Commentary on the WCCAs

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

Commentary on the WCCAs

Postby NotoriousMEQ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:44 pm

I know you guys are girding your loins for a new year of criticism, so I feel I gotta get mine in first!
http://webcomicsarefromuranus.blogspot.com/2007/01/whats-wrong-with-wccas.html

Keep in mind this comes from a supporter of the WCCAs, who wants nothing better than for them to succeed. Also I'm really glad I got to nominate!

-megs
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Postby Komiyan on Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:16 pm

Total agreement about the amount of catagories. It took me about three days to fill out my form, mostly because I couldn't think of, say, three photographic comics or one panel comics or sci fi comics or blah blah blah. The last thing you really need is a section for nominating more catagories. Sure, people will suggest more, but that's mostly because everyone wants to see a catagory where their comic stands a chance.

Also, I took it as an unwritten rule that you don't vote for yourself. Does anyone actually do that? D:
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Postby Spqrblues on Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:11 pm

Komiyan wrote:Total agreement about the amount of catagories. It took me about three days to fill out my form, mostly because I couldn't think of, say, three photographic comics or one panel comics or sci fi comics or blah blah blah.
...
Also, I took it as an unwritten rule that you don't vote for yourself. Does anyone actually do that? D:

To be honest? I looked around to see whether that was a written rule. My temptation was to just fill in myself if I couldn't think of a third nominee in a category I felt my comic qualified for. But not if I honestly didn't think my comic fit the bill.

I don't mind the amount of categories. A science fiction comic isn't the same beastie as a romance comic. These get their own awards in the book world, because their audiences are so different, even though there are also literary prizes for "book" in general. I don't happen to read enough sf comics to come up with three nominees, and that's fine. People who read a lot of them there gamer comics can nominate those. I do happen to read a lot of photographic "fumetti" comics, so I'm glad to see them get some recognition as "real comics" and some recognition that their target audiences might be an unusual group of readers.

On this topic... I was at MOCCA comic art museum discussing an upcoming Interstitial Arts Foundation program. IAF is about promoting works that don't fit specific categories, and my task is to think of how webcomics as a whole or individual comics might be uncategorisable. I wouldn't want to see dozens of categories in an attempt to capture every possible type of comic, as I think the more general categories catch most of the "interstitial" works. But I don't think we go wrong in at least considering the major bookstore-shelf categories when nominating more nominating categories.
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Postby RemusShepherd on Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:12 pm

As I understand it, you don't have to nominate in every category, but in any category in which you do vote you have to supply three nominations.

I hope that's the way it works, because I only did five or six categories. In many of the categories listed I'm totally unqualified -- I don't read 'Slice of Life' comics so I can't judge them, and I'm colorblind so 'Best use of Color' is not something I should get near at all.

As for nominating yourself, I've heard that it's okay because you're supplying two other names as competition. But I still didn't do it. :)
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Postby Spqrblues on Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:16 pm

RemusShepherd wrote:As I understand it, you don't have to nominate in every category, but in any category in which you do vote you have to supply three nominations.

If that's the case, several of my nominees won't count. I'll check the instructions. Let's see... the site says: Registered voters can nominate up to three of their favorite comics in a series of categories. But, it should also be noted that any ballots with more than 3 nominees in any category would nullify the nominations made by that person for that category.

"Up to three," so it looks like I did it right, but it sounds like you missed the opportunity to make a few nominations.

ETA: after reading the article...

What I like about the awards: An opportunity to network, to get to know many other comics, and an opportunity to introduce my own work to other artists. An opportunity to pay a compliment to those comic creators you've been admiring from a distance. It's a little like going to the boozer-schmoozer at SPX or some other indy convention, except that the participants are encouraged to take a serious look at one another's comics, not just get drunk and have a "how many tomatoes can I fit in my mouth?" contest. Though, that's fun, too.

What I like about the variety of categories: Sure, they encourage me to look at comics I don't normally read, and to learn what's out there in the furry or superhero or whatever genres. But, more than that, they've made me think about what makes various components of a comic stand out. Not every comic has every component. But when I realised that, hey, in my twisty little opinion, some of the best rendered characters in webcomicdom are the ones in Order of the Stick, I opened up my own eyes to seeing all comics, web or print, in an entirely new way.
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Postby NotoriousMEQ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:22 pm

RemusShepherd wrote:As I understand it, you don't have to nominate in every category, but in any category in which you do vote you have to supply three nominations.


What? No, of course not. You can vote/nominate for up to three in each category. And yes, you don't have to vote/nominate in every category.

See, this is why it needs to be simpler. Because people are dumb. Me included.

And it's pretty stupid how many people do vote for their own comic and are in this to promote their own comics. Just ask the people who tally the nominations how many ballots have the same comic in every vaguely applicable category. I've never voted for myself and never nominated myself, yet my comics have had both happen. You voting for yourself doesn't really impact.

But geez, major bookstore-shelf categories may be useful for the Keenspot front page for instance, but when it comes to supposedly picking out some of the best comics? Classifying them is difficult and sort of goes against the spirit of the internet, which doesn't see a need to put things in neat little boxes. People are free to create whatever they like without having to worry about "how to sell it to a bookstore" or where it will get stocked if it's a romance in space in play form about how to code CSS. And something like photography comics elevates the two (I've heard there's three) photography comics to a level they might not have necessarily achieved simply as comics.

Oh man, there are so many other venues now for learning about new comics and socializing and promoting your comic that these awards don't need to be the end-all, be-all of all that.

-megs
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Postby Spqrblues on Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:31 pm

I am so tired I can't manage anything too coherent, but as long as I'm awake, here are some quick thoughts.

NotoriousMEQ wrote:And it's pretty stupid how many people do vote for their own comic and are in this to promote their own comics. Just ask the people who tally the nominations how many ballots have the same comic in every vaguely applicable category. I've never voted for myself and never nominated myself, yet my comics have had both happen. You voting for yourself doesn't really impact.

Serious question: Should an artist be trusted to decide whether their own comic genuinely does deserve to be nominated? Or would it be better if the rules of any such competition prohibit self-nomination? Myself, I don't see why one shouldn't self-nominate, or otherwise vote for oneself. For WCCA in specific, you can't nominate yourself three times in one category; and if you end up being the only person to nominate yourself, then, hey, you got one nomination. Yippee-dippy. Maybe the artist thinks his comic really is the best one in the whole world, out of egotism, genuine talent, or the self delusion that sustains devoting a couple of hours every day to his Aaart.

And something like photography comics elevates the two (I've heard there's three) photography comics to a level they might not have necessarily achieved simply as comics.

I read quite a few photographic comics (and don't read quite a few others that I don't like), so the category is meaningful to me. But I do know it seems an odd category to people who aren't familiar with the variety out there.

Oh man, there are so many other venues now for learning about new comics and socializing and promoting your comic that these awards don't need to be the end-all, be-all of all that.

Can you recommend some of the best places for doing so? Well, other than insular places like "the message board where your comic is hosted." I wouldn't consider something like WCCA a be-all for anything, just another place to meet-and-greet. If one's aim is to find the maximum number of people who will enjoy hearing one's story, self promotion is a necessary thing.

Now... sleep...
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Postby Davidcsimon on Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:43 am

spqrblues wrote:Serious question: Should an artist be trusted to decide whether their own comic genuinely does deserve to be nominated? Or would it be better if the rules of any such competition prohibit self-nomination? Myself, I don't see why one shouldn't self-nominate, or otherwise vote for oneself. For WCCA in specific, you can't nominate yourself three times in one category; and if you end up being the only person to nominate yourself, then, hey, you got one nomination. Yippee-dippy. Maybe the artist thinks his comic really is the best one in the whole world, out of egotism, genuine talent, or the self delusion that sustains devoting a couple of hours every day to his Aaart.

I see nothing wrong with self-nomination - in political elections the candidates are allowed (in fact, they're expected) to vote for themselves. But yes, it lacks significance if we just list our own comic in every category where it *might* qualify, and don't nominate anything else.

I read quite a few photographic comics (and don't read quite a few others that I don't like), so the category is meaningful to me. But I do know it seems an odd category to people who aren't familiar with the variety out there.

It's odd to me because it's pretty much the only category which is specific to process rather than product. Colour, B&W, Layout etc. all refer to the final product regardless of the process (one could conceiveably win in these categories with a photo-comic, or a traditionally drawn comic), but if we're going to have "Photographic Comic" as a category, then we should probably start including other processes such as "Traditional", "Digital", "3D" and even "Sprite". Personally I think it's better just to focus on the final result, regardless of process (though I'd love to see 3D as a category, for obviously selfish reasons).
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Postby Drathan on Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:01 am

Hmm.. .. (disclaimer: the following are my opinions only, and I may be misinformed, for instance, in assuming there are more slice of life comics than there are fantasy ones, etc)

* About self-nomination: If there was only one spot per category, I would agree self-nominating is a bad thing. But three spots per category strikes me as very wise; even if you do nominate yourself you can still give credit to two others. We're dealing with human nature here. I've learned that many artists secretly (notice I said secretly) do consider themselves -reeealllly- good and do dream of going as far as hollywood or something. Webcomics can be -really- hard work, and to keep them fueled you need matching sized ambition and self-esteem; if you run out of either the comic is likely to just stop. Its either shameless or gutsy to admit this, but many would find themselves hard pressed to nominate -anything- other than themselves if there was only one spot per category, and that category was particularly dear to their heart. Admitting that something else is better would chip away at the... logical construct in your mind that justifies all those all-nighters away from your loved ones spent coloring. Having three spots resolves this issue elegantly, allowing us to say "yes, my baby, my pride and joy whereupon I sacrifice every hour of my free time and have invested a great deal of my daydreams of the future is indeed this good (and thusly I'm not crazy nor deluded spending 20 hours per week on it, pfiew!), but... so are X and Y comics".

* Good categories IMHO are those which meet two criteria: a) are easily understood by the voters, and b) enough comics qualify inside it for the winners to be truly "out-standing". I have to say there's a lot of photographic comics out there, maybe more than romance ones I dare say. And since voters easily understand what it means, then I would say this category meets both criteria. Now, I dont think anyone seriously designs a comic with the intention of making it fit into a category; from what I've seen is usually the other way around: we make what we want to make, and then we see if it fits here or there or not, and that is as it should be IMHO. Since my morning meeting is late and I've nothing better to do at the moment, I decided to apply the criteria to this year's categories, please forgive the self indulgence:

Category----------a) Understood --------- b) Population----- TOTAL

Newcomer------------- 3pts --------------------- 3pts ---------- 6pts
Comic------------------ 3pts --------------------- 3pts ---------- 6pts
Artist------------------- 3pts --------------------- 3pts ---------- 6pts
Layout----------------- 2pts ---------------------- 3pts ---------- 5pts
Use of Color ---------- 3pts ---------------------- 2pts --------- 5pts
B&W Art --------------- 3pts ---------------------- 2pts --------- 5pts
Photographic ---------- 3pts ---------------------- 2pts --------- 5pts
Character Rendering -- 2pts --------------------- 2pts --------- 4pts
Enviroment Design ---- 2pts --------------------- 2pts --------- 4pts
Website Design -------- 3pts --------------------- 3pts --------- 6pts
Use of Medium --------- 2pts --------------------- 2pts --------- 4pts
Writer ------------------- 3pts --------------------- 3pts --------- 6pts
Character Writing ------ 3pts --------------------- 3pts --------- 6pts
Long Form -------------- 3pts --------------------- 3pts --------- 6pts
Short Form ------------- 3pts --------------------- 3pts --------- 6pts
Single Panel ------------ 3pts --------------------- 1pt ---------- 4pts
Comedic Form --------- 3pts ---------------------- 3pts -------- 6pts
Dramatic Form --------- 3pts --------------------- 3pts --------- 6pts
Anthropomorphic ------- 2pts -------------------- 2pts --------- 4pts
Fantasy ------------------ 2pts -------------------- 2pts --------- 4pts
Gaming ------------------ 3pts --------------------- 6pts -------- 6pts
Slice of Life ------------- 3pts --------------------- 3pts --------- 6pts
Romantic ---------------- 3pts -------------------- 1pt ----------- 4pts
Sci-Fi -------------------- 3pts --------------------- 2pts --------- 5pts
SuperHero -------------- 3pts --------------------- 2pts --------- 5pts

I chose a scale of 3 points so we basically have "bad, okay, and good". If you wish to weigh one criteria over another, simply multiply. For example, if I thought population is slightly more important than understanding, I would multiply the points of population times 3, and the ones of understanding times 2. Once there is agreement over the weights and estimations you just need a cutoff point, say, all categories with 5 or more total points are okay, or, all categories with 4 or more total points that however didnt score a 1 in either criteria, etc.

Anyway, my meeting started, sorry for the huuuge post, this is what happens when miami traffic affects the workplace :)


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Postby RemusShepherd on Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:19 am

NotoriousMEQ wrote: What? No, of course not. You can vote/nominate for up to three in each category. And yes, you don't have to vote/nominate in every category.


(shrug) Oh, well. Long as my nominations are recorded, I'm happy. :)

See, this is why it needs to be simpler. Because people are dumb. Me included.


Me too. :) It doesn't help that the rules of the WCCA are only (that I could find) included in the bylaws of the organization, in a very long tangle of legalese.

On the one hand, the difficulty of participating has a good effect of reducing participation to those who are determined to contribute something useful. On the other hand...it's a bad thing when something as simple as a popularity contest has high barriers to contribution. (shrug again) Oh, well, if I ran it I'd run it differently, but I don't, so more power to them. :)
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Postby Spqrblues on Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:35 am

davidcsimon wrote:It's odd to me because it's pretty much the only category which is specific to process rather than product. Colour, B&W, Layout etc. all refer to the final product regardless of the process (one could conceiveably win in these categories with a photo-comic, or a traditionally drawn comic), but if we're going to have "Photographic Comic" as a category, then we should probably start including other processes such as "Traditional", "Digital", "3D" and even "Sprite". Personally I think it's better just to focus on the final result, regardless of process (though I'd love to see 3D as a category, for obviously selfish reasons).

One of the functions of this category of award right now is to legitimise photocomics/fumetti/whatever-you-want-to-call-them in the webcomics world. A year ago I remember having debates in various places as to whether or not a photocomic is really a webcomic at all, is it really art at all, "they're all bad," "there are only a couple of photocomics," etc. etc.

Maybe next year the category won't be necessary, but in 2007 it acknowledges the proliferation of and an emerging acceptance of a certain type of work that has, generally speaking, been disregarded, ignored, and actively disdained online. Will I think, in 2008, that it needs to be its own category, on a level with b&w versus colour work? I personally believe b&w and colour work are distinctly different disciplines (and I work primarily in b&w instead of colour by choice), but there may be people who disagree with that, too.

Digital and traditional are distinctly different disciplines, but there's often no clear demarcation between drawn, drawn-and-touched-up-digitally, drawn-then-coloured-digitally, etc. The distinctions only finally become clear and meaningful at "drawn versus 3D and sprite." On consideration, I don't think this merits "drawn" and "digital" categories, because both results are accepted as being comics and art with equal end results, and a "use of the medium" category will capture anything that goes beyond the edge of "a drawing transplanted from page to screen." Well, people do still argue about sprite comics, I'm told.

Other categories may serve a purpose when a particular genre is massively overrepresented and has become an entity in itself--hence a category for "gaming." A random, made-up example would be, say, separating out comics into the ten thousand gaming comics, five thousand high fantasy comics, and two thousand comics not about gaming or high fantasy that many potential voters would not take a look at because they only see the 15,000 gaming and fantasy comics. Of course I am making up numbers. Would I love to see an historical category? Sure--it's a very different type of work than creating slice-of-life or romance or science fiction. Should it be a 2008 category? I brought up the question for discussion on my nominating form, and the answer is for others to decide. Maybe the more meaningful thing to do is get historical webcomics recognised by groups that review and reward historical fiction in general. But the discussion is always valuable.

drathan wrote:Having three spots resolves this issue elegantly, allowing us to say "yes, my baby, my pride and joy whereupon I sacrifice every hour of my free time and have invested a great deal of my daydreams of the future is indeed this good (and thusly I'm not crazy nor deluded spending 20 hours per week on it, pfiew!), but... so are X and Y comics".

Marco, you said clearly what I was walking all around. Thank you.
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Postby NotoriousMEQ on Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:01 am

I think the problem is that you all who actually post here and CARE about these awards are really not so much the problem (stupid as we may be!). Y'all THINK about who to put in for your noms. If you put yourself in, it's measured and tastefully done.

You are not the problem.

Yesterday Damonk sat in the next room and counted nominees. He kept laughing and groaning at people's choices. Either it was their comic in every category, or theirs AND their buddies' comics. Or PvP or Penny Arcade for everything.

Categories that are too specific discriminate against those who do not qualify and elevate those that do. It's very simple. Yes, I'm sure there are nice photography comics that deserve attention. But keep in mind with the increase in webcomics blogging and review sites, you don't really need to use awards for the same purpose as recommending. As if no one pays attention to photography webcomics. They get mentions on websnark and all kinds of blogs. McKenzee is so darn active in the community it'd be hard to miss his comic.

It seems like people aren't coming right out and saying it, but it seems to me like the biggest reason for keeping the excess of categories is that the more categories there are, the better my chances for getting an award.
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Postby Spqrblues on Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:49 am

NotoriousMEQ wrote:Categories that are too specific discriminate against those who do not qualify and elevate those that do.
...
As if no one pays attention to photography webcomics. They get mentions on websnark and all kinds of blogs. McKenzee is so darn active in the community it'd be hard to miss his comic.
...
It seems like people aren't coming right out and saying it, but it seems to me like the biggest reason for keeping the excess of categories is that the more categories there are, the better my chances for getting an award.

You'd probably think otherwise, since I suggested an historical category and I now draw a comic that fits this category, but that's not my reasoning at all. On the contrary, I read historical webcomics because I like the genre, and I started out doing a slice-of-life, journal-type comic, until a friend suggested I tell a story I'd only hinted at in the comic one day as a joke. It hadn't occurred to me to tell this type of story in anything other than straight prose. Fine for people like Donna Barr, but me, oh no, oh--could I really do that? Now that I do, I am aware of how many are out there. As I've mentioned, I'd rather they be recognised by a larger reading and reviewing community as "historical literature" rather than within the rarefied webcomic community as "the historical subset of webcomics."

"Recommending" and "recognising and gaining recognition through an award" are two very different processes that serve different ends. With the speed of change online, though, perhaps the "there are hardly any photocomics and also they are bad and also they aren't comics" arguments are now dusty irrelevant history--though I do hear even on these message boards conflicting comments of "there aren't any" and "they get plenty of buzz," so I believe there is still some struggle going on. Until a week ago I had no idea McKenzee was a member of this community at all. Recently he posted on my lj, and I didn't know he was the creator of a comic I have read and admired until I poked around a bit. To find out he thinks my comic deserves award nomination is as good as receiving an award, to someone doing an oddball little comic like mine.

We'll have to respectfully disagree with each other on the topic of photocomics in general, as we have very different perspectives. But the difference in opinion fuels discussion and keeps me refining my thoughts, so, all it is good.
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Postby NotoriousMEQ on Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:16 am

OK, first point - SPQRBlues, please link to your comic now RIGHTNOW. I'm a classical languages major and yes, I've been eyeing your icon going "I hope that's a comic and not just one this person wants to do in the future because I want to read it now."

Second point - I did a historical old west comic (which I'd like to get back to, yes), but to me, I SELL it as a historical comic. It's also funny and dramatic and uses traditional and digital processes to art it up and is long form. I like for people to recommend it based on those qualities, but I don't classify it by them. I accept in a bookstore it'd have to go on some shelf somewhere, but on the internet it's so much freer and people don't go have to go into historical fiction to find it, because they may have no idea they like historical fiction.

Third point - My husband is a much bigger proponent of the idea that people on the committee and the like should leave their own comics out of it than most people, and yes, he's rubbed off on me. I think it's tremendously difficult to discuss purpose of awards if you're constantly thinking about your own webcomic or other webcomics you'd like to see get attention. This isn't about finding things that no one knows about and creating a category for them. This is about creating fair and simple awards and THEN telling everyone about your/other's comic(s) and getting attention and possibly an award for them. It feels very backwards to me.

Fourth point - webcomics is huge. People are shrugging off the idea of "community" and replacing it with "communities". I hang out socially in real life with webcomics people, but we're not reading too much (husband is probably back up to nearly a hundred comics he regularly reads, though. Weds and I talk Achewood.)

Fifth point - to clarify myself on photocomics. There are hardly any in my view, and they do get attention. I don't personally love A Softer World or Sinister Bedfellows, though I really admire them both as awesome things. I hear them both mentioned. I know there are more vaguely, but having no particular interest, didn't follow through links. But still, there really can't be more than half a dozen that would get nominated, if any more exist. The category seems tremendously narrow, especially as it excludes other forms of using images to create a comic other than drawn. What about Wondermark!, which is very similar to using photographs, what with the old clip art? Why not a clip art category, when there are likely more of those comics out there to compete for the award?

The problem with these categories is that you could keep adding them forever and wouldn't cover every webcomic. But they all still fall under "art" and "writing".

Just keep thinking - Jethro Tull winning the grammy for Best METAL album. If you have too narrow categories, stupid things happen.

-megs
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Postby Spqrblues on Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:02 am

I won't try to counter each of your points, as I've already posted most of my own, and we just plain disagree on philosophy and facts. Which doesn't mean "I'm right! You're wrong! Grr!" and of course I'm perfectly willing to go back through all my own points and consider whether or not they are as solid as I think they are. But I think I'll drive everyone here mad if I keep reiterating, something I have a tendency to do.

The only thing I'll clarify is that there are many types of communities online--one reason why awards and rec sights and review sites serve different purposes. If I say "webcomics community," I do not mean it in the stereotypical way of "a group of people who think alike and do the same thing," but in the more general sense of "people who read comics online and talk about them online, in all their varied glories." One thing I detest is when someone looks at me and says, "you're a member of the [insert social or political or regional or racial] community, what do all of you think about topic X?" So, though I may be unclear in my usage, I do not hold that particular opinion.

Now, what you actually asked was for me to include a link to my webcomic, SPQR Blues. It's mirrored in a variety of places for convenience, but right now the CG site is the easiest place to read through the archives. I won't be winning any awards for site design until I figure out how to prettify and clean up the layout a bit. If I could live in Herculaneum, I would. Modern, ancient, I don't care. If ancient, I'd be keeping a close eye on that mountain... well, if modern, I would be, too.
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Postby AFCErik on Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:12 pm

Last year, I started the lobbying effort to get the CCA to add an Outstanding Photographic Comic category. As a photo comic artist, I am very greatful that the CCA graced us with a category. Thank you for using your platform to help promote a newer art form!

Photocomics do not get the recognition or attention of drawn comics. Many of the posts in this thread reinforce that there is still a bias against them. Why? Are people only interested in drawings, and not other forms of art? Or story or humor?

People who "aren't interested in photo comics" don't have to nominate any. Just skip over that category and don't give it another thought. Although, if you are really interested in webcomics, you could spend a couple moments reviewing a newer comic art form that is trying to gain recognition and audience. You might find something you like.

Awards are all about recognition. The CCA are about recognition from the comic creator community. Part of the CCA's efforts, could be to expose the comic creator community to different forms of comics. I would hope that the comic creator community would not be so mired in traditional concepts of comic art that they would object to recognizing a new way of doing things.

There are dozens of photo web comics. Some are good, some are bad, some are average, just like drawn comics.

In the end, three things will happen:

1. The winner of the Outstanding Photographic Comic will get a bunch of recognition, and a bunch of new readers, hopefully. Maybe the nominees will, too.

2. If you check out some of the nominees and the winner, you might find a photographic comic you like, that makes you chuckle, or think, or whatever.

3. Photocomics will gain a bit of prestige, respect, and recognition from being a category.

IMO, these are all good things that harm no one.



And, if you don't know of any photocomics, check out

http://www.photowebcomics.com

You can also review this thread for more links to photo comics:

http://forums.comicgenesis.com/viewtopic.php?t=78838



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Postby NotoriousMEQ on Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:12 pm

(To SPQRBlues - awesome, awesome, and yes, we do have very different ideas. Don't want to be terribly antagonistic, but I'm really trying to make my points for a wider audience, not just you. But wooo... nice webcomic!)

To AFCErik - Thanks for the PSA! Dude, once again, people lobby for a category to help THEIR webcomic, totally ignoring the fact that they can vote for these webcomics in color, art, writing, newcomer and outstanding comic and whathaveyou! Why, why, why do they need a specific category?

Look, you've already got a nice webpage there with a list of them. Why not have your own award for best photowebcomic? Obviously people who read these comics are going to know more of them and be better at voting for them than people who don't read them.

Lordy,

Many of the posts in this thread reinforce that there is still a bias against them. Why?


Bias? No, um, that's "I've seen a couple, don't do much for me, moved on." Doesn't mean I'm biased. I'm not going to leap up if someone says "Here's a photocomic" any more than I'd leap up if someone said "Here's a comic drawn on paper." I DO leap up if someone says "This is a good comic." And yes, you were talking to me.

Same for sci-fi, or anthropomorphic, or horror, or whatever.

What's so special about photography that merits its own category, when it is a visual medium in B&W or color that an artist produces? Why have it as a category instead of "traditional painting"? Are you trying to say there's something radically different about using a photo as your visual than drawing? It totally changes the comic?

I seriously doubt that. I don't see anyone go into a comic shop and yell about Twisted Toyfare Theater and say they don't know how to read this, because it's so different from a comic.

The harm is that there are too many categories. This dilutes the awards and recognizes special interests while shirking the utter oddness of most webcomics that, since they don't need to be classified in a bookstore, defy easy categorizing.

There is harm in leaving in a category even though you don't have to write in anything, because people do. People are stupid, remember? Like I mentioned in my original blog entry, this results in only the most mainstream of a specialty field being recognized. It would be like letting everyone vote on every category of the Academy Awards, instead of letting the costume designers vote for costume design. I don't think it's feasible or worth it to sign people up for specific fields, so instead we should limit it to the sort of things everyone gets to vote. The "Best Pictures". The general categories that apply to everyone.
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Postby Pab Sungenis on Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:26 pm

Frankly, I did nominate myself for a couple of appropriate categories. Partly out of ego, I will admit. However, I didn't nominate myself where it wasn't appropriate, and I NEVER only nominated myself. I always put forward at least one, usually two, other worthy comics. I also posted to bring some other lesser-known but worthy strips to other people's attention, to give them a fighting chance.

I know that in at least one category where I nominated myself (best short form), if I make the cut I will NOT be voting for myself if one of the others I nominated makes the cut. I nominated, and might vote for, my own strip in some categories, but I'll be voting honestly and if there are better options, they will get my vote.

Really, if you stuff the ballot box for an award that has no real prize attached, then the only possible worth in the award (the fact that you've been acknowledged by your peers) is negated by your...well..."cheating" is such a strong word.
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Postby Mvmarcz on Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:17 pm

I have no moral issues with nominating myself

HOWEVER I would never just thoughtlessly nominate myself just to get on there.

I only nominate myself for something I honestly think I may have some claim to. For instance I would NEVER nominate myself for outstanding layout, artist, color, etc.
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Postby AFCErik on Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:34 pm

NotoriousMEQ ,

Are you saying lobbying for something that directly effects me is somehow less acceptable than lobbying for something that I have absolutely no interest in? I disagree with that.

Aren't you doing the same thing? By lobbying against the "dilution" of categories by adding photo comics, you are lobbying to help YOUR own drawn comic, aren't you?

The issue is that photo comics are not seen as being a webcomic. They are seen as something else. The CCA is helping us gain acceptance by making a category for us. And I am very grateful for it, as are the other photo artists.

The Outstanding Photographic Comic is one category out of 25. Do you think having 24 categories is more acceptable than 25? How many do you want to see? 10? 3? 1? What is an acceptable number?

Actually, yes, I do believe you have a bias if you're not willing to look at a few photo comics that other posters said are good comics. It's exactly the same way I am biased against romance comics. I don't read them, I don't know them, so I don't nominate them. But, I sure don't lobby to get them removed from gaining recognition.

I don't have the knowledge or time to make nominations in all the categories during this first round. However, when the list of nominees is announced, I plan to review the final nominees for all categories. I hope you do the same.

Photocomics merit their own category because it is a different way to create a webcomic. Different skills are involved. If the "traditional painting" artists want to lobby to get their own category, more power to them.

I don't see a problem with having 25 categories. CCA puts the biggies at the top of the list, and the rest are below.

How are the awards diluted?

People will scan the list of awards and click on the categories they are interested in. What's the big deal?

Each subgroup of webcomics is a special interest. Fantasy, horror, scifi. Are you saying we should have one category? Best Comic? That way, no special interest would be served. Well, only PvP or Penny Arcade or the other heavy hitters that would always get nominated in generic categories.

Having a multitude of categories promotes participation. I have no chance of winning the generic categories. Many romance, slice of life, and so on don't have a chance because we're all going up against uber popular, well-established comics. But, having several other categories give the smaller comics a chance.

Why should a special interest comic participate in a nomination process where only 5 or 10 or 15 comics get nominated out of thousands? The other categories give more people a chance for nomination, winning, and recognition.

If you don't want to nominate or participate in areas you aren't interested in, we're not asking you to. But, at least applaud the CCA for trying to do a bit of trailblazing to help out some less known areas of webcomics.
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