Last year saw a lot of new events in web comics. One of the biggest was the emergence of Platinum Studios into the medium and there was huge ruckus over whether or not they were coming in to to ruin it. It’s been almost a year and from what I can tell they have done very little to change it. Just what has been their impact so far? The most obvious is the purchase of Drunk Duck and the complete overhaul they performed. Admittedly this has resulted in nothing more then the hosting site being known as one of the more undependable to being very solid. Yet the competition for web comic hosting is tougher then a year ago with Drunk Duck only taking the number two place behind Smack Jeeves.
My favorite contribution is the work by DJ Coffman. Hero by Night has been a wonderful contribution and I can’t wait for more installs of DJ’s work. Yet this was still a byproduct of another Platinum Studios event that was lambasted. The Comic Book Challenge from last year had an amazing turn out and somewhat wild ending with DJ going to San Diego during the ComiCon and presenting his idea for the judges. It’s another year and the Challenge is back. I’m happy to see it back but it doesn’t seem to have the same uproar or big backing as last year. The 2007 Comic Book Challenge is nearly the exact as last year. From the press release:
Comic book creators are encouraged to submit their entries online beginning [May 1st] and closing May 31, 2007. The top 50 entrants will be invited to pitch their concepts live to a celebrity panel of industry and Hollywood insiders at a secret location near this year's International San Diego Comic-Con, the industry's premier comic book convention, in July. Platinum Studios will sign the winner for a publishing deal, which will include print, online, mobile, and creation of a licensing and merchandising program. In addition, the company will help develop the property for film and television.
This nearly the exact same pitch as last year. The difference this year is not in the press release but on the site itself. The 10 finalists chosen in San Diego will be given space on Drunk Duck to pitch their idea to the masses, that would be us. For one week we will be voting on the winner and deciding who will get the same backing as DJ. In all it’s different but not earth shattering for web comics. For all purposes this competition is turning more into just another web comic competition that happens to have some media involvement. So I thought maybe I could propose my own idea. What do I have to lose? Here’s the part that pulled the rug from underneath me.
All entries must have a complete production team which includes a writer, artist, inker, colorist and letterer. This does not need to be five different people. For example, the artist in your entry may also be the inker and colorist or the writer can be all four.
That’s not good. Last year you could propose your comic using stick figures if you were a writer or an essay and fantastic art if you were an artist. This year you need the entire finished concept in one-page form. That’s going to hurt and ruin the chances of a lot of web comic creators, the vast majority of which went online with only a concept backed by either art of story. For writers out there it is nearly impossible to find an artist that is willing to share their vision unless they are a good friend. Maybe last year there were too many entries, or perhaps Platinum Studios is stretched thin with resources but the end result is there are going to be a lot less entires then last year. Despite it all I still look forward to the winner and wait for further developments.
Hey there– yeah Drunk Duck seems to be making waves in other places where you usually don’t hear webcomics mentioned. I applaud Platinum for offering up space for Drunk Duck webcomics at the big conventions. I know other webcomic groups like Keenspot have done this as well at the big show– but I was impressed with how Platinum treated the drunk duckers out in Los Angeles. Working with Platinum has been a real eye opening experience for me. Or maybe just a relief, after dealing with so many unprofessional wanna be publishers or stupid shit online. These guys love comics and mean business and I like that. I’ve learned a lot from them, and most of all that some of the petty shit online is not worth paying any attention to. Just keep your eyes on the ball.
As far as the Challenge this year needing a creative team lined up, I can understand where they’re coming from– if a guy with an outstanding idea pitched just the writing, it might take a lot longer for Platinum to form a creative team for the project and that would sort of screw up the turnaround time of actually getting the winner published and on store shelves. It’s really not that hard to put a team together with sites like digitalwebbing.com and penciljack.com where there are artists looking for writers, and vice versa. Maybe next time they could link to the creative hubs to help writers find eager art teams.