Commentary on the WCCAs

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

Postby Shin-goji on Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:48 pm

I would like to think that a category for photocomics IS necessary. Granted, it would boil down to just a few nominations, but come on, it's a valid genre and qualifies as a seperate and unique category.
Shin-goji
Newbie
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:11 am

Postby Davidcsimon on Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:39 pm

shin-goji wrote:I would like to think that a category for photocomics IS necessary. Granted, it would boil down to just a few nominations, but come on, it's a valid genre and qualifies as a seperate and unique category.

"Photocomic" is not a genre, it is a specific technique. Although I understand the need to try and break down certain prejudices regarding photocomics, I don't think it's right that there is an award purely for comics produced using a certain technique. If we're awarding"Outstanding "Photocomic", then we should also be awarding outstanding hand-drawn & coloured comic, digitally inked and coloured comic, 3D comic, sprite comic, etc.

But, as I've said before, I don't think it's wise to be awarding any of these categories (as much as I'd love to see a 3D category, for selfish reasons). Let's focus on the end product, rather than the process. Each webcomic should be judged by the potential of the medium, not the limitations of the artistic process.
Image
User avatar
Davidcsimon
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:10 pm

Postby Warofwinds on Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:47 pm

davidcsimon wrote:
shin-goji wrote:I would like to think that a category for photocomics IS necessary. Granted, it would boil down to just a few nominations, but come on, it's a valid genre and qualifies as a seperate and unique category.

"Photocomic" is not a genre, it is a specific technique. Although I understand the need to try and break down certain prejudices regarding photocomics, I don't think it's right that there is an award purely for comics produced using a certain technique. If we're awarding"Outstanding "Photocomic", then we should also be awarding outstanding hand-drawn & coloured comic, digitally inked and coloured comic, 3D comic, sprite comic, etc.

But, as I've said before, I don't think it's wise to be awarding any of these categories (as much as I'd love to see a 3D category, for selfish reasons). Let's focus on the end product, rather than the process. Each webcomic should be judged by the potential of the medium, not the limitations of the artistic process.


I think there definitely needs to be a category for 3D comics, and I don't make one. But there are more than enough of so many different styles that it should be right up there along with photocomics.

Also, the medium may be digital, but the making....that's very important too. Would you put Finding Nemo in the same category as Lord of the Rings? No. They may be the same medium, film, but they deserve to be judged on their own merits.
-Kez
ImageImageImage
User avatar
Warofwinds
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1088
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 7:46 pm
Location: Beneath stormy skies

Postby Davidcsimon on Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:01 am

warofwinds wrote:Also, the medium may be digital, but the making....that's very important too. Would you put Finding Nemo in the same category as Lord of the Rings? No. They may be the same medium, film, but they deserve to be judged on their own merits.

But surely, if we were to put Finding Nemo in the same category as Lord of the Rings, then we *would* be judging them on their own merits, instead of classifying them according to their technical process. Both films can be judged in terms of acting, direction, cinematography, art direction, musical score, screenplay etc. - categories which can be applied to *any* film ever made (unless it's something extraordinarily post-modern).

There was a time when animated films could be considered a genre of its own, but I hope we're gradually moving away from the expectation that "animation" means "fun for all the family". Animation will one day, hopefully, cease to b a genre and simply become a means to an end, and animated films *will* be compared to live action films. We're already seeing the lines between live-action and animation being blurred, with films like "A Scanner Darkly" (which primarily consisted of rotoscoped animation used live actors as reference), and the new Star Wars prequels (which had more animated characters than live ones).

Similarly, I hope to see photocomics (and 3D comics) judged not because they are photocomics (or 3d), but judged purely on their own merits. If photocomics really are that good, then they will be noticed and lauded. If this isn't happening at the moment, it is (IMO) because the quality of art in most photocomics (and a lot of 3D comics for that matter) is quite ordinary compared to the broader spectrum. In general, the work simply doesn't look as good, because hardly anyone actually puts in the time and effort required to take the work beyond a sequence of images into the realm of truly inspired art. It's quite possible to do, there are some extremely talented photographers out there who produce some beautiful work, but at the moment they don't seem to be applying their skills to comics. If we reward substandard work, then we risk encouraging laziness.

NB: I actually think that most of the Photocomic nominees for 2007 *do* have artistic merit which shows quite clearly, and are certainly noteworthy comics, but I believe that they are the exception rather than the rule. I want to see webcomics promoted because they are genuinely good, not because they were made in a certain way.
Image
User avatar
Davidcsimon
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:10 pm

Postby Angermouse on Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:19 am

I have a tiny bone to pick, and it has to do with terminology. I'm probably in the minority on this, but I feel that no matter how important we perceive the WCCA's - and I myself feel they're very important for us as a group - we shouldn't try to dress it up as anything more than what it is, a flat out popularity contest.

I'm not saying popularity contests are bad things - I've said it in other places, recognition for some of us is a whole hell of a lot better than recognition for none of us - but I feel it's important that the distinction be made between what the WCCA's are and what some of us may want them to be.

The change I propose is a tiny one. Change the 'Outstanding' (as in 'Outstanding Comic') to 'Favourite'.

Look, I'm all for credibility for webcomics (and don't say it can't happen; look what Moore and Gaiman and Spiegelman et al did for print comics). And I'm aware that changing 'Outstanding' to 'Favourite' would make the WCCA's seem just a bit less credible - but c'mon. Let's not kid ourselves.
Plus, I think many of the debates regarding merit vs. popularity would die with the pretense.

It's just one changed word, but it carries alot of weight.
/rant
Image
Image
Angermouse
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:13 am

Postby Komiyan on Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:08 pm

But favourite doesn't really work, as that's more of a personal issue.
Image
Image
User avatar
Komiyan
HOLD ON TO YOUR INTERNETS!!
 
Posts: 2726
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 11:35 am
Location: Hrmph.

Postby Angermouse on Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:07 pm

Komiyan wrote:But favourite doesn't really work, as that's more of a personal issue.


But it *is* a personal issue. The finalists were chosen from those who received the most nominations; and there's absolutely nothing to prevent people from choosing their favourites and absolutely nothing to encourage them to actually go out and look for comics that they haven't read but which might be worthy. Of course the comics which are most popular will inevitably get the most nods. It's a popular vote, any way you look at it. All I'm saying is that we shouldn't dress it up as anything else.
Image
Image
Angermouse
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:13 am

Postby Andrael on Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:27 pm

angermouse wrote:The finalists were chosen from those who received the most nominations; and there's absolutely nothing to prevent people from choosing their favourites and absolutely nothing to encourage them to actually go out and look for comics that they haven't read but which might be worthy.

Well, just speaking for myself, let's say I'm given a list of five comics, one of which is a comic that I like and four of which are comics that I've never read before. If I'm told I have to choose the most "Outstanding Comic" from among those five, I would think, "Hmm, I know nothing about those other four comics. I'd better take a look at them and see how outstanding they are before I make my choice." On the other hand, if I'm told to choose my "Favourite Comic" from those five, I already know my answer -- the one comic that I actually read.

angermouse wrote:Of course the comics which are most popular will inevitably get the most nods. It's a popular vote, any way you look at it. All I'm saying is that we shouldn't dress it up as anything else.


I dunno. While popularity/visibility is definitely a key factor in these awards, it's only one of several factors. If it were really a straight-up popularity contest, then why aren't PvP and Penny Arcade nominated in every single possible category? They are far and away more popular than any of the other comics nominated; yet they only have two nominations each, and none of those are for "Outstanding Comic". In the meantime, relative unknowns like Lackadaisy have four nominations.
Andrael
Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 7:36 am

Postby Drathan on Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:16 am

angermouse wrote:The change I propose is a tiny one. Change the 'Outstanding' (as in 'Outstanding Comic') to 'Favourite'.


I completely agree. To name just one example, Jdalton has been drawing this year things just as wonderful as the ones he drew last year. But this year fortunately more people knew about it. Like I posted in some other forum, for this contest being well-known counts as much (or maybe more) than being well-made, and nominations are a testament to the author's PR skills as much as they are to their comic-making skills. In other words, being known gets you in the door, and from there you discriminate by quality. Or the reverse: regardless of quality, unknowns haven't got a shot. The word change would make a lot of sense to me.
Image
User avatar
Drathan
Newbie
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:18 am
Location: Area 51. Heheh :)

Postby Komiyan on Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:49 am

angermouse wrote:
Komiyan wrote:But favourite doesn't really work, as that's more of a personal issue.


But it *is* a personal issue. The finalists were chosen from those who received the most nominations; and there's absolutely nothing to prevent people from choosing their favourites and absolutely nothing to encourage them to actually go out and look for comics that they haven't read but which might be worthy. Of course the comics which are most popular will inevitably get the most nods. It's a popular vote, any way you look at it. All I'm saying is that we shouldn't dress it up as anything else.
But then whatever wins and people will look at it and go 'well, that's not MY favourite.' That's all I meant.
Image
Image
User avatar
Komiyan
HOLD ON TO YOUR INTERNETS!!
 
Posts: 2726
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 11:35 am
Location: Hrmph.

Postby Dotty on Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:37 am

Outstanding is fine, and some of us DO look around and vote for comics based on what they know about them.

I really only follow anywhere from 5-10 webcomics at any given time, and periodically check up on somewhere in the area of 50. I nominated well over 20 titles, and several were ones I don't really read...until I looked around and read their archives and nominated them. I wouldn't consider them a favorite at all. Their art was outstanding, and their character designs flawless. They're not my favorite, either.

YOU might see it as a popularity contest, where we all nominate the comics we all like as a group in some kind of popularity high school thing....but really, come on. May as well ask any award show ANYWHERE not to use that word, considering they're ALL popularity contests based on your definition, since they require mass amounts of votes to win.

I think we should focus on streamlining this thing. That should definitely be the focus. The ballot is getting a liiiiiiiittle bit large, and there ARE other categories that need to be in there, like Best Adult Webcomic. I'm also unsure how I feel now that I know there's NOT a best sprite comic, if there IS a best Photo comic. I feel photocomic deserves a spot, as it can be quite a difficult thing to pull off.

Also...yeah. What Komi said. I'd hate to see "Favorite Webcomic: Megatokyo", because my immediate thought would be "NOT." Outstanding works, like it or not. Favorite could, but the wordings a little weird.

Besides, everything in the Outstanding categories are typically deserving. Except web design.
Caught in the headlamp glare of your own blinding vanity/Mesmerised by the stare of your shallow personality
Gorging the junk food of flattery you drag your fat ego around/Everyone floored by the battering you give to whoever's around
Oh Narcissus you petulant child admiring yourself in the curve of my eyes/Oh Narcissus you angel beguiled unsated by self you do nothing but die
User avatar
Dotty
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 2434
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:29 pm
Location: Drunk!

Postby Angermouse on Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:58 pm

andrael wrote:
I dunno. While popularity/visibility is definitely a key factor in these awards, it's only one of several factors. If it were really a straight-up popularity contest, then why aren't PvP and Penny Arcade nominated in every single possible category? They are far and away more popular than any of the other comics nominated; yet they only have two nominations each, and none of those are for "Outstanding Comic". In the meantime, relative unknowns like Lackadaisy have four nominations.


First off, congrats andrael on your well-deserved nom. 'No Rest For The Wicked' r0xx0rs.

Secondly, it's a popular vote within a specific demographic - specifically web cartoonists/comic creators. Hence the Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards. So while it's still a popular vote, because it's restricted to that demographic, the results of these awards of course will be different from one encompassing comics readers as a whole. Just like how the so-called 'Blue' states voted overwhelmingly Democratic, and yet Bush still managed to gain office. My point was that even for a vote within our community, visibility (that's the word I mean to use, thanks) is still an overwhelming factor.

TdotOdot2k wrote:Outstanding is fine, and some of us DO look around and vote for comics based on what they know about them.

I really only follow anywhere from 5-10 webcomics at any given time, and periodically check up on somewhere in the area of 50. I nominated well over 20 titles, and several were ones I don't really read...until I looked around and read their archives and nominated them. I wouldn't consider them a favorite at all. Their art was outstanding, and their character designs flawless. They're not my favorite, either.

YOU might see it as a popularity contest, where we all nominate the comics we all like as a group in some kind of popularity high school thing....but really, come on. May as well ask any award show ANYWHERE not to use that word, considering they're ALL popularity contests based on your definition, since they require mass amounts of votes to win.


If it were up to me, all awards requiring mass popular vote - up to and including the big ones like the Academy Awards - should be tagged 'Favourite' and not 'Best' or 'Outstanding'. But that's just me quibbling over terminology. I personally couldn't care less, because I'm not committed to those fields.

And you're making it sound like 'Favourite' is somehow less presitigious than 'Outstanding' just because it implies a popular vote. It's still just as good - the only difference is it's more accurate. Personally I'd rather get a 'Favourite' as voted by the sum total of my peers than an 'Oustanding' as decided by one anonymous jerk any day of the week.

TdotOdot2k wrote:I think we should focus on streamlining this thing. That should definitely be the focus. The ballot is getting a liiiiiiiittle bit large, and there ARE other categories that need to be in there, like Best Adult Webcomic. I'm also unsure how I feel now that I know there's NOT a best sprite comic, if there IS a best Photo comic. I feel photocomic deserves a spot, as it can be quite a difficult thing to pull off.

Also...yeah. What Komi said. I'd hate to see "Favorite Webcomic: Megatokyo", because my immediate thought would be "NOT." Outstanding works, like it or not. Favorite could, but the wordings a little weird.


Well, someone is always going to have an issue with the recipients, whether they're 'Favourite' or 'Outstanding'. If, theoretically, Megatokyo won 'Outstanding Comic', would you agree with the decision?

And this fuss I'm making about the wording is pertinent to the ongoing discussion about streamlining the awards. Why? Because once you change the award to 'Favourite' and not 'Outstanding', you're no longer pretending that it's a marker of objective quality - rather, it's the sum total of a bunch of subjective opinions.

Which means that it won't matter how many categories are up there to vote on - because in that case there's no implication that we're trying to decide which comics are the definitive greatest comics ever, as handed down from the webcomicking god (henceforth known as Bob); we'd simply be voting in those particular categories we have an opinion on, for those particular comics we have a good opinion of. Which is what we've pretty much done already.

And I think it's fine. Heck, have as many categories as people will vote for. Like I said before, pub for some of us is better than pub for none of us - and pub for more of us is better than pub for some of us.
Image
Image
Angermouse
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:13 am

Postby Dotty on Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:34 am

I think you're focusing way too much on something that ISN'T the problem. You're suggesting if we change outstanding to favorite, then it doesn't need to have the awards streamlined any...and you've just solved nothing. The issue here is the ballot takes like 5 hours to fill out if you really want to get into it, and get it accurate...which some people do; you'll note some of them took 2 or 3 attempts at it to fill it out.

That's because we don't see these awards the same way you do, probably the same as the Academy Awards. It's fellow webcomic artists/actors voting on what they think is outstanding, and then the poll is tallied, and the popular vote on what is outstanding is presented as outstanding, because that's why we voted for it. Not because it was our favorite...something you overlooked in my previous posts...but because we deem it outstanding.

If I saw the winner of most outstanding comic was megatokyo...i wouldn't agree, but i could see how. It's visually pleasing and clean. The initial archives were glorious, and it USED to be a favorite of mine. I could see how it got voted into the outstanding webcomic area. I can see how it has potential to win most outstanding romantic comic, since that's essentially what it has become, but I would cringe to see it listed as the favorite.

What I think you could do to be more constructive in your approach..as you seem to have a genuinely good idea, is come up with a better format that doesn't allow us to rig it with popularity and favortism. Tell us how you would approach these awards, because our intent is among webcomic artist/writers, as peers, to present the most outstanding comics of the year. If you think we're just playing favorites, then instead of changing the goal and objective of the ceremony, as it's been for years, perhaps you could change the voting methodology, or find some other award show style voting mechanism to present outstanding over favorite.

Chances are, however, you can't do that, because it's probably the fairest way to do it, through a democracy. If you can, by all means, present it. Otherwise, we're looking at streamlining this thing. Can we please get over the wording of something thats been in place for half a decade? :S
Caught in the headlamp glare of your own blinding vanity/Mesmerised by the stare of your shallow personality
Gorging the junk food of flattery you drag your fat ego around/Everyone floored by the battering you give to whoever's around
Oh Narcissus you petulant child admiring yourself in the curve of my eyes/Oh Narcissus you angel beguiled unsated by self you do nothing but die
User avatar
Dotty
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 2434
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:29 pm
Location: Drunk!

Postby AFCErik on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:55 am

I think it would be helpful for the streamlining discussion if we had some historical data about how many people are voting as the number of categories increased, etc.

Can the board post a table with the following information in it?

Year | # of categories | # of voters | Vote Completion Rate*
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007

* (total # of votes cast) / (# of categories x # of voters)

If the Vote Completion Rate is low, I'd agree that there is a problem. If it's above 90%, I'd say there is no compelling reason to streamline.

If it looks like completion rates are low, then the board can look at historical data for each category and decide if it should be dropped. For example, if a category has only been voted in by 25% of the voters for the past 5 years, it's probably a candidate for removal.
Image
AFCErik
Newbie
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:57 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Angermouse on Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:15 pm

There's a great article here arguing for more awards rather than less. Not necessarily for more categories within the WCCA's themselves, but for more awards in general. I think Zortic himself chimes in at one point. But yes, I think it's quite pertinent to the discussion at hand. [/url]
Image
Image
Angermouse
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:13 am

Postby Dotty on Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:47 pm

AFCErik wrote:I think it would be helpful for the streamlining discussion if we had some historical data about how many people are voting as the number of categories increased, etc.

Can the board post a table with the following information in it?

Year | # of categories | # of voters | Vote Completion Rate*
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007

* (total # of votes cast) / (# of categories x # of voters)

If the Vote Completion Rate is low, I'd agree that there is a problem. If it's above 90%, I'd say there is no compelling reason to streamline.

If it looks like completion rates are low, then the board can look at historical data for each category and decide if it should be dropped. For example, if a category has only been voted in by 25% of the voters for the past 5 years, it's probably a candidate for removal.


There was a number this year provided. Something like 100 out of the 800 that registered did the ballots, and all the ones who didn't do them that I've heard so far were due to either not recieving their nomination/voting packages, or due to the overall length.

The less people voting, the more skewed these awards will become, and if a large part of that is length, then yeah, we have a problem. :(

Angermouse: Except that they're not asking for more categories within the WCCA's, but rather more widespread award ceremonies so we don't look to just one for the ultimate comic.

Like that list of webcomics last year that was absolutely silly. Called the best webcomics on the internet or something. Some of them only had like 20 pages. :/

But yes, more award shows = good thing.
Caught in the headlamp glare of your own blinding vanity/Mesmerised by the stare of your shallow personality
Gorging the junk food of flattery you drag your fat ego around/Everyone floored by the battering you give to whoever's around
Oh Narcissus you petulant child admiring yourself in the curve of my eyes/Oh Narcissus you angel beguiled unsated by self you do nothing but die
User avatar
Dotty
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 2434
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:29 pm
Location: Drunk!

Postby AFCErik on Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:49 pm

TdotOdot2k, where did you get that number? Was that for this year? The deadline is not over for ballots (I only got mine yesterday) so I expect that more people will be finishing their ballots this weekend.

I'd like to see the data for all the years, not just one.
Image
AFCErik
Newbie
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:57 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Dotty on Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:18 pm

I'm pretty sure it came out of this actual thread, and that was for the nomination phase, not the voting phase. More of us will vote rather than nominate...and that's a big problem.
Caught in the headlamp glare of your own blinding vanity/Mesmerised by the stare of your shallow personality
Gorging the junk food of flattery you drag your fat ego around/Everyone floored by the battering you give to whoever's around
Oh Narcissus you petulant child admiring yourself in the curve of my eyes/Oh Narcissus you angel beguiled unsated by self you do nothing but die
User avatar
Dotty
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 2434
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:29 pm
Location: Drunk!

Postby Ttallan on Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:13 am

Not to beat a dead horse over this, but if you're interested in a newcomer's point of view...

I only started my online series in September, so I'm relatively new to the whole scene. By the time I was alterted to the fact that there was a new round of WCCAs happening (notes on blogs and such), I had about a week left to register and complete the ballot. Which didn't end up happening, due to being overwhelmed by categories and somewhat confusing instructions. If I'd had more time, even another week, I had every intention of making the effort and having a good look at all the comics people have been recommending.

Obviously, next year I'll know when it's coming and what to expect, so that'll be one more ballot for your tally. But if you want to catch more newbies... more advance anouncements and easier or more obvious instructions are what would've made the difference for me, at least.

--Tara
Ttallan
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:20 am

Postby ShardZ on Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:49 am

AFCErik wrote:TdotOdot2k, where did you get that number? Was that for this year?


It was an interview with Mark, posted in this thread in the General Discussion forum.

Considering that it took something like a week past the "Nominations Posted" deadline for all the nominations to actually be posted (and that was a good deal of time after the nomination round ended) I tend to wonder how ballots from more than a few hundred nominees--never mind voters--could possibly be handled...
User avatar
ShardZ
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:08 am
Location: The haunts of grues, lucksuckers, eldritch vapors...

PreviousNext

 

Return to Cartoonists' Choice Awards



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Trendictionbot and 1 guest