Skip to main content

Awards Awards Awards! or Why More Awards May Mean Less Drama.

Given that it is that special time of year when half the webcomics community's heart is aflutter with the prospect of winning the respect and accolades of their peers and the other half is telling the aforementioned to commit an act that the porn industry is working furiously to make possible, I thought I might toss in one reader's opinion.

The reason the WCCA is such a difficult time for the community in general is that the WCCA is the only award event in the [webcomics] community with even a modicum of legitimacy. So it has to serve to many masters. It is closed to the public, so creators who are interested in and respect a democratic process with regards to categories or nominations are disappointed. On the other hand, the barrier to entry in comics is low enough that it is still a horse race and reflects preference and popularity over quality or at least one perspective of it. All it really manages to do is indicate which comics and creators other creators like at the moment. Which, actually, is fine.

Or it would be if other views had some sort of outlet. The film industry, much more mature than our own,(not our fault, its just old) has numerous awards ceremonies. People often comment that this is because Hollywood is full of narcissists, and that may well be true, but it is also so that a diverse array of opinions and ideas about cinema have a chance to recognize what they think is great. So we have the Golden Globes and various critics awards in addition to the Oscars. I think that webcomics as a whole would be well served by a similiar model. An award where all readers are free and welcome to vote, and an award where a panel of respected commentators and critics in the community get to have their say. Then people wouldn't have to be so disappointed by the outcomes of one awards ceremony, or become so frustrated with the process altogether. Maybe then we could just be excited by award season and create fun and exciting drinking games around it rather then rend the flesh from each others bones, as enjoyable as that is.

Forgot...

Erg's picture

Also, Eric, the topslist are real a different animal altogether, tracking opinions moment to moment rather than over a year like the WCCA and restricting larger and more successful comics from entering.

W.U.S.S.Y. award for 2006

EricMillikin's picture

[quote=Erg] ... a different animal altogether ...[/quote]

Yeah, that was pretty much my point: People say they want different types of webcomics honors, different types of webcomics honors already exist. If the specific different type of honor you're looking for doesn't exist, then just go make it up.
I think I'm going to give myself the Webcomics' Ultimate Sequential Storyteller of the Year award, so I can add to my résumé that I won the W.U.S.S.Y. award for 2006.
--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

W.U.S.S.Y. blogger for 2006

Erg's picture

My point was that these other awards don't have the pomp and pretension of the WCCA. What I think we might want is a WCCA "clone" with a different nomination and voting process.

Relativism

EricMillikin's picture

[quote=Erg]My point was that these other awards don't have the pomp and pretension of the WCCA.[/quote]

It depends on which corners of the "webcomics community" you frequent. There are plenty of much more prestigious awards given out to webcomic creators that fly under the radar of 99% of the rest of the people in webcomics.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

However, Eric...

Erg's picture

We are looking at awards strictly for the preferred distribution method of comics, er, people who read here. Sure, we have had several people win Eisners and such, but if we want to dial down the vitrolic hatred, I think we need awards in a similiar vein as the WCCA but with different ideas on what a good comic is, so their are awards that they feel are legitimate. The fact that the Eisners are pretty much bigger and more legitimate than anything we could hope for at this point does not diminish my point, I don't think.

thinking bigger rather than smaller

EricMillikin's picture

[quote=Erg]The fact that the Eisners are pretty much bigger and more legitimate than anything we could hope for at this point does not diminish my point, I don't think.[/quote]

I'd suggest thinking bigger rather than smaller. I try not to let my little corner of the webcomics community cloud my judgement too much, because I'm sure there are plenty of cool awards being handed out to webcomic artists off my radar, but Serializer alone has published multiple Emmy, Eisner, Harvey, Ignatz, Xeric, Society of Professional Journalists, etc. nominees and winners. (And WCCA awards, too.) As Joey pointed out there've been plenty of others elsewhere on Modern Tales, including National Book Awards and such, and then elsewhere you've got webcomics artists nominated for Oscars and winning awards at Sundance.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

It'd be nice....

Erg's picture

But people don't think big or small. Thjey just think of themselves. And so long as one award just for webcomics exists, and webcomics are seen as a seperate entity from print comics or mini comics, there will be creators, even creators who have won Eisners, who want to see the awards go a different way. Their way. So all I am saying maybe the solution is to give the community what it wants, even if it doesn't need it.

officially talking in circles

EricMillikin's picture

I think we are now officially talking in circles. There is more than one award for webcomics.

There is no "webcomic community," so giving them what they want really isn't an option. Think bigger. Think world wide web comics.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

Well if its official...

Erg's picture

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. Community or not, other awards or not, some people do seem to be interested in such a thing. Others, like yourself, already see what you want out there.

don't ascribe opinions to others

EricMillikin's picture

[quote=Erg]Others, like yourself, already see what you want out there. [/quote]

It's best if you don't ascribe opinions to people that they haven't actually expressed.
--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

I am sorry

Erg's picture

I sincerely wasn't trying to do that. I have not handled this discussion well at any point and for that I apologize too. It frustratesme when people misrepresent me, and did not want to do that at all. Hell, I read your comic. I'm a fan. I am just gratified I got some people to read this test blog. I hope to do better in the future.

Seems fine to me

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I'm not sure myself what Eric wants from his comments actually, but his "don't ascribe opinions to others" comment does not seem to connote anger - it's just a statement. It is good advice, but you've hardly committed a mortal sin.

Good blog post - good discussion, it's (knock on wood here) nice to see disagreement without things escalating here at comixpedia.

____

Xaviar Xerexes

On second thought, let's not go to Comixpedia. It is a silly place.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

I doubt...

Erg's picture

Eric probably didn't intend any hostility, but if he did I'd understand. In your average webforum "You misrepresented me" can frequently be followed by glove slaps and pistols at dawn. My wife and son would miss me and I'd feel stupid for getting shot because I couldn't admit I'd make a mistake, so I'd rather just apologize and get past it if possible.

snerk!

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

ha!

____

Xaviar Xerexes

On second thought, let's not go to Comixpedia. It is a silly place.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Yup. Like National Book

Joey Manley's picture

Yup. Like National Book Award nominations and Eisners, for example. The creators I know who have won and/or been nominated for awards at that extremely high level (Gene Yang, Derek Kirk Kim, Scott Kurtz, etc.-- weirdly, all three of those have been on Modern Tales or a sister site at some point, ha!) aren't interested in playing the webcomics one-upmanship game (like I just did in the previous parenthetical) (and even Kurtz is sick of it, and good on him for that) (how many parentheticals can I fit in here?), so they don't hang out here and in other webcomics community areas bragging about them. But those awards also, often, tend to come for the printed incarnations of work that was originally presented on the web, so I don't think they quite fill the void, either.

About the time the WCCA

Joey Manley's picture

About the time the WCCA started, McCloud and I kicked around the idea of starting a juried, less-democratic type award, with a small number of judges from different parts of the webcomics community rotating out every year. Sort of like the Eisners.

We wussed out, though -- and I'm glad. I wouldn't want to have to take the headaches and bile and etc. that Mark Mekkes takes, uncomplainingly, every year. And I imagine our headaches, bile, etc., would have been worse, given the way that so many webcartoonists equate "elitism" (read: an attempt at defining an objective critical standard) with, um, Hitler.

Anyway, I'm not in a position to even contemplate that idea anymore (given obvious conflicts of interests).

I wish somebody would do it, though. If they do, my advice would be to invest in Kevlar and prophylactic psychotherapy right up front.

Mcloudsners.

Erg's picture

That is more along the lines of what I was thinking about, along with a once yearly, no restrictions no holds barred strictly democratic award program for the anti-intellectual or anti-elitism types. Again, though, finding someone with the pedigree to organize it is, ah, difficult at best.

What we need is a Webcomics

Joey Manley's picture

What we need is a Webcomics Convention. Seriously. Then the awards can be organized around that, like the Ignatzes are organized around the Small Press Expo. I'm not sure if this is how the Ignatzes work, but I'd imagine it would go something like this: everybody with a booth or a table also gets his/her webcomic submitted to the judging panel, who would use the three (?) days of the event to read enough of each comic to be able to make a decision, and then vote. That would keep the field winnowed down to, say, a few thousand, at the very most, rather than hundreds of thousands, but would also allow anyone with enough energy and will to be at the show to participate. I think this is also the way the film festivals, like Cannes, dole out their awards. So there's prestige, but also there's the admission of an inherent limitation ("these are the best webcomics *that were at this particular show*" kind of thing), which might help keep the Dumb Jerks from getting upset -- or maybe not.

Um. Yeah. But organizing a convention? That's even more daunting than organizing an awards program. Fun to think about, though ... and I think Comixpedia is the only "brand" positioned correctly for this kind of project. Xerexes? C'mon, man. I've been pestering you for years now ...

Well, if you've started it...

Erg's picture

Fleen seems to me to be an option for such a thing if we are just nominating innocent victims here.

illegitimate webcomics honors

EricMillikin's picture

[quote=Erg]The reason the WCCA is such a difficult time for the community in general is that the WCCA is the only award event in the [webcomics] community with even a modicum of legitimacy. [/quote]

I'd like to hear more on why other such "best of webcomics" are illegitimate. Comixpedia's annual 25 people, Webcomics Examiner's annual 25 webcomics, all the various top lists, etc.
It seems to me there already are the other types of honors people are looking for, but those are outside of their corner of webcomics and off their radar.
--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

Yeah, well..... Reloaded!

Erg's picture

The trouble with this other awards is that they are generally associated with one or another publication on the web, rather than an independant organization. Its nice to be the Time's person of the year, but its better to win a Nobel, you see. They do not have the consistency of the WCCAs whom, regardless of what you might think about them, have managed to give awards out for 7 years now, I believe, which might as well be 500 on the web. Most of the other awards either haven't been around as long or lack that consistency (want to debate the Examiners top 25 this year... wait, wait, we can't.) And, as you pointed out, they are not in the mainstream. The WCCAs are in PVP readers radar as well as Serializer readers radar. Other awards just aren't.

And finally, the other awards out there are generally critics nominated awards, which fills out half the required spectrum but doesn't really help out people interested in a people's choice award type situation.

The other thing...

Black_Kitty's picture

The other thing is the sheer amount of webcomics out there. I think one of the things that annoys me a bit a while back is that oftentimes, talks about comics tend to run in circles. The circle may sometime widen depending on the individual doing the talking but generally speaking, we're always talking about the same webcomics. And this is usually reflected in webcomic awards and news sites.

Mind you, I think it has gotten a lot better over the years. (Or maybe I'm just an idiot.) Either way, I think one of the challenges to a webcomic award that's based on quality as opposed to popularity is the digging for the needles in a field of haystacks. (And making sure we're not all finding the same needles.)

Quote:... generally

[quote]... generally speaking, we're always talking about the same webcomics. And this is usually reflected in webcomic awards and news sites.[/quote]

I've maintained for some time that the reason any discussion of these (and other) awards usually reverts to a discussion of the same comics is because a comic's success depends on an existing level of readers dedicated enough to vote for it. In general terms, this means that comics which have been running for a long time have a huge advantage over newer comics, notwithstanding the fact that many of the established "names" have actually become very stale, predictable and repetitive.

I know it would probably require much greater manpower than is available to the WCCAs but I'd love to see an awards programme which was available to any webcomic (irrespective of current readership) and which then judged those comics on merit (according to agreed criteria).

That way, newer comics would be placed on an equal footing with established comics and comics which have become tired over the years would stand less of a chance of living off past glories.

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

I just want to jump in here

Mark Mekkes's picture

I just want to jump in here and say that I've always been VERY supportive of the idea of another award process. Not only would this present a different way of looking at outstanding comics (or whatever you want to call them), but it would allow both award processes to focus on more specific nominees while still broadening the playing field enough to bring variety to the lists.

I just can't take the headache of running ANOTHER award committee. Surprised

Visit www.zortic.com and www.abbysagency.us

Yeah, well...

Erg's picture

That is the issue, I think. It is easy to talk about more awards, but to find people to man them, find respected people in the community to support them, and then have them run year after year to develope some sense of legitimacy is another matter.