Submitted by Dedos on July 27, 2004 - 11:53
The 2004 Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards were announced July 25th. Big congratulations are in order for newcomer Adrian Ramos who picked up 6 awards for Count Your Sheep. Penny Arcade remains a favorite with 5 more awards to put on their mantle, including Outstanding Website Design. Both these titles share the coveted Outstanding Comic award this year.
The full list of categories and winners follows below:
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on July 26, 2004 - 23:16
Tycho from Penny Arcade comments on the San Diego Comicon and in particular singles out Michael Jantze of The Norm, a syndicated comic strip for some PA hazing:
I wanted to apologize to everyone who attended the Syndication panel on Sunday, at least, apologize to those who survived that guy from The Norm's fucking interminable sermons. He was so boring that I literally thought I would die if he didn't shut up. Maybe his strip is the bee's knees, I honestly don't care, but I have serious doubts regarding that man's ability to evoke joy.
Like all old people, he is convinced that his suffering is somehow more genuine, his wisdom more relevant, or his victories more enduring than those of younger people. Things got underway with Gabe saying that syndication was "worthless," and things degenerated from there. The Social Entropy forum tried to interject some lighthearted amusement into those dire proceedings, but the deck was stacked against them. The man absorbs and annihilates humor.
I briefly met Jantze at SPXPo last year. He seemed, well not what Tycho said anyhow. I like The Norm myself but I guess I wouldn't be shocked if someone like Jantze was a bit bitter about traditonal newspaper syndication when said someone was trying to make a living off of that fuckedanddying business model.
Submitted by Uncle Ghastly on June 28, 2004 - 16:50
You know, it just occured to me that the webcomic world is probably even more lousy with Mary Sues than even the fan-fiction world is. And it seems to be far more accepted here than in the world of fan fiction.
Most of Keenspace
All one big wankfest of Mary Sueism.
Fortunately I'm not contributing to the overpopulation of Mary Sues. I can't say there's a single character in my strip that would accurately represent me. That's not to say that there's not a little bit of me in each character. Nort embodies my lust for life. Smokey is my inner dirty old man. Fnanp is my inner geek. Kwerki and I share a lack of any form of self censorship so that what gets thought in the brain ends up coming out the mouth (which can cause troubles but hey, at least I'll always be straight with ya). Drunk and Bitter Jesus has got my cynicism covered. Zsa Zsa is my dominant side. Saddly even Freddy represents my horribly waning grasp of Japanese it having been many years since I spoke the language regularily and, loath though I am to admit it, my secret love of cute anime things (although I am not otaku by any means). Still, having little bits and pieces of me present in my characters is more of a writing what you know thing than a full on Mary Sue self fellatio suck fest.
So how about you. Do you have a Mary Sue in your strip? Be honest. Don't make me get out the jumper cables and the damp spounges.
Submitted by Erik Melander on June 23, 2004 - 09:58
He also mentions that perhaps someone should make a documentary of the controversy he had with Penny Arcade back in december. This was brought to the attention of Gabe, and specificly part of what Squidi wrote got Gabe's attention:
I'm counting the days until Gabe's unborn child grows up to be just like him, and treats him like trash, because I have an innate appreciation of irony and I'm willing to wait for the payoff.
Gabe in turn commented (you have to scroll down quite a bit) on the PA site :
I think that's kind of a fucked up thing to say.
Squidi in turn replied to this not with one, but two blog posts. First pointing out that the quote was taken out of context as well as some thoughts on semantics. And secondly with a retelling of the entire controvery from his point of view.
Submitted by Dedos on June 21, 2004 - 16:55
The finalists for the 2004 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards have been posted. With this milestone, the polls are now open for all registered web cartoonists (registration information can be found here) to determine this year's winners. The fight for Outstanding Newcomer looks very interesting with Count Your Sheep, Questionable Content, Skirting Danger, and Sore Thumbs all vying for the title.
(Full List of Nominees Below)
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 17, 2004 - 12:17
First off, although I didn't of it at the time, the mention of Comixpedia in Wired News has been a nice "semi-big" deal. It's another toe into the mainstream for a publication that admittedly focuses on the vanguard of a medium, comics, that is already on the whole treated fairly poorly by the mainstream. (And when I say "mainstream" I mean "of society" not "superhero comics")
Giant Panda noted that Penny Arcade's Gabe, who was quoted in the article on sprite comics in Wired magazine, posted on the Penny Arcade website recently that "I really don't want anyone to think I was referring to comics like Diesel Sweeties. R. Stevens is a talented artist who has created his own unique and interesting characters. I was only speaking about comics that pull sprites from video-games as that was the focus of the article.
This led to a reply yesterday from R Stevens, author of Diesel Sweeties.
Wow, I got some seriously kind words from Gabe on Penny Arcade today! He was quoted in a Wired article about sprite comics being the kind of strip one can do without having to know how to draw. He was nice enough to differentiate between DS and a Mega-man or Super Mario-based comic. I've had this conversation in much smaller venues and I'd like to add a few words to the fray.
I think we've all enjoyed our share of comics with cut 'n paste videogame characters. Some of them are pretty long running and interesting. We just have to look at them and understand what they're about. It's kind of like watching Sealab 2021 or Space Ghost Coast to Coast or listening to a good remix of a favorite song. It may not be quite the same as making a totally new work but taking things that are well-loved and recontextualizing them is a really important part of modern western culture. I'd go as far as to say that this is "the little guy's" response to the huge forces that make #1 hit singles & summer movie blockbusters.
In that sense R makes a great point. There's a big difference between someone reusing existing bits and pieces of the artistic and cultural landscape to create something new and someone just copying something. R writes more and invites replies on the topic. We had a lot of interesting discussion on copyright on Comixpedia this year, primarily with regards to redistribution of webcomics by third parties. But the copyright issues surrounding remixing existing work is also one that can have a tremendous impact on all artists, including webcomic creators, today.
This summer, Derek Kirk Kim is teaching Comic Book Illustration to high school students. I read about this on his forum, and then mentioned that if he ever teaches something in Phoenix (my area) or over the Internet, I'd be willing to pay for the experience. Now, I said this in jest to some degree, because I sincerely doubt circumstances would ever bring him to a school in Phoenix to teach, but that second part, about the Internet course, got me thinking.
What if there was a relatively easy way for Derek to offer something like that â€“ an Internet-based course where he offered structured insight into a particular area of creating comics, putting them online, or some other topic relating to comics?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 4, 2004 - 14:11
Oh yeah, he also talked to two of the biggest spriters around: David Anez and Brian Clevinger. He also talked with Fred Gallagher and Mike "Tycho" Krahulik. Good coverage of the entire sprite webcomic story.
Webcomics have wasted no time in taking advantage of the unfiltered, uncensored, and plain uncontrollable nature of the Internet. Webtoonists have also in their own small way acted out like smaller-scale rock stars, now and again trashing a virtual hotel room. In the spirit of celebrating the abuse or stretching of good taste, artistic boundaries, and/or common sense, we present our somewhat brief and arbitrary list of 17 notorious cartoonists. Some get the nod for a one-time act of notoriety while others continue working on their lifetime achievement awards even as we go to press.
We like happy endings because we know in our hearts that there are almost no happy ends.