So amidst the usual clamors of favoritism, popularity contests, redundancy and the like… I’m pretty pleased with the list of nominees for this round of Webcartoonist Choice Awards. There are familiar names in most every category, but also a lot of comics that are new to me, and I know this has been a great resource in the past to finding new and exceptional strips.
So, without further ado, here are the ones I am rooting for:
A hard call for me between Girl Genius and Narbonic… but since I am still in the intro stages of Girl Genius, while Narbonic is heading towards its grand finale, I think Helen (and co.) get my vote. One way or another, I’m hoping mad science wins the day!
I’m not familiar with a lot of the others, but I find it highly unlikely anything would be able to beat out Gunnerkrigg Court. This comic came out of nowhere to floor a lot of readers on the web, and I think it will have a stellar showing.
My initial response here was towards A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible, but I think Sarah Ellerton (Inverloch) is where my heart lies – I remembered when I was first introduced to the comic (from last year’s awards, even), it was the art that drew me in and kept me reading. That says a lot.
Outstanding Black and White Art:
Hard choices. Very hard choices. I think I’d be happy with either Digger or Sam and Fuzzy – both aren’t just well-drawn black and white comics, but comics that specifically put it to exceptional and brilliant use.
Outstanding Character Art:
I’m thinking Ugly Hill here, though with some of the weird freaky characters from this last year in Wapsi Square, it could be a contender.
Outstanding New Character Design:
Aki Alliance works for me.
Outstanding Environment Design:
There are a few on here I’m not familiar with, but I’d be surprised if they can overcome the wonder that is Copper.
Man. As much as my heart would root for Copper again, I have to give credit where it is due – layout is what A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible takes to all new levels.
Outstanding Use of Color:
These choices are getting harder. This one I’d be happy with any of the nominees winning, really.
Outstanding Use of Flash:
I’m gonna go with Hold My Life for this one, since the others are either unknown to me, I haven’t actively noticed anything special using flash, or it has actively hindered the viewing experience. It’s not just a default win, though – I actively like the little reading style Hold My Life has going for it.
Outstanding Use of Infinite Canvas:
Ah, infinite canvas. A lot of names new to me on here – I think I may do some research on these guys before coming to any conclusions.
Outstanding Web Design:
I am partial to the simple elegance of Starslip Crisis for this category. Some of the others are flashier (no pun intended), but don’t really perform quite so well.
Hmm. Another tough call, but I think Shaenon Garrity (Narbonic, Li’l Mell, Smithson,Trunktown) is where my loyalties lie. Every one of her strips keeps me coming back, and are all at the top of my reading list. Can’t argue with that.
Outstanding Character Writing:
Because the last category wasn’t hard enough, see. Man, I dunno. Just pick something, they’re all fantastic. I think OotS, Scary Go Round, or Something Positive would be at the top, though. That’s about as narrowed down as I can get it.
Outstanding Dramatic Comic:
Something Positive. Period. Full stop.
Outstanding Long Form Comic:
This is always something that is harder to tell in an younger comic, but I think Gunnerkrigg Court is the winner here. Whether it’s potential holds out is yet to be seen, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t stay true to form.
Outstanding Short Form Comic:
The Perry Bible Fellowship for the win.
Outstanding Single Panel Comic:
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. For all that it is occasionally hit or miss, when it is at its best, nothing else can even compare.
Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic:
Digger, in my opinion. Where the anthropomorphism is actually related to the story, and neither an obsessive focus or completely tangential. And, of course, its a wickedly awesome comic.
Outstanding Fantasy Comic:
I know I shouldn’t say Order of the Stick for this one, since it is more parody than pure fantasy… but I think I will, anyway.
Outstanding Gaming Comic:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Penny Arcade is the obvious choice for this, the popular one, the ‘sell-out’… but that’s because it’s the best.
Outstanding Slice-of-Life Comic:
So… of the ones on the list, Devil’s Panties is the only one I feel really fits the category.
Outstanding Science Fiction Comic:
In a surprise (even to myself), I think Zap has my vote here. It’s a clever little comic with gorgeous art, and I think it does a great job of preserving the sense of wonder that any good sci-fi comic needs.
Outstanding Superhero/Action Comic:
And finally a tough call for the last spot! Another selection of great comics, and I think I’d either go with The Green Avenger or Magellan. They are very different comics – one is very focused, the other more epic in scope.
Overall, I think the fact I had a lot of trouble picking out my favorites in each category says a lot about the selection – a slew of good comics that have gone up against each other.
We’ll see what is to come, but I suspect I’ll be happy regardless of who the winners really are.
My only regret is that the list needs more ninja.