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Daily Grind Webcomic Challenge 264

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-could-go-for-awhile dept.
Dauntilus writes "Bent Comics is sponsering a web-comic contest. Contestants put $20 into the pool, and they must update their comics 5 times a week. If they fail to update on time, they are out. Last artist in gets the pool. The contest started yesterday with a sweet $1,120 in the pot. A few big webcomic artists like Scott Kurtz (PVP) and Chris Crosby (Superosity) have even show up for the fun."
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Daily Grind Webcomic Challenge

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  • No PA :-( (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @12:42PM (#11825019) Homepage Journal
    and they must updated their comics 5 times a week. If they fail to update on time, they are out.

    That eliminates Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] :-(3x a week, frequent screwups, but worth the free price of admission all the same.) Call me greedy, but I'd love to see PA daily =)

    • Re:No PA :-( (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kurosawdust (654754) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @12:48PM (#11825098)
      Man alive, there are some different tastes on this here site. I personally can't stand Penny Arcade - I don't think it's funny at all - but I think the best (and unfortunately underrated) webcomic today is The Perry Bible Fellowship [cheston.com].

      Hilarious stuff.

      • I agree. Perry Bible Fellowship is easily one of the best webcomics out there. I recently discovered the comic. Well worth taking a look. How often is it updated though?

      • Re:No PA :-( (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bobman1235 (191138)
        Please be sarcastic... please be sarcastic....
      • Even weirder: Pokey The Penguin [yellow5.com]. Be sure to check out the archives (the one currently on the main page isn't as bizarre as some of the earlier ones). And hey, it's a penguin so you are automatically required to love it, being a Slashdot reader and all.
      • How can you not find this [penny-arcade.com] funny?!

      • Personally, I find the news posts more interesting than the comic itself--mostly because I think the writing style is so conceptually graphic. I'm not even much of a gamer, but they keep on coming up with vibrant and different imagery to describe pleasure/displeasure.
    • "Frequent screwups?" What do you mean? The problems with the update script? Any /.er with 2 seconds should be able to find the direct link to the .gif every MWF :) You're right that the 3x a week thing prevents their entry, but I don't think they've missed a single update in the 6+ years of Penny Arcade.
    • They could do it - it just might be worth the dough. this is a great idea to motivate constant updates, 5 times a week on a quality comic would be a lot of work though, I update once a week which is plenty while doing other life-oriented activities.

      Hmm.. maybe I'll start doing a quickscribble comic and compete on the quantity side.
    • Frequent screwups? Penny Arcade are dependable as clockwork. Well, not quite, but they are very consistent, and every comic IS a comic. You should read Megatokyo [megatokyo.com] sometime. The whole archive is at least 10% filler. And since the author quit his job to do MT full-time, I find that disgusting.

      As for this pot thing... well, a long time ago, I ran a web comic of my own [ucam.org] on Keenspace. It was only stickmen, but it did update seven days a week. For a thousand straight days. Not kidding.

      So, good luck guys, we'll se

      • And since the author quit his job to do MT full-time, I find that disgusting.
        Whatddaya mean? Megatokyo just wouldn't be the same without Piro whining about why the comic is late.

        In defense of MT, you have to remember that the artwork is A LOT more detailed and less "cartoony" than most other webcomics out there. It's a very different style of drawing than most comics use, and I can appreciate that it takes more time to do it.

        • Yes, it takes more time to do. And if he can't stick to a three-day-a-week schedule, he should change his schedule. The comic is his job. If he misses updates, he's NOT DOING IT.
  • by Mage Powers (607708) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @12:43PM (#11825034) Homepage
    Of Real Life Comics [reallifecomics.com]. I read that daily too along with PVP and Superosity. Personally I was hoping Piro would join in, he'd be first out :)
    • I like his visual style, and even many of the storylines. But it seems like half the time he's apologizing for not keeping up with the strip... I doubt he'd go far in a 5x/wk commitment.
  • Another one. (Score:2, Informative)

    by PeteDotNu (689884)
    "they must updated their comics 5 times a week"

    I swear, someone is putting nonsensical grammar into every single article, just to see how we squirm and ped.
  • by lbmouse (473316) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @12:45PM (#11825070) Homepage
    It doesn't appear that any of the strips have to actually be good. Me and my stick-figure-guy could win this one.
    • It doesn't appear that any of the strips have to actually be good. Me and my stick-figure-guy could win this one.

      Actually not, one of the rules is no sketches.

      Now if u colored him in...

      Or pull a southpark... grab MegaPOV (which can do cell-shaded renders in POVRay), make some basic objects and scripts, and just write dialog and positioning elements for each frame.

      Hell, you could just make a random joke generator plugin to the above (doesn't have to be GOOD, just has to BE) and have it kick off every mo
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Just because a strip is done with stick-figure quality doesn't mean it isn't awesome!

      Kick in the Head [kickinthehead.org] is my favorite, and it's not about the art.
    • Does it even require that the author be human? Some people [qwantz.com] get away with just putting different text over the same image every day, it wouldn't be too hard to automate that; either build up a few hundred strips worth of sentances, or just randomly generate them...
    • It doesn't appear that any of the strips have to actually be good. Me and my stick-figure-guy could win this one.

      Don't knock stick figures. Matt Feazell's [cynicalman.com] strips are some of the best comix done in the past quarter century, and they're done entirely in stick figures. (And the much-loved-around-here Scott Adams has never been what one would call a "great illustrator".) What makes a good comic is (mostly) good writing.

      Granted, there's nothing in the rules for this contest that says the writing has to b

    • Me and my stick figure guys [ucam.org] probably could too. I ran that comic, seven days a week, for a thousand straight days. Over now, though.
  • by Tuffsnake (767507) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @12:45PM (#11825072)
    Wait so this is basically a contest to see who's life is so devoid of content that they never miss a day of logging on and updating their cartoons ... sounds like whoever wins is really the biggest loser ;)
  • Squidi hasn't missed more than perhaps one or two updates in two years on A Modest Destiny [squidi.net]. But, he is rather unpopular among the webcomic community
    • Indeed (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kahei (466208)

      Yeah, I think Squidi's achievement in sheer quality and production values over a period of years has been quite amazing. I can't say I'm wild about the new style backgrounds (or the dangerous tendency to start making Art with a capital A), but I have to take my hat off to the guy for the sheer amount of quality images, text and plot he has produced. As a comic, it's funnyish; as an exercise in continuity and development, it's outstanding.

      I'm not quite sure what all the troubles surrounding the artist act
  • by Yomers (863527) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @12:46PM (#11825085) Journal
    Nice way to borrow money from those 'big webcomic artists' ;)) I bet at least 2 of them will produce 5 comics a week for a very long time...
    • Is that this will be going on for at least 2 years. And then it will be down to 5. The only thing that is going to knock some of these artists out is some for of accident to their person or a sever server failure..... Uh... Shall Slashdot Slashdot those Slashdot wants to lose at update time?
      • Re:My Prediction! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by scrotch (605605)
        I agree, some of these artists have already been this reliable for a long, long time. Hopefully the money will be put in an interest bearing account rather than in a jar that will get lost somewhere.
        • it'll probably be put in a low-risk interest bearing account. the pot maintainer will keep the return, and give the winner the original invested amount...
  • Good practice (Score:5, Informative)

    by grungebox (578982) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @12:54PM (#11825171) Homepage
    I think anyone that's ever tried a webcomic knows that consistency is the biggest challenge. It's hard to develop a routine and get strips up in a timely fashion with some degree of regularity. That's a critical factor in determining a strip's early success at drawing an audience. Internet users are lazy, and if you don't have any timeliness, they move on. People might counter with Mac Hall or Megatokyo, but those premiered during a slightly less dense webcomic atmosphere. Also, they drew audiences in with the art, which is the other key component. You can slack off on the updates if your art kicks ass and still maintain a decent audience. Hell, if you get both you become a rising megastar like Apple Geeks [applegeeks.com] or Scary Go Round [scarygoround.com].
  • Hm, I've been mulling over some ideas and characters for something like this. If I had heard about this pool a month or a week ago, I could have given it a shot. Who knows. I doubt it would be fair to join late. But telling us after the contest is under way... well...

    The server's slashdotted. Can someone post a mirror of the rules?

  • It'll never end. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The initial idea must have been a competition to provide that extra bit of incentive for the creators not to miss an update. With comics like PvP and Superosity in the running, it's now a race to see who gets to the grave first.
    Kurtz boasts going years without missing an update (what about those sickdays and guest weeks?), I'm sure he can easily keep updating for years without fail if he makes the effort. The same goes for Chris Crosby of Superosity. For them it's not an incentive to update, they're in it f
  • Diesel sweeties [dieselsweeties.com] would do fine. It's been going strong for a few years now, daily comic on your email every morning. Good stuff too.
  • Cheap labour (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Yet another cheeky attempt at getting cheap labour. They get a site with daily updates down for free.

    It reminds me of some design jobs that had a task for possible applicants. When you applied for the job, you where given a brief from one of their customers. Whoever did the best design, got the job...meanwhile the company got paid a few thousand for the guys work before he even started.

  • I want in, i just e-mailed them to find out if it's too late.

    I have a comic (Bertoline) posted in my signature. Check it out, it should appeal to some of the dork masses. Some are good, some are TERRIBLE. Hahaha... Let me know if anyone else knows if it's too late. Give me some hatemail about my comics too, that'd be nice

  • Buffer cache (Score:3, Informative)

    by RainbowSix (105550) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @01:23PM (#11825489) Homepage
    I'm surprised that more comics don't do this [samandfuzzy.com] where the author of Sam and Fuzzy states that he has a buffer of about 22 comics so he never misses an update.

    Of course, he only updates MWF so he's not eligible for the pool.
    • http://schlockmercenary.com/ [schlockmercenary.com]

      Tayler does this, and I have to say, over the last few years, his comic has gotten really, really good. If you haven't read it, read it. Although he comments today that his buffer is down to 4 days, which is the lowest it has ever been...
  • by strredwolf (532) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @01:28PM (#11825532) Homepage Journal
    Not only Chris Crosby [superosity.com], Brad Guigar [greystoneinn.net], Ryan Smith [funnyfarmcomics.com] and Steve Troop [melonpool.com] have joined from KeenSPOT... ...but up and comming artists Jennie Breeden [keenspace.com] (The Devil's Panties), Bruce Goer [keenspace.com] (A Day in the Life), and Matt Johnson [keenspace.com] (Cortland) have joined from KeenSPACE.

    The SPACE team WILL WIN!!!
    • No, it's ridiculous.

      I bet the creators of the contest have the money in an interest account, or maybe they've already spent it.

      All it takes is for two "professional-level" webcomics (PvP, Dilbert, etc..) which almost always update daily, to join and the contest will run forever with no need to ever pay out.
      • All it takes is for two "professional-level" webcomics (PvP, Dilbert, etc..) which almost always update daily,

        Close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and thermonuclear weapons; not in this tontine. You miss, you're out.

        None of these guys are (IMHO) old-style sydicate pros-- those guys have better things to do than take candy from children. PVP also doesn't qualify-- it has to be at least a M-F daily; MWF folk need not apply. Although I wonder if David Willis could have gotten in with his Roomies Redu

        • PVP's 7 days a week for about a year or so now. Ever check the archives?
          • by abb3w (696381)
            PVP's 7 days a week for about a year or so now. Ever check the archives?

            Archives don't tell everything. He's been late for more than one daily deadline, and even IIR occasionally missed at day outright-- but made it up later, which is why the archives has no holes. That wouldn't cut it for a newspaper, and won't make it here. The rules require posting of a strip by Midnight PST, no excuses.

            Kurtz has a shot, and I'd be astonished if he's in the first half of the losers, but while I think he'll might mak

  • ... which is, of course, Dilbert [dilbert.com], updates daily, 7 times a day, for the past few years... There isn't a webcomic out there that could compare to its greatness.
  • What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gondola (189182) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @01:48PM (#11825765)
    Shouldn't the point of a contest like this be to spur webcomic artists to produce reliably so that they can become more prolific, not to put cash in the pocket of someone who has already shown he can put out a strip a day on a regular basis?

    Why would a webcomic artist who has already shown himself able to produce one comic a day for the past several years (even if it's not up until 6pm) enter into a contest like this?

    The point is to provide a challenge and provide competition. For people who have already proven themselves in this arena, they are merely making it psychologically impossible for the intended audience to participate and hope to win. Someone who *just might* graduate to the next level of comic production may have decided to make the plunge and make a living at it. But with people in the competition who have already shown they can do it, how many people are going to drop out just because they know that they won't be able to compete in the very long run that this contest will inevitably go to?

    I think it's a bit sad when people who are already making a living at webcomics decide to get involved in a contest that's obviously not aimed at them.

    No, I didn't go to the site sponsoring the competition. If they intended these "semi pro's" to participate, he's scamming a sizeable loan out of a lot of people. If they didn't intend them to participate, it obviously wasn't stated in the rules. If they didn't even think about it, they're shortsighted.
  • Funny, before reading this I was returning from lunch, remembering Refrigerator Johnny and my futile attempts to find anything online about it. So now I search again, and lo and behold, http://www.clowntimecomics.com/ [clowntimecomics.com]
  • Guys, it's too late. The deadline was midnight on Feb 28th. Oh well, I'll still have to keep making new ones anyway :(
  • by Bazman (4849) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @02:14PM (#11826017) Journal
    ...a perl script that uses the GD library to draw random squiggles and the fortune file for text. Updated from a cron job.

    Indistinguishable from half the web comics out there IMHO :)

    • No kidding. Instead of an "iron man" competition, they should have sort of an "American Idol" style competition, where the readers vote one comic off the island each week. Then someone talented would most likely win. Some of those comics are like an 8 year-old's scribblings.
  • by delmoi (26744) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @02:16PM (#11826033) Homepage
    I'm sorry. It would be extreemly easy for someone (or a couple people) to keep doing something once a day for the rest of their lives. I predict this is going to take a very long time to resolve.

    Now, it might be intresting they put the money into a mutual fund or something, so that if the contest did take years, the reward would be worth it
  • Programmers should have a similar contest.

    Programmers have to post 100 lines of code (tested and debugged) Monday - Friday before midnight.

  • If you are religious and you enjoy Tatsuya Ishida's daily [sinfest.net] CONGRATULATIONS you are enlightened.

    I don't remember Sinfest [sinfest.net] ever missing a day, but I've only been following it a couple of years.

    Hmmm, Tatsuya might not be happy about me slashdotting his site... um, here's a google cache of the first comic [google.com], that'll scare some of y'all off.
  • I'd take a once a month (if you are lucky) gem like Sexylosers [sexylosers.com] over something that's updated just for the sake of it. Clay (aka Hard) sends a mail out when he's finished a comic, and it's always a pleasant surprise. Be warned it's the least work-safe comic imaginable - the warning says If you are offended at all by full nudity (both sexes), images of sex involving consenting adults, images of sex involving only one person, risque humour or human secretions of any kind, this is NOT the site for you.

    Wigu [wigu.com] d
  • It'd be nice if we knew about this competition before it started :(
  • Honestly, they must be pre-approved... you wouldn't kill your readership...but I bet if someone isn't doing a daily then their creativity must suffer if they are 'forced' to do so. I see this going forever. I mean, it is easy to pump one out if you are aiming for that, and are not worried about it making too much sense.

    A lot of comics don't make too much sense!

    The art is only part of it.

    Penny arcade should become a daily. I mean, you hit it daily to see if it updates... they should go daily to be more ap
  • Strips must be a minimum of two panels, however, artists may produce one single panel strip per every 10 strips.

    No posting of sketches.


    Yeah ok, so I mspaint a strip with two squares in it (how do you define panel? stupid!) They do not make a subjective metric on what is a 'submission'.

    I could just relentlessly post a shit strip every day, not ovetly shit, just, subjectively, spend 5 mins on a 'quirky' strip.

    use a standard 2 stripe bmp template in mspaint... cron job it to load in gimp at 8am every d

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