The webcomics blog about webcomics

Editorial Functions

I know that you’ve all heard already — curse you, Ron Perazza, releasing information on Friday afternoons [shakes fist in impotent rage] — but it appears that the Zudacomics contest is history:

The [contest] format absolutely has merits; engaging the community and giving them real decision making power, giving creators a level of exposure that they might not have otherwise had and encouraging an ongoing dialogue about storytelling, quality and what makes good comics. However it’s also had its shortcomings; accusations of cheating, confusion about the process, spamming in the the name of promotion and argumentative, dismissive or even aggressive behavior.

Is there a better way to achieve the former without having to endure or encourage the latter? I think so. The comic industry needs a steady influx of new creators and new ideas. We should consistently explore the medium, looking for new ways to tell great stories. I think that if we, as a company, are committed to those goals we would be foolish not to pursue them.

However, from this point forward, we wont be using the competition format to do it.

It will be some time before we see how Zuda’s new approach is shaped, and we’ll be sure to bring an appropriately critical eye to bear on the process. However, I think it’s fair (if the Twitter traffic on the topic is anything to go by) to say that the move is pretty much being universally regarded as a step in the right direction.

It can’t have been easy for Perazza and his staff to alter the fundamental model of Zuda, and they’re due every consideration for having the sense to consider all aspects of their business model as up for improvement and change. It’s a lesson that anybody in business would do well to remember.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about submissions that were in the pipeline at Zuda:

[W]e will still be reviewing every submission currently in the queue; however, at this point we’re only looking for Instant Winners. Further, at this time we’re not going back and reconsidering previous non-winning competitors. If you’ve got more questions I’ll be happy to try and answer them.

  • In other news, a bunch of new webcomics books in the pipeline — the first book from Andrew Hussie’s MS Paint Advantures, Problem Sleuth Book One: Compensation, Adequate, is now available from TopatoCo Books (a wholly-owned subsidiary of TopatoCo, The Topato Corporation). Likewise, Kris Straub’s third Chainsawsuit collection is now up for grabs, and he ain’t messing with no pre-orders. You order today, you’re gettin’ that sumbitch now-ish.

    This is a new trend in webcomics books, which traditionally have relied on pre-sales to make sure the printer bills get paid. Much like Zuda, TopatoCo is acting not just like an editorial gatekeeper (only work of a certain level of quality need apply), but as a provider of publishing services (it would be interesting to compare the publication agreements of those two entities).

    Although it’s losing the contest aspect (which most set Zuda apart from the rest of DC, and by extension, the Time Warner megacorporation), my guess is that ZudaNew looks more like an imprint of DC, TW, or whomever, and one with its own rules for best dealing with the talent pool that is creator-owned webcomics.

    Zuda and Aduz may be getting closer to each other, and (as long as we’re not working under Star Trek physics, which would cause the universe to explode if Zuda and Aduz came in contact) that’s probably not a bad thing.

  • Finally, not webcomics, but I don’t care: Electron Boy saved Seattle. Awesome.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nina Lords. Nina Lords said: I know that you’ve all heard already — curse you, Ron Perazza, releasing information on Friday afternoons [shakes … […]

[…] broke in the past few hours that Zudacomics has folded, effective now-ish; Zuda ended its competition format about two months back, and it looks like the new submission format won’t take place, at least […]

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