The 2013 Mix March Madness Webcomics Tournament Finals: Sandra and Woo vs. Bittersweet Candy Bowl!

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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52 Responses

  1. Gabriel says:

    Sucks that the Sandra and Woo fans were able to buy a win over the popular vote victory of Ava’s Demon, but at least it’s going to charity. Voting BCB for revenge anyway.

    • Novil says:

      Bittersweet Candy Bowl has also won a round with fewer votes than its opponent. So it’s even in this regard now.

      • Gabriel says:

        Overcoming a 19-vote deficit in the round of 32 is on a different scale than erasing a 156-vote deficit in the Final Four.

        I won’t be upset if S&W wins; I’ve never read BCB. I am upset that Ava’s Demon doesn’t get to be in the finals when it won every match legitimately.

      • Space says:

        Wow! It’s amazing how humble Novil is, given that he said he can’t consider the contest “a serious sign of popular approval any longer”! You must be really “unhappy with the concept of buying so many votes”, given that Sandra and Woo is receiving the highest numbers of vote donations, probably due to how you’re offering rewards if Sandra and Woo wins!

        • Skunk says:

          Yeah because another background of Sandra is SUCH a big reward right?

          GL Sandra and Woo, hope you guys win.

          • Nameless says:

            An incentive is still an incentive, and dedicated enough fans will go gaga over whatever they can get, as minor as it may seem.

            Their line of thought is probably that “If it doesn’t win this tournament, we won’t get it at all! Lost forever!”, and obviously, the fans don’t want that.

            On top of that, in the event that a given person likes both webcomics that are up against each other in a given bracket, and only one of them is offering incentives for a tournament victory, it’s not hard to guess which one that person’s going to vote for.

          • Space says:

            Don’t forget the entire Sandra and Woo comic today is a big “GO VOTE” picture! Subtle!

          • Skunk says:

            Actually the REAL comic for Thursday is in the description of the vote pic.

          • Dancing Weasel says:

            Got to appreciate one of my favorites made it into the final competition. With help ;)

        • Nameless says:

          I’m glad you’re still around to point out the hypocrisy here. I even quoted you when making my point two rounds ago, but was only met with a comment deletion instead of a meaningful rebuttal.

          Since Sandra and Woo just received the most in donations, yet lost to Ava’s Demon in popular vote terms last round, it’s official: the S&W fans are not so different from the CK fans they were lashing out at along with Novil, having pulled off the same feat just now.

          Incidentally, there hasn’t been a news update on the S&W site about this round yet. I wonder what it will be…cheering on the fanbase some more for total victory of this little tournament, or possibly shaming them for doing exactly what the CK fanbase had done?

          • Michael says:

            There has been an update, up longer then your post. The author even said that the rules of this should be changed. Failure to read or check is funny.

          • Nameless says:


            An update, you say? I’m not seeing one after this post-that is, there is no Next button after it-which is referring to the round before this one.


            If the update you are referring to is this one…


            …then that’s the one Space and I are referencing when we say it makes Novil look really hypocritical.

            Oh, wait, now I see it:


            It was part of the comic index, not whatever index those other posts were under, which means that the “Previous” and “Next” links on their posts don’t lead to each other. That’s why I missed it, even though it’s pretty blatantly on the main page as a result of being a comic post. I admit, I screwed up hard there.

            Yes, Novil does acknowledge that the rules definitely need a change next time…but I don’t see any mentions that S&W advanced via donations outweighing AD’s popular vote advantage. At least some of the fans are aware of that, going by the comments section.

          • Michael says:

            It was on the page that I loaded when I went to the site directly, I have no idea where you were going to not get that, learn to browse properly I guess, fool.

      • haha says:

        Congratulations, feel happy you’re going to win? :/

      • stop says:


      • Van says:

        You know why I like xkcd the most out of all my comics? Randall doesn’t talk in his forum, he keeps most of his thoughts to himself, and he doesn’t say anything that pisses me off, so I can enjoy the comic without thinking, “Man, the guy that does this has a different opinion than me. If I know that the artist of BCB is a total bitch that doesn’t respect people’s opinions about a controversial topic, then it takes the fun out of reading it.
        Your comment just stopped me from deciding to read your webcomic.

      • cwDeici says:

        Novil: Even if S&W had gotten screwed over earlier by XKCD, which didn’t happen in the end, screwing over AD making it even for S&W would not equal things being even for AD.

  2. nope says:

    Seeing as how Sandra and woo won because a lot of votes were bought doesn’t seem fair. Oh well, if the artist realllyyy needs to win just to get their comic out there whatever. Still voting for bcb either way (even though I love avas demon) taeshi puts a lot of effort into her work, I think she deserves to win.

  3. K-Ten says:

    While the erasure of such a large deficit (and it’s not the first time this competition, hello Commander Kitty) leaves kind of a bad taste in my mouth, let’s just please remember to not blame the creators of these comics for this happening. It is a natural thought to be more inclined to donate as a fan if your favorite webcomic is losing, and donating a larger amount if your favorite webcomic is down by a significant margin. It can take the action of just one person to do something dramatic like this, and it shouldn’t reflect on the author of the work.

    I don’t know anything about S&W’s creator, but I know that Taeshi is a humble, wonderful person who puts a metric fuckton of effort into her work and has been getting better and better at her art and storycraft for years and years now. S&W’s creator I’m sure has put a lot of similar effort into hers. Don’t let those things be maligned because of a silly contest with silly donation rules.

    • Nameless says:

      I applaud you for not conflating the actions of a work’s fanbase with the actions of its author.

      Clearly, the authors themselves tend to be unaware of the amount of donated votes; it certainly caught Scotty Arsenault by surprise TWICE, what with being pushed past Dresden Codak and Manly Guys Doing Manly Things against a sheer popular vote deficit and all. He admitted that he wouldn’t mind a loss against the likes of Manly Guys or Sandra and Woo after the fact.

      On the other hand, maybe the authors should be aware of what having incentives for tournament victories can do to their fanbases, especially with the donation votes thing in play. As far as they know, those incentives are lost forever if their comic loses, and they don’t want that.

      Unfortunately, this has clearly bred resentment, rivalry, and possibly outright hatred between fanbases, all over a little popularity contest with a donation drive twist…just as I predicted from the get-go with the donation votes. Perhaps they take it as a personal offense if some other comic defeating their favorite means they don’t get the incentives they wanted. Maybe it doesn’t even have to involve incentives, but just watching their favorite comic lose to something else they don’t like as much.

      It’s quite a shame…aside from raising funds for charity, this was also meant to expose viewers to new works they might like, and I’m not sure if it succeeded at that given all the antagonism.

      • tak.lung says:

        I don’t like the buying votes thing either, and though I’m a fan of Sandra & Woo and voted for them I know that the artist is no fanof buying votes either and they stated so explicitly which is why I don’t understand why soooo many S&W fans bought so many votes! I just gave my one vote, end of story, and its no shame looing to grat comic as Ava’s Demons!

        But what you say I don’t think is true… about the rivalry and stuff. I started reading SO MANY new comics! Like Ava’s demons (love the art!) or Awkward Zombie or Romantically Apocalyptic,… and I think that goes for many so in the end I think all Artists won new reader one way or another ^^
        People just shouldn’t take things too seriously I think and enjoy this ^^

  4. Jim says:

    Dis iz fo da whole enchilada. Who will snag bragging rights for a year?!

  5. Irene says:

    I am very disappointed with both of these outcomes, tbh. I am not exactly the fondest of either of the two comics, and I really wanted Ava’s Demon to win.

  6. Wolftamer9 says:

    Okay, every comic I voted for is officially out of the running now. I know that the money for charity is more important than who wins, but combined with the new voting system that stopped a lot of people from voting, the results have become incredibly skewed. Remember, the money is buying votes, and the votes are deciding the tournament results. Don’t say it’s not about the tournament when people are obviously spending their money to support their favorite comics. Paradoxically, the donations have been given to make the donations pointless, because if the results don’t depict the popular vote, then the votes are meaningless, and therefore so are the donations (unless you’re assuming people donated ONLY for charity’s sake, which I admit is possible, but can’t be true for all voters). This system makes absolutely no sense to me.

  7. MiwAuturu says:

    What is the end date for this round? I don’t see it written anywhere

    • Gabriel says:

      “Voting ends at 9 PM EDT Saturday night, which is 6 PM PDT, so if you’re at WonderCon, make sure you vote early!”

  8. Space says:

    Remember guys: the real winner here is The Hero Initiative. Keep up the good work, Glenn!

    • That’s the way I see it. The end result of this voting is that the Hero Initiative gets a lot of donations. Even though I am a fan of Sandra & Woo, the voting results are insignificant for me.

  9. Lukkai says:

    Well, this will be a tough one for BCB. Seeing as even without donations, S&W has been able to get more support so far. But then we don’t have the voting numbers of past tournaments, so it wouldn’t take that much for it to become a completely open race again. Will be interesting to see if the headstart S&W got so far will be enough.

    As for the donations: I was actually amazed as to how few decisions were overturned by them, considering the lower amount of votes. I had been expecting way more in that department.

  10. Charlie Adams says:

    I donated as much because I like the charity (it helps that it’s a tax writeoff too). It’s great that it’s a benefit that helps a comic I’ve grown to love. If you don’t like how the rules are set up, change them for next year. I do disagree it negates the value of the poll. I value my $ quite a bit too, so parting with them is not something I would have done if I DIDN’T like the comic quite a bit. Voting with my $ is one way I am noting that I think it’s a good comic.

  11. Pylgrim says:

    Terrible. Just terrible. I love S&W but there’s basically no metric by which Ava’s Demon is not a superior thing. It’s also newer than S&W so if Novil thinks he can use the notoriety, imagine how much more Michelle (who as far as I know never has bought advertising for her comic, like Novil) needs it.

    The amount raised for charity is rather little to have made a circus out of this competition in which up-and-coming artists and writers looking to make a livelihood should be awarded notoriety by the quality of their work alone. Hoping that next year they will get rid of this awful vote-buying idea.

    • Lukkai says:

      How do you measure the quality? And more importantly: Who does?

      Popularity does not automatically equal quality after all. Therefore you couldn’t hold a tournament with any kind of popular vote if quality alone would be your sole criterion.

  12. pip25 says:

    Charity or not, involving money in the voting like this only served the muddy the waters of this competition even further. I’m glad I did not take part in the voting this year. :(

  13. John Merklinghaus says:

    This is a non-profit organization wanting to raise money to help people, combined with a competition. There is simply no way to have both of these without money being involved.

    It’s 50 cents a vote, with the first vote being free. I don’t see it as pretending to be anything else, and I don’t think this invalidates the victories so far. The winners are raising more money for this cause and advertising it better.

  14. Nicky says:

    I have to say that the pay-per-vote stuff doesn’t really care… I’ve read all of the comics from quarters and just because there they were. I believe that fans will pay for their favourites to move on, and I have no problem with that. So I look at two important things here: 1) If your comic has gotten to quarters it means that not only you have a lot of fans, but your comic most probably rocks. 2) It’s not about competing anymore if you got that far, it’s about sharing your genious imaginarium to the world. Besides, don’t make the pay-per-vote thing get a shadow on those great comics, that’s just sad.

  15. Valkin says:

    i came here to vote for s&w but after some thought i voted the competition. buying votes isn’t right, besides the hipocresy of “not taking the contest serious” to “go vote” from today. Ava’s demon was won, in my opinion.

  16. Esn says:

    I really wish that the opposite comics had won in the last round. Ah well, as it is I’m voting for S&W – it’s not my favourite, but at least I LIKE it.

    Also, people keep saying about how this really isn’t about the best webcomic but about this charity called Hero’s Initiative. But what exactly is this Hero’s Initiative? Who gets to decide which artists get the money? Is it only for superhero comics artists as the name suggests?

  17. biblioholic says:

    Guys. Seriously. Your webcomic lost. I didn’t buy any of those Sandra and Woo votes, but clearly they care enough to donate for it’s victory. The impetus of their fanbase has overreached yours. They donated because they wanted to. Yes it does mean that it’s less based on the popular vote of the internet. But you guys are acting like the very ideal of every single process is democracy when everybody here was guilty of signing on to multiple computers and voting like that before the facebook system was put on. It’s not like it hasn’t always been imperfect.

    This is reality. Capitalism is what democracy is best suited for. Fucking deal with it. Oh no. Some people wanted them to win and used the existing system to donate to charity because this mattered that much to them.

    That being said, of these two BCB DESERVES IT MORE.

    • Esn says:

      Capitalism and democracy are opposing forces, biblioholic. The principle of “one man, one vote” is incompatible with the principle of “one dollar, one vote”. The recent history of modern Western societies is a battle between these two forces, with capitalism gaining the upper hand over democracy in the last 30 years.

  18. Bleh says:

    You guys, I know it stings, especially if you were an Ava’s Demon fan, but not only did the makers of Sandra and Woo have no hand in having their win bought, their win was completely legal. That’s the whole point of this competition; it’s a fundraiser. It’s designed to get people to buy votes for their favorite webcomics so that they can win, the actual voting is more a formality for those who don’t want to pay.

    If you want to regard the outcome of this tournament as bogus, that’s fine. If you think another comic here was better than the winner, that’s fine too. No one was really a loser here, because all of these comics received more readers from just having been in the tournament. Everyone wins, it’s all good.

  19. Adrina D-R says:

    Using money to progress the votes seems like a terrible thing to me. What if people want to help by donating but don’t have any cards? It doesn’t seem fair at all to me. Hopefully they change this for the next competition.

    Rooting for BCB! Taeshi works very hard on it, and it has an amazing storyline. I love the art style she uses on it too!

    • Skunk says:

      The money goes to a good cause. The comic thing doesn’t mean too much compared to earning the money for a good cause.

  20. guy says:

    I really think people are missing that S&W only got around $80 more than Ava’s Demon, who still had a substantial amount of donation

  21. Thomas says:

    Who cares who wins I’ve started to read at least another 10 commics on a regular basis and realy it’s just publisity and charity.

  22. Jim says:

    Your dad wouldn’t have passed away if you weren’t such a faggot.

    • Skunk says:

      Damn for one, you didn’t reply to that guy who said it and two, that’s rather cold hearted to say to someone you don’t know.

    • Lukkai says:

      I must say that I greatly enjoy the way the admins on this site deal with trolls. Even more so thanks to my years of experience as a forum moderator on hattrick. :D

  1. March 31, 2013

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