The folks over at Frumph decided we didn’t have enough webcomics award shows/ceremonies, so they decided to create the WCRCAs (Webcomic Readers Choice Awards), not to be confused with the WCCAs (Webcomic Choice Awards).
Among the categories are simple ones like Best Art, Writing, Design, Author Congeniality (how well the creator tends to interact with the readers), Protagonist and Antagonist (separate categories), Supporting Character, and New Comic. Actually, that’s all the categories; you can bet that more will be added if the awards are popular.Â
In terms of who won what, it’s a good smattering of strips you may not have heard of or strips that you’ve heard of but never checked out for whatever reason (new category: Best Strip You Meant To Check Out But Something Came Up). The categories were voted on by the fans, the weightiest aspect of the entire tabulation process, and then discussed and deliberated by a panel of qualified judges.
With each category we are given everyone who was nominated, including the place they did or did not earn in the awards (out of at least four, not including the Honorable Mention). I must say that this is where my opinion of this new awards… thing changes. I love the fact that we now have yet another list of webcomics from which to pull and cull reviews, but are you really going to put a badge of honor on your site, stating you were the 4th Place (3rd Runner-Up) Best Artist of the Webcomic Reader’s Choice Awards?
Got any thoughts on this newest chance to show those we read everyday just how much we appreciate them? Would they rather just have a nice cash prize? Talk about appreciation! When we finally gets our awards show off the ground, the prize will be a card in the mail with cash in it, just like you get from your grandmother every year.
We leave this topic with a quote from the official press release of the Frumph awards:
Given the number and variety of nominees, total public votes cast and the prestigious judging panel, this award is destined to become one of the most prestigious in webcomic community.
We’ll see about that.
Before I was forced to conclude that Frumph is not credible, I had a chance to ask him how a brand new web site had come to be hosting these awards. He told me that the people doing them before and “left the internet” and became the angry Frumph that only a few of us get to see while he is snowing everyone else.
I can’t find evidence of a previous version, and the current version is repeatedly called “The first annual…”
I can tell you from personal experience with everything in writing that one of the judges is a fraud, as in swindler, with no legitimacy to be judging comics let alone toadstools.
Another judge is also involved in the WCCA awards, and took time during the ceremony to plug those. That is another event where poor design of the event has led to bizarre results.
We obviously need someone with math skills to review and certify the award mechanisms, from polling (highly troubled in the Frumph awards) to judging. Having multi-tiered arrangements, like at Frumph, where readers nominate, readers vote, judges judge remotely from one another, and judges add personal votes creates a degree of complexity that seems to void the validity of the entire event. It appears to have been mainly conceived as a massive publicity campaign for the Frumph site.
I am only sorry I was gullible enough to help promote it before catching on. Or I should say, before I asked too many questions and was expelled from the Friends-of-Frumph list. These awards, unfortunately, mean nothing, and are like winning “Millionth Customer” at a store promotion. I might add that my own comics were withdrawn from participation at the start of the contest, to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest. After bugging from Frumph, I did nominate some comics. The two that were shortest and fastest to read did win certain prizes. Titles I know well that are also short and fast to read but could hardly hold up against the competition also won. Could it be that reading something like 84 comics in a few weeks, especially when one judge can barely write and read, was simply too much to ask?
This is getting to be a lot of awards, seeing as Frumph alone just gave them out to about 3% of the webcomic population at large (this excludes the large number of community comics, like Drunk Duck, that never leave their home site).
Congratulations for taking a harder look, and not lazily reprinting the Frumph press release like at ComixTalk.
Rare as it is for me to agree with Bengo, I think I’ll have to. How “Prestigious” can it be if this is the first time most of us have heard of these awards?
(Besides, they totally overlooked MY comic… ;))
May I just add, for the record, that I was not entered in the Frumph contest, before someone thinks of sour grapes. I had withdrawn in writing, as is my standard practice when being a journalist and cartoonist simultaneously, and my wishes were honored.
Ironically, I probably did more than anyone not on “staff” to help Frumph get rolling: supplying links from my own, much larger list site; providing blog coverage, playing a big roll in helping launch the forums, etc. I was fooled: I thought I was dealing with an honest guy. Instead he merrily pointed me out to the worst spammer/stalker/harasser I have ever encountered, gave me the bums rush without a word of thanks, and proceeded to bombard me with a series of letters demanding I document his misbehavior.
I’m concerned if I hear I have hurt someone’s feelings, and I go listen to the account and try to humbly set things right. I don’t demand the person produce a documentation of wrongdoing so I can launch a debate. While the documentation exists, and I have published some on my blog, I can tell when someone who owes me an apology and some gratitude is trying to sucker me. How much abuse am I supposed to take? Perhaps my personality was abrasive, perhaps I forgot a commitment, perhaps I failed to read minds — I don’t know. But nothing I have encountered is like being harassed by cartoonists Sean Conchieri and Chris Jeffreys of Bomb Shelter Comics and site master Frumph all around the internet, and with even some good acquaintances gullible enough to ask me what I did, I might be disheartened.
I’m not. It’s a tempest in a teapot, and I’m far too resilient. But I will long be haunted by the people who know me and know my clean reputation who stood by and said they didn’t want to get involved. At least midnightcartooner and Rachel Keslensky have some guts. You could give quite a commentary to the respected cartoonists at Bomb Shelter Comics who are busy looking the other way while two of their members while two of their members make jackasses out of our profession. Go to Bomb Shelter Comics. Read the long, painfully contorted denouncement of me. Look at the masthead and see which of your colleagues are OK with that. I could see if you didn’t know the whole truth, or my reputation, or that I do one comic that’s kid friendly, or hadn’t read my blog, that you might be fooled.
Also go here: read the review that sent Conchieri over the edge. http://psychedelictreehouse.com/Collectives—Contents.php
I’ve gone on way too long, but I wonder where the decent and intelligent cartoonists are, and what is the matter with the other Bomb Shelter Comics people. If you were under siege, it is a certainty that I would be available to help you. Perhaps you are under the impression this is no big hassle and that plenty of assistance is available. Most of it has come from professionals outside the comics community. I’m severely injured from being run over by a car last year, and working hard to right my affairs and feed my family. Where the hell are the sane and mature cartoonists?
While I can appreciate your dilemma and have heard about it already, both behind-the-scenes and on the front lines, it’s stuff like this that so many have taken off the record and solved where these things should be resolved. (Trust me on this, been there, done that, lesson learned.)
I’ll agree that there are problems with the WCRCAs that need to be addressed, but let’s save the personal attacks/references for off-the-record conversations. American politics has plenty of that to go around right now, anyways.
Man, was I tired when I wrote that letter. Thanks for digging through it and responding. That was above and beyond.
Only thing is… it’s tough to work things out in private when you invite the other party and they don’t show up. You can reassure me that you know all the details, but you never asked me, so the odds are fair you know very little.
And that’s how it goes on the web: one journalist gets confronted over a reasonable review, suggests a sit-down, is ignored, then is stalked, harassed and bullied, and the cowardly journalists who failed to react counsel “working in out in private.” Do you honestly think I find it appealing to report being harassed publicly?
I don’t think you’ve been there, and I don’t think you’d admit to knowing what was going on if you knew the truth, because then you’d have hard questions to answer about why you didn’t investigate, didn’t take action and didn’t report anything.
Hard words? You bet. Hard to watch your colleagues wimp out on you, too; relying on the grapevine for their verification.
Think about it: were I not involved, it would be the story of the month for me: veteran cartoonist goes nuts over review; dispatches harassment posse; stalks journalist’s family; destroys work; posts manifesto. All evidence in writing! It’s a reporting slam-dunk!
What the hell were you other journalist types doing while this was going on? And somehow because I’m the tough one, it’s me who will receive the next cry for help.
You can’t cover events at BSC and call yourself a journalist if you don’t cover the complete story. Otherwise, you’re just another blogger.
Thank you for the post midnightcartooner, next year i’ll work on some of the issues we had this year.
On that note: http://www.frumph.net/bengofile.asp
Did you hear about the craziness around this yearâ€™s awards? Thereâ€™s tons of chatter all over twitter and message boards right now, but it appears the awards were rigged, and when it came out, the moderator totally flipped!