Friday, March 11, 2011

Wild Webcomic Quasi-Awards Nominees

No, I am not out of ideas for articles and stringing this award thing out as long as possible.  Why would you even think that?

Okay, I kind of am.  But hell, might as well just keep right on going if I started this mess.  This week I'm going to put up my version of "nominees" for the webcomic award based on my ideas from last week.  I'll only do 10 of my key 11 awards because, well Reader's Choice would be silly for me alone to do.  I've also set the clock to start when this blog did, September of 2009.  Mostly to allow for as many new comics as possible.  Also, I will be looking at comics I read first, then getting into those I do not.

Got all that?  Alright, let's begin.

Best Black and White Art Nominees - Nominees must express great use of line and shading in a predominantly monotone comic.
  • Deep Fried's Weapon Brown - Using characters from newspaper comics in a twisted post-apocalyptic setting, the Weapon Brown portion of Deep Fried is not only a good comic, but artistically well done, giving life and reality to the wide assortment of characters that inhabit the funny pages.
  • Zebra Girl - The story of a girl turned to a demon has gotten darker since it's initial inception, but has also gotten more beautiful as the artist explores the wonders of hash marks and other shading options in his black and white classic.
  • Spinnerette - Krazy Krow's superhero comic features sharp lines and unique poses as its 6 armed protagonist struggles with learning the ropes, and bumbling the entire way.
  • dead winter - With so many zombie comics out there, it's rare to find a really good one, especially one that relies on black and white shading and the occasional shot of red.  The character design isn't realistic, but feels right and looks great.
  • Serenity Rose - The sketchbook style design of this comic sets it apart even from it's competitors.  Like dead winter, it uses other colors only to enhance the black and white world of the comic, making it one of the best looking comics on the web.
Best Color Art Nominees - Nominees must express great use of color in a predominantly color comic.
  • Dresden Codak - Few comics look even remotely as good as this one.  The colors are carefully chosen to match the scene and the character designs are scrutinized carefully.  Just read the guy's blog, and you'll see how much work goes into it.
  • Marsh Rocket - Recently completed, this comic features pages done in one general color tone, giving it a unique look compared to even other color comics.  The fact that it switches between colors as it shifts scenes shows a level of skill with color that most artists never manage to pull off.
  • Romantically Apocalyptic - When it comes to realistic artwork, no comic comes closer than this one.  Using photorealistic techniques based on actual pictures, it's easy to forget it is drawn and painted.  The parts that aren't actually based on photos show how skilled the artist actually is at their art.
  • Prophecy of the Circle - The watercolor look of this comic is the defining feature of the strip.  The unique look makes this comic stand out even against the others.
  • Girl Genius - Vibrant colors help make this manic comic about mad science ruling the world pop like no other.  Much of the excitement of the comic comes from the colors and it looks great.
Best Non-Traditional Art Nominees - Nominees must show innovation in the use of media beyond simple drawing.
  • Lizzy - Flash based comics rarely use flash to it's fullest, but this comic does.  Using animation, sounds and interactivity to draw in the reader and make this strip great.
  • Terror Island - Though completed, this photo comic uses game pieces to tell the story, a story based strictly on going for groceries.  Deceptively simple, but fun and interesting.
  • The Dreamland Chronicles - Using 3D rendering to create comics is relatively new, and this comic sets the standard for the format, conveying emotion and action quite well.
  • 8-Bit Theater - The standard bearer and probably greatest sprite comic of all time, this completed comic manages to merge nostalgia, humor and the long joke all into one.
  • Leisuretown - Though long dead, this comic is probably one of the great photo comics of all time, using static figures to tell complex and engaging stories.
Best Gag Comic Nominees - Nominees must show excellent use of humor within a deceptively small amount of space.
  • Sinfest - Structured as a traditional newspaper comic, this is the kind of comic that should be in the papers, except that it is decidedly adult in content.  Tackling everything from religion, to sex and drugs, it pulls no punches, and is probably why it won't end up in a paper near you.
  • The Whiteboard - Though based on paintball, this comic doesn't need knowledge about it to understand the jokes.  The over the top humor and explosions make this a great gag strip and one that should be followed.
  • Chainsawsuit - Random humor is hard to do, but this comic manages it well.  Using simple figures and running gags, it manages to have something for everyone.
  • Cyanide and Happiness - Shock humor is something that's even harder to do than random, and this comic excels at it.  Not for the weak of stomach, it will keep the hardy in stitches.
  • Bob the Angry Flower - Bob is one angry flower, he's also quite mad and his comic highlights the madness quite well through a quasi-surrealistic scenarios that cap off a humorous comic.
Best Shortform Comic Nominees - Nominees must be able to tell coherent and independent stories based around a small cast or idea without any obvious overarching plan or story to the comic as a whole.
  • City of Reality - The idea of a utopia is almost comical to most writers and often it's used as the face for an evil group.  Not in this comic, where Reality is exactly what it seems, and it takes a special breed of people to be part of it, and to defend it.
  • Sluggy Freelance - Is it not nifty?  The continuing adventures of four friends, a hyperactive ferret and a homicidal rabbit trudges on with its increasingly complex universe and story.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court - At first it seems this is some Harry Potter rip off, until you actually read it and find a world where robots and gods exist side by side.  Antimony and her friends explore the varied mysteries of the court as well as grow up within its confines.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja - He's a doctor.  He's a ninja.  He's Irish.  His adventures are wild and bizarre ranging from fighting zombie ninjas to surfing a robotic version of Dracula through the atmosphere.  And that's just a light day.
  • Blip - K is a blip, a mistake on the face of creation, so Heaven is on a quest to keep her down, and Hell wants to prop her up, all without her realizing it.  Her friends, a vampire, a witch and Frankenstein's daughter, are working to keep her happy.
Best Longform Comic Nominees - Nominees must be able to tell a long, overarching story starting from the first strip that is done in an engaging and interesting way.
  • Errant Story - The epic tale of a girl looking to pass her final exam and the chaos it causes is moving towards it's conclusion and everyone who reads is along for the ride.
  • Serenity Rose - One of the few witches on earth deals with her amazing supernatural powers, her personal insecurities and those who would hurt her friends.  All with blue hair and goggles.
  • Roza: The Cursed Mage - Her blood causes fire.  She doesn't want that to happen any more, so off she goes looking for a cure.  It feels more like a classic animated film than a comic, and is just as rewarding.
  • 8-Bit Theater - Recently concluded, the four "light warriors" quest for, um, personal gain mostly.  Their wild antics all come to ahead with the longest joke ever told.  And the joke is on them.
  • Girl Genius - In a world where mad science runs rampant, Agatha looks to find her way in the world, and survive the multitude of enemies she and her ancestors have manged to make over the years.
Best Cast Nominees - Nominees must have a cohesive cast of characters who support and build each other in ways that make each essential to the other.
  • Sluggy Freelance - Torg, Zoe, Riff, Gwen, Kiki and Bun-Bun form the core of one of the longest lived comics on the internet.  They work so well together that even as they are broken up on their own adventures, they still manage to influence each other.
  • Schlock Mercenary - The cast for this comic is massive and each one is memorable in one way or the other, but they are also generally vulnerable.  Their skills still support each other and make an effective ensemble cast.
  • 8-Bit Theater - While many may have their favorite (and most like Black Mage) it's hard to think of any single main character from this comic alone.  They are basically one note, each and everyone of them, but the complexity comes from their interaction with each other.  Without the others, no one of these characters could hold the comic up on their own.
  • City of Reality - Trying to explain a practical utopia is hard, and takes a cast of characters that can plunge the depths of it as much as possible.  The cast of this comic manages to do this so well that you really need each of them to understand it.  Even the mayor, who is a rabbit sock puppet.
  • Out There - Few comics are almost exclusively based on two characters talking to each other, and even fewer are actually good at it.  This comic has it down to a science.  What started with two people in a car has expanded to a flexible and strong cast whose even minor conversations can draw the reader in and keep them hooked.
Best Character Nominees - Nominees must be a single character that stands out from the rest of the cast with a strong personality, history or story.
  • { … } from Hanna is Not a Boy's Name - Having a character that has no proper name is a daring move, and this comic manages it with ease.  Despite not being the title character, he stands out as the narrator and prime mover of the comic.  His design is distinctive and his story is the most mysterious and compelling of the entire comic.
  • Bob from Bob the Angry Flower - There are few characters in comics that are more mad than Bob.  He's brilliant, and stupid, insane and the only sane man in the room.  And he's a flower who opens canned food with a tank.  While there are other characters, this comic isn't just named for him, but it is him, and nothing else really matters.
  • Roza from Roza:  The Cursed Mage - Strong female characters that aren't jerks are hard to find, but Roza manages to pull it off.  She's brave, strong willed, and intelligent, all without being violent, angry, or even, dare I say, bitchy.  An excellent example of a positive female role model in any comic I have read.
  • Heather from Spinnerette - The bumbling heroine of her own comic, Heather is passionate about her new role as a superhero, and enthusiastic almost to a fault.  Her clumsiness and lack of forethought shows someone who is moving faster than she thinks, something that is more than uncommon amongst most people.
  • K from Blip - Despite the strange world that dances around (and hides from) her, K lives a relatively normal life.  She has ups and downs, smokes too much, cusses like a sailor and has a circle of close friends who are more than ready to stand up for her.  She is probably the most realistic character here, despite the wild world in which she lives, not just in the fact that she has no "super power" but also because she is the most like normal people.
Best New Comic Nominees - Nominees must show general excellence in the creation and publication of a new webcomic.
  • Does Not Play Well With Others - Micheal Poe's (artist of Errant Story) return to comedy is marked by a daily gag strip that just got it's feet wet starting this year and is already showing the old muscles never quite forget their nature.  Could easily be one of the great gag comics of the internet.
  • UnCONventional - A simple stick comic that follows the staff of a generic convention and the trials and pitfalls they run into manages to give surprising amounts of depth to the stick figure characters.  It also opens an interesting window on the backroom work most conventions deal with, including an incident with a wild badger.
  • Road Waffles IV - Okay, it's not strictly a new comic, but give that each episode of Road Waffles is all but independent from the rest, it is unique and new enough to be here.  The themes are similar, violence, death and explosions dominate this comic and keeps you wondering what will happen next to this cast, and who will live.
  • Spinnerette - Part of a resurgence of superhero comics, Spinnerette doesn't as much parody superhero comics as it does embrace those elements, just with a slight humorous twist.  Initially it seemed it would go all out parody, but it is sincere about it, even if it does joke around with it.  The lightheartedness of the strip is what makes it oh so good.
  • The Adventures of Superhero Girl - Faith Erin Hicks also dipped into the superhero genre with her take on it.  Her friendly, almost innocent view of the genre is also lighthearted, but with less edge and direct humor aimed at the genre and instead rolls with it in a very Canadian way.
Best Comic Nominees - Nominees must show general excellence in the fields of art, writing and publication over the length of the comic's lifespan.
  • Schlock Mercenary - The long lived sci-fi comic continues its run as Tagon's Toughs seek out the all mighty dollar.  The art is excellent, the writing tight and funny, and the updates, oh, the updates.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court - Every chapter reveals something new about the world of the Court, and every one of them leads to more questions.  With excellent art and heartfelt interactions, this comic is definitely one of the great comics of the internet.
  • Errant Story - With it's end on the horizon, the story of a scary girl looking for ultimate power continues to show off the high art level and writing, all with a dash of humor to help it go down.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja - It was a crazy idea, a doctor who is also a ninja, but the wild combination has led to a string of wild stories that have few peers amongst the funniest comics of all time.
  • Hark, a Vagrant - The unique nature of this comic has earned it praise from multiple places.  It's unique take on historical events, the free flowing but brilliant artwork and the clutch humor make this one of the standout comics on the internet.
Well, those are my nominees.  There are some comics that I had to seriously debate putting on this list, but eventually eliminated them for various reasons.  Next week, the winners.  See you then kiddies.

No comments:

Post a Comment