Zuda Eliminates Competitions

Zuda Comics logo

Following in the tradition of announcing unusual or unpleasant news on Friday afternoon, Zuda Comics posted today that they were making some “important site changes”. They will be eliminating the monthly competition format, as of now. They acknowledged that the setup had both pluses and minuses:

Those of you familiar with the history of the competition know that we’ve had our ups and downs. While I don’t think anyone can argue with the quality of previous competition winners like HIGH MOON, SUPERTRON, and others, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that there were clearly great series that, for one reason or another, didn’t win.

The format absolutely has merits; engaging the community and giving them real decision making power, giving creators a level of exposure that they might not have otherwise had and encouraging an ongoing dialogue about storytelling, quality and what makes good comics. However it’s also had its shortcomings; accusations of cheating, confusion about the process, spamming in the the name of promotion and argumentative, dismissive or even aggressive behavior.

Zuda Comics logo

How Zuda will proceed will be announced “in the next few weeks”. I think this move makes sense for them — at the time Zuda started, they shook up the digital comic world, spawning lots of discussion, but 2 1/2 years of having to crown a winner every month… that’s a lot of competitions to manage, and the material was becoming a bit same-y. Now if they would only do something about their technology — especially since it’s Flash-based, so the site can’t be used on an iPad, the current wave of the digital comic future.

Update: Lauren Davis has more good analysis.

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