Project CBRunway Is Good

Here is the man in charge of Project CBRunway, my pal, Matt Bib.

Welcome to the runway!

This is the second "season" of Project CBRunway, Comic Book Resources' character and costume design contest inspired by the hit Bravo show, Project Runway. I loved the challenge aspect of Project Runway, and by the time season two of that show had concluded, I'd been running a series of drawing threads on the X-Books forum for awhile, and there had had a few smaller art contests on the Never Ending Forum. But, aside from the intense Comic Book Idol, there hadn't really been anything of that magnitude on CBR. And so Project CBRunway was born. I envisioned it essentially as a drawing version of Project Runway. Participants would receive a challenge, have five days to submit their designs, and then there would be two days of voting, with the lowest scoring designer being eliminated. And the final winner receives a fun prize related to art and design. Simple.

Last year, most were redesigns of existing characters. For instance, one week participants were asked to create a new look for the Vision that would represent "vision". Another had participants redesign Lady Death, giving her wider commercial appeal. And another had them create a more iconic look for Power Girl. The season ended with CBR Fashion Week, in which the remaining designers had to design individual costumes for a group of five Avengers, while maintaining a cohesive team look. Vegetarian Goat won voters over with his well-executed and striking designs to win Project CBRunway.

Not surprisingly, the most popular challenge during Season 1 was one in which participants got to create a character whose costume was made up of vegetation and other plantlife. The response to that challenge, by both participants and voters, really drove me to make this year's contests even more challenging.

Those who've been following Season 2 have seen more varied challenges. So far, the only redesign has been to modernize the one-time X-Man Dazzler with a look appropriate both for a superstar and superhero. All the other challenges have required the designers to create original characters. First designers had to come up with a costume with an animal theme. Then they had to choose a nation and design a costume based on that nation's flag. And in our most recent challenge, Challenge 4: Villain of the Month, designers were tasked with creating a villain named after and evoking a month of the year. Voting is currently under way for Challenge 4.

The only other big change this year is in the timing. Season 1 took place during the summer,and as I said we only had six participants. In response to participant feedback, I decided to move the contest to the spring to hopefully generate more participation. And it worked. We had sixteen participants fulfill Challenge 1, more than doubling last year's turnout.

There are some really strong contenders this year, all with distinct design and artistic styles. I think this, along with some cross-promotion on other CBR forums, has helped increase our voter turnout as well.

Coming up? Well, without giving too much away, we have challenges focusing on both character creation and redesign. One of the redesign challenges is a concept provided by last year's winner, Vegetarian Goat. A couple of the redesigns are actually reimaginings of Marvel, DC, and Image characters. And a couple challenges will target specific eras, such as the Golden and Silver Ages. So there's a lot to look forward to. And ultimately, we'll wrap up with CBR Fashion Week sometime this summer.

Check out the current voting thread. And come back to check out future challenge and voting threads, every Thursday and Tuesday respectively!

See you on the runway!

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