Friday, January 23, 2015

2015 Wild Webcomic Quasi Awards Winners

Welcome to the 2015 Wild Webcomic Quasi Awards.  This post will distribute awards to comics that meet and exceed the standards for which categories they are nominated.  These awards are given out by myself, based on my own experiences with these comics over their life times.  Nominations for this year's award may be found here.  For past winners please see this post.  For a more detailed set of rules regarding the process of these awards please see this post and this post.  Let the awards begin.


Best Black and White Art

When it comes to monotone are, achieving a feeling of depth is a task left to shading, something that even great line artists often can't pull off.  Allison Shabet manages this better than most that I've seen in her comic Dead Winter.  While the characters come across more, say, cartoony than other comics, the effective use of shading makes them far more realistic than other, much more realistically drawn strips.  At the same time, the use of black and white isn't done to save time or due to lack of ability, there are several strips that are in color, typically as dream sequences, so Allison is fully capable of drawing a full color strip.  Instead she chose black and white to more accurately describe the comic and it's themes.  The fact that there is one touch of color, a bit of red on two characters, drives home this point better than anything else.  That is why this comic is awarded Best Black and White Art for 2015.

Winner:  Dead Winter


Best Color Art

Stjepan Sejic is an amazing prolific artist.  Multiple comics in print, cover art for other print comics, guest comics, and of course his webcomic Sunstone (NSFW).  Saying that Sunstone is his best work is difficult as it was, until rather recently, just a side project, but even in this form, it far surpasses most other wholly dedicated webcomics.  Realistic and well adorned characters, amazing use of color and form, and the pages themselves are monstrous in size and scope.  What was once just a string of mildly erotic pin ups has blossomed into a story of love, loss, and some kinky sex whose artistic style is immediately recongnizable and amazing at the same time.  It is with this in mind that this comic is awarded Best Color Art for 2015.

Winner:  Sunstone (NSFW)


Best Gag Comic

Humor is still one of the hardest forms of art ever to exist, and managing to do it consistently is harder still.  Justin Pierce somehow manages, even when on hiatus for kickstarter reasons, to keep The Non-Adventures of Wonderella the hilarious non-adventure it is.  Being a superhero parody gives the comic plenty of fodder to play with, and a main character who is, well, lazy, a little stupid and almost always drunk means the jokes practically write themselves, and yet they don't because there is effort here, a great deal of effort.  This makes this comic the winner of the Best Gag Comic award for 2015.


Best Shortform Comic

Speaking of superhero comics, sometimes it's nice to just read one that is both sincere and playful about the topic.  Krazy Krow's Spinnerette fits this bill nicely, and more.  With each chapter being almost it's own story, it's wonderful how the characters can still be shown to evolve and grow, and how the different pieces fit into place.  With an amazing series of artists, wonderful character designs, and some tight writing, Spinnerette is not just another parody of superhero comics, but an actual one that takes full advantage of the genre and reminds readers why superheroes were so popular for so long.  For this, Spinnerette wins Best Shortform Comic of 2015

Winner:  Spinnerette


Best Longform Comic

The fantasy epic has been done many, many times, so creating one that can stand out is a feat unto itself.  Oliver Knörzer and Puri Andini succeeded in doing this with Gaia.  The world created is both intricate and flexible, and the story, while only really just beginning, demands the reader's attention.  While epic events are happening, the story manages to keep the focus on the small group of heroes and their actions, but it's clear their roles in these events will only become greater as time goes on.  The art is great, and sharp, the action clear, and the writing crisp, even if it feels a little long in the tooth sometimes.  Gaia is a comic and story set for the long haul and likely will be updating for quite sometime.  To this end, Gaia is awarded Best Longform Comic of 215.

Winner:  Gaia


Best Cast

Few comic allow more than one or two characters to get really good development, and much of this is due to time.  There's never enough strips to cover every character, their strengths and weaknesses, and what makes them who they are.  Then there are comics like Pete Abrams' Sluggy Freelance whose 17+ years leaves MORE than enough room for development for not just the main cast of the comic, but several villains, side characters, and alternate versions of those characters.  With so many plots, it's often easy to forget that the characters drive the story forward, but Sluggy manages this that even with all it's failures, the characters are still appealing and wonderful.  Sluggy Freelance then wins Best Cast for 2015.

Winner:  Sluggy Freelance


Best Character

Most of the first half of Ben Fleuter's Derelict has no dialog.  The comic's main character says nothing for the vast majority of the strip even after that.  In fact, her name, Dang Thu Mai, isn't revealed until more than a hundred pages into the comic.  And yet, the reader really comes to know and understand who she is without even noticing.  Her few words and actions do more to build her as a person than any string of shared dialog.  She's not all around great, or a hero, she's full of flaws and fears, but she's also brave enough to go where she probably shouldn't.  There is so much more to her than a name and a few streaks of green in her hair, making Dang Thu Mai the recipient of the Best Character award for 2015.

Winner:  Dang Thu Mai from Derelict


Best New Comic

Just because a comic is new, does not mean the comic is the first product of the artist.  Minna Sundberg's Stand Still, Stay Slient is not her first foray into webcomics, and it shows.  From her disciplined update schedule, a shocking 5 days a week for such large pages, to the amazing art and wonderful story telling, SSSS has all the trappings of a long running, mature comic, despite being only a bit over one year old.  It's clear that this comic, it's story, it's mysteries, it's characters and it's world are destined to stick around for a long time to come.  Thus Stand Still, Stay Silent is Best New Comic for 2015.


Best Completed Comic

Webcomics can end, and while many do seem to go on forever, many more are designed to end, with a story arc that demands an ending at some point.  As the first recipent of this award, Jon Kilgannon and Mark Sachs A Miracle of Science was chosen because it is a complete story, and was meant to be one.  The story is rather small, not an epic tale that could change the course of history, but a simple detective story, with a love interest on the side.  It manages to balance the harder science fiction with the more fanciful, play with psychology and memes and still have the main characters get together in the end.  It's a remarkable tale and one that deserves to be read which earns it the Best Completed Comic of 2015 award.


Best Overall Comic

Selecting a Best Overall Comic for any particular award period is always difficult because all the comics that win, or are even nominated, should be considered.  At the same time, simply excelling in one field or another is not enough.  With good to great art must come good to great characters, good to great story and good to great humor where applicable.  This is difficult for any single comic to achieve, and yet there is always more than a few that succeed.  This time, I have selected a comic that has done all of the above and more, and that comic is. . .

Tom Siddell's Gunnerkrigg Court.  Tom's story of a strange school on the edge of a forest is definetly one of the best comics currently updating on the web today.  It creates a wonderful world, an enduring mystery, and an amazing cast that it is almost impossible to read webcomics today without it being mentioned amongst the greats.  It captures what is great about webcomic, their evolution and scope, and encourages the reader to come back again and again.  To call Gunnerkrigg Court anything less than great is a mistake, and it more than deserves the title of Best Overall for 2015.


Thank you for read and congratulations to all the winners and nominees.  I encourage everyone to read every nominee and I'll see you next week.  Until then kiddies.


  1. ... Why are you giving out "of 2015" awards when 2015 has barely begun?

  2. +1 why 2015? Also, it’s typoed as “215” once.


    > Most of the first half of Ben Fleuter's Derelict has no dialog. The comic's main character says nothing for the vast majority of the strip even after that. In fact, her name, Dang Thu Mai, isn't revealed until more than a hundred pages into the comic.

    I see only 216 pages in total (including two cover pages), and the first speech bubble is on page 10 and her name is on page 16. Is there some sort of prequel that’s not on the linked website?