Drunk Duck Awards

Too early to look ahead to 2012?
Strain42 at 9:04PM, Nov. 5, 2011
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Well the wonderful upside to a musical number on something like the Drunk Duck awards is that it's probably very easy to…y'know…just skip it.
…Not that I would ever do such a thing >_> someone probably worked very hard on…the currently imaginary hypothetical musical number.
Though Cid, I have to admit I'd love to see you do a comic of potential singers getting eaten. Right now in my brain it's either a T-Rex, Cthulu or some sort of giant tribal elephant. But you're the expert, so I'll leave it to you.
El Cid at 5:47AM, Nov. 6, 2011
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Heh! Actually, one of my acceptance speeches already has a guy getting eaten by T-Rex, so I'd have to go with one of those other ideas! Maybe the elephant can just sit on 'em! ker-SPLAT!
Banes at 9:48AM, Nov. 10, 2011
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The awards are a blast. This is the first year I've been here for ‘em, and they’re just great. The five pages a day plus one or two extras is a perfect amount to read each day.
I've been waking up each morning (well…“morning” is defined loosely, here) and can't wait to see the new pages. I'm gonna miss this when it's over!
It's nice to see who won the popular vote, and the judges' notes on the winners!
Congrats, Niccea, and thanks…from this reader's point of view, these things are a total victory!
bravo1102 at 10:22AM, Nov. 15, 2011
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Wow Banes you did eight presentations!  Each one better than the last!  Great job. 
 
Each presentation is better than the one before, there is some great quality work here.  Well at least we got until that one with the doll and the green monster for best Mod. 
 
It's like watching one of the Star Wars prequels after a marathon viewing of the original trilogy. ;)
Niccea at 6:30PM, Nov. 15, 2011
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Banes did a total on 9 presentations. I would have cut him off at 8, but he had the Horror one ready before the finalists were even announced.
bravo1102 at 4:28AM, Nov. 16, 2011
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Niccea wrote:
Banes did a total on 9 presentations. I would have cut him off at 8, but he had the Horror one ready before the finalists were even announced.
Nine?  He's a machine.  Wasn't enough to do twice as many pages as I did for the Radio Play, he did one more than that.  Impressive achievement.
smkinoshita at 8:35AM, Nov. 16, 2011
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Regarding “Trimming the Fat” – actually I thought there was an almost perfect number of categories for this year compared to last.  I was a judge in 2009 and there were far too many categories for some rather niche comics.
Did I mention that after the judging I got hooked on a few only to have them STOP UPDATING??  Man that was frustrating.  I have to thank the 2009 comics for introducing me to Demon Eater though!
I would like to suggest the following regarding categories:

Add a category for “Gamer and Video Games”.  Gamer comics are either fanworks or parodies but they're not quite the same beast as other parodies.  They often require a familiarity with games and gaming outside of Mario-related properties, and have a distinct ‘flavour’ of their own.  They need their own space.
Add a restriction that with the exception of Parody, Photo, Fan/Derived works and Gamer comics, the nomination must feature original (and by “original” I mean “not featuring copyrighted characters”) work.  This isn't so much a slam against comics that do, but people are naturally drawn to work they're familiar with so it's more giving original comics a better chance as well as keeping the categories cleaner.
Get rid of the “Layout” category.  Not that I have anything against a good layout but I'm just not sure we're qualified to judge it – how man of us are pros when it comes to design?
What's the difference between action and adventure?  Do enough Duckers understand the concept?  (I'm not even sure I do).  Probably should blend the two.

Also, I would also like to make the following suggestions regarding nominations:

Proof Statement.  Yes, I'm aware this puts more work on the nominators, but some of the nominations were baffling.  I did the whole “Skull Girl Plays with My Little Ponies” to illustrate that point (plus it's cute).  I'm really confused on how she got nominated for “Best Bad Guy/Gal” when she's both clearly a protagonist and really, really horrible at being bad.  I'm not complaining here, I think it's hilariously ironic, but like I said – baffled.  A proof statement should be either a link to a comic that illustrates the point or a description of why.  Not only would this keep the categories clean, but it'd really give the judges a lot more to work with because the definitive moments are all set up for them.  Having been a judge… this would have made my job worlds easier.

Finally, I'd like to make the following suggestions regarding judging:

Create a standardized system for judging.  Our judges are selected on a volunteer basis and while I realize this really makes staffing the awards difficult it also means that sometimes underaged people judge the adult comics (that's happened in the past) or people get categorizes they're not that interested in doing, but are doing it anyway because there's a volunteer shortage.

I know this is a long post but problems with the Duck awards caught my interest from an analytical/survey standpoint (I do analytics as part of my day job) and I have put some thought into this.
El Cid at 8:46PM, Nov. 16, 2011
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Hmm, some good points there. I'd disagree about Best Adventure and Best Action however. The two are very distinct categories, which should be judged by different criteria. An action comic is something like Spider Man or Punisher, or a film like Die Hard, that focuses primarily on action sequences, fighting, that kind of thing. An adventure comic is one that follows a quest or journey of some sort. Most adventure comics do contain action elements, while most action comics do not contain adventure elements. But they're not the same thing and combining them would create a very strange and tough-to-judge category, because you can't judge them the same. An adventure comic is all about the story, while with an action comic it's perfectly alright if it's completely brainless but thrilling.
 
The proof statement thing… yeah, it would be an additional drag on everybody, but more importantly, I don't see that it was necessary. None of the nominees, so far as I can see, were not at least remotely qualified for their categories, so that's solving a problem that didn't exist. I can imagine how much of a stink there would be if a nominee submitted a proof sheet and got denied. Like Usedbooks said earlier, if they've got the votes, and they've got elements of the category, they're in. As for Skull Girl, I'm not familiar enough with the character to say anything specific about her, but we didn't do Best Protagonist/Antagonist this year. We did Best Good Guy/Bad Guy, so if she's a bad guy protagonist, then she's in the right category, even if she's an ironic do-gooder bad guy. Ironic nominees are okay, and in fact quite welcome. They make the categories more interesting.
 
About the judging, yeah it is an issue when people end up judging categories they don't want or have no expertise in. Like, if somebody who doesn't like romance comics ends up judging Best Romance, they're likely to support the comic that most appeals to people who don't like romance comics, which is perverse. If someone who doesn't know anything about sprite comics judges Best Sprite Comic, they may choose a comic that relies heavily on tired sprite comic clichés that they just were not aware of. I think they've already done the best they could about dealing with that. The judges are encouraged to post their likes/dislikes in the judging forum, and are allowed initially to pick which category they'd most like to judge. Beyond that, there's really not much to feasibly be done about it.
 
The judging is probably the weakest link in the whole process. I certainly did not agree with a lot of the decisions made, and just had to scratch my head at some of what I read in the Critics' Acclaim section. Unfortunately, when the only qualification for being a judge is having a pulse, and they can decide categories based on pretty much any criteria they want, the winners become arbitrary and it does diminish the validity of the awards for both winners and losers. The only real way to fix that is to have qualified people who take their responsibilities seriously and who have to abide by certain guidelines, mainly with regards to objectivity and relevance. But you can't do that, because all of the most qualified people are likely to be nominated, and we already have too small a pool to draw from already, so reducing it further would be a death sentence for the whole project. Overall, the judges we had may not be perfect, but I think they did a fine job, way more than adequate, and that's probably the best we could have hoped for.
 
Ha! I think my post was longer than yours!
Genejoke at 2:34AM, Nov. 17, 2011
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. The only real way to fix that is to have qualified people who take their responsibilities seriously and who have to abide by certain guidelines, mainly with regards to objectivity and relevance. But you can't do that, because all of the most qualified people are likely to be nominated, and we already have too small a pool to draw from already, so reducing it further would be a death sentence for the whole project. Overall, the judges we had may not be perfect, but I think they did a fine job, way more than adequate, and that's probably the best we could have hoped for. 
 I don't think there is any need to ask for “qualified” people, that goes against the grain completely.  However laying out guidelines for what they are judging the comics on is a good idea. 
If the category is best colour art it is pretty straight forward, but the more broad it is then it gets more tricky.  best sci-fi for example, Busty solar won it over much more serious comics and I'm sure some may have been rubbing their heads over that, but it fits.  It was enjoyed by the judges and has a sci fi setting.  Also if the comics are being judged as a whole then it can't just come down to visuals.  In some categories the worst looking comics won because they were well written, and in turn the lookers fell down on bad dialogue or clumsy plotting.
Further more you have to factor in that there are (usually) three judges.  If you have three people with three strong and differing opinions compromises have to be made.  
Also i think it is fair to say that even if people don't agree it doesn't mean the judges were worng.
last edited on Nov. 17, 2011 4:34AM
ayesinback at 5:07AM, Nov. 17, 2011
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I basically agree with Genejoke.  I posted the following in the quackcast thread to suggest it as a discussion:

On another note, having co-judged three categories, I know my groups took the category descriptions much to heart when making their decisions - and sometimes the results did not agree with the popular vote - as I learned when the winners were announced.  There are some devoted comic fans who believe that “their” comic is the be-all - and that's great, and that's why judges come into it, to temper such opinions.
But then again, I wonder if there is too much discrepancy between what some voters assume a category means and what the judges are asked to go by.
There was a lot of discussion about the category descriptions before the ballots were available to vote.  It was taken pretty seriously, but I wonder if that's an area that might still benefit from a re-visit.
 

I think it boils down to a question of whether the award is to address best comic that incorporates  this-particular factor (only b/w, format, what have you), or is the award to address best this-particular factor regardless of the overall quality of the comic.  If you look at the categories, I think the descriptions go back and forth on this line.
under new management
El Cid at 5:08AM, Nov. 17, 2011
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@Genejoke:
 
I wouldn't say wrong, just arbitrary. But why would you say having qualified judges goes against the grain? It's definitely of benefit for the Best Sprite judges to be familiar with the genre, and for a sci-fi judge to know something about sci-fi. That's sort of the issue: the people who made these comics are likely very well versed in their particular field, and yet the awards are being handed out by people who know less about their craft than they do. How is that supposed to be meaningful to them?
 
Mind you, there's a big difference between the popular voting and the judging. With the votes, yeah, any schmoe can pick the comic they like for whatever reason. For the judging, ideally, it shouldn't be that way. The judges are not privileged Super Voters who pick their favorites, or at least they're not supposed to be. The popularity contest ended at voting. The judges should be knowledgable people who objectively assess the categories to determine the most qualified candidate, prefereably based on some kind of agreed upon and loosely measurable criteria.
 
And those criteria should not be the same for every category. For example, if the same two comics come up against each other in different categories (even the more general ones, which take into account the whole comic), then they should not be compared in the same way, because the judges should be weighting the category-specific elements more heavily than less specifically relevant stuff. Otherwise, you more or less nullify the point of having categories.
 
But also, as I said, I'm aware that it's not really possible to perfectly sort out judges into the fields they're most competent at, and as I think we've just seen, nobody's ever going to agree upon a structured judging framework (LOL! Not in a million years!). So, probably what we have now is the best we're going to have, which means the awards will continue to be decided by everyday people based on wildly varying criteria, which may be better anyway because it produces more surprises. And at the end of the day, the awards are supposed to be about having fun and not taken too seriously!
last edited on Nov. 17, 2011 5:09AM
El Cid at 5:16AM, Nov. 17, 2011
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ayesinback wrote:
…I think it boils down to a question of whether the award is to address best comic that incorporates  this-particular factor (only b/w, format, what have you), or is the award to address best this-particular factor regardless of the overall quality of the comic.  If you look at the categories, I think the descriptions go back and forth on this line.
 
Yeah, that one's a major sticking point, and I don't think there will ever be an agreed upon “right” answer to it. On the one hand, you are looking for the better overall comic, but at the same time you don't want to pick a comic that's a poor exemplar of black-and-white art for Best Black-and-White comic. So that's where I'd say weighting comes into play, but that's just my opinion on it.
El Cid at 5:21AM, Nov. 17, 2011
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Aaaand btw why no update today at the awards show?
Niccea at 6:03AM, Nov. 17, 2011
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DD was down last night. That is why. I went to bed before it came back. So the awards will be a day off. Sorry.
 
Also. As to judging. I made especially sure that no minor judged Best Adult. Now, I'm going off people's say so. But I was very careful about that. And I did take on what the volunteers said they would prefer to judge or didn't want to judge.
Also, for the Critics' Acclaim I've been taking out the most positive things that judges said about the winning comics. There was plenty of pros and cons listed and it looked like for 97% of the categories, a reasonable amount of thought went into it. A lot of the head scratchers really came from when the judging was decideded by majority vote rather than trying to find a compromise.
Genejoke at 8:33AM, Nov. 17, 2011
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It was the term qualified that bothered me,  you start throwing that around and people will expect all the judges to br professionals.  As for being familiar with a style or genre, yes it helps.
El Cid at 12:02PM, Nov. 17, 2011
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Oh, okay. Gotcha. And I was saying all that to show why it's not realistically feasible anyway. We shouldn't expect the judges to be experts, and whatever we expect, the fact of the matter is they're not. It's imperfect, but that's the system, and no matter what system we went with, people were going to not like some of the decisions, so… plenty to complain about, but not much to be done!
Genejoke at 12:32PM, Nov. 17, 2011
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Yup, would need more volunteers for that.
Niccea at 5:14PM, Nov. 17, 2011
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Now what I did do was disqualify a couple of judges. Ones that didn't really do more than say “this is the winner and that is that.” And we do have a judging blacklist of people like that hidden in the Judges forum.
Banes at 7:52PM, Nov. 17, 2011
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from bravo1102 -
Wow Banes you did eight presentations! Each one better than the last! Great job.
Each presentation is better than the one before, there is some great quality work here. Well at least we got until that one with the doll and the green monster for best Mod.
It's like watching one of the Star Wars prequels after a marathon viewing of the original trilogy. ;)

 I don't know how to quote, still.

Hey, bravo, I just saw your kudo, there, ‘else I would’ve thanked you earlier! That's so good of you to say! You have no idea how appreciated that is.

I'm not sure how ‘good’ those pages are…I mostly really like them. My fave is probably the ‘black and white’ page.

They did take quite awhile but were a lot of fun to do! I'm glad Niccea let me do the nine…I enjoy the horror one alot (I gotta do a comic based on that whole “Halloween lasting a thousand years” thing…a chilling idea that popped into my noggin!

…your star wars analogy is NOT apt, though - your pages were good, my favorite being the one with the troll!


Thanks again!

and thanks to Niccea, too!
:-D
last edited on Nov. 17, 2011 7:53PM
Doodstormer at 8:00PM, Nov. 18, 2011
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One suggestion I have would be to do the judging much earlier than the actual official announcement of the winners, so that the presenters have more time to work on their thingies, as well as being able to know who the actual winner is. Don't get me wrong, they seem to put a lot of work into them, but at the end having the winner thrown in at the bottom without any further recognition seems kind of anticlimactic, I guess.
Niccea at 10:13PM, Nov. 18, 2011
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It is done that way to make keep as few people as possible from knowing the winner. Also, it is unfair to the presneters to hold them up if the judging is running long. And that would mean even more time would have to put into the awards as well which some people don't have time for. This really is the most efficient way to do it.
last edited on Nov. 18, 2011 10:15PM
Niccea at 7:16PM, Nov. 22, 2011
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Alright! Done! That is all she wrote! Got the last page up for tomorrow just now. Niccea o-u-t!
 
(Listen to the quackcasts)
Genejoke at 11:44PM, Nov. 22, 2011
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Considering the bumpy road I think it all went smoothly enough in the end.  Well done Niccea.
RPGgrenade at 9:02AM, Nov. 23, 2011
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Niccea wrote:
Now what I did do was disqualify a couple of judges. Ones that didn't really do more than say “this is the winner and that is that.” And we do have a judging blacklist of people like that hidden in the Judges forum.
Oh man, I don't think I said anything like that but I hope I'm not on that blacklist O.O;
also as for genre specific (not really planned out or anything) but maybe people can specify what they have more familiarity with when reading comics and such to at least get an idea of who should judge what (like i said, not necesary, just a dumb little idea)
for example, I'm very familiar with the slice of life genre and all its subvariants. Same goes for general action comics.
*thinks of how to make next presentation page for next year*

The liquid creations of Gods passed down to man, but sometimes an object of the gods' realm can cause chaos in the mortal realm.
Read Nectar of the Gods!
usedbooks at 10:01PM, Nov. 23, 2011
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RPGgrenade wrote:
Niccea wrote:
also as for genre specific (not really planned out or anything) but maybe people can specify what they have more familiarity with when reading comics and such to at least get an idea of who should judge what (like i said, not necesary, just a dumb little idea)
for example, I'm very familiar with the slice of life genre and all its subvariants. Same goes for general action comics.
*thinks of how to make next presentation page for next year* 
In the past (and I think this year too) people can choose which categories they want to judge or don't want to. (Same with presentations.) Most volunteers usually say they are up for whatever though – or just say “I can judge two categories” or whatever. I know I always ask to not judge adult or offensive categories but am fine with anything else.
 
I like the “surprise winner” on presentations.  Not only for the practical reasons that Niccea mentioned (this year one category was still undecided after a couple days of winners were already presented – others came in right at the last couple days before the awards started) but also because it does let ALL the finalists have the spotlight.  It's kinda nice, that way.
Lopriest at 1:39PM, Nov. 24, 2011
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usedbooks wrote:
… but also because it does let ALL the finalists have the spotlight.  It's kinda nice, that way. 
Totally agree, knowing the winner in advance might make the presentation creator unconciously focus on that particular comic to the detriment of the other nominees.
Niccea at 8:41AM, Dec. 4, 2011
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Ah, I should mention that I don't think I will run this thing again next year. I don't mind helping out, but this took up way too much time and stress.
El Cid at 6:13PM, Dec. 4, 2011
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I'm sure Roy Duncan will be happy to run it next year!
Genejoke at 3:08PM, Dec. 6, 2011
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I wonder if hark would do it?
Niccea at 11:20AM, Dec. 7, 2011
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Genejoke wrote:
I wonder if hark would do it?
That would be interesting. And I would like to clarify. I don't want to run the whole shebang again. I don't mind doing the ballots, managing the judge's forum, or running the comic, just not all three at once.

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