"Page Views" and "hits" are not good measures
I've never really had much "interaction" with The Oatmeal (ie, vaguely heard of it, never visited it) until this recent fuss over copying and the Carreon lawyer.
However, what bothers me about this money/publicity grab, are the stats. Yes - those boring things called "numbers". Statisticians love to manipulate them into "facts" they can twist.
Raw "realists" like to see the same numbers to try to de-personalize the results.
The Oatmeal stats: per his own "comic" page about it, he says: averages 7m unique visitors, 30m page views-- what length? Per day (each person doing 4 pages?) Per month, with only ~230k visitors/day (each doing 4 pages)...???
The next paragraph says 100m visitors in 3 years, with 1B total pages. That means each visitor only averaged 10 pages. Assuming 90% only read one page, hated it, and never came back... then, over 3 years, each only did 100 pages - or 30 pages a year (3 pages per month)... hardly "impressive" for a daily comic.
Thus, sadly, if you assume 20 pages per person per month - that is 1 million viewers (720M page views over 3 years) and ~300k "one time" viewers.
:Beer, because the math / advertizing rates / The Oatmeal income rates... fails to match no matter how I torture the stats.