Just a little Marceline for y’alls; Meredith Gran referenced a bunch of album covers in her interior art and covers, and it’s fun seeing how they compare.
- One of the things that I really enjoyed about participating in the process that eventually produced the first NCS Division Award for On-Line Comics was the sense that NCS President Tom Richmond was planning ahead. I have written elsewhere about challenges faced by the NCS in terms of demographics, in terms of seeing the need to change but also overcome decades of tradition to do so. I’ve written about how the inaugural On-Line Comic division award wasn’t perfect the first time around, and how that’s okay. Perfect is the enemy of progress, and this award will continue to change.
Tom Richmond was out in front of all of those discussions. It’s my belief that he, more than anybody else, was responsible for getting that first On-Line Comics division award approved, with the intention of adding to and tweaking it until it really does cover the breadth of work being done online (which may be about the time that the need for a separate online track attrites and all cartoonists are just cartoonists). That first round of add-tos and tweaks is here:
Last year the NCS had a single division that was purposefully restricted to only daily strip formats as a way to test out their process. This year they are expanding it into two divisions, Long Form and Short Form.
Online Comics: Short Form — Unlike last year, this division includes daily strip, single panel, Sunday strip, or partial/single page formats. Short form comics should be able to stand alone as a single narrative, even if it is part of a longer storyline like an adventure strip. They can be full page comics, like a “Life in Hell”, but if so they should be single page narratives that do not serialize their storylines.
Online Comics: Long Form — These would be ongoing narratives told in full page formats. Basically an online comic book or graphic novel, where the story is fully serialized. [boldface original]
I am excited that an organization built on tradition and The Way Things Were can look at itself and say, We could perform our mission better¹. I am excited to see which of the people that had critiques (sometimes quite pointed) of the NCS’s initial steps into recognizing webcomics work will recognize that there was a good-faith effort on the part of everyone involved last year, and that the same intentions hold this year. I’m excited to see growth is possible, and if the form of the awards this year is not perfect², to know that they will be closer to where they should be next year, and the year after that, and the one after that³.
- Speaking of awards, Howard Tayler (my evil twin) points out that the Hugo Awards have opened nominations, and that the Graphic Story category is once again up for contention. A couple things notable about that category:
- Last year, it was removed from experimental consideration and given permanent status
- The Foglios having removed themselves from consideration after sweeping the first three year, and Ursula Vernon not having an entry this year, we should be looking at a non-repeat winner this year
- In the existence of this category, webcomics have won every year, beating out sometimes very large, very popular work from major publishers; it would be a shame to see that streak broken
Just off the top of my head, in addition to Tayler’s own Schlock Mercenary, Christopher Baldwin’s Spacetrawler, Kris Straub’s Starslip, and Dave Kellet’s Drive would be worthy nominees. Anybody that’s eligible to make nominations that agrees with me, get on that.
- There’s been a flurry of webcomics creators reaching outside their usual gigs to engage in other kinds of stuff-making. In the past few days, I’ve noticed Danielle Corsetto writing two graphic novels, David Malki ! experimenting with motion-control puppets, the omnipresent Ryan Estrada teasing a game show, and Christopher Wright is almost more of a novelist these days (using the webcomic model, naturally). We can argue the relative merits of foxes and hedgehogs if you like, I’m just glad to have additional channels for creators to entertain me.
¹ In the sense of being more inclusive in its membership; given that a part of the NCS mission is to throw a kick-ass weekend of fun and really wonderful people and booze, they could not possibly get any better.
² And guess what? They’re not, because we live in an imperfect reality, so let’s do what we can to make them better.
³ Remind me to tell you the joke about the physicist, the mathematician, and the engineer in Hell, being taunted by the Devil with the possibility of sex only if they could overcome Zeno’s Paradox.