The webcomics blog about webcomics

Just For The Record, Don’t Expect Much From Tomorrow’s Post

Okay, you know what? It’s Sunday morning, I’ve been runnin’ on too much caffeine, marginal food (although last night’s webcomics gang dinner, organized by Jeff Rowland, was excellent and fun) and not enough sleep for days now, and yesterday was hectic. We’re making this one quick.

The Eisner on Friday night for Best Digital Comic went to Steve Purcell for Sam & Max, which is frankly a disappointing choice; Purcell himself seems to have recognized that there were problems with his win. In the face of nominees that were producing top-notch work thoughout the year, the voters went with a feature that had eight updates in 2006 on a random schedule that ranged from weekly to bimonthly. This is not an argument of quantity over quality, but it does beg the question exactly how little material one can produce and still be a viable candidate for best anything of the year (especially a year with Minus in the running). On the plus side, Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese was named Best Graphic Album — New, so we’ll say it’s even.

The Penny Arcade panel went as expected, though slightly short due to the previous session having run long. Disturbingly, When Krahulik and Holkins entered, they placed themselves at opposite ends of the table; rumors abound of vicious fights, separate limos, and a gun battle between rival entourages that left a local strip-club patron slightly wounded. Nevertheless, it was a funny, fast-paced Q&A session that all in attendance enjoyed. Speaking for webcomics hack journalists everywhere, funny, quotable guys like Mike and Jerry are a godsend on mornings like this one.

On the floor, keep an eye out for David Malki !, who is making a video documentary on the topic, Which is better, me or Comic-con? Much like superstar John Travolta, Malki ! is a licensed pilot, and if you ask him really nicely, he’ll give you a ride in his private jet.

  • Steve Purcell, on winning an Eisner for Best Digital Comics — I’m learning a lot about webcomics. For example, your audience really appreciates it when you update regularly.
  • Anonymous webcomic creator, on Steve Purcell — He won, webcomics lost.
  • Andy Bell, on who you meet at this show — It’s good when animation directors for Dreamworks come up to tell you they start they day with your website.
  • Jerry Holkins, on hearing “PvP” mentioned in the Penny Arcade session — [hissing noise] Breeders, destroy!
  • Mike Krahulik, on being asked if Penny Arcade has any plans to produce tabletop-style games — A Fruit Fucker clicky would be pretty cool.
  • Holkins, on the mass of non-comics media at Comic-con — I’m trying to figure out what kind of goddamn convention this is.
  • Holkins, on whether fatherhood has dulled their risk-taking — When you see Monday’s comic, let me know if we’ve lost our edge.
  • Krahulik, pulling out his Nintendo DS and creating some Pokemon — [to Holkins] I want you to tell your story.
  • David Malki !, on what it’s like crushing the hopes and dreams of more than 600 peopleOh God, gives me a chubby.

Sunday Session Wishlist

Not much that’s explicitly webcomics-oriented today (have to see what we can do about that for next year), but the session at 1:00 in Room 8 with the children of comics creators looks fun.

steve purcells comic was beautifully drawn and quite hilarious. It absolutely deserved to win.

It’s a lovely strip, yes, but “deserved to win” is made of more than that.

Or at least it should be. Guys like Gary who really KNOW from webcomics could pick a dozen strips off the tops of their heads that would have “deserved” the win more than Purcell’s strip did.

The point, then, is that the judges do NOT know webcomics, and appear to have been wowed by the (admittedly cool) technological display for Sam and Max. Purcell is doing something that can only be done in the digital realm, displaying the dialog on mouse-over, but there are those of us who don’t believe “best Digital comic” should be about technology. That would be like awarding other comics genres their prizes based on the quality of the paper.

I don’t begrudge Steve the win. I do, however, take issue with his comment upon accepting the award. I agree with the anonymous “webcomics lost” statement Gary quoted above — Steve’s words make us all look like amateurs, and in that vein we webcartoonists lost. We lost the opportunity to be publicly recognized as the hard-working professionals we are. With one sentence Steve made us all look like lazy hacks.

Fortunately, we can still give thanks for Eisner Award-losing Phil Foglio, who took it upon himself last year to have the floor planners put webcomics all in one place. Phil gets it in ways that Steve and the judges obviously do not, and professional webcartoonists benefitted greatly from his contribution.

Howard makes excellent points, except that I would lay more blame on the nominating committee. Sam & Max is OK, but really should not have been in the running in the first place.

In re the typical judge, it’s hard not to imagine something like the following internal monologue: Oh crap, that category again. OK, I’ll have a quick look… [ looks at Minus ] Nice art, but look at that awful background. And the white-on-blue text is almost unreadable! What else? [ looks at Shooting War ] Too cluttered. I have no time for this. Isn’t there anybody on this list I know? Hey, Sam & Max! I loved those games! Let’s have a look… But where are the word balloons? Oh, cool! OK, I’ve seen enough, this gets my vote.

Disclaimer: the preceding post does not necessarily reflect my views of either of the websites linked therein.

[…] reassuring to see that the internet is still working, and you’ll see embittered complaints about a funny, hand-painted original comic presented for free, complete with anonymous criticisms […]

Taking offense at Steve Purcell’s remark as a sleight against webcomic authors sounds more like you looking for a fight than actually listening to what he said. Purcell’s remark was clearly him being self-deprecating, referring to the fact that he updates his webcomic next to never, and fans expect more than that… it wasn’t intended to imply something about other authors.

[…] original comics work posted online”, which should hopefully eliminate offerings that update like six pages in a year (read down, you’ll find […]

[…] back to last year’s Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic, the backlash against Steve Purcell was, as far as I can see, motivated more by the extraordinarily […]

[…] include episodic animations, story-based videogames, as well as various near-advertorial content (not that we’ve seen that before) Will there continue to be a “longform story only” requirement that has prevented so […]

[…] the dreams of more than 600 aspirants [and now you know why David Malki ! is known to this day as The Dreamcrusher, children]), the illustrators obtained, and then … […]

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