Long Chapters vs. Short Chapterson January 31st, 2012
Which is better for webcomics, long chapters or short chapters? I realize not all webcomics use the chapter system, but for those that do (like SuperFogeys), which is best? I think about this often. The average SuperFogeys chapter is about 30 strips, but some have been much shorter, and at least one is twice that length. Does it matter?
I think one of the advantages of shorter chapters is that I can hone in on a moment or a character. The shortest SF chapter, Chapter 8, “The Captain and the Spy,” was an intense little character study of Cap and Spy Gal. I liked it at the time and felt it was necessary, but it doesn’t get talked about much when people look back on SF history. Same with Chapter 11, “The Doctor and the Doctor.” Most refer to the last strip in 11, if they refer to it at all. I wonder if these shorter chapters are seen as too slight.
Contrast that with chapters like Chapter 7, “Visiting Day” and Chapter 10, “Bubbles of Light.” A lot happened in those chapters and people seem to really dig them. Does the length help them? Or is it just the high degree of incident?
And what of Chapter 12, “Jackpot!”? 62 episodes total. Some have said that this chapter has dragged because, according to them, not much happened in the first half. Others have told me it’s their favorite so far because of all that’s gone on from the very first episode. Which is it?
I’d love to know your thoughts. Which, as a reader, do you tend to prefer? Long chapters or short ones?