National Cartoonists Society president Tom Richmond announces a major, inevitable evolution of the comic strip with a new webcomics division for the Reuben Awards. The Reubens have traditionally honored the best in comic strips and illustration — two artforms now mostly associated with Mad Men-era martinis and horn rim glasses on the “up to date” scale. Richmond’s post has all the salient background info but here are the guidelines and the screening committee:
To this end, we are introducing a purposefully narrow-focused new division this year, which will be called “Best Online Comic Strip”, and will be judged by the NCS board in anticipation of being done by an NCS chapter in the future. Here is the criteria for eligibility we have come up with:
Comic-strip format only (no single panels, long-form narrative. etc.)
Must be web only publication (any syndication in print would make it eligible for the Best Syndicated Comic Strip Division)
Must be at least a weekly
Must have shown consistent publication based on determined time-schedule (i.e. it being a daily, twice-a-week, weekly, etc) over the course of the 2011 calendar year
Creator must earn the greater part of their living directly from the strip/property
Submitted work itself must be:
No more than 12 samples, submitted as physical prints along with submission form and bio or as PDF with 2-4 strips per page and including bio/submission form
Work must have been published (posted) during period from Dec. 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2011 (archive.org links must be provided for each strip for verification).
The screening committee is a very knowledgable one:
• Bill Amend — Creator of Foxtrot
• David Allan Duncan — Professor of Sequential Art Graduate Coordinator, Savannah College of Art and Design
• Andrew Farago — Curator, Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco
• Michael Jantze — Professor of Sequential Art and Animation, Savannah College of Art and Design
• Rick Marshall — Freelance Writer, Editor, and Producer, Time Inc., MTV News, IFC, Movies.com, Digital Trends, CBR
• Gary Tyrrell — Writer/Editor, Fleen.com
Eyebrows have already been raised over the “Comic-strip format only” which eliminates several tens of thousands of the hundreds of thousands of webcomics out there, but baby steps.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.