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Final Four 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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311 Responses

  1. CP says:

    Gunnerkrigg Court is winning with 79% of the vote! That seems totally sustainable to me! Gogogo!

    Goblins vs OOTS would be a tougher choice for me, except that I really want to see the Goblins’ world map.

  2. Ellie says:

    This would be a hard choice for me, but I want that Olive Garden.

  3. benzrf says:

    GO OOTS!

    As for GKC vs MSPA, I’m going to vote for MSPA since I haven’t actually read GKC. And also because I doubt that GKC can have anything rivaling [S] Cascade.

    If I’m making a huge mistake, tell me why, please!

    Oh shit why did I say that

    • Paosheep says:

      I don’t think you’re making a mistake. For me, it basically comes down to this: out of all the webcomics I follow, MSPA updates are the ones I look forward to the most. BUT! Gunnerkrigg Court is a strong number two on that list. I strongly recommend that you check it out; it’s a really great comic.

      • benzrf says:

        I really do intend to, once I have less on my plate. As it is, I’m working on a bunch of different things already (most of them Minecraft-related, TBH), and I want to finish those before going on an archive binge.

    • Matt says:

      If you haven’t read GKC, then why are you voting for MSPA?

      What’s the point in voting for one comic over another when you haven’t read both? All that does is turn this into “What webcomic advertises itself the best” instead of “What webcomic is the best” which defeats the entire purpose of the tournament.

      • benzrf says:

        Well, that’s true.

        It’s just that I like MSPA enough that I’m fairly confident in voting it; I have yet to see anything as awesome as [S] Cascade.

        You have a good point, though. And that’s why I felt kind of guilty about that decision.

        • Matt says:

          Well so long as people discover new comics they enjoy, I’d say the tourney is a success, regardless of who wins.

          I’d never even heard of Goblins before I found this thing. Now I guess I’ll need to read through OOTS and Goblins to see if I like them.

        • User 18 says:

          I just read through GC. There is nothing as awesome as [S] Cascade.

          However, it’s definitely up there in my top bunch of comics. I still feel like my votes for MSPA and QC were the right ones, although I agree that GC deserves to be here.

          I’m a href=”http://www.goblinscomic.com/08172006/”>here in Goblins, and so far, I like it the least of the final four comics. I’d rather see QC in that slot, but it lost its battle with GC. I’m pulling for MSPA for the win, but I’d be happy with anything but Goblins at this point. of my (as of now) 5 favorite comics, 3 are in the final 4, and 2 of them got knocked out last round by other favorites.

          “Well so long as people discover new comics they enjoy, I’d say the tourney is a success, regardless of who wins.”
          This. This tournament is what introduced me to OOTS and GC. Thanks to whoever it was who recommeded GC to me in the previous poll’s discussion.

          • Matt says:

            Don’t worry, Goblins Will get better from that. Much better, and quite fast too. The beginning is kind of horrible, but it soon finds some depth and meaning. Do not give up just yet.

      • Willy says:

        I didn’t think the point of the tournament was to determine which one was “best”. If we wanted that, we would have had this tournament made under very specific conditions in which with each matchup we sampled the opinions of a few hundred people… and also… a tournament format is the worst format to do it in.

        No, I’m fairly certain this is to determine which comic is the most popular. And even then it isn’t the best way to determine that. Also, the comic that “advertises itself the best” still might not get a majority of the votes in a popularity contest. Not to mention that people who only casually read comics probably aren’t aware of this tournament and haven’t been represented very well in the votes. I’d like to note that unless Goblins doesn’t have a story-line, all four of the comics in the final four are comics which are intended to be read as a whole. You could probably argue that you wouldn’t have to do that to enjoy OOTS, but even then… it still has a story-line. I’m sure if people who didn’t read Webcomics more than once a week were represented better, we would likely have seen xkcd, Cyanide and Happiness, and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal make it past the rounds they lost in. Yes. I’m saying Cyanide and Happiness could have beaten Homestuck. I know. Blasphemy as far as the Homestuck fanbase is concerned. But I doubt a casual reader like that would be able to enjoy Homestuck. It would be really hard for them to slog through thousands of pages. Meanwhile, Cyanide and Happiness’s potty humor and such is very easy to read only once a week and if you read a bunch of them at once when you’re in the mood for it, you find them very entertaining.

        I’m pretty sure this is just for fun! And also, to get the names of some great webcomics out there. OOTS I had read before, but never really got past about page 100. Knowing it made it this far in a tournament like this made me want to re-read it, and now I’m enjoying it quite a bit. GKC and Goblins I hadn’t heard of at all before this tournament. I haven’t had a chance to look at Goblins yet, but I’m already enjoying the heck out of GKC. Heck, I gave it my vote this round. (As enticing as Hussies gift card idea is, I figured GKC might be able to put the money to better use. And again, the tournament is for fun. It won’t actually determine much of anything as far as which comics are the best or most popular.)

        So yeah… I don’t think anyone has to feel guilty or wrong about voting against a comic they haven’t read. :/

        • Shiggy says:

          This is an excellent comment.
          More than anything, yeah, I think this tournament is a way of exposing people to new comics. I definitely don’t go out -searching- for new web-comics to read, and most of the time if I start a new one, it’s after an author I know has plugged it. So this is a pretty new manner of comic discovery for me, and I find it highly interesting. I just have to make sure I don’t get myself caught up in reading too many of these comments; the venom some people spit out somewhat discourages me from reading the comic they support — but I know that’s no valid basis for judging the actual content of a comic.

          Disregarding the specifics, the fact that some people can have so much particular hatred toward a web-comic just because they didn’t find it entertaining is…unsettling. If one has that much energy to put forth toward dissing something that didn’t even hold their interest for them to read through in entirety, I’m loathe to consider what aggression they can muster toward things that actually matter. Then again, maybe these sections are just full of trolls; that seems much more likely. xD

          Back to the original point — I’d say you’re definitely right. Casual readership makes much less of an appearance in this tournament. I didn’t even know about this competition until the previous round, haha, and save for perhaps Goblins, it takes some digging to be able to even find out about this competition through the actual comics involved. Noting that the tournament seems to favor comics with entire plots versus a ‘weekly wit’ or some such approach was a good observation, too. (Guess that goes with the lack of casual representation, somewhat.)

          tl;dr (because even I’m tired of my rambling): I agree!

        • User 18 says:

          Until I was introduced to Homestuck (quite recently), I was what I would consider a ‘casual reader’. Part of my morning routine was to run through a list of maybe 8-10 comics as I ate breakfast. If an update was late, I just waited until I had a chance to read the update. If I wasn’t in the mood, I didn’t read that morning, and had a bonus the next.

          My list of comics included QC, Dr. McNinja, Girls with Slingshots, Diesel Sweeties (which I have since stopped reading for reasons beyond my control, and haven’t felt like catching up), and Goats, during the brief overlap between my introduction to the webcomic and when it stopped updating (It’s coming back!!!!!!!!).

          All of these I’d argue are comics that require a lot of effort to get into (When I started QC, it was at least 1500 pages in). Of course, when I came across a comic that looked interesting, I filed it away to wait for an appropriate time, then added it to my routine when I got caught up. Someone who flips through a half-dozen comics or so at lunch would seem to me as casual a reader as someone reading the funnies in the paper.

          What might be the best would be if each comic participating added a link to the site during the first week of competition, or made a mention of it in a newspost, like SMBC’s daily posts (often consisting of random sound effects like ‘FOOMP’). That way, casual readers would get a chance to hear about the competition, and we might see a more representative voter base.

          • Willy says:

            One would hope that would give us more representation from those comics which offer a daily or weekly laugh as opposed to a story-line that can span years. But then again, one can’t be sure. This is really one of those things that’s just for fun though, and it isn’t really worth trying to balance because it’s really just another tournament based on a basketball tournament that I think we’ve already forgotten because we read webcomics and aren’t worried about college basketball? (Yes, I’m probably overgeneralizing. Deal with it. Maybe even get a kick out of it.)

            I really wish they actually hadn’t added a cash prize for the authors. I think it made things too serious. Like we were actually deciding something important. Don’t get me wrong. Comparing these webcomics is fun and it’s really awesome to read some of the comments people have about why they like some webcomics and don’t like other ones. Like how some people don’t consider flash stuff much of a “comic” really. (I read a comic called ‘The Pocalypse’ which is entirely flash. It’s still a comic.) And how “this comic has better narrative” or “this one has better art”. None of the comments are wrong, really… even the ones that directly contradict each other. (Unless they say Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff isn’t awesome… I mean… those people clearly don’t understand perfection when they see it.)

            Honestly though… I really want to see GKC make it past this round. It really is an excellent comic, both art wise and story wise.

            Or at least for there to be a losers bracket for the final four to determine a real second place winner? Y’know… let’s say GKC and OOTS lose, they go head to head while HS and Goblins are in the final, and the winner between GKC and OOTS would go against whoever lost the final.

            Though that’d require an extra article as far as I can see… and… well… to determine a second place winner? I don’t think they want to bother all that much. Heh… Ah well.

          • Matt says:

            Wow, great commentary, Willy! Thanks for posting that. :) Even though you and I seem to disagree on some matters of personal taste and our technical definitions of “comics”, I completely agree with the sentiment behind your words.

            It’s too bad that things got more heated for a while there, this round, though. It was starting to make me want to retract my earlier comments about the quality of debate we’ve all been engaging in. Thanks for renewing my faith in civil discourse. :)

          • User 18 says:

            “(Unless they say Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff isn’t awesome… I mean… those people clearly don’t understand perfection when they see it.)”

            Where are these heathens? How HIGH do you even have to BE to THINK something like that?

            (Don’t warn them about the stairs, they deserve what they get.)

  4. Will says:

    Let’s go goblins! Long live Chief! And poor Thac0, he was always my fave (I grew up on 2nd edition:P)

  5. Blaperile says:

    I know a lot of people will vote for GC, because the author sort of needs it, but I’m sticking with MSPA, mainly because I love it so much and it inspires so many people to write and draw, and because Andrew Hussie is such an updating machine.

    Sorry author of GC, I personally think Andrew deserves it more.

  6. pHB says:

    MSPA fandom for Gunnerkrigg Court!

    I love both comics and would be happy with an overall victory for either left-bracket comic. Both MSPA and GKC have beautifully intricate plots that are revealed bit by bit in later chapters/acts, so one is constantly asking questions about the story and the world. And they’ll both be lasting works of art while the roleplaying game jokes of the other bracket’s remaining comics will grow stale as fewer and fewer remember D&D 3.5.

    The difference between the two, however, is in the storytelling style and the pacing. Where MSPA is long, “trollishly” humorous, and wordy, GKC is terse and a lot is said with panel transitions and small bits of narration/dialogue. The pacing is extremely smooth as compared to MSPA being unconventionally long-winded. Not to mention its fandom has far less of a reputation for being sanctimonious and prolific in the most beautiful and awful ways, which translates into fewer self-entitled posters dogpiling on the people who say they don’t like it to tell them that their taste in comics is Bad and they’re Reading It Wrong, as is the tendency for MSPA fans (sorry guys, but you as a group were pretty obnoxious in that regard last round!). I know the fandom shouldn’t represent the comic, but GKC fandom is so much more low-key that I can’t help but count that in their favor. I believe Gunnerkrigg Court really deserves to win, no matter how funny it would be for gift cards to mediocre chain restaurants to be disseminated.

    I also dropped a vote for OotS, which is a textbook case of great writing making up (and being accentuated by) simplified art. The problem with Goblins (which I also read) is that, despite the author’s constant work on new pages, the story still moves at a glacial pace. Team Minmax has been in the same dungeon for over a year (real time), and Team Dies Horribly was in their dungeon for even longer before that finally got wrapped up. After the story’s been in roughly the same place for so much time, I can’t help but be more bored and less immersed in it. I have much more faith that OotS, Homestuck, and GKC, which have far more story content for their runs, are going to be wrapped up in a satisfactory amount of time. One could argue that OotS moves too slowly as well, with comics only being posted a few times per month, but more *happens* in an OotS comic than Goblins, so it reads better from update to update. I don’t want to see a map. I want more things to happen in-comic already.

    (I will reiterate that I read and enjoy all four comics)

    • Will says:

      I love that this post is intelligently written, and while I may not feel the same aboutwhere to cast my votes, this type of friendly and respectful debate is truly what makes these types of competitions much more interesting. I, for one, appreciate posts like this where opinions are stated and not forced, yet also supported. I apologize if this is sounding a bit ranty, I just feel there has been a lot of trash talking in previous rounds, and I’m glad to see this one not going teh same way (yet).

      • Matt says:

        I appreciate the respectful debate too, though I disagree about the level of “trash talking” in previous rounds. I’ve seen so much worse, in other corners of the ‘net. To me, it seemed like people (including myself at times) certainly could get carried away with enthusiasm for the preferred side, but I personally haven’t seen too much of what I would call trash talking. I’ve seen a LOT of discussion, and a lot of passion, but I haven’t seen much that I would consider truly out-of-line, and what little there has been (including possibly in my own case) has been called out and dealt with appropriately, in my opinion. I really think we’re doing okay here, and overall I’ve been impressed with the level of intelligent discussion, given how passionately people feel about their “teams.”

        • benzrf says:

          He’s half right… MSPA fans DID clog up half the comments section. For proof, just look at the rather lengthy conversation WE had, which, like he said, mainly consisted of me giving you tips or encouragement on reading MSPA. :p

          • Matt says:

            I’m not denying that we took up a lot of space. :) And I understand how that could be obnoxious to some. But to me, it’s more about the tone of discussion, and I think that’s been okay. But I’m starting to realize that perhaps some people just look at the volume of text devoted to a topic, and draw conclusions about the tone and content based on the size of the textwalls. I’m filing that theory away for future reference. :)

        • pHB says:

          I was more referring to how people felt the need to debate with every single poster who said they didn’t like MSPA, whereas people expressing dislike for other comics were mostly left alone. Also, the very first (and longest) thread on the past post invited debate about MSPA–while the text of the post was alright, one can read an implication from the debaters that people who dislike MSPA are somehow misinformed or have poorly thought-out reasons for it, which does come across as condescending.

          • benzrf says:

            This is true. There is a good reason behind a little bit of it, though. A decent number of people only read Act 1 and decide they hate it, which is unfair since Act 1 is silly, almost plotless, and vastly inferior to the rest of Homestuck. If the reason why somebody doesn’t like it is restricted to that part, then it makes (a little) sense to encourage them to keep reading, since they might enjoy the rest.

            It IS idiotic if they don’t like parts that hold across all of Homestuck, though. I’m not going to debate that.

          • techloveartist says:

            Actually, I would turn it around and ask, where is the fandom of the other comics to defend them?

            Thing is, I agree with benzft because there are plenty of people we’ve heard that have judged Homestuck for Act 1 where it barely even scratch the surface though. Reading only a few pages in or only the first Act 1, sorry but I do consider it as judging a book by its cover…or first chapter, really. At least a good chunk of the fandom actually says, ‘give it a second shot’ then calling names.

          • benzrf says:

            For goodness sake! My name is benzrf, not benzft!

          • techloveartist says:

            And I thought I was careful with that. Sorry about that.

          • benzrf says:

            ‘sokay.

            JUST DON’T DO IT AGAIN.

            >:3

    • benzrf says:

      Have you actually read OotS? Because a good amount of the DnD humor is fairly cross-version, and the majority (I think?) of the humor isn’t even about DnD. Not to mention that it has an awesome plot that would be pretty great even if it weren’t in a DnD setting. Also, some of the best antagonist(s) that I’ve seen.

      • User 18 says:

        I have never played DnD (Dungeons and Dragons, right?), and I find the humor in OOTS to be excellent, even if I sometimes don’t understand every aspect of the joke. When I read through QC’s archives, I didn’t get about half the jokes in the first 500 or so strips (I am ashamed to admit that I hadn’t read Dune at that point…) but I still enjoyed it overall. There’s enough general-purpose humor in OOTS for a casual reader, I’d say. Don’t be scared away by the general idea of the comic. It’s quite good, even for someone who always found the very concept of an RPG tedious and boring.

  7. Silver seren says:

    I went with Hussie’s desire and voted for Gunnerkrigg. Besides, I love that one too, so it wasn’t that hard of a choice.

    Homestucks, unite! And DON’T vote for Homestuck!

  8. Blaperile says:

    Actually, Andrew said considering voting for GC and giving more attention to it, but I don’t think he really meant that it should win over Homestuck (though he of course wouldn’t really mind that).

    And Andrew is even giving away prizes if Homestuck wins so…I don’t think he meant that guys.

    (not that I’m saying you should ABSOLUTELY vote for Homestuck, the choice is still up to yourself of course)

    • Drillgorg says:

      If by prizes you mean he is turning his prize money into greasy restaurant giftcards and giving them to randomly chosen fans. Didn’t want anyone to get the wrong impression.

      • lets be honest says:

        Really. There isn’t anything else to say here. Wait there is.

        That’s disgusting.

        • just sayin says:

          wait there’s still more to say here!
          the above two posters are silly because hussie’s trolling his own fans with the ‘prizes’. The olive garden is a big gag on tumblr so it’s just another joke. Didn’t want anyone to ~get the wrong impression~ now did we.

  9. jeremy says:

    GC really is a better comic than MSPA (and my new favorite). as much as i love MSPA, i find its a lot of the same joke over and over (in different forms and in lots of layers, but still the same). its just a shame that its most likely not going to move past this round. either way, im pretty sure goblins is going to take it all

    • ??? says:

      I completely disagree. MSPA deserves to win just as much as any other comic does, and many a fan has explained why in previous comments. I urge you to go back and read those, not to change your mind but to enlighten you. While MSPA comics certainly contain a number of interconnected gags and do revolve around comedy, that’s not all there is to it. Also, sorry, but if you’re of the assumption that MSPA/Homestuck is just one joke over and over again then you’ve definitely been reading the comic wrong :\

      • Jeremy says:

        And here’s the prototypical MSPA fan discussed above coming along and telling other people how their opinion is wrong.

        • Jeremy says:

          Just for the record, I’m not jeremy-with-a-lower-case-j. Just noticed that now.

        • ??? says:

          lol? I wasn’t telling the guy his opinion was wrong, I was responding to his by telling him my own opinion of the cmoic. Didn’t realize there was an issue with that, but ok. I guess some people on the net are just really sensitive about opinions huh.

          • Shrike says:

            (Psst. “you’ve definitely been reading the comic wrong” is telling someone their opinion is wrong.) I love both comics, but MSPA, as complex as it is, is not as good a comic, in terms of storytelling and consistency.

          • ??? says:

            …no, that’s telling the guy he’s been reading the comic wrong lmao.

    • benzrf says:

      Were you reading Homestuck, or Problem Sleuth?

      Because Homestuck isn’t really about the jokes…

  10. Eversist says:

    I’m proud of you for kicking butt and making it this far, Gunnerkrigg Court. MSPA is a worthy adversary to fall to.

    Good comics, all four of them! They all deserve the 100 dollar prize!

  11. cU says:

    413rd vote on Homestuck :D

  12. Mr. Graves says:

    Given the recent talk of webcomic author support, and given how many thousands of people will be seeing this over the next few days, I’d just like to point out that while it’s great to see CM supporting webcomics, the prize money going out from the tournament doesn’t have to be all they receive. If even a fifth or a tenth of the people who voted for GKC or any of the finalists went out and donated $1 (a Sunday newspaper full of color strips costs more) it would dwarf even the grand prize. There are 124 other comics to consider as well (and many more that didn’t make the nomination list). Obviously not everyone can donate, but for those that can, consider giving a little back to those who have put great effort into bringing us countless hours of mystery, humor, drama, excitement, and more without charge on the ‘Net.

  13. Alasdair says:

    Two of these comics have had their authors urging their fanbases to vote for them. Two of them haven’t. OOTS and Gunnerkrigg deserve to get through to the final on that basis alone.

    • Hsg says:

      I actually like that authors urge their fans to come vote. If not for that I would never have found about these other wonderful comics (I started and finished reading Romantically Apocalyptic last night), and will start on OoTS when I have time.

      Also for this reason, I would say that smaller lesser known comics that have made it far are the winners here, regardless of who wins the final prize.

      • Will says:

        I do agree with Hsg also. I understand teh shameless self promoting thing can be bothersome, but if not for seeing it on Thunt’s site (Goblins) I woudl never have even heard of this site or this competition which has introduced me to 3 comics that I now a full time reader of and several more that I enjoy popping onto now and again in my spare time. I was one of those people that took the time first round and read at least a few pages of each comic before I voted on one, even if one of the competitors was a long time favorite of mine, I gave the other a chance, I know many did. Many did not. At any rate, from what I’ve seen, the authors promoting their comic are excited for their work, and proud, like many of us readers are. I also have not seen an author say somethign bad about the competition, they usually say hey, this is going on, toss me a vote if you want to help us win, make sure you check this out and give it a read, great comic here, etc. But, I do also understand your point, a strong fanbase will show itself regardless of the author promoting it or not.

    • Alice Bentley says:

      It’s fairly hard to walk the line between letting your fanbase know that something cool is going on and shameless self-promotion. The posts on the Girl Genius FaceBook page tried to emphasize the contest rather than the contestants. I know it resulted in more people checking out some comics they hadn’t heard of before, and that is, after all, the TRUE goal.

    • Jac says:

      Yes, except you’re missing one thing — the author of OOTS has been urging people NOT to vote for it, and with good reason. If he had mentioned or even hinted at the fact that it’s in this tournament to his fanbase it’s very likely that they would have won this already, hands down. He stated that he would like to see another comic rise from this, and I think that’s both a reasonable and respectable request.

      @Hsg: Glad to hear that the Captain has garnered some of your attention~

      • me says:

        Incorrect.
        In May 2010, OotS author, Rich Burlew, stated a dislike of mindless voting sites, like Top Webcomic, with are a perpetual voting advert support system. He also made clear he didn’t like trouncing small comics.

        He ended by say that those inclined to vote for something save it for a real award, not some random website.

        That was then, ie, 2 years ago. With respect to this tourney, he has made no comment one way or the other.

        I hold that this tourney is different enough, and the competitors prominent enough, that Rich Burlew would not object to fans voting for him here. So, instead of being againt fans voting for him, he just doesn’t care.

  14. someone says:

    I find Thunt’s attempt at bribing his readers into voting for him with promises of rewards (chart, map, etc.) simply shameful.

    Even if I did not already massively preferred Order of the Stick to Goblins by several miles, that’d be enough to sway my vote against Goblins.

    Also, go Gunnerkrigg! You can do it! Well, no, nobody’s got a chance against MSPA. I’m still rooting for you, though. What would Hussie do with the prize? He’s dead.

    • Dusk9 says:

      Err…….I’m sorry, but how is that bribery, exactly?
      Thunt’s thankful for his fans support, and is showing that by offering them something in return for the votes they’ve given him/will give him. And the ‘rewards’ are things that only a fan would be interested in – it’s hardly like he’s going around and offering random people free stuff in return for votes, like you’re implying he is.

      Just because you prefer one comic over the other, doesn’t mean you can slag off the author. Personally, I respect the authors of all four finalist comics a great deal, but I’m still voting Goblins all the way.

      • lets be honest says:

        “IF I win” this is called bribery dude. If he said “To celebrate that I won I am making a map” after the contest is over; that would be a “thank you” gift.

        • just sayin says:

          Honestly your posts are getting ridiculous. All the webcomic authors have the option to encourage their fans with prizes. I don’t get what your issue is with it. Is it the fact that they may in fact win that way? For trying to actually win? Is it not okay to put some effort out to win the competition while they still can? And if so, why. (Just a quick FYI, Hussie’s ‘prizes’ are jokes. They’re gift cards to the Olive Garden, the worst restaurant in existence.) The fans are voting because they believe MSPA should win. Believe me, they’re not here for the shitty gift card.

          • lets be honest says:

            Because they are too big to fairly compete anyway. If Hussie is mocking Thunt like you say, then good for him. I don’t even know what olive garden is.