Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards
|Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards|
The Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards (WCCA) are annual awards in which online cartoonists nominate and select outstanding webcomics. The awards have been held since 2001, were featured in a The New York Times column on webcomics in 2005, and have been mentioned as a tool for librarians.
The WCCA represent a form of peer recognition, with voting rights granted only to creators working on online webcomics. Winners of awards receive an individualized web banner for their site, although MegaCon announced in 2007 that a live presentation would be made for the first time. In 2003, 2005 and 2006 the awards were presented in an online ceremony depicted in comic strip form and involving a number of creators.
The WCCA were started by Scott Maddix and Mark Mekkes in 2000, with the first awards made in 2001. Mekkes noted his motivation as being to "create a webcomic award process that would do the most to help the webcomic community and encourage creators to strive toward greatness." Mekkes set up a committee to run the awards, initially known as the Cartoonists' Choice Awards, assuming the position of chairman, a role he was still holding in 2007. A press release on The Dreamland Chronicles' nomination described the committee as "an independent organization dedicated to the promotion and recognition of online comics and their creators." However, committee member Lewis Powell has criticised the awards as being "horribly mismanaged, they are not well organized and they don't do what they are supposed to" and that "Problems with the WCCAs [include] making people aware of them, getting people to care about them."
Eric Monster Millikin romance comics controversy
In 2006, voters chose Eric Millikin's horror/romance comic Eric Monster Millikin (then called Fetus-X) as one of the top five finalists for the "Outstanding Romance Comic" award; however, it was disqualified by the awards' executive committee. The WCCA committee wrote that "Foetus-X's [sic] nomination for "Outstanding Romance Comic" does not comply with the Outstanding Romance Comic category's genre criteria" of "addressing issues of love and romance in their stories, settings and characters." Fetus-X was disqualified despite the awards committee's position that "We never want to limit the voters choices in any way. ... It's been very important that we not 'water down' these awards by controlling the results ..."
This move was roundly criticized, with Comixtalk publisher Xaviar Xerexes saying "throwing out the Fetus X nomination a few years ago was a mistake, the WCCAs by definition are supposed to be based on votes and there should not have been any kind of 'veto' like the executive committee enacted." Websnark blogger Eric Burns complained that "if you're going to ask Webcartoonists to nominate who they think is the best in given categories, and then you drop their nominations because you don't agree with them ... then what exactly's the point?"
In 2007, Millikin's comic was again nominated for "Outstanding Romantic Comic," but was not disqualified by the executive committee.  In 2008, the executive committee went to the lengths of removing the romance comics award and all other genre award categories in an attempt to avoid further controversy.
Top award winners
The awards have numerous categories. The comic strip to have achieved the most awards is the now-finished Mac Hall with 9, followed by Chopping Block and The Perry Bible Fellowship which have received 8 awards, and Penny Arcade and Count Your Sheep which have won 7 awards.
- Boxer, Sarah (2005-08-17). "Comics Escape a Paper Box, and Electronic Questions Pop Out". Critic's Notebook (New York Times). Retrieved 2007-02-16. "The fifth annual Web Cartoonists Choice Awards took place at http://www.ccawards.com/2005_ceremony.htm last month. The master of online ceremonies was a Web cartoon character and so were all the award presenters. Otherwise, it was much like the Oscars. There were too many award categories (26) and some commercial breaks, and all winners were rewarded with the Web equivalent of Hollywood fame: a live link to their sites."
- Thorne, Amy (2010). "25 Webcomics and Libraries". In Robert G. Weiner. Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries and Archives: Essays on Readers, Research, History and Cataloging. Elizabeth (FRW) Figa and Derek Parker Royal (forewords); Stephen Weiner (afterword) (illustrated ed.). McFarland. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-7864-4302-4. "starting points: Eric Burns ... Websnark ... takes a populist approach ... Comixtalk ... a webcomics news source; Fleen ... a webcomics blog; Kidjutsu ... focuses on webcomics for kids ... Librarians can consult the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards ... and the Eisner Awards"
- Xerexes, Xaviar (February 2007). "And the WCCA Goes To... An Interview with WCCA Chairman Mark Mekkes" (Interview). Comixpedia. Xaviar Xerexes. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- "MegaCon Convention". MegaCon Convention. Archived from the original on 2007-02-03. "hosting the 6th annual Web Cartoonist Awards. After six years of growing, world-wide popularity, the WCCAs will, for the first time ever, be presenting the 2007 winners at a live ceremony."
- Olsen, Kevin Noel (2006-06-15). "Scott Christian Sava’s The Dreamland Chronicles Nominated For Awards" (press release)). Comics Bulletin. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- "Executive Committee of the Web Comic Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards". Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- Powell, Lewis (January 30, 2007). "WCCAs" (blog post). Wax Intellectual. Lewis Powell. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- Bowley, Eddie (2006-07-21). "Master Of Ceremonies" (blog post). bolloxcomics.co.uk. Eddie Bowley. Archived from the original on 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2007-02-16. "Finally, 5 days after the winners were announced, the award ceremony of the Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards is now up. But, it is not even on the WCCA website. Ryan Estrada has taken it upon himself to put up the ceremony on his own site because apparently the person in control of the WCCA site is MIA."
- Mekkes, Mark (2006-07-21). "WCCA Ceremony is ON!" (blog post). Comixpedia. Xavier Xerexes. Retrieved 2007-02-16. "Ryan Estrada has been kind enough to do an end run around our technical difficulties and has posted the ENTIRE ceremony on his own site."
- Mekkes, Mark (2006-07-21). "Final WCCA Voting Begins!" (blog post). Comixpedia. Xavier Xerexes. Retrieved 2007-02-16. "after extensive review, it has been determined by the WCCA Committee that Foetus-X's nomination for "Outstanding Romance Comic" does not comply with the Outstanding Romance Comic category's genre criteria"
- "Web Cartoonists' Choice Award Categories". Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards. Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards Committee. Retrieved 2007-10-21. "Outstanding Romantic Comic - This award recognizes comics that reach a high level of quality in addressing issues of love and romance in their stories, settings and characters."
- Xerexes, Xaviar (February 2007). "And the WCCA Goes To... An Interview with WCCA Chairman Mark Mekkes" (blog post). Comixpedia. Xavier Xerexes. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
- Xerexes, Xaviar (2008-01-31). "Was Pulling the Genre Categories From the WCCAs A Good Idea?" (blog post). Comixpedia. Xavier Xerexes. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- Burns, Eric (2006-07-17). "Eric: Oh, might as well finish the job." (blog post). Websnark. Eric Burns. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- "2007 Results" (blog post). Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards. Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards Committee. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- Xerexes, Xaviar (2008-01-31). "The 8th Annual WCCAs: An Interview with WCCA Chairman Frank "Damonk" Cormier" (blog post). Comixpedia. Xavier Xerexes. Retrieved 2010-01-09. "the only time we’ve ever had controversy with categories is when it involved a genre category (your example of the Fetus-X/romance category being an excellent example). So by removing them, we hopefully remove the brunt of (if not all) risk of eligibility controversy..."
- Official site
- 2007 ceremony
- G4's Podcast of a G4 Attack of the Show! that announced the 2005 award winners