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Josh Olsen Wins Short Shorts Animation Contest

Joshua Olsen has been named the winner of GoComics 2018 Short Shorts Animation Contest.

Animators who entered their own 60-second-or-less video were eligible to win a $25,000 grand prize from GoComics.

So Josh got a bit more than just a nice plaque.

The GoComics blog carries the short notice with a link to ten finalists on YouTube.

 

 

If you preferred another entrant in the contest, what can I say…

As with many such things, if you didn’t like the outcome you should have voted.

 

Community Comments

#1 Stig Beaumont
October/11/2018
@ 1:07 pm

I congratulate the winners of the GoComics ‘short short’ festival.

But as a cartoonist and animator I’m just gonna say it out loud… this was a terrible festival and I blame the organizers.

Since this contest is funded and run by a large, established cartoon syndicate (Andrews McNeel Universal) I think it merits a bit of detailed critical comment.

In theory, the contest is a worthy idea: Push artists to combine the ideals of the traditional comics with short animation.

What bothers me about the contest are two fundamental issues:

First, why does the contest award one massive grand prize with runners up getting… NOTHING?

They gave out $25,000 to a one-shot cartoon that apparently got only a few hundred views. (Again, I don’t blame the artist.)

That’s a LOT of money, as anyone who works in comics or animation today knows.

Would (for instance) 5 winners getting $5000 have kept people from entering? How about 10 winners getting $2,500? How about a grand prize of $5000 and the rest distributed to runners up, a thousand dollars each? Think about it!

The point is, the award structure of ‘winner take all’ overkill condemns all the other hard-working contributors to the same old ‘exposure only’ exploitation.

It serves neither creators in general or GoComics (if it is serious about nurturing artists.)

Second, a review of the semi-finalists indicates to me that whoever judged the selections didn’t use any solid, rational, professional criteria for their choices.

One would assume from the stated contest guidelines that submissions would be judged by whether there are such essential basics (standard for both successful comic strips AND animation) as:

Strong central characters?
A premise that can survive more than one gag?
Development potential?
Originality of style or approach?

With all due respect to the artists themselves, these qualities seem mostly lacking in the judge’s choices.

I’d expect a contest sponsored by GoComics to pay special attention to selecting entrees that manage to merge what works in comic strips with the potential of animation.

Yet this seems not to have entered into the decisions at all as far as I can tell.

Did any of the judges have any experience in professional development, creation or criticism of comics or animation?

What were they thinking? (And who are the judges? How many entrees were there? How were the submissions reviewed?)

The judges don’t seem to understand and appreciate the possibilities of these combined art forms… OR respect the effort and work required to participate.

Gocomics simply didn’t think the contest through!

The public doesn’t know what the rejected entrees are like, but I’m left scratching my head at what made the cut.

I suspect most people who review the winners will also be underwhelmed by work which for the most part rarely rises above an average level all us have seen online for years.

To sum up, this was a poorly designed, promoted, managed and judged contest which exploits the cartoonists who contribute AND fails to elevate the medium.

As cartoonists, animators, and/or lovers of both, let’s call Gocomics out and demand better in the future.

Thanks

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