I was reflected last week at the Goatsiversary party that given distance, a shift in work location, and general business, I haven’t seen Jon Rosenberg but half a dozen times since a tuxedo-clad weekend in Las Vegas five damn years ago when the National Cartoonists Society first recognized webcomics.
I’ve had the honor to participate in the (ever evolving) process of presenting nominees to the NCS membership for consideration; given that many of them don’t really understand the world of webcomics, this is a similar process that other divisions (notably, animation) undergo — a panel of experts makes recommendations to filter out the less worthy.
The NCS Awards for 2017 announced their nominees today, and I wanted to list ’em here. While I’m only involved in the process of webcomics (short form and long form), there are nominees in other divisions that are of interest to we here at Fleen, and I’m gonna mention ’em.
Online Comics — Short Form
- Sarah’s Scribbles, Sarah Andersen
- Donald and John, Ruben Bolling
- Sheldon, Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett
Online Comics — Long Form
Some thoughts: I will acknowledge that no slate of nominees will ever perfectly reflect my preferences¹. Heck, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with three nominees and only three, or to choose between a perfect three if I could come up with them. While there are things I would see on the lists if I could, there’s nothing here that isn’t entirely worthy, and nothing here that I wouldn’t (were I a member of the NCS) vote for myself on any given day. I’m thrilled to see Ruben (appropriate name) Bolling’s Trump strips from The Nib, and if I might have preferred some other long form stories, I’m thrilled to see Gran recognized for the third time in the very short history of the awards.
I’m also taking it as a sign that the NCS membership (which skews old, white, and male) is changing considering that OMG Check Please is nominated — it’s a strip about gay college hockey players created by a young Nigerian-American woman — and is about as far from the experience of the old guard members as you can get. Change and progress come slow sometimes, but sometimes they leap and bound. I’ll also note that of the Online nominees, four of the six are by women, which is entirely representative of who’s doing good work these days. Now, in other parts of the ballot:
Giant Days Max Sarin and Liz Flemming nominated for art; a day after the Tackleford Shakeup, it’s encouraging to see John Allison’s most whimsical work recognized. Stan Sakai also got nominated for Usagi Yojimbo, which is basically the book you want to lose to if you gotta lose.
Bolling again, and also Jen Sorenson for her work at The Nib, which is top-notch. Matt Bors, et. al., have turned The Nib into a powerhouse of editorial and reportorial cartooning in a remarkably short period of time.
Amazingly, Ghosts is not on the list. Can’t fault a slate that includes Rick Geary, Bryan Talbot, and Jules Feiffer, but I wouldn’t want to be the person that forget to send in copies of Raina’s latest.
The NCS Awards will be presented in Portland, Oregon on 27 May. Fleen wishes best of luck to all the nominees.
Spam of the day:
British Bank Branch [text entirely in Cyrillic]
Yes, you are entirely a branch of a bank in Britain. I completely believe you.
¹ Someday when I am dying and no longer fear the wrath of NCS enforcers² over breaking my promise of confidentiality, I’ll write a tell-all about all the comics I nominated that never made it to the ballot. I believe it will provide a revealing look at what my brain processes were like from the age of 45 or so onwards.
² You ever see former NCS President (and driving force in the establishment of the online division awards) Tom Richmond? Guy could bench-press a Buick. His individual biceps weigh more than I do.