A BuR (pronounced "berr") is a buried reference. Occasionally I will drop a quote, oblique reference, plot device or character from a book, film, song, TV show, videogame or another online comic, into the StickManStickMan chronicles. A good example of a BuR occurs quite early on in the archive (which you should go and read if you have the chance). One of the stickmen is put under enormous stress while playing a video game and subsequently goes "Super-Tetris", which gives him glowing hair and amazing gaming prowess. Now, in the Japanese anime Dragonball Z, there is an event where a member of a humanoid race called Saiyans is put under enormous emotional stress and the goes "Super-Saiyan", whereby his hair glows like fire and he gains immense fighting ability. Anybody who's seen DBZ and read the StickManStickMan comic will instantly recognise the link. This is a buried reference to DBZ; a BuR, if you will.
Buried references are the very meat and drink of online comics, but StickManStickMan was the first comic to offer recognition for finding them. From the start of the strip's run up to the end of April 2004, I let readers send in references they'd spotted and tabulated them on a chart.
The rankings were closed to submissions on April 26, 2004.
Why did I stop accepting submissions? Several reasons. Firstly, it was becoming a hassle to update the rankings at all; keeping track of the whole business was time-consuming and I'm now at the stage where I have a lot of important work to do for university. Secondly, it was becoming messy. At the start, I never sat down and laid any ground rules as to what constituted a reference and what didn't; I judged them on a case by case basis, and while I tried to do the best I could, I'm pretty sure I contradicted myself many times. For that, I apologise - but be assured I showed no favouritism, and when you read the final standings you'll agree that there is room for such errors, so it didn't make much difference in the end.
I'd like to personally thank the top three BuR hunters - in alphabetical order, Boter, Jim Miles and Jymbob. You've showed a lot of dedication, concentration and competitive spirit to go through over 800 strips picking up the subtleties. In the end, I think the overall winner simply had the best knowledge of my kind of pop culture, but you all did really well. I'm gratified that you tried so hard, and I hope that you'll continue to read even though you won't be able to submit any references you spot.
Well, here goes. In reverse order, the Buried References Hunters' Final Standings:
|=13th||Will White||2 BuRs|
|6th||Terry Ip||10 BuRs|
|2nd||Jim Miles||76 BuRs|