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Final Four of the Mix March Madness 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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22 Responses

  1. Will says:

    The polls it’s showing currently are from last round…

  2. KGN says:

    All four of these comics are great, IMO. I have read BSCB and Ava’s Demon pretty regularly in the past, and just started getting into Sandra and Woo and A Redtail’s Dream because of this tournament. Whoever wins deserves it, IMO, these are four of the best uh, “mid-majors” and exactly the kinds of comics that should be winning this tournament.

  3. Esn says:

    I was torn between Romantically Apocalyptic and A Redtail’s Dream in the last round, but I’ll have no problem voting for aRTD against the remaining three contenders. Ava’s Demon (not Ava’a Demon as you have it listed) is the only one in the same league, but I like aRTD’s storytelling style more (the ratio of words to images is higher).

    Sandra and Woo started out as a polished but derivative comic but has been gradually finding its own voice (which seems to mean that we now see more of the human characters and less of the cute raccoon who was originally the focus). I generally like it, but it still sometimes feels a bit too by-the-book.

    Bittersweet Candy Bowl… well, like I said in the last round, it’s “listening to female social gossip – the comic!”. And of course it has a lot of fans, I’m just not one of them. I don’t really like the art, the storytelling style or the characters.

    • K-Ten says:

      I like all the remaining comics quite considerably, but BSCB has been a longtime favorite for me. I noticed a lot of posts the last round talking about how they didn’t understand how BSCB has gotten so far, who the comic caters to, and so forth.

      It’s definitely different from the other three. aRTD and Ava’s Demon both have what I’d call “odyssean” feels to them–you’ve got a big, linear storyline (with an occasional flashback perhaps), everything feels like you’re on an adventure, everything has a certain amount of gravity. They’re extremely well done comics and hit that out of the ballpark.

      Sandra and Woo reminds of me of a great newspaper funnie, I wouldn’t be surprised to read it underneath Hagar the Horrible, if I still read newspapers in print form. It’s not always four-panel but I think it lends itself to that style very well.

      BSCB for me scratches a certain itch that I can’t scratch with anything else, comic-wise. It’s the sort of comic that lets you indulge in your own emotions and drama, the sort of thing that we’ve been taught to let go of or suppress as adults. I wouldn’t call it “female social gossip – the comic” as much as I’d call it “high school drama – the comic”.

      It isn’t that I want to relive my high school drama, god knows I had enough of that. But there aren’t many venues where we can see people talking about their emotions and feelings openly, and I think being able to live that way makes me feel kind of envious. I like it for the same reason I like to watch Glee — it’s a guilty pleasure, but secretly, I can connect with a lot of the characters’ heartache and loss and happiness and everything that is the swirl of that time of your life.

      BSCB is, I think, the most “human” of these comics, despite there not being a single human in it. I think that resonates with a lot of people. It’s indulgent, but a little indulgence can be a good thing.

      • Esn says:

        Hmm… yes, I would agree with “high school drama – the comic” – is there a big difference? From what I remember, most of the drama (and the discussions) happened on the female side back then…

        As for emotions and human-relationship comics, “Questionable Content” (which was eliminated in the last round) kinda fills that particular role for me. And what I like about it is that it deals with all of those things WITHOUT a huge amount of drama (well, much of the time anyway). It’s like a guide for how to take things in stride.

        BSCB, by contrast has too much drama and duplicity for me to be comfortable with. Too often characters seem to act before they think, or are dishonest in small things for seemingly no reason. One example: In one of the most recent pages, the white cat-character in the dressing room smiled at her co-actor and told her she was doing a good job – and the comment section was full of people analyzing what she’s up to, warning that the smile wasn’t to be trusted, etc. That leads me to some conclusions about what sort of people read the comic and what they expect of these characters.

        • K-Ten says:

          Totally agreed with QC and BSCB being comparable comics.

          As a guy, I totally had my share of drama in high school. It wasn’t the same kind of stereotypical drama that girls have, I guess, but there was plenty about “does that girl like me”, “am I good enough”, “what if people find out about X or Y”.

          I like that the characters do things for petty reasons sometimes, I like that they are at times dishonest and rash and unreasonable and depressed and weak and insecure, and at other times are sincere and filled with hope and altruistic and strong and just trying really hard to make their way through the world. I think that’s probably how we all are to some extent or another.

          There are certain archetypes in comics, but usually the protagonist encounters some flaw, they deal with it, they move on and become stronger from it. In contrast, BSCB characters tend to go through problems, their flaws come out, they deal with the situation sometimes in a good way and sometimes not, and sometimes they learn from it and sometimes they don’t. Yet somehow they’re all pretty OK. I can relate to that on a base level, because it’s generally how I view people I guess.

        • Eleazar Guerra says:

          I like Bittersweet Candy Bowl because I can relate to the characters AND try to analyze what they are going to do next. There are situations that would easily be resolved if the characters were just honest with themselves, but that is not always the case in this comic or in real life.

          All the various twists and turns the characters take make the story seem more interesting and in a way more real. If you had any idea what my high school experience was like, then you would understand why I said that.

          I think I will finish by saying: Not everything is black and white… life can be quite colorful as well.

        • wnderjif says:

          The comments are analyzing it because it is out of character for this ‘white cat’. Would you not do the same if a major character in one of your stories does something completely from their norm?

          Jumping to conclusions of inference again, stop it before you fall through a hole.

  4. Novil says:

    There’s a spelling error. It’s Ava’s Demon, not Ava’a Demon.

    • Nameless says:

      You’re right. Quite nice of you to point that out, even if it is your competitor right now.

      But I still have to ask…why the about-face?

      http://www.sandraandwoo.com/2013/03/19/no-important-message-from-sandy-south/

      http://www.sandraandwoo.com/2013/03/21/woo-could-use-your-help/
      http://www.sandraandwoo.com/2013/03/25/vote-for-sandra-and-woo-in-the-semi-final-at-comicmix/

      There’s nothing wrong with wanting your comic to win a contest and all, but it’s strange that you’d call out this tournament’s use of bought votes back in Round 4 and then go cheerleading to get your fans to put your comic on top right afterward, especially when offering incentives like wallpapers for winning this tournament. Looks quite hypocritical, doesn’t it?

      You probably know what other webcomic in Kubert Division offered incentives for every round won already, to the point where it lasted two rounds longer than it should have, knocking out one of my faves in the process (Manly Guys Doing Manly Things), and you called out its fanbase for it when they presumably wanted to ensure that they’d get their wallpapers.

      Right now, you’ve got only 97 votes to Ava’s Demon’s 248. Assuming that the 28% to 72% popular vote ratio continues to the end, but your fanbase donates enough to push Sandra and Woo to the final round in spite of the popular vote…how would you feel about that, especially since it’s YOUR fanbase doing it now, presumably so they can get that wallpaper?

      • Ajedi32 says:

        Sounds to me like “I don’t agree with your methods but if that’s the way it is…”

  5. Amy says:

    I have been refreshing the sweet 16 poll waiting for it to show the link to the next poll. However it never did. So we really should have a revote for the top 8. How many others didn’t vote because no link was put up for that poll?
    The only reason I saw this new poll was that I clicked on the home page to see what the hold up was.

    • Will says:

      I noticed that as well, I was getting frustrated waiting for the elite eight, which, as it turns out was posted in news, when everything else has been posted under the tournament page :( At any rate, the last one that I was a die hard fan of wasn’t likely to make it that far anyway, and if I remember right, actually did make the elite eight, which is great. Good luck to the remaining competitor’s, I’m sure at least one will go down as something I regularly follow, that’s what happened last year.

  6. Ajedi32 says:

    Out of these 4, I’d have to go with Sandra and Woo. Ava’s Demon is pretty awesome, but the story’s just getting started so I’m not too sure about it yet. A Redtail’s Dream has amazing artwork, but the story doesn’t really suit my tastes. I haven’t ready Bittersweet Candy Bowl, but the first 20 or so pages of it make it seem like the whole comic is about nothing more than a bunch of cats and dogs gossiping about each other. (Sorry if that’s not a fair assessment, but like I said I don’t really read that comic.) Sanda and Woo isn’t my favorite comic of all time, but it has great characters and I really do find it to be a delightful comic. Ava’s Demon is a close second though. If Sandra and Woo doesn’t win, Ava’s Demon has my vote in the final round.

  7. Valkin says:

    I’m not very fond of this donation system, i personally cheer for sandra and woo and have checked the competitors and my first impression was “this is slow”, the art was awesome but every page had a third of the events that could fit in a single one. Yet however, i only checked it from the adobe, and i don’t know how often they update.

    However all those who made it this far are good looking and seem to have a nice sense of humour so whoever wins, good for them.

  8. Irene says:

    Pretty sad how most of the really popular comics like Homestuck, Order of the Stick, Penny Arcade, and others got knocked out of the tournament pretty early on :(
    I have to say; out of these final four, I think either Ava’s Demon or A Redtail’s Dream should win. I can honestly say that these would not be my choice if some other comics hadn’t gotten knocked out of the tournament. They have their flaws, but those two are the best (imo) in these final brackets. Here’s a quick list of pros and cons of the comics:

    Ava’s Demon
    Pros: Amazing art, storytelling, plot, well, pretty much everything.
    Cons: Progresses really really slowly. Estimated to be finished in ten years. Also, it has some cussing. That part doesn’t matter much, but still something to be considered; just for you all to know not to show your 8-year old cousin or something. In fact, that applies to all of these :P Except for MAYBE aRTD.

    Sandra and Woo
    Pros: Really cute, simple, and for those who enjoy newspaper comics.
    Cons: According to some reviews (I haven’t read the entire comic yet), Sandra and Woo occasionally goes on soapbox. The focus also shifts away from Sandra and Woo to Sandra and her friends, and Woo and his friends. And again, some cussing. Doesn’t matter much, as I mentioned before.

    A Redtail’s Dream
    Pros: Look at the art. Just look at it. Also, updates at an insanely fast 6 days a week. Plus, the comic has great characters and backstories, and it all fits together nicely.
    Cons: The plot is sorta repetitive, of what I’ve read so far. But it still is really really good, and worth a read.
    Also worth noting- the comic is a practice comic for the artist to get a good idea of making comics. So she experiments quite a lot with panels, borders, etc, but it usually works out quite well.

    Bittersweet Candy Bowl
    Pros: Lots of characters who each have separate personalities and realistic interactions.
    Cons: Really long. And really, imo, I think readers really do need to read the early comics and not just skip to the newer comics as suggested, as the early comics give you a good feel of the characters, which you need for this kind of comic. Also, the art style changes a LOT throughout the comic. Not necessarily a bad thing, but some of the earlier comics are hard to read, and the artist’s art style and quality still fluctuates occasionally. But the main problem I have with it are the proportions. Other than that, its fairly decent :)
    Oh, and don’t be fooled by the kitties, bright colors, and cute animals. This is not a comic for kids, and it gets pretty dark at many points.

    But yeah, I think Ava’s Demon and A Redtail’s Dream have the most effort and overall quality to them.
    Also, this is all just my opinion that I wanted to share :)

    • *sigh* says:

      It’s likely because the creators of the popular comics didn’t advertise that they were a part of the competition. TBH the only reason I knew about it was because of BCB, which let’s face it, is nowhere near the level of even OOTS in terms of sheer numbers. But the author advertised it, so his/her fans came.

  9. Esn says:

    As far as “interesting trends you can pull out of the demographic information” go, it’s worth noting that 3 of the 4 semifinalists are by female creators, with the 4th (S&W) a collaboration. 3 are proportionately more popular with women (BCB just slightly, while S&W is about 50-50).
    None of the comics by single male creators and proportionately more popular with men, (i.e. Romantically Apocalyptic, Questionable Content, Twokinds) made it into the semifinals.

    If you had some age data I’m sure the results might be interesting as well…

    • MiwAuturu says:

      Actually at the last poll BCB was followed much more by men, at about 75-25. The creator’s husband made a new poll more recently, although no data has actually been shown from it yet, so who knows how it’s changed.

      • Esn says:

        Well, I’m using the data from the ComicMix voting. There are somewhat fewer female comic readers overall, but of those who voted, they were more slightly more likely to vote for BCB than competitors (again, not a huge difference, compared to some of the others). At least, that’s what it seemed like.

  10. Anon says:

    Hi, I made two donations right after one another, but in the first one I forgot to say which comic I’m voting for. In the second one I said “please also let my first donation count for this comic”. Will that count?