Eisner Digital Comics Controversy?

T Campbell hits on something we talked about in the comments to our earlier Eisner post this week: what exactly is Matt Forsythe’s ojingogo nominated for?  As in what did Forsythe do in 2005 to receive the nomination.

ojingogo was nominated in 2005, presumably for work up to the end of 2004 (which T seems to confirm in his post which includes a discussion of the rules).  I calculated 9 new pages since then, T calculates only 7 new pages.  Either way ojingogo is a fairly short piece which is still unfinished.  It seems unfair, and a mite bit ridiculous with the now vast amount of material on the web to twice nominate a short unfinished work for the Eisner award.

All of which seems like I am condemning Forsythe’s work I suppose, but I am not and when it’s finished I would have no problems with its nomination.  Nominating an unfinished work on the web for an award is problematic and should not be allowed.  This rule would not discriminate against long-form or ongoing serialized webcomics if we allowed for the judges to nominate technically unfinished webcomics on the basis of finished chapters or storylines.  And in any event, the judges should be clear about the work that is the basis for their nomination.

Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.

40 Comments

  1. Eric’s certainly entitled to his opinion even if he feels the need to tweak me in doing so.  (Note to Eric: of course the bunny site is old, notice the "new to me" preface to the post.).

    Look, Steven Spielberg might make the most brilliant 10 minute reel of a film ever but he doesn’t get an award until he finishes the damn film.  On the other hand the Academy gives awards to short finished films every year in the categories of Best Animated Short Film, Best Live Action Short Film and Best Documentary Short Subject. 

    I don’t see Eric actually debating this point at all.  Instead Eric seems to be mingling the idea of length with the notion of "finished work" in his comment — it’s pretty obvious if you think about it that there’s a huge difference between criticizing the length of something versus criticizing the Eisners for nominating an unfinished work.  There’s a lot of short finished works that might be worthy of Eisner nominations.

    I do agree with Eric though that it’s obvious that webcomic creators need some independent "book" cred to get attention from the Eisners – one can see that from what’s been nominated.  Understanding why things have worked the way they have is fine but not really an answer to a point about how things should work. 

    ____

    Xaviar Xerexes 

    I am a Modern Major Generality.

  2. should a distinction be made between, say, a 30 page run of a 64 page story, and a serial that’s been ongoing for 30 pages that intends to go on indefinitely?

  3. I don’t think the length is important – the question is whether it’s finished or not.  For an ongoing serial  – like PvP or Sluggy or whatever, one can look at "chapters" or a "storyline" or a "season".  I think that’s a reasonable way to deal with that type of strip. (It’s not that different than tv – most American tv series are written as if they will go on forever so awards are given on individual shows or for seasons)

     

    ____

    Xaviar Xerexes 

    I am a Modern Major Generality.

  4. [quote=xerexes]… Eric seems to be mingling the idea of length with the notion of "finished work" in his comment — it’s pretty obvious if you think about it that there’s a huge difference between criticizing the length of something versus criticizing the Eisners for nominating an unfinished work.[/quote]

    The reason I address both the length of ojingogo as well as it’s ongoing nature is that T. Campbell believes “it is the two factors IN COMBO, the shortness and the incompleteness” that ought to disqualify it. That is why I talk about “The length of a story or an installment of a story” in about the fifth sentence of my post, as well as numerous times throughout the comments. For example, “[Some] seem to believe that shortish, ongoing webcomics should not be eligible for Eisner nominations. I don’t think that either the length of a story or the fact that it is ‘to be continued’ necessarily harm its potential as an award-winning artistic work, and given the Eisner’s history of honoring “Best Short Story” and “Best Continuing Series” in print comics, I’m not at all surprised that they nominated a very good continuing, shortish webcomic for an award.”

    Also, I know that you know that the bunnies animations are old. That wasn’t the point. The point was that you didn’t know about those old bunny animations until they were already old. Get with the times, man.

  5. "Also, I know that you know that the bunnies animations are old. That wasn't the point. The point was that you didn't know about those old bunny animations until they were already old. Get with the times, man."

    I want this to be stored in whatever Internet time-capsule they're preparing for 2006. Seriously, read that out of context a few times. It's a riot! And it needs to be recited by Ben Stiller, like this.

     

    Fabricari – Sexy Robots and Violent Cyberpunk Comics

  6. [quote]Nominating an unfinished work on the web for an award is problematic and should not be allowed[/quote]
    Ah … but then who would you have to nominate? Webcomics by their very nature are works in progress. Isn’t that part of the magic? Both readers and creators are treated to a totally different and immersive experience, then say your standard print/newsprint comic. You’re allowed to view pages as they are created and interact (in varying degrees depending upon the comic) with the creators, asking their intent or their direction.

    Personally, I think this years rules we stated poorly, but were created in order to consider webcomics that were worked on in 2005 and not old comics laying about that were posted online for the express purpose of being nominated.

    Rather… I’d suggest the 2006 criteria encompass a more direct set of guide lines. That being that the webcomic creator have a block of content created in the year in question and be at least X number of pages in length. Something like 20-50 pages of new content at least. It doesn’t have to be a large number of pages, but I really don’t think that a comic that has 2-3 hours of work put into it over the span of an entire year has the merit to even be considered.

    Also I think it’s unfair to assume that only a very few webcomic creators submitted there work. I’ve heard many already comment that they, indeed did. I know that I myself submitted my little comic.

    That being said though…

    There is quite a bit of difference between submitting a thing and actually having a thing looked at.

    Warmest regards,
    C.Brudlos
    Alpha Shade
    http://www.alpha-shade.com

  7. I probably missed a link above, Google failed me. Where can we get info for submitting for next year’s Eisners? And what else is out there? Someone said Harvey’s?

    All info will be greatly appreciated.

    Greg Carter
    Abandon
    UpDown Studio

  8. You’ll have to wait until the call for entries next year to submit for the Eisners. I believe it’s usually announced on comic-con.org. The 2006 call for submissions is here, which includes the address, instructions, and contact info.

    The Harveys (named after Harvey Kurtzman, the mind behind the original Mad), are nominated by and voted on by comics pros. They’re currently given out at the Baltimore Comic-Con. AFAICT, you don’t submit your own work. You also have to give a summary of your work in comics on your ballot.

    The Ignatz Awards are a festival award at Small Press Expo. The submissions are vetted by an anonymous jury, and the resulting 5 nominations per category are voted on by SPX attendees (which includes both pros and the general public). The guidelines are here

  9. Science has yet to invent an instrument capable of measuring my interest in any award I have no chance in hell of ever winning.

  10. [quote=Ghastly]Science has yet to invent an instrument capable of measuring my interest in any award I have no chance in hell of ever winning.[/quote]

    I’ve got a similar attitude, which is why I pretty much only follow the Nobel Peace Prize, America’s Most Wanted, and the AVN Awards.

  11. Thanks! I know some folks who are interested. I’ll point them to comic-con.org to follow the news.

    I don’t mind self-promoting the hell out of myself, but applying for an award seems kinda weird to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.

    Greg Carter
    Abandon
    UpDown Studio

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