Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thoughts on The Webcomic List Awards

It's Super Bowl Sunday, but that's not why you come to this blog. You come because, like me, you are way too into webcomics. And today, Super Bowl Sunday, the winners of The Webcomic List Awards have been announced.

As I've mentioned before, I was a judge for the Best Black and White Art category, and I did a comic-form presentation for the Best Character award. And first of all, congrats to all of this year's winners:

Best Non-traditional Art - The Dreamland Chronicles
Best Black and White Art - The Abominable Charles Christopher
Best Colour Art - Freak Angels
Best Writing - Gunnerkrigg Court
Best Comic - Gunnerkrigg Court
Best New Comic - Moon Town
Best Character - Digger
Best Gag-a-Day - Girls with Slingshots
Best Longform - Gunnerkrigg Court

Of all the winners, I'm only really familiar with Gunnerkrigg Court and GWS. If anything, the list of winners is a reminder that I am but one man, with one man's time. I can't read all the good comics out there! I'm not surprised that Gunnerkrigg won three awards, "Best Comic" among them--it's really an impressive comic, conceptually creative and executed with polish. Freak Angels and Moon Town are both on my "gotta check out sometime because the art is just that awesome" list, so their respective awards just reinforce that for me.

Judging and presenting has been a good opportunity for me to expose myself to some new comics. In addition to winning Best Character, Digger was a nominee for Best B&W Art, and I was very impressed with what I saw while judging that award. As Bengo of The Floating Lightbulb has often pointed out, black and white artwork can be even more challenging to do well than color, and the creator of Digger has got the chops. Plus, the creator has written a compelling main character who is a wombat, so I may have to come back and read some more of this one.

I also had the pleasure of reading several chapters of Scorch, another new comic for me. It makes good use of ragged, Jhonen-Vasquez-esque linework and hatching to convey this totally unhinged energy. The artwork reinforces its dark and creepy Halloween-ish tale of soul harvesting, and whether you're seriously following the story or not, it's a real treat to look at.

Plus, Chris Watkins, the creator of Odori Park, did the presentation comic for Best Comic, which was one of the most amusing presentations of the whole awards "show." Odori Park itself is a sharp strip that I've come across a few times, and if there were a category for Best Black-and-White Gag-a-Day, it'd make a strong contender. Good stuff: consider giving it a look.

That wraps up my thoughts on The TWCL Awards 2009. (Yes, I know "The TWCL Awards" is redundant, like "ATM machine," but you gotta abbreviate it somehow, and The Webcomic List already goes by TWCL, so.) Check out the winners, and come back to this blog on Monday evening, where I'll be dropping a little announcement of my own.


Chris Watkins said...

Thanks for the awfully kind words, Jackson! I appreciate the nod :)

Chris Watkins said...

By the way, I should say, I enjoyed your presentation, too. Best use of Rene Descartes in a Comic Award Presentation for 2009 :)

Jackson said...

Thanks, Chris. :)