Those of you familiar with the history of the competition know that we’ve had our ups and downs. While I don’t think anyone can argue with the quality of previous competition winners like HIGH MOON, SUPERTRON and others, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that there were clearly great series that, for one reason or another, didn’t win.
The format absolutely has merits; engaging the community and giving them real decision making power, giving creators a level of exposure that they might not have otherwise had and encouraging an ongoing dialogue about storytelling, quality and what makes good comics. However it’s also had its shortcomings; accusations of cheating, confusion about the process, spamming in the the name of promotion and argumentative, dismissive or even aggressive behavior.
Is there a better way to achieve the former without having to endure or encourage the latter? I think so. The comic industry needs a steady influx of new creators and new ideas. We should consistently explore the medium, looking for new ways to tell great stories. I think that if we, as a company, are committed to those goals we would be foolish not to pursue them.
He goes on to say the site will change as they eliminate the competition and retool the submissions section.
Zuda launched back in 2007, with the first contest going live in November of that year. The site’s “American Idol” style competitions received a bit of criticism at the time (as did other aspects, like the contract and the Flash interface), most notably from PvP creator Scott Kurtz. The contests continued, and as winners like David Gallaher, Steve Ellis, Sheldon Vella, Johnny Zito, Tony Trov and many others started becoming ambassadors for the site and the competition, it seemed like opinions started to change — even Kurtz changed his position somewhat.
I don’t think Gallaher, Ellis and the rest needed to win the competition to become comics creators — I’m pretty sure most of these guys were well on their way to a career in comics regardless — but the competition did give them a jumpstart and did bring us, the reader, some pretty cool comics. So kudos, DC and Zuda, for bringing these guys deserved attention … I’m hopeful that you’ll continue to do so with other creators.
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