Friday, May 7, 2010

One Fans Opinions

I wonder how many blog posts have been devoted to Zuda over the last 2.5 years? People previewing a comic they or an associate created? People promoting a comic they or an associate created? Reviews? Commentary? Rage filled rants about not getting in or loosing (come on you know there have been a few at least)?

There have been a few here at Flashback Universe.

Today there will be one more.

A few days ago Zuda posted the following on their blog:

"About two and a half years ago the very first ZUDA COMICS competition went live. The goal was to engage the community, bringing them into the editorial process in a way that had never been done; shifting the ability to green light a project from the publisher to the public.

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.

However, from this point forward, we wont be using the competition format to do it.

In the next few weeks you’ll notice some changes to the site as we eliminate the competition and retool the submissions section. We’ll do our best to keep you updated through our blog, our Twitter and Facebook page; however, if you come across something buggy please leave a comment or send us feedback and let us know.

I’d like to take an extra minute to personally thank everyone that’s ever been in a ZUDA COMICS competition. It takes an amazing amount of passion, dedication and effort to run that particular and often peculiar gauntlet. If you’ve got any specific questions please feel free to reach out to me via email or on my personal Twitter."

There is plenty to dislike about that statement. Sure there were difficulties with the previous format, the biggest of them were listed. There were also benefits from the program as well, namely getting accepted into the competition even if you didn't have the best production values. All sorts of books got in, and they all had an equal shot and achieving a popular status (at least in the begining of each month) so that they might take home the prize.

While I don't have any facts about what Zuda's new system will entail it's going to have to be judged somehow. Judges require guidelines to judge by. Guidelines of any type will surely require production values of a certain level to get in.

The end of an era? That's not for me to decide, and it may be too early to tell just yet but one thing seems fairly certain: fewer applicants, not more, will be getting in from here on out.

In other news, when one door closes and another one opens...

Digital Webbing:

"Digital Webbing Presents, our very own homegrown anthology, is returning!

Many (if not most) of you are familiar with DWP and the roster of established and new talent who have graced it's pages. Not to mention the guys who had some of their earliest work published in DWP and are now "rising stars". Guys like Yildiray Cinar (Legion of Super-Heroes, Ravager, Noble Causes), Mahmud A Asrar (Siege: Young Avengers, Atom, Nova, Dynamo 5), Ryan Ottley (Invincible, Haunt) and Kody Chamberlain (Sweets, 30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales, Beowulf) to name a few. Go check out a list of creators in DWP here.

DWP 2.0 will be taking advantage of current technology to publish as first-run digital content on mobile devices like iPhones and iPads, as well as online. Options for printed editions/collections are being discussed as well.

We're looking for quality work, the kind of work that built the reputation that had editors from the big boys sending promising creators to DWP to "get some real work under their belts." We'll need both short stories and serialized stories. Shorts or chapters should be in the neighborhood of 8 pages, content should be PG-13 at most.

I'll be helping Ed run things so you can ask questions here in the thread and one of us will answer you."

Here at least is a new publishing platform to possibly fill the void of Zuda for those who's Zuda pitch was nearly ready....


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