The Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards

Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Mission Statement

The entertainment industry is driven by a desire of recognition by every kind of artist and entertainer in its ranks. This kind of recognition comes in a diversity of levels and a variety of forms; financial rewards, critical acknowledgements, and of course fan recognition. Every form of entertainment also promotes itself and its' participants, as well as encouraging their strife for greatness, through some kind of award system. These awards can be based on the decision and choices of the public, critics or from piers within the art form. But every kind of award helps to feed this desire for recognition from a target audience. The community of Internet cartoonists is no different.

Internet comics are a relatively new form of entertainment, but they're definitely built on the shoulders of the art forms that preceded it. Fundamentally, the artists and writers that present their work in this venue are no different from artists in any other media. They exist in an effort to reach an audience of some kind, and find that audience's approval. In most cases, it's much harder for them to receive the same kinds of recognition that are a staple for other creative artists. There are seldom any financial rewards and when they do exist, they are never significant. Also, to my knowledge, no online cartoonist has had to deal with autograph seekers, paparazzi, or stalkers (except for other online cartoonists). This award process is one small attempt to rectify this lack of recognition.

There are several awards floating around the Internet. Nearly all of them come from individuals or small groups who pass them out based on their own subjective judgments or simply for the purpose of cross promotion. So what makes the Cartoonists' Choice Awards different? It's exactly what its name suggests. They are awards that are based on the choices of ALL online comic artists. Anyone, with an online comic, is eligible to nominate, and vote for the comics they want to bring recognition to. With the exception of his, or her own individual vote, NO ONE has any power over who does, or doesn't, receive an award. They are awards that are given out according to the decisions of the masses.

Does this mean that this is a perfect system? Of course not. Just like any kind of award procedure, good comics will be ignored, and bad comics will slip through the process to receive an award. This will happen, but not often. This award is designed to bring to light what the MAJORITY of online cartoonists consider to be the best comics on the Internet. But these comics will only represent the tip of the iceberg in terms of all the fantastic work that's available to be seen in this medium. It's hoped that bringing recognition to the chosen few will trickle down to bring greater notoriety to the entire online comic community.

Fundamentally, this award, like every other award, means nothing, it's just a title. There is no cash prize, and winning the award won't guarantee your comic success. Also, not winning the award doesn't mean that your comic is unworthy or inferior. There are simply a lot of online comics out there, and this is one small attempt to broaden the recognition of what fellow cartoonists we can; and hopefully expand all of our awareness of a few more great comics that are out there, that some of us may not know about.

When the idea for this award process was casually mentioned in an email news list, it was meet with overwhelming enthusiasm. Therefore, a committee of cartoonists was put together to work out the fine points of making this dream a reality. For the next couple of months, this committee worked to make an award process that was as fair and impartial as possible. Massive discussions and debates raged on in an attempt to figure out the best way of going about this. As with anything new, a lot will have to be learned as we go along and changes will continue to be made as we learn from our mistakes and capitalize on our successes. But it's the promise of this committee to continue to make this event as fair and successful as possible.

If you're interested in taking part in the planning of next year's event, contact me at Zortic@yahoo.com.

Thank you for your support of the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards,

Mark Mekkes

Copyright Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Committee, 2001-2007. All Rights Reserved