Round 3 of Mix March Madness 2012 Webcomics Tournament–Vote Now!

Glenn Hauman

Glenn is VP of Production at ComicMix. He has written Star Trek and X-Men stories and worked for DC Comics, Simon & Schuster, Random House, arrogant/MGMS and Apple Comics. He's also what happens when a Young Turk of publishing gets old.

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66 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    Vote for Unsounded! An insanely high-quality comic with a hugely talented creator who needs our help to give her the recognition and awareness she deserves! If you’re an LFG fan planning on voting for LFG, please, READ Unsounded before casting your vote, and make your decision based on an informed choice! This comic needs your love!

    • aqueductsarecool says:

      Yes you should.

    • Olivia says:

      AND she updates regularly and frequently!!

    • zero says:

      I just wanted to say that I just looked at Unsounded, and within two pages, I already enjoy it.

      • Matt says:

        Thanks. Please tell some friends about it as well. Did you decide to vote for Unsounded, or for LFG, or have you not yet made up your mind?

    • Snow says:

      I’ve been a fan of both LFG and Unsounded for ages, so that was the hardest choice. Voted for Unsounded, though, since in my opinion it IS the best of the two. The comic is just amazingly drawn, has a great story, and lots of fun. So even if you prefer LFG, go check it out: one thing this contest is great for, is finding out new great comics.

  2. Bob says:

    no thanks Matt. i’ll vote for what i choose to, not what i’m told to.

    • Matt says:

      Fair enough. Please consider it an emphatically worded suggestion rather than a command. I know people will vote how they will, and that’s fine. It’s my hope that they’ll do so after taking a good honest look at both choices before making their decision, but I know some won’t, and again, that’s fine. But Unsounded is a substantial underdog going into today’s contest, and it is a completely independent work of one individual, who does almost nothing to monetize or promote her outstanding work. It’s up against a highly professional comic with a large following. If Unsounded is to have a chance, extreme tactics are called for on the part of us fans, hence my spamminess. My apologies to those offended by my behavior.

    • Annie says:

      Yes, little Bobby, God forbid anyone have enthusiasm or try to have some good spirited fun with this. (Nice spam with with the user name, too, toad.)

      Now go vote for Gunnerkrigg Court, a$$hole!

      • Glenn Hauman says:

        Calm, folks. The good thing about all of this is that people are being exposed to different strips (and I have the referral logs to prove it). A whole bunch of LFG fans are going to read Unsounded, and vice versa, and both strips are going to gain new readers as a result. And what can be bad about that?

        Personally, I\’m looking forward to this matchup, since there\’s a similarity in genre and milieu, but with very different approaches.

        • Frank says:

          As someone who has read about 10% of these strips in the tourney, I really appreciate somewhere that I can enjoyable new strips.

    • Edward says:

      Errrm… really Bob? Are you this defensive about all advertisement soundbytes?

  3. Edward says:

    Unsounded is the underdog, but it’s one of the best webcomic I’ve read that has so little exposure. It really does have an amazing combination of a well crafted plot, humor and beautiful drawing.

  4. viking says:

    After being a fan of LFG for some time i can truely say… Unsounded is so completely original I would actually like to see it become a game. The world created by a single person shows true artistic talent. I voted Unsounded.

  5. Jack says:

    If you only know one comic in the bracket, read the other before voting. If you vote solely on the comic you like, you cheapen the tournament and turn it into a worthless popularity poll.

  6. Matt says:

    Another amazing thing about Unsounded is the author’s disciplined update schedule. She maintains a very large page buffer of completed pages in advance of what’s been released… in a conversation yesterday she referenced it being 75-80 pages… so that she can always release at least three high-quality finished pages a week. Usually it’s on Mon-Wed-Fri, but sometimes, if she feels the pacing of the story warrants it, she’ll release two or more pages in a single update, and then usually make up for it later by taking a day off from releasing a page soon after, so that she maintains a buffer size that she feels completely comfortable with.

    In fact, she’s done several multi-page updates lately, so she’s taking Friday off from releasing pages to catch up, despite the fact that we’ve seen very clearly that she gets most of her votes in this tourney right after releasing a page. But she cares far more about the quality of her work and the discipline of her creative process than she does about promoting or monetizing her work, which just leads us fans to adore her even more. It also leads us to want to go to extraordinary lengths to advocate for her and promote her work on her behalf. She deserves far, FAR more recognition and reward for her work than she seeks or receives, so as a fan I feel compelled to make the most of this opportunity, given how much bigger a phenomenon this contest has become than was expected. I don’t think she realizes just how superior her work truly is, and I want to help drive the point home with a very strong showing in this round, or perhaps even an upset victory.

    Given that, and given the massive competition we’re facing, could I ask those of you who *have* just found out about this comic and decided to vote to it, to go the extra step and also recommend the comic, and a vote for it, to a few of your friends? If you like it and were convinced and want to vote for it and support it, please help spread the word as well as voting yourself. This is truly a worthy cause.

  7. Wesley says:

    SMBC versus Awkward Zombie

    aaaaaugh. D: So hard to choose.

  8. Matt says:

    Hmmm. Goblins and LFG have near-identical vote totals, and are accumulating votes at near-identical rates. And the creator of Goblins seems to have been promoting the idea of a match-up between the two of them in round 4. It kind of looks to me like Unsounded is being ganged up on by two larger bullies, each of whom would be a favorite to kick our ass individually anyway. Well, that sucks, if true. Bleh. I don’t suppose I can interest y’all in engaging in some good old-fasioned outrage about this possibility? Throw some votes our way over the injustice of it all? Not that that’s how I’d want to win, I’d rather you just fall in love with Unsounded and vote your heart, but, given the circumstances…. I suppose I could see if I could find some torches and pitchforks for us to wave as an angry mob. *sigh* Shall we?

    • Tony says:

      I respect your drive to get Unsounded noticed and possibly to win, and I’m sure the creator of that comic is proud to have fans like you who support her work, but I think it’s a little unfair to label LFG as a bully just because it is winning. It is possible that some people are voting for LFG because they favor it over Unsounded.

      • Matt says:

        You’re right. I’m biased, and it’s not very fair. I apologize for my poor manners. I am absolutely certain that some are voting for LFG because they favor it. My suspicions have some evidence, but… well. I probably handled that poorly. I should not have used the word “bully”. Anyway. I apologize, and I blame sleep deprivation.

        • Tony says:

          Things get heated in competition, and sleep deprivation is something I can definitely relate to. I hope Unsounded gets some more readers thanks to this competition and your effort.

    • Goblins says:

      Matt. I promise you that I am not trying to encourage bullying toward Unsounded or anyone else. I love the way this tournament gets people reading other webcomics they wouldn’t normally have found and I’ve been encouraging that in all my blog posts. I didn’t know about Unsounded before this tournament, but from what I’ve seen, it’s AWESOME! I can see why you’re so supportive of it!

      • Matt says:

        Thanks very much. Sorry, I have a somewhat abnormal brain and have experienced serious sleep deprivation issues lately, so my head played tricks on me there for a little bit, a few hours ago. Thank you for the support. :) I really like your comic a lot too, and I wouldn’t have found it if not for this tournament. Not as much as I love Unsounded, but it’s really fun to read. :)

        • Goblins says:

          Yup, the guy who called shenanigans over people “bullying” Unsounded unfairly, just emailed this to me. Today’s word, boys and girls, is hypocrisy…

          Hey there Mr. Hunt. Found your comic through this contest and I really really like it. Not as much as I love Unsounded, but it’s way better than that silly Looking For Group thing, IMHO. :)

          So, here’s the deal, m’friend. I know a big showdown between Goblins and LFG would be epic, and it’s what you’ve been gearing up for since that’s the likely outcome, but their vote-getting effort is getting pretty ridiculous. Frankly, I’m worried… I think they can take you. They don’t deserve to. And neither one of us want to see that happen.

          So, my friend, this is what I propose. Unleash the Goblin hordes on the side of Unsounded in round 3! Sic your fanatically loyal minions on them! And tell them how cool and awesome Unsounded is, of course. I mean, you’re probably sure you could take on little ol’ us next round without any trouble! We’re all cute and harmless! Seems like a win-win for you!

          So what do you say, o noble creator of things Gobliny? Shall we forge an unholy alliance and crush our mutual enemy into the dust? :D

          –Matt
          Self-appointed standard-bearer-in-chief for the entirely-too-modest-to-self-promote Ms. Ashley Cope of Unsounded.

          • Matt says:

            I emailed that to you earlier, yes, and it was wrong and hypocritical to later accuse you of ganging up on me. It was before I got so paranoid that I started worrying that LFG had beaten me to the punch as a co-conspirator. I got carried away in my advocacy for Ashely, and I suck for doing that, and that was the wake-up call that shook me out of this. Thanks for calling me on it; I deserve it.

          • Matt says:

            Also, the tongue-in-cheek tone of the email was inspired by your own blog posts, which I enjoyed reading, and I was just feeling silly. And now there’s well-deserved egg on my face. Just please don’t let my mistake reflect poorly on Ashley?

          • Goblins says:

            It’s all cool, Matt. Unsounded looks amazing.

          • Matt says:

            Thanks. I’m sorry.

        • Matt says:

          I got a well-deserved bitchslap from karma in the timing and sequence of these events.

          1) I email the above message to Mr. Hunt
          2) I start examining vote patterns more closely and get batshit insane and suspicious
          3) I start and stop an email to Mr. Hunt a few times before deciding it would be naive and stupid to tip him off before calling out the imagined team-up of two big things against one one smaller thing
          4) I post my suspicions above, feeling crappy and conflicted about it, but with my head too far up my ass, in my fervor to see Unsounded do well, to restrain myself
          5) I realize I’m being completly hypocritical and back down from my statements, and try to get a little sleep
          6) Mr. Hunt posts his first reply above
          7) Mr. Hunt receives my idiotic email from my earlier temporary insanity
          8) Mr. Hunt sends me a well-deserved indignant reply via emai
          9) I post my proposal below about a blog post
          10) Mr. Hunt posts my hypocritical email above
          11) I immediately apologize
          12) I receive Mr. Hunt’s email reply from a few minutes earlier, and apologize personally via email
          13) We bury the hatchet above

          This particular timing sequence is a very impressive display of karmic justice against me for my earlier hypocrisy. Well played, Universe. Well played.

      • Matt says:

        Don’t suppose you might be willing to throw up another quick blog post clarifying that you’re not so set on a Goblins vs. LFG matchup next round that you’re advocating for your readers to vote for LFG without giving the competition a fair look first? :) I trust your intentions, but I’m concerned that some of your readers might not be as good about following up on doing the research before voting. That’s partly just based on some highly suggestive statistical trends I’ve noticed in the voting patterns this round. Willing to give Unsounded a more direct shout-out while there’s still time left in the contest, and encourage your readers to check it out before voting in this contest? That would be awesome. :)

        • Zathyra says:

          As one of the Goblinsfans: We are not stupid.
          I didn´t see anyone in the forum or the chat trying to convince others not to vote for Unsound, so “we” could create a duell between Goblins and LFG.
          Even if we were voting tactical, which we don´t do, we would be rather voting for the “weaker” opponent to get an easier win next round.
          The long termfans of Goblins all know that Thunt is very fair and has high morals and would not want us to do such shenenigans.
          When while he is broadcasting, someone tries to get the other viewers to vote for him on the TWC-list, he always tells us to vote for all comics we like and when we feel like it, not because someone tells us to.

          But seriously, I started reading Unsounded after I saw it the first time here. But after all that I read from you Matt, I don´t know if I want to go deeper into a community where you seem to be the spokesman. (Yeah I know, you are not the spokesman and I won´t decide if I like a comic or not based on one hysterical fan. But I wanted to point out, that you are making a bad impression and propably are not doing anything good for your favourite comic here.)
          Just relax. 90% of the people are voting for what they like anyways and not for any tactical reasons.

          • Matt says:

            I am not the spokesman; my actions were completely my own. I have mental health issues and it turns out my biochemistry was completely out of whack over the last few days due to about 3 things happening at once, one of which was a prescribed dosage change. Just got back from the ER, after my worst panic attack in 5 years. I did not actually coordinate my actions with Ashley or any other fan, I was just shouting and making noise, and really felt it was all in good fun, except for that brief crazy period of paranoia about Thunt. This was all due to my own mental health stuff and my biochemistry being out of whack. Ashley knew about some of my mental health stuff, but hadn’t realized just how nutty I can act on the internet when the stars align and I lose touch with reality. I had no idea how my actions looked, for the most part, and thought I was just having fun.

            Anyway, the bad impression is all on me, and I’m more than happy to take this one for the team. People can hate on me all they want; I’ve created worse drama and suffered worse consequences to my reputation before, TRUST ME. Yep, I looked like an idiot and made a bad impression, totally. That happens when my biochemistry gets out of whack. Much better now, thanks.

          • Matt says:

            (Also, the comment you replied to was made chronologically in a weird order in the middle of all the stuff above it, before Thunt posted my old email. See sequence list above for details, if interested.)

          • Zathyra says:

            I hope you are better now Matt.
            And I replied to the newest comment that had the “reply”-option. Not all comments have that, I don´t know why.
            And as I said, my opinion on any comic is not based or influenced by what you say, don´t worry. I also did not went to my friends and said “oh look at that guy and what he is saying”. I don´t think too many people read the comments. So I think you actually did not offend too many people. Just me a bit when I was first reading all that text. So don´t worry too much and get well soon.

  9. David G says:

    When I encouraged fans of PVP to support the strip and Scott Kurtz had this to say via Twitter:

    “@sellout4life please don’t vote. Please don’t ask for people to vote. I’m not interested it boosting their page views.”

    Should the comic be in this Tournament if the creator does not support it?

    At the very least should there be a link to his site giving him page views. The opposition to my favorite web comics got a page view because I wanted to see what the competition was like before I voted, give them a fair shake so to speak. Granted this tournament is all for fun but do you want someone in it. that seems to have a distain for what you are doing?

    I leave it up to you the fans.

    Oh and by the way I voted for PVP and i don’t regret it because I enjoy the strip.

    • Mr. Graves says:

      Well, to be fair, at this point, many of the comics still in the competition already get more traffic and viewers than the actual Comic Mix site itself. As the list of contenders shrinks to those that already have a largely-established fanbase, the benefit they get from a tournament like this is much smaller than a less-well-known entry that’s already been knocked out, so there’s really less of a reason for them to care. Unfortunately, the monetary prizes of the tournament will likely go to those who need them least (I’m not saying people like Scott Kurtz are billionaires or that PVP doesn’t need more fans, I’m just saying in a comparative sense), but I think ultimately it’s just a matter of not taking a tournament like this TOO seriously. Sure, get out there and spread the word to the fans and let’s go crazy with it in that it’s fun to watch the numbers pile up and obviously its fun to see something you like win, just don’t get TOO emotionally invested in it.

      • David G says:

        You make a valid point , and to expand on something you said about the winner being one that needs it the least. My opinion would be not to include those that don’t need it. Less of a bragging rights thing and more of a tool to help those that do not have the notoriety of P A, LICD, PVP and others. This is something that some of the contributors and Mike Gold have had success at. If not for the talents of Ostrander, Grell, and Gold who as an editor went to bat for these talented writers and artists so much so we now have great titles such as Grim Jack , John Sable and Badger. Maybe ComicMix can fill that role of Independent booster. The problem with what Kurtz said was he made it sound as if I and/or ComicMix was doing something to harm him. It was like he equated giving someone else page views was like taking food from his mouth. am I taking this to seriously? The tournament no, but doing something nice for someone and then being chastised for it of course.

        • Mr. Graves says:

          It does seem a little weird considering that Comic Mix, if anything, probably will end up losing money or at best breaking even on this venture; any ad revenues they might get from page hits are probably also going to have to cover server costs from the site getting slammed, and anything left over will end up going to a few webcomic owners. Maybe not necessarily the ones that “need it” the most, but still, it seems to be a fairly nice gesture on the part of the guys running the site.

          As far as not including others though, the problem is, where do you draw the line on “who needs it”? Like I said, nobody’s actually swimming in money (maaaaaaybe Mike and Jerry are doing fairly well? I dunno how much PAX actually does in terms of profitability), it’s really more a matter of “able to make a living out of this webcomic” vs. “barely scraping by” vs. “has to do a second job to make ends meet”.

          I think this setup is about as good as you can get it short of checking with every webcomic owner first and seeing which ones want to voluntarily not participate, which would at least guarantee that the money doesn’t go to someone who doesn’t care, but would also make things kind of weird as far as an actual fun competition would go.

        • Mr. Graves says:

          Oh, also, sorry David, the whole not taking it too seriously part was meant in general, not you specifically.

        • George says:

          I think Kurtz is kind of a… hardcore capitalist? Not sure what to call it, but looking at some of his blog posts I get the feeling that he has very strong opinions on what is and isn’t a “proper” way to go about making money on the Internet. Remember when he and Joel Watson had that huge Twitter debate about Joel’s shirt design getting stolen? I’d bet he doesn’t feel like he’s lost something as much as he feels like ComicMix is “improperly” attracting new readers, so he’s philosophically opposed to helping them, even if it’s just one of his fans rallying other fans to vote for him.

      • Matt says:

        Words of wisdom, thanks. For my own part, I think I’m just frustrated because I expected to be making our opponent work harder for a victory this time around. But it’s harder to energize the majority of our own fanbase when we don’t have the kind of exciting, tight race we had last round, and when it’s falling during a period when Unsounded is taking a catch-up day off on the updates tomorrow. I just have kind of a knee-jerk visceral negative reaction to that kind of fatalistic outlook, even though intellectually I understand it. It’s just frustrating to feel like maybe we, as a fan community, could be making more of an exciting battle out of this, and generating more benefit for Unsounded and for Ashley Cope, if we could just keep up our fighting spirit even in the face of evident looming defeat. But it’s probably unfair of me to feel that way. I think that’s what got me going a bit too far on my end, personally. Thanks for these words that helped provide perspective. (And from my viewpoint, the cash reward of the tourney itself is just a minor cherry on top compared to the benefits of exposure in a contest that’s attracting a lot of attention from a lot of people at the moment.)

      • Glenn Hauman says:

        Just as a note: we\’ve sent thousands of people through to hundred of comics since the nomination rounds, and from what people have been telling me, they\’ve been reading like mad, doing full archive runs on strips.

        So the benefit is not insignificant– if a thousand readers click through and read 500 pages, that\’s a LOT of pageviews.

        • Matt says:

          Thanks for sharing; that’s a comfort. I suppose I can hold out hope that dozens of people are avidly tearing through Unsounded’s archive as we speak, and once they finish will emerge raving with joy, and voting for Unsounded and that each one of those readers will get several of their friends to vote for it as well. There are two more days left of voting… who knows what could happen….

  10. Bartimaeus says:

    Im’ma let you finish, but Andrew Hussie had the best webcomic of all time!
    GO HOMESTUCK

  11. Matt says:

    Okay, status report after about a day of voting. LFG is consistently racking up a little over three votes for every one vote that Unsounded is accumulating. So, if Team Unsounded wants to seriously start catching up, we’ll need to at least match their rate, and improve on it if we want to close the gap. If you are a loyal Unsounded reader and voter, or a new convert who has just joined the cause, will you try to personally get at least three other people who haven’t heard of Unsounded to check it (and LFG) out, and see if you can get them to vote with us? Ideally, we should all try to get as many new people reading and voting for this comic as we can over the course of today and tomorrow. How many do you think you can bring in? Three? Five? More? Let’s see how big a mark we can make on round three, and if we have to go down, for Heaven’s sake, let’s *really* go down swinging.

  12. Matt says:

    Also: Any columnists or critics out there reading this who have fallen in love with Unsounded through this competition? Do you have a decent following? Are you willing to write a review, and promote votes for Unsounded in this tournament? Would you put something out there today?

  13. Stephen says:

    Moldoff division is the division of death as far as I’m concerned. Questionable Content, The Meek, Gunnerkrigg Court and PvP are 4 comics I would have happily voted into the finals.

  14. Stephen says:

    … and yes, I have started reading Unsounded as a result. Looks good, and I’m happy to share.

  15. Matt says:

    Thanks for sharing that, Stephen, it helps me relax and feel better. I am dialing my actions down now, after actually successfully completing three whole hours! of Gasp! Actual Sleep! Hopefully I will be able to get more, soon. Exchanged nice emails with Ashley; she is a laid-back person who doesn’t like taking things to extremes and doesn’t regard it as healthy, and I am a passionate enthuser who loves showing how much I care about something by extreme behavior that wakes people up and shatters people’s preconceptions about the range of acceptable displays of joyous emotion. I’ve found this experience to be a healthy catharsis that has helped me work out my issues about creating Internet Drama!, which seems to be an inevitable result of me being myself with the things I care about, and seeing that a little drama isn’t the end of the world, if appropriately handled. But I have now decided let her handle her image development in the way that would probably be more consistent with her own more laid-back, less extreme way of doing things, and I’ll stop getting my drama on her stuff with all this. So, have fun, read, and vote, everyone! We now return you to your regularly scheduled reality of people with more conventional ranges of behavior. :)

  16. Matt says:

    (I *would* ask that if you’re a person who automatically voted for LFG yesterday and now feel bad about doing so without checking out their opponent, that you cast a vote for Unsounded today to balance the scales, and cast a vote tomorrow to establish your preference once you’ve had a chance to form your own opinion on the quality of Unsounded.)

  17. Thedude3445 says:

    I just want to say, as someone who came here to vote for Homestuck (which probably isn’t even necessary lol), I have found a ton of good comics because of this tournament. I hadn’t even heard of Unsounded or Goblins until I went to this, and now look at that I’m reading them both :0

    • Wesley says:

      You really should try following the Webcomics section of the Homestuck forum, then. :P Most of the great comics in this competition have entire threads dedicated to them.

  18. DB says:

    I was able to vote twice. I assume this is unintended. If it’s because of what I think then it would be easy to skew the results significantly.

    • Matt says:

      I’ve found that one can vote once per 24 hours per IP address. They don’t advertise that fact, but since it’s an option available to anyone, I’d say it’s fair and balanced, and the advantage goes to those with fans savvy enough to figure it out. But both sides can do the same thing.

  19. Will says:

    Sad to see two of my favorites drop out of the competition! RIP Girls With Slingshots and The Oatmeal, maybe next year. On a happier note, long live the remaining contenders, and I hate this contest for giving me so many new comics to read that I doubt I can keep up with all of them

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