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Elite Eight 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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279 Responses

  1. Drillgorg says:

    Lets go MSPA/Homestuck, and Gunnerkrigg Court too!

    All those voting against MSPA: please air your grievances so we can talk them over with you!

    • wannabe_elf says:

      No grievances. I enjoy MSPA, I just enjoy Girl Genius more. I also think it would be awesome to see Goblins against Girl Genius in the final because Thunt cites Phil Foglio as one of his greatest influences.

    • Alasdair says:

      Well, since you asked, I gave up on Homestuck (somewhere around the beginning of Act 3) for a few reasons:
      – It was obvious the writer had no idea what he was doing and was making up the story as he went along.
      – I couldn’t stand the crappy art any longer. Being made in MSPaint is not a good thing, it looks incredibly ugly.
      – Too many updates – it just wasn’t worth the effort to keep up to date with.

      Mind you, points 1 and 3 of those also apply to Girl Genius, but it has vastly better art.

      • Tollyx says:

        I personally really like the art style of homestuck, and after the very first pages of MSPA he actually switched to photoshop. He just kept the style.

        And you’d be suprised how well the story actually is, but the thing is that plenty of people give up on it just because it can be confusing. Homestucks plot is pretty much like a puzzle actually.

        And many of MSPAs pages are actually just a single panel, that’s why there’s plenty of pages each update, and there is the “save game” function on the comic for a reason. (oh god I wish that more webcomics had one of those)

      • Blaperile says:

        I can understand how you feel about the third point, but not about the 2 first (though that could just be because you don’t know it).

        – Andrew does not decide at the last moment what he does. There’s an intense amount of foreshadowing in the first hundreds of pages, which comes back to bite you thousands of pages later. He does sometimes decide to do something different, but that’s always a long time before he does it. Months usually.

        – The comic is not made in MSPaint. Yes, that’s how the site is called, but in the entirety of mspaintadventures, only the very first page of the very first adventure was made in Paint. The rest has been made in Photoshop (normal images) or Flash (for videos and mini-games).

      • ehh says:

        I love Girl Genius, but the art is one of my least favorite parts about it (that and the glacial pacing). The coloring is mediocre and while he does settings really well, the way he draws faces is not at all to my taste.

      • Gjarble says:

        Also, on the first point: don’t forget, Andrew WAS still taking reader suggestions for about the first year of Homestuck. In fact, a reason he cited for closing the suggestion box was “reducing the number of frivolous tangents”. So, I’m not surprised if the storytelling appeared haphazard to Alasdair for that reason. I’m of the camp that enjoyed Acts 1 and 2, but there are many fans who did not, perceiving those acts as “boring stuff” that you need to slog through to get to the “good stuff”. I’ve always taken it for granted that this was because of the fact that the first two acts relied so heavily on programming humor (something of a niche), but after speaking to non-programmers who enjoyed those acts, I suppose this idea needs reevaluation. Perhaps those who don’t like the first two acts perceive them much like Alasdair does, as a result of Andrew trying to reconcile his use of reader suggestions (as he always did in the past) with having his own plans from the start (something that only began with Homestuck). With that arrangement, the story couldn’t cascade complications in the way that Problem Sleuth did so hilariously, because Andrew already knew where he wanted the story to go. So, the only new things reader suggestions brought were the aformentioned “frivolous tangents”, making the story seem less cohesive, and lengthening the time for each bit of foreshadowing to pay off. Meanwhile, the stuff that’s actually relevant to the plot, like how SBURB works, gets only a cursory exposition, making it look unnecessarily complicated, because the reader doesn’t find out until much later how all the mechanics (building, exploring the lands, alchemy, the war between Prospit and Derse, sprites, the actual goal of the game, the Ultimate Riddle, etc.) are related and important to each other.

        • Gjarble says:

          Oh god, that didn’t look like such a wall of text in the text box.
          TL;DR: I understand Alasdair’s first point, because Andrew was still taking reader suggestions at that point, and I think he found it difficult to reconcile those with his own plans.

      • Page of Space says:

        It’s Photoshop. It just looks like MS Paint. I believe that’s how Hussie’s style is. I believe it’s nice due to it being anti-cliche to all those smooth-looking pages.

      • Insan1tyNow says:

        *ahem*
        So by quality, there are the

        -Scribble Mode pages (self-explanatory)
        -cartoon-styled pages (which, admittedly, is most of the comic),
        -Hero Mode (drawn to scale, not uber-detailed) pages…
        -and Hussnasty pages, which are rather rare but extremely detailed.

    • Shina says:

      I’d love to see Gunnerkrigg Court vs Homestuck!

    • Flight says:

      Grievances:
      1) The art is painful. Simple like OOTS is one thing, MSPA hurts.

      2) I have started reading and it is taking forever for anything to happen and I am not finding anything funny or interesting. Some people are saying you have to slog through this, but I cannot imagine the latter part is so amazing good to be worth it.

      3) I saw the most recent updates. Are walls of l33t text-speak common? You could not pay me to keep reading it if I would have to mow through a lot of that.

      • Drillgorg says:

        Good grievances! The only one I really take issue with is the art, I guess people just get used to comic book style illustrations and that’s what they end up liking. I love the pixelly look to MSPA, in fact I cringe whenever I see an anti-aliased edge in it because it looks so fuzzy.

        Also: try this flash animation on for size, it doesn’t spoil much and is one of my favorites:
        http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004748

        • Blaperile says:

          That leet speak is a certain character’s ‘quirk’. There are many different kinds of quirks.

          Also, that flash that Drillgorg linked is a good one, but if you’d rather have one with more action I suggest you look at this: http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=006472

          This would give you a good idea.

          • Cheese says:

            How is this a webcomic? They should just make longer flash videos, that would be a lot cooler.

          • benzrf says:

            Are you shitting me?!? Watching that is like telling somebody who hasn’t read Harry Potter that Dumbledore dies in the 6th book!

          • Fish says:

            @Cheese, the flash animations take several days of screwing around with flash to make. They’re fun to watch, but they generally take dozens of pages to make sense.

            And if Homestuck were all flashes, I would be sad because we’d have even less character dialogue than in Problem Sleuth.

          • Wesley says:

            @benzrf No, that would be like showing them Descend. Or Cascade. :3

            http://www.mspaintadventures.com/cascade.php?s=6&p=6009
            This thing broke newgrounds. That’s how awesome it was.

          • Ash says:

            Oh my, introducing new readers to the crotch walk AND D. Stri being a badass? How bold.

          • benzrf says:

            @Wesley: SPOILER ALERT TO ALL NON-MSPA READERS:
            1. Derse
            2. Red queen
            3. DD
            4. Dirk
            5. Null session
            6. Jake
            7. Lusii on Earth

            Enough for you?

        • Chronowaster says:

          That is a interesting video to try to show people who are new to Homestuck Drill.

        • someone says:

          If we’re listing our favorites, I’m still really fond of this one. Doesn’t spoil much.

          There aren’t enough reprises of the Explore theme.

        • Wesley says:

          Drill, that is just mean. :V For those who didn’t watch it or clicked away early, its basically the flash where a whole bunch of cosmic horrors make a pants-shittingly terrifying cameo that starts out as a rainbow-filled children’s show parody.

          Also, because nobody likes the Squiddles album.

        • Mia says:

          It takes forever to load, and it doesn’t work for all operating systems and browsers, but this works as a nice preview to the comic, and because the images flash by too quickly, they shouldn’t really spoil anything:

          Fanmade intro screen.

          This animation from the comic also gives a good impression of the style of the comic, but it contains spoilers for the first act and part of the second:

          [S]: Enter.

          To be honest, I wouldn’t worry too much about being spoiled by later animations, because if you haven’t read the comic, you won’t even know who is who, or what is going on (even reading the comic, it’s hard to keep up with some animations on the first view! Sometimes it takes reading a recapitulation and viewing the animation more times to finally understand just what happened).

          As long as you don’t actually try to memorize and obsess over what character did what and what happened to whom in the animations, when you go read the story you’ll probably forget by the time you get to that part of the plot.

          I still think that it’s best to read the story from the very beginning. I think that what impresses fans so much is that the comic starts with simple panels, some slightly animated, and some text, and it escalates bit by bit by incorporating more elaborated and eventually longer animations, interactive flashes, music, and so on.

          It’s how every thing keeps surpassing the previous “innovation” to the story what makes it so-awe inspiring.

      • Page of Space says:

        Alterniabound. Cascade. [S]Seer: Descend. [S]John: Rise Up.

        Art styles are not the worst thing about MSPA, thank you very much.

    • Cheese says:

      Homestuck/MSPA is simply exhausting. The plots are so heavy and convoluted, and the way that the single panels are connected by the hyperlinks is jarring. Especially in MSPA, those stupid acronyms made it so that eventually I stopped guessing who they were, and just pressed the next button to get on with it. I quit around the middle of the MSPA final (ha! final.) boss battle, but I wish I quit earlier. Things were so insufferably long and drawn out, and I lost that point-and-click adventure game feel that I was initially endearing.
      To those who believe it is good simply because it has so many followers: so does Twilight. So that rule does not apply.

      • benzrf says:

        MSPA is not objectively bad, man. Well, that’s true of everything, I guess. But moreso here. :P

        I agree that it’s polarizing, and I also agree that the acronyms can be annoying. But while you see the convolutedness as a bad thing, I enjoy it. It makes me think more than, say, xkcd or oots. And I like going on TVTropes and the wiki and so on and reading about all the little details and foreshadowing that I missed.

        I can understand why you don’t like it, but keep in mind that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Alright, that’s trite. But in this case, shockingly appropriate.

        Also, which boss battle are you talking about?!

      • Shina says:

        I actually quit reading it for a while because I was too confused to enjoy it properly. When I was able to sit down and read it with someone who’d read it before and could explain the things that were confusing me it was a LOT more enjoyable.

        • benzrf says:

          I know! Personally, I used the wiki.

          That was a bad choice though.

          I ended up knowing exactly what the Scratch did before even hearing it referred to…

          :/

      • Mia says:

        I too found the numerous acronyms, zodiac signs and characters frustrating, so I ended up taking notes. Everything was much, much easier to follow then!

        However, that felt a little too much like homework. Homestuck is the kind of thing where, if you just want to read the story and enough, it will frustrate you. If you don’t actually enjoy juggling all the plot-points and time-skips and characters and timelines and stuff inside your mind (or with notes :D) then I imagine it must be insufferable.

        • benzrf says:

          Mm. If you ask me, the best way would be to find a friend who HAS read it, and then use THEM as a reference.

          I used the wiki (as posted above). It helped a LOT, but I don’t recommend it because you’ll get shitloads of accidental spoilers.

  2. mariposa19 says:

    GO GOBLINS!!!!

    I love this tournament! I’ve gotten into so many new (at least to me) comics!

    But my loyalty will always be with Thunt!

  3. Ash says:

    Oh God I knew it was going to happen, my 4 absolute favorite webcomics are all going to be against each other aren’t they? How will I vote!?

  4. Zanzanar says:

    I’m sorry, Girl Genius!

    I’m not sorry, xkcd!

  5. Caelo says:

    Man I don’t read any of the left hand side but GG Vs MSPA T-T and GC is one of my fav.

  6. Jac says:

    Noes, Romantically Apocalyptic! D:

    C’mon, fellow minions! Captain needs your votes! (As do Snippy, Pilot, and Engie!)

    • Flight says:

      RA is going down this round, but I have to say I am really glad for this competition as it let me discover it. The art there is fantastic and I love the sense of humor.

      Of course Goblins is still going to smack it like a red-headed stepchild.

  7. Midnight says:

    I’ve throughly enjoyed GC, Homestuck, Goblins, GG, and OOT for a long time now. I think its great that they all get to be in the top tier, it just shows how truly great the stories are.

    It doesn’t matter if 100% of what makes each one unique are to your individual taste, what matters is it gives you enjoyment. And these comics do this well

  8. TalesAscen says:

    Hmmm Goblins vs. RA.
    Sorry Captain, this ones voting in memory of the Chief

  9. Jeremy says:

    As a Goblins and Order of the Stick reader, I’m anticipating a difficult decision in the next round. I think my loyalties will have to remain with Goblins, but I’ll be sad to see OOTS go.

    • Maju says:

      Same here. However I must say the if Goblins, which has stayed no.1 in some webcoming listings for so long almost without interruption, beats the webcomic which raised more than 1.25 million bucks at their kickstarter it’d be a huge feat.

      My greatest doubt may be however if Goblins face Gunnerkig Court, hard choices ahead.

      But I have missed some excellent comics in this contest anyhow: Devilbear, Flipside, Legend of Bill, League of Superredundant Heroes, Curvy, Juathuur, Quantum Vibe, Drowtales, Underling, Depravia/Oglaf (best art online by far but NSFW), Flaky Pastry, Everblue, Waht it Takes, Planes of Edlor and The Noob (funniest gamer comic ever), just to mention some.

      • Cheese says:

        To be fair, I have not seen Rich of OOTS pimp out this contest on his news feed/twitter AT ALL, unlike some of the other higher voting webcomics. Perhaps he is not even aware of this contest? Especially since he just earned 1.25 MILLION dollars, he’s probably kinda busy!!! I don’t know, it’s just an observation, I love both Goblins and OOTS a lot.

        • Fish says:

          I think Burlew is aware, but values his concept of professionalism too highly to plug himself. Or he may not want to legitimise this contest.

          Then again, he is somewhat reclusive, so I suppose it’s possible that he’s simply not gotten the news.

          • Glenn Hauman says:

            One high-traffic webcomic creator told me he very specifically didn't promote Mix March Madness because he was a bit concerned about what his fan base might do. Seems they hacked a poll at least once before…

          • mightycleric says:

            He doesn’t seem to promote contests like this, and has asked readers not to vote for him on a monthly rating site because one time he did to see what would happen, and he stayed #1 for 3 straight months without much effort, but it caused constant crashes to that website’s servers (which might be what Glenn is referring to up there).

            He may be concerned that if he actually asked his fan base to vote on here that these servers might also stay almost constantly crashed with the high amount of traffic (though I’d be kind of interested to see the types of numbers OOTS would actually bring in if he did). The fact that he has not requested any votes at all on this contest and is still doing so well says a lot about how loyal and strong his fan base is.

          • techloveartist says:

            But guys, Andrew Hussie, the author of MSPA crashed the servers here twice…did he not?

            Regardless, I think for the last round, have both authors announce it or have it that both of them don’t so we get a nice fair final.

      • Anvildude says:

        I had a post written out comparing monetary donations between the two fandoms, before realizing it was petty and unnecessary. I understand that Homestuck might have a strong fanbase behind it, but that won’t stop me from supporting Goblins.