The webcomics blog about webcomics

Now That’s A Dilly Of A Pickle

I’m going to call it a quirk of the category definitions rather than some inability to determine what a thing is.

Wait, let me back up..

For years now (seven, if my count is correct), Slate and the Center For Cartoon Studies have offered the Cartoonist Studio Prize, with one thousand American smackeroos going to the winners of the two categories: Print Comic and Web Comic [sic]. Ten nominees on the final ballot in each category. Simple, straightforward, a history of high quality nominees representing all genres and formats, and nice as a brick or statue may be, cash money is something many cartoonists can really use.

This year’s nominees are out in the wild, and there’s an anomaly. An unusual occurrence. A weirdness.

As is entirely right and proper, Nancy is nominated … as a webcomic.

Okay, on the one hand, I get it, Nancy has a website and updates there daily. But it’s a syndicated comic that originated in the newspapers, one that is owned by that syndicate, one that can replace artist and/or writer at will — which is how we got Olivia Jaimes on the gig in the first place.

And I get that the print collection is really for things that are self-contained in the form of minis and graphic novels, and Nancy is only now getting to the point where you could get a print collection of the Jaimes era. But it’s in print, literally every day. The corporate ownership and multiple layers of editorial control are the antithesis of webcomics. But Jaimes, as we are told, is a webcomicker.

I get the dilemma that the judges panel must have struggled with, as there’s no way you can’t acknowledge Nancy — it’s simply too good — but that it doesn’t fall neatly into either category and despite the seeming contradiction, it is more similar to the other Web Comic nominees than it is to the Print Comic nominees (especially considering the category also considers This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow, once found in alternative weekly newspapers, now at The Nib, and two contenders that ran at The New Yorker).

All of which is to say, pretty much every comic — at least, those not initially sold as bound floppy magazines or as an original graphic novel — is a webcomic. Good luck Olivia Jaimes, good luck everybody else, and the Cartoonist Studio Prize will be awarded on 12 April.


Spam of the day:

You have a website, right? Of course you do. I found fleen.com today. It gets traffic every day – that you’re probably spending $2 / $4 / $10 or more a click to get.

Yeah, you utterly do not get how we do things here at Fleen.

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