal impact for many readers, but none more so than the comics pages.
There, characters and readers -- and the newspaper that brings them together -- can bond in close relationships that may last for a lifetime, even long after a comic strip is no longer syndicated. So it's no small matter when a newspaper wants to gauge such relationships via comics surveys.
The Star-Telegram's survey taken in December found a lively array of relationships between a diverse readership and the 42 features carried daily in the two-page comics package. Overall performance is stronger than two years ago, when the last survey was conducted.
In all, 3,399 readers -- hard-core devotees of comics, no doubt -- took time to complete either online or in-paper ballots to help us gauge our comics' performance. (To the reader who cast more than 900 ballots electronically and the reader who cast more than 600: Your ballots were pitched. But call or e-mail me. I'd like to know what you were thinking.)
Despite technological enhancement, the survey isn't scientific, but results indicate that the Star-Telegram is publishing a well-balanced package. Nearly every feature draws significant readership, generating across-the-board strength that carries an unwritten warning: Don't mess with this.