Tagged: Scott Kurtz

Reminder: Today’s the last day to vote in the 2012 Harvey Awards, hosted this year by Phil LaMarr

We want to remind you that voting for the Harvey Awards closes tonight at midnight, so get your votes in now if you haven’t already. Please remember that only comic book professionals – those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, and edit comic books and graphic novels – are eligible to vote. All you have to do is go to the Harvey Awards website and vote, quick and easy. Voting turnout seems healthy this year, thanks to the new online voting.

The 2012 awards will be handed out at the Baltimore Comic-Con on September 8th, in a ceremony hosted by Phil LaMarr. We hope to see you there!

Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry’s most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected exclusively by creators – those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit, or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field.  They are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. The awards have been presented annually since 1988.


Phil LaMarr (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Phil LaMarr is best known as a cast member of Fox’s MADtv, a sketch comedy show based on characters and situations from MAD magazine, which was founded in 1952 by Editor Harvey Kurtzman (namesake of the Harvey Awards) and Publisher William Gaines. The show first aired in 1995 and ran for 14 seasons, of which LaMarr was a cast member for 5 seasons (1995-2000).

In addition to his comedic acting, LaMarr is also an accomplished voice actor for such renowned shows as Futurama, Kaijudo, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Static Shock, Evil con Carne, Samurai Jack and Justice League Unlimited, as well as recurring roles on King of the Hill, Family Guy, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Young Justice and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron.

LaMarr says: “I’m excited and honored to be a part of the Harvey Awards this year, and I am looking forward to meeting many of the people I spend every Wednesday afternoon with.”

The change in host this year from Harvey Award mainstay Scott Kurtz was due to a family conflict. Kurtz, a friend of both the Baltimore Comic-Con and the Harvey Awards, will return in the future.  “Scott worked really hard to make the show this year, and we all understand and respect that family commitments must take priority,” said Marc Nathan, Baltimore Comic-Con promoter.  “Scott is always welcome here in Baltimore!”

Marc Alan Fishman: Words of Advice, From One Noob to Another

The Sunday after Free Comic Book Day, we Unshaven lads participated in a very old-skool styled convention. Housed in a ballroom and corridor in a hotel off a major road with little to no foot traffic. Don’t get me wrong, the show was fine for us. We made back our cost of attending, and a little to spare. Even better? I found some old Exo-Squad action figures and Matt got some old Marvel trading cards. It was a good day. What really made the con for us though, was our across-the-aisle neighbor. A young pup, still in college, selling at his first show. Shucks, we thought, that was us just a few years ago.

And then he asked us for advice.


We tripped over ourselves to unearth every con-attending-tip we’d accrued over the years. And this dude … well … he ate it up. This is what it must feel like to be Mike Gold.

With that in mind, I thought I might take a week off my normal ranting and raving to give some sage advice to all four of you reading this column who are either younger than me, or like ironically reading advice from a nobody. Specifically, I want to address people out there looking to start a web-comic. Why? Well, because Unshaven Comics wants to do it. See? I’m offering advice to myself. How meta! But I digress … some things to consider:

1. Deadlines exist on the web too.

The best web-comics being produced today all share one thing in common. They update on a schedule. The point is clear: Commit or quit. If nothing else, I freely admit this is the single reason Unshaven Comics has yet to have to throw a tooned-up beard in the ring. We’ve simply never mustered the gumption to produce work in such a manner people can depend on it. With the advent of our website we’ve slowly come to terms with posting content on a schedule. We’ve released podcasts nearly every week the site’s been live … as well as releasing monthly sketch contests inspired by our fans. It’s only now that we feel comfortable enough to commit to a schedule. Hence … a forthcoming launch is inevitable.

2. Your voice will come all in good time.

I look at my favorite web-comics these days … Penny Arcade, PvP, Let’s Be Friends Again, The Gutters … and it’s easy to notice how styles (both in script and in presentation) evolve over time. Well, maybe not so much The Gutters, but there’s always an exception to the rule. One of the best parts of working on the web is that it’s a forever-shifting canvas. All artists evolve. A web-comic is as much a timeline of an artist’s work as anything else. The key here is to just start making strips, and let the product and the responses you get to it, help shape it as you continue. This applies not only to the ‘funnies’ mind you. Even the serious web-comic is a never-ending project in process. Just as joke writers learn to find their own voice … so too, do novelists, musicians, etc. Simply put? Your comic needs to have a point-of-view, and a set of rules to play with and then eventually break. None of this comes though, if you’re waiting to “perfect the idea.” Sometimes you just have to hit “post” and let it ride.

3. Putting your name on it means it shouldn’t suck.

It’s an oldie but a goodie. If you sign your name to something, mean it. A commitment to craft at all times can only stand to sway your readership to stick it out with you. Read and reread your script. Ensure characters stay on model. If you can’t draw a hand, go take some classes and come back when you’re ready. Your audience will evolve with you, but if your “pilot” isn’t enough to capture them the first time you’re wasting pixels and bandwidth. While this may seen an antithesis to my previous point, it is indeed not. Put frankly, you need to find a balance between delivering a product you’re proud of, and challenging yourself to get better with every book/strip/joke/piece.

4. No creator is an island.

The single best part of making comics for me is sharing the experience with my two best friends. The second best part of making comics is meeting and collaborating with like-minded creators. Scott Kurtz eventually packed his bags and moved to Seattle to be inspired and challenged by the Penny Arcade dudes. In Art School the critique exists not to knock us down as much as it’s there to pick us up after we fall. That being said, sharing your work as you create can only stand to ensure you reach your target audience with the best foot forward.

5. Don’t be afraid to get off-topic.

Some of my favorite strips have all been smart enough to know when to take a break. Not from posting mind you … but from continuing a narrative without coming up for air. Fans of PvP no doubt refer to LOLBat, Scott Kurtz’s love letter to Memes, action comics tropes, and lighter-than-normal punchlines. And after a heavier set of strips, nothing cleanses the palate (of both artist and reader) better than a well-placed non-sequitur. The key being able to know when to “go to the well” to take that break. Cookies are only a sometimes food, kiddos.

I’m sure there’s tons more points to be made on this subject. Consider this being me putting a pin in the idea. And hey, I’m no stranger to listening to myself. If you have any suggestions for budding web-comic creators … why not put some of them in the comments below?

See you in the funny pages. Well … webpages that is …

SUNDAY: John Ostrander Gets Weird On The Avengers


Harvey Awards 2012 Nomination Ballot Now Available

The Executive Committees of the Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con are proud to present the official Nomination Ballot for this year’s Harvey Awards. Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry’s most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art.

Ballots can be downloaded from HarveyAwards.org and completed forms can be e-mailed to harveyballots@hotmail.com.

Ballots are due for submission by Monday, April 16th, 2012.  In addition to being available on the website, ballots will be sent to all major publishers and distributed at comic conventions. We look forward to your participation and input in this process, and we look forward to seeing you at the Baltimore Comic-Con and the Harvey Awards.

Returning for his fourth consecutive Harvey Awards, Scott Kurtz will be the Master of Ceremonies for the awards banquet, to be held Saturday, September 8th, 2012 as part of the Baltimore Comic-Con.  “After Scott, Stan Lee, and the Fake Stan Lee brought the house down again last year, we had to have him back!  We are thrilled that Scott agreed to come back to Baltimore and help to make the Harvey Awards ceremony as fun and exciting as the last few years have been!” said Marc Nathan, promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con.

Scott Kurtz has been creating his own comic strips since he got hooked on Garfield in the 4th grade. In 1998, his comic strip, PvP, debuted on the world wide web (pvponline.com) with 700 daily readers. Over the last 10 years, PvP has grown into a genuine Internet phenomenon, growing in readership to an estimated 150,000 readers per day, a monthly title from Image comics, winning a Harvey Award in 2010 for Best Online Comics Work, and winning the Eisner Award for best digital comic in 2006. Scott co-wrote the book “How To Make Webcomics” and co-founded webcomics.com to help assist others in forging their own creative destinies.

Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected exclusively by creators – those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field. The Harvey Awards are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals.

This year’s Baltimore Comic-Con will be held September 8-9, 2012.  Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM.  The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, September 8th.  Additional details about the Harvey Awards and the awards ceremony will be released over the next few months.

Wednesday Window-Closing Wrap Up: September 21, 2011

Wow, this one’s even more embarrassing than usual– some of these windows have been open on our browsers since August. Let’s get them out of here…

Nothing will ever make him change his mind. Logic won’t do it. Integrity won’t do it. The evidence of his own two eyes won’t do it. The sage counsel of his most trusted advisors won’t do it. The awareness that he owes his life, and his son’s life, and the lives of everybody he knows, won’t do it. J. Jonah Jameson, publisher of the tabloid Daily Bugle, will never admit that he was wrong.

We just have to clean out our browsers more often…

The 2011 Harvey Awards Ceremony

UPDATE 8/21: What a night. So here are the winners:

BEST LETTERER: John Workman, THOR, Marvel Comics

BEST COLORIST: Jose Villarrubia, CUBA : MY REVOLUTION, Vertigo/DC Comics

BEST SYNDICATED STRIP OR PANEL: DOONESBURY, Garry Trudeau, Universal Press Syndicate

BEST ONLINE COMICS WORK: HARK! A VAGRANT, Kate Beaton, http://harkavagrant.com/ (assuming fellow nominee Scott Kurtz, http://www.pvponline.com/, ever lets her have it.)

BEST AMERICAN EDITION OF FOREIGN MATERIAL: BLACKSAD, Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, Dark Horse Comics

BEST INKER: Mark Morales, THOR, Marvel Comics

BEST NEW SERIES: AMERICAN VAMPIRE, Scott Snyder, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque, Vertigo/DC Comics





BEST ANTHOLOGY: POPGUN # 4, edited by D.J. Kirkbride, Anthony Wu and Adam P. Knave, Image Comics


BEST COVER ARTIST: Mike Mignola, HELLBOY, Dark Horse Comics





BEST WRITER: Roger Langridge, THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER, Marvel Comics



BEST SINGLE ISSUE or STORY: DAYTRIPPER, Fabio Moon and Gabiel Ba, Vertigo/DC Comics

Special Awards: to Paul McSpadden, Harvey Award Administrator, presented by Denis Kitchen.

Hero Initiative Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year: Mike Gold, presented by Mark Wheatley

Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award: Stan Lee, presented by Mark Waid

Update: No wifi here, so live results will be on Twitter. Follow us there!

harvey_winner_logo-300x2943-9608446The 2011 Harvey Awards are being presented at a banquet tonight at the Baltimore Comic-Con, and we’re liveblogging and tweeting the ceremony results and awards.

Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry’s most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art.

Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected exclusively by creators – those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field. They are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. Thank you to all that have already participated by submitting a nomination ballot.

This will be the sixth year for the Harvey Awards in Baltimore, MD. Our Master of Ceremonies this year for the third year in a row will be Scott Kurtz (www.pvponline.com). And this year’s keynote speaker has a hard job, as last year’s infamous keynote speech from Mark Waid will be tough to top.

Below are the 2011 Harvey Award Nominees. Winners will be highlighted in bold as they are announced.

Mix March Madness: PvP vs. Let’s Be Friends Again!

ComicMix March Madness Webcomics Tournament

We get it on in the battle for webcomic supremacy! Whose toons will take the title this month? Only you, the stark raving mad fans of these strips, will decide! Vote for your favorites, and watch them dominate the doodles of lesser drawers!

In this corner… the long-standing king-in-waiting of webcomics… Scott Kurtz’s killer comic born on the interwebs…


And in the opposite corner comes comic-book inspired champion in his own right (don’t say otherwise, or we’re pretty sure Wolverine will cut you. OK, probably not him, but someone with something stabby…)

Let’s Be Friends Again!

Will Scott Kurtz’s long-running stalwart of webcomicry cram a victory in the face of comic book farce? Only you can decide. Vote now!

[poll id=”20″]

Polling closes at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time on Saturday, March 12!

Click here to see all the webcomics and their standing in the tournament!

What did Mark Waid REALLY say at the Harvey Awards? Listen for yourself!

What did Mark Waid REALLY say at the Harvey Awards? Listen for yourself!

It’s already become a bit legendary this week– the self-described “long vodka-fueled rant” that Mark Waid delivered as the keynote speech at the Harvey Awards. However, unless you were one of the two hundred or so people in the room, you didn’t actually hear his speech. You might have read the speech Mark intended to give, but Mark himself said he almost immediately went off his notes.

So what was actually said? And was there really booing from some audience members?

Now you can listen for yourself. After a brief intro by Scott Kurtz, we have the full speech from Mark Waid here, as caught by Phil Merkel.

And after you’ve heard it, discuss what he had to say about publishing, filesharing, and making a living in the future in the comments.

NYCC 2009: Day 3, late

NYCC 2009: Day 3, late

Yowza! Another con comes to a close, and a lot of hi’s from the usual gang of idiots, renewals of acquanitances (hi Cooch!), the continuted con conversations– you know, the ones which you pick up again as soon as you see the person you haven’t seen since the last convention, and so on.

We’ll have a lot of detailed reports from our Mix of folks soon, but here are my fast general impressions:

* Very successful, on a number of levels. The con has worked out all the problems related to size, and even though this is the biggest yet, they seem to have knocked out the bugs and ran very smoothly. There were no particular problems that aren’t encountered by any other con its size and location (the usual like convention center food, bad wi-fi, nothing within easy walking distance, etc.). Sellout crowds, very well attended panels, yet still movable for the most part.

* Most of the publishers and vendors I talked to were very happy with their traffic and sales. Scott Kurtz sold out of everything by the end of Saturday. Everything. One can only imaging what Sunday would have brought with a kid filled crowd.

* Lots of costumes, which is a sign of a certain level of growth and maturity for a con, if not necessarily for the con-goers. We’ll have photos up this week.

* Paper and digital continue to share their uneasy alliance. Most publishers realize they now can’t survive without both components, and are trying to figure out how to make that work.

* I expected the entire con to be nothing but Watchmen, and was happy to be proven wrong. On the other hand, the crowd for Dave Gibbons at Titan Books at the end of the con was nothing short of insane, as you can see from the picture above– the line was five deep, as you can see in the photo. There are a lot of people eager for this movie, and not from places you might expect.

Hopefully, over the next few days, I’ll be ahead of the curve enough to get some real analysis done. On the other hand, since I still haven’t gotten around to doing my 2009 preview… oh well. Hope springs eternal– which, come to think of it, seems to be the overall theme of the convention.

Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule Up

Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule Up

Baltimore Comic-Con’s panel schedule went up first thing this morning and among the highlights will be Scott Kurtz, Danielle Corsetto, Scott Sava discussing webcomics, the first presentation from Disney’s Kingdom Comics, the must-see Kirkman vs. Bendis:  The Future of Comics, Jose Villarrubia honoring his good friend, living legend, and Guest of Honor, Bernie Wrightson, plus an hour of Howard Chaykin and Adam Hughes no doubt talking girls and art.

The major publishers will all have their usual assortment of highlight panels plus the presentation of the Harvey Awards.

The full schedule can be found at http://www.comicon.com/baltimore/.  ComicMix will have weekend-long coverage.


Review: ‘PvP Vol. 5: PvP Treks On’ by Scott Kurtz

PvP Vol. 5: PvP Treks On
By Scott Kurtz
Image, June 2008, $14.99

Image is a comic-book publisher, and sees everything through that lens. So, for them, this is a book “collecting issues 25-31 of the hit comic strip series,” as the cover proclaims. For most of us, though, PvP (http://www.pvponline.com/) is a daily comic strip on the web, so what’s important is that [[[Treks On]]] collects strips from June 12, 2005 through April 9, 2006. (Possibly not all of them, since several seem to be added at the beginning and others are missing at the end – and there were some duplicates in the middle, too – but most of them, at least.)

Image might think that referring to comics – which cost money – instead of to a free webcomic might increase the perceived value of their book, but are there really people – even in the inbred, hothouse environment of the comics shop – who would be a) interested in a daily comic strip about computer gaming and b) unfamiliar with webcomics?

My complaints about Image’s publishing strategy aside, this is a handsome package, with the strips shown at a nice large size, two to a page. We’re running about two years behind the current strip, so Brent isn’t even engaged to Jade yet – though he comes darn close in one storyline here. The other character relationships are close to where they are now: Francis and Marcy are friendly but not quite dating, and Robbie & Jase win the lottery in these strips.