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More details on second annual Cartoonist Contest

The gentlemen over at The Cartoonist Studios have sent me more news about their second annual cartooning contest. The contest will kick off on February 6th and a big change from last year is that there will be more weight given to contest judges (panel of professional cartoonists and syndicate representative) and less on the public voting. I believe last year was pretty much all public voting.

The grand prize this year is being sponsored by Universal Uclick who will run the winner’s work on GoComics.com and the winner will be paid any money advertising money generated on their GoComics.com page. The Cartoonist Studio is also offering an electronic book publishing contract.

There are also prizes for two runners-up.

Community Comments

#1 John Hover
December/15/2011
@ 9:39 am

I like the new rules. Seafood is in…

#2 David Jones
December/15/2011
@ 10:44 am

I was VERY pleased with last year’s contest. I made some awesome friends and gained a good bit of exposure. I hated the voting part of the contest because it became a popularity contest.

I see the Studio is displaying all 10 entries. I do not like that. I liked the surprise element each week. I would wait until Midnight to see what my competition would be each week. Guess now I can get a little more sleep. A lot more actually now that I do not have to wake up at 2:30 in the morning so I can vote for myself.

I am going to enter two strip concepts this year. Just Say Cheese will return better than ever. I will also enter Charmy’s Army which I’ve been running regularly for the last six months on Comics Sherpa.

My biggest piece of advise to anyone entering is to just enjoy whatever exposure you can get… make some friends… and just take everything “on the chin”.

THANKS CARTOONIST STUDIO!!!

Okay, enough kissing up…. gotta get to work…..

#3 Nancy Roy
December/15/2011
@ 2:58 pm

Well hopefully it’s not a popularity contest this year because I’m not very popular! :)

#4 Will Johnson
December/15/2011
@ 3:25 pm

This isn’t a prize. There is no such thing as an electronic book publishing deal. No one can guarantee ad revenue traffic. You say you gained a good deal of exposure. Did you get any actual money from said ads? Seriously now….

#5 Chris Hart
December/15/2011
@ 3:55 pm

I had problems entering the contest. I hope things get sorted out!

#6 John Hover
December/15/2011
@ 5:55 pm

I agree with David I don’t like how you can already see all ten comics. I am debating on whether or not if i am going to enter the suprise comic strip ive been working on.

#7 Mike Grosvenor
December/16/2011
@ 7:46 am

If they promote the strip on GoComics, hopefully on the front page, then there starts to be a good incentive. I do like the professional judging (and feedback?) but it seems a little less interesting than a development deal. Of all the contests, I give them credit for not pushing a restrictive rights agreement.

#8 Tony Piro
December/16/2011
@ 2:41 pm

I don’t know why I read DC sometimes, because it really drives me crazy.

First, the reason that it’s just a “popularity contest” is that their site does not generate very much traffic. If their site had a huge following, it wouldn’t matter if anyone tried to stuff the ballot. Since they obviously don’t have this kind of traffic, I don’t understand how anyone thinks they’re really gaining any exposure by participating.

Second, the prizes aren’t even really prizes:

– You get the ad revenue and traffic from a group that’s already shown that they have no idea how to generate money from a website or grow a dedicated following on the internet. You’re better off doing this on your own. If you don’t know how to put ads on your site, there’s a tutorial on my website.

– Then you get a digital book deal. You can figure out how to make a digital book yourself with a quick Google search.

People seem so desperate for some sort of silver bullet that will instantly lead to success with their comics, whether it be validation from a syndicate, or your comic peers, or whatever.

I’ll tell you what’s the secret to success. Make content that is so good, and connects to people so well, that they cannot help but share it. And then do it over and over again for many years. Then you may have a shot at a career.

#9 Jim Lavery
December/16/2011
@ 3:04 pm

Oh crap, that’s way too hard.

#10 John Hover
December/17/2011
@ 10:06 am

the cartoonist studio corrected the problem with all the comics being viewed for the contest!

#11 John Glynn
December/17/2011
@ 11:24 am

Alas, I hate commenting as everything gets taking out of context and God forbid if you mispel something, you’re branded an idit.

Interesting to note, I think this is the first time I’ve commented since somebody erroneously tried to tie Ziggy to the Communist Party a few years back. Still not true, by the way.

We’re delighted to donate the prizes to The Cartoonists Studio. For the record, the prizes we are donating are the GoComics comic feature spot and an amazing selection of books. Who here likes Calvin & Hobbes?

We are not involved with the ebook.

So while we are thrilled to be invited, the contest is not part of our digital strategy, we’re just donating some prizes and doing a bit of judging as a favor to our talented friends over The Cartoonists Studio.

Now, if I could get serious for a moment, I was recently practicing the cymbals while wearing a tan corduroy vest, an eyepatch and a large gold hoop earring when I realized that GoComics is not a perfect site (though we have a lot of upgrades in store), but indeed it can drive traffic.

We’ve more than doubled our overall audience three years in a row … you can confirm on quantcast (whose numbers are pretty darn accurate) and our revenue is considerably outpacing the traffic growth. Even today, traffic is 25% higher than gocomics and comics.com last year before we combined.

We have non-syndicated comics that get 70,000-80,000 pageviews a day. Though it’s true that that is not the case with every new feature we launch. So while I understand why people point fingers at me and say we don’t know what the F we’re doing, I want to make sure they know a little more of the story before they keep hurting my feelings. My kids read this site!

So here’s the reality, the average new non-syndicated comic will get somewhere between 2,000-3,000 pageviews a day. We do promote the comic quite heavily on the site for at least the first two weeks and the traffic spikes and there’s an opportunity to capture more audience then, but it tends to level off. Some of that is on us, but some of that is also on the cartoonist as to what Tony said about creating content that keeps people coming back and sharing.

No, I know that’s not the same level of traffic of the genius Questionable Content or the juggernaut of Penny Arcade but remember, it’s not the only place you can see our comics. We have partnerships with Yahoo, Google, msnbc, Hewlett Packard, thousands of online newspapers (and their tablet APPs) etc. All places that pay for our creators to be on their sites, all places that expose them to more audience. Our digital strategy in a nutshell is to put our comics in front of people anywhere we can …. on any device … in any media. GoComics is a piece of that.

BTW I think Calamities of Nature is a great web comic. Congrats, Tony.

Oh, yeah, one more thing friends. If you do ever land on GoComics and you want to create your own site and do the Webcomics route … Please do. We wish you the best and would never think to be an encumberance. In fact, we’ll help. Even today, lots of folks use their feature page now to drive traffic to their own web pages or to their commerce sites! Technology, what will you do for us next?

Best possible regards and sorry for the long post, your pal, JG.

My email is jglynn@amuniversal.com for those of you who might want to curse at me directly or have questions.

#12 Daniel Beyer
December/17/2011
@ 1:13 pm

Long story short, the contest can be a good thing.

#13 Kassie Schwan
December/19/2011
@ 10:31 am

The gents at Cartoonist Studios might have a tad more credibility if they didn’t have a cartoonist profile on its site of a guy who recently resigned in a plagiarism scandal…

#14 john platt
February/6/2012
@ 6:44 am

@ John Glynn……John , without mentioning figures or money amounts could you tell us if comics on Gocomics that have 70,000 readers a day earn more than a comic that has 3000 readers or do they both earn the same blanket figure.thanks

#15 Beutel, James
February/10/2012
@ 1:29 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

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