Two suggestions

Discussion of the yearly awards for best comic in various categories.

Two suggestions

Postby William G on Sun May 08, 2005 12:07 am

I'm in the middle of putting up some nominees right now, and it struck me that maybe "Best B&W" would work better as "Best Monochrome" or something similar.

There are a few comics out there that use a single color much in the same manner as other use greytone. Rather than make a new catergory, I think an all encompassing one such as what I suggested may be better.

I know it's too late this year, but next year maybe.

ANNNNND:

Homestar Runner is NOT a comic. It's a flash cartoon site. It shouldn't even be considered, let alone win like it did last year.
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Postby Zortic on Sun May 08, 2005 12:44 pm

The "Outstanding Monocrome" suggestion is a good one, I'll try to remember to bring it up for next year! Thank you.

As for Homestar Runner... Webcomics are a strange medium, especially when you're adding non-traditional elements like Flash. So how do you define what is and isn't a webcomic? Lots of voters obviously agreed that it is a webcomic and deserved the award. One of the foundations of these awards is that none of us is any more important than any other of us. So I have no authority to tell hundreds of voters that they're wrong. Usually all I can do is try to create a venue for them to express their opinions and allow them to create their own definitions (unless there's a much more blatent violation than that).

Fortunately one of the great things about these awards is the ability for anyone to express their viewpoints and help sway voters in any of the numerous creator forums or mailing lists. It seems to me that most voters are dying to find good titles to nominate, so it never hurts to throw out a range of suggestions for people to look at and consider. The goal of these awards is to make people look at more comics! So please don't be afraid to help people out!

Thanks for your suggestions.
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Postby William G on Mon May 09, 2005 5:48 am

Zortic wrote:So how do you define what is and isn't a webcomic?

Animation is a passive experience. The viewer sits back and does nothing to progress through. Comics are active, they require the reader's participation or else they simply do not work.

Homestar Runner is an animation. Allowing it to compete is on par with putting "Badgers, Badgers, Badgers" into the running.

So I have no authority to tell hundreds of voters that they're wrong.

This is true, you're not the king. But they're still wrong. As is allowing it to be considered in the first place. And really, if the comittee will allow non-comic mediums into the process, then there's nothing that disallows something like a "MILF hunter" video.

So while you guys arent the bosses of public opinion, you are the ones putting the effort into running the damned thing, and I think that does give you all some authority to draw a few lines. Much in the same way the Oscars dont give awards for TV shows.

Oh yeah, is this the only place where the awards can be hashed out in public? I notice that the mail list is limited to the use of the moderators.
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Postby Zortic on Mon May 09, 2005 7:19 am

There is a process for disqualifying nominees. It requires complete agreement by the committee that a nominee doesn't fit the criteria to eliminate it.

But remember, we're not talking about a generic "comic" category. We're talking about a category specifically for the use of animation. So how do you reward the use of Flash, then disqualify a comic because it uses Flash?

And yes, this is the only official WCCA spot for the general public. However, most webcomic communities will soon be generating their own discussions about the awards.
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Postby William G on Mon May 09, 2005 9:30 am

And yes, this is the only official WCCA spot for the general public.

Perfect place to talk about it then.

But remember, we're not talking about a generic "comic" category. We're talking about a category specifically for the use of animation. So how do you reward the use of Flash, then disqualify a comic because it uses Flash?

So it's a pure animation category then?

Because there are a lot of works that use Flash (and variants) as an interface or as a way to produce smaller file sizes that arent animations, Merlin Goodbrey's works for example. But they sure aint cartoons.

There's a difference between using animation within the comic itself and it being a pure animation. I know that it can be a fine line at times, and I understand that you guys have been trying to be as encompassing as possible so everyone gets a chance, but when it comes down to it, Homestar Runner is not a comic in any single way.

Seriously though, I'm not bitching about it just for shits and giggles. It's not a borderline case at all: It simply does not belong. And having it there does a disservice to artists who actually are trying to integrate flash with comics.
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Postby Zortic on Tue May 10, 2005 5:01 am

So it's a pure animation category then?

Because there are a lot of works that use Flash (and variants) as an interface or as a way to produce smaller file sizes that arent animations, Merlin Goodbrey's works for example. But they sure aint cartoons.


Maybe "pure" animation, maybe not. Animation is certainly something that "can't be done in print comics" (as stated in the description). People have been wanting us to create an Animation category, allowing animation in this category might be a nice inbetween step. But we certainly don't want to restrict it to only animation.

The point is that there's enough grey area in the category to keep everyone from agreeing. It's a tricky category because we want it to be open enough to include any creative use of the medium, but then the line becomes completely subjective. So who's most qualified to determine the subjective? The whole point of these awards is to allow the masses to make their definitions as much as possible.

Bear in mind that none of this is disagreeing with you. What needs to be done is more public education. I really appreciate what you're doing. Not only are you asking people to think before they vote, but you're offering suggestions and encouraging people to look at other options. Please keep that up, not only here, but anywhere you see a WCCA discussion going on.
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Postby William G on Tue May 10, 2005 5:30 am

Zortic wrote: So who's most qualified to determine the subjective?

There's nothing subjective about it, man. Homestar Runner is simply not a comic. I mean, really, a seperate animation category would fit it perfectly, but it getting lumped into an awards ceremony that is about comics just doesn't work.

I'm just going to have to yell at people who tell me they voted for it, I guess.

Bear in mind that none of this is disagreeing with you. What needs to be done is more public education. I really appreciate what you're doing. Not only are you asking people to think before they vote, but you're offering suggestions and encouraging people to look at other options. Please keep that up, not only here, but anywhere you see a WCCA discussion going on.

Call me arrogant, but one of my goals to either make the webcomics "community" less sheep-like, or give up trying.
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Postby Boneweasel on Tue May 10, 2005 10:12 pm

I enjoy Homestar Runner but I do agree with William G that it is not a comic, but an animation. Could the confusion be because Homestar Runner could be considered a cartoon on the web and the awards are called the Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards? It is pretty obvious from the mission statement though and the award categories that the intention of the awards is to recognize comics.


I do think that the description for the Outstanding Use of Flash Category is dead on what it needs to be. The problem I have though is that the description says "what cannot be done in print comics" (which is what I think it needs to be) but several comics get nominated that are simply doing a print comic in flash. I think the masses should be educated first on this issue before being educated concerning Homestar Runner.
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Postby William G on Wed May 11, 2005 10:00 am

Boneweasel wrote:I think the masses should be educated first on this issue before being educated concerning Homestar Runner.

I think they need to go hand in hand. Much like how safe sex and how to use a condom are inseperable.
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Postby Boneweasel on Thu May 12, 2005 12:50 pm

William G wrote:Because there are a lot of works that use Flash (and variants) as an interface or as a way to produce smaller file sizes that arent animations.....



I mean't to comment on this in my last post concerning "what cannot be done in print comics." I've noticed several people say that this category should include comics that just use flash to get their file sizes smaller. I don't consider that to be any more outstanding than using the "save for web" feature to optimize your images in photoshop. So I think what people are really saying when they vote for a comic in the flash category just because they use it to make their files sizes smaller is "I'm voting for this comic because it has an outstanding story/art/writing, etc. and and it just happens to be saved as a flash file.


Now I'm not saying that outstanding story/art/writing, etc. shouldn't be considered when voting for a flash comic, BUT if that is all that is being considered, then the flash category shouldn't exist. That's what the other categories are for.
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Postby Zortic on Thu May 12, 2005 6:30 pm

Boneweasel wrote:Now I'm not saying that outstanding story/art/writing, etc. shouldn't be considered when voting for a flash comic, BUT if that is all that is being considered, then the flash category shouldn't exist. That's what the other categories are for.


Note that the Flash category does fall under the "Art" tier, so comics should be judged for their visual effectiveness.

In terms of it's writing, a flash comic would fit under any of the writing categories just like any other comic.
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Postby Brideau on Sun May 15, 2005 8:48 am

I'm gonna have to go with William G. on this one, I was really surprised to see Homestar Runner win last year, let alone nominated. This year I didn't even nominate anyone in the flash catagory, because I don't really know any cartoons that use Flash. And it's kind of weird, there are a lot of cartoons out there that DONT use flash that do things that can not be done in print comics using animated gifs, and hyperlinks.

I think including something like Homestar Runner that is A. Not a comic and B. Such a massive powehouse of a website (recently profiled on NPR's All Things Considered), it really makes it difficult for actual webcomics that are breaking new ground in design and interaction to have a fair shot.

Return of the King didn't get nominated for best animated feature, but I bet if it did, it would have won that oscar too.
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Postby Zortic on Sun May 15, 2005 11:26 am

brideau wrote:This year I didn't even nominate anyone in the flash catagory, because I don't really know any cartoons that use Flash.


Whoa, be careful there. Not voting is just going to allow those kind of decisions to be made. There have been several samples of better nominees given (and watch for other discussions elsewhere). Check them out and put them down if you don't have any better ideas. Remember, all you're doing at this point is getting some titles onto the ballot, if we can get some good alternatives going there, we can all make a better decision.

I know on his blog William G pointed out the evils of being a lemming and blindly following his (or anyone's) suggestions. But it's useless to complain about what wins if you're not doing anything to bring us better choices.

brideau wrote:And it's kind of weird, there are a lot of cartoons out there that DONT use flash that do things that can not be done in print comics using animated gifs, and hyperlinks.


Go ahead and try to nominate them. Speaking personally, I think that matches the spirit of this category better than whether or not it used some specific program.

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