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  1.  (6403.1)
    So I did a search on here for Zuda Comics and noticed that no one had created a discussion about it, just some "vote for my webcomic" sort of things. It's not that I don't mind those, not at all, but I'm interested to see what people think about the competition in general.

    How many of you guys read comics on Zuda regularly? And, for those that have submitted a comic to Zuda: what did you think of the process/results/etc.?

    I haven't spent a ton of time on there but it seems like it's more of a competition for the benefit of the competitors than it is a competition for the benefit of readers, if that makes any sense.

    There's one winner chosen a month, correct? Well, how many competitors are there in the average month? I'm not sure but I see new stuff every time I go to the site. So you get 8 pages to hook readers, but what happens if you hook a lot of people and get positive feedback but don't win the competition for that month?

    I think that's one of the reasons I've sort of stayed away from it to a degree. I mean sure, there's crap on there and that sort of stuff won't win for the month, but what about all the webcomics I want to see more of that I can't because it doesn't win?
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.2)
    I think its a good attempt at webcomics but I find the site itself a bit clunky. I'd actually like to see zuda try to bring in more renowned artists and writers. Many have been making webcomics but it might be good to start finding them in one place rather than scattered around.

    I actually am working on my final page for my own zuda entry
  2.  (6403.3)
    As someone who has been with Zuda since almost DAY ONE, I love it. I've worked in comics for over a decade at this point behind-the-scenes and on the frontline. Zuda has easily been the best experience of my comics career. Working on HIGH MOON is creatively-liberating - Steve Ellis and I are free to create the kind of stories we want to create.

    On a staff level, you have Richard Brunning and Ron Perazza, who are the SVP and VP of the line, respectively. They have cultivated a community of like-minded talented folks who are passionate about what they do. Kwanza Johnson is the editor of the line - and he has a fair even-hand when it comes to editing. He's not interested in hijacking our stories - but he is interested in honing our talent. Kwanza's able-bodied assistant, Nika, keeps everything running smooth. And, the tech guru Dave keeps all the pieces working. Every single one of them is available to answer questions via Twitter, through the message board, or via feedback@zudacomics.com.

    On a professional level, I have some remarkable peers who do remarkable work - whether its Jeremy Love who does insanely beautiful work on BAYOU, Kevin Colden whose work on I RULE THE NIGHT reads like a creepy Todd Solondz movie or Dean Haspiel who creates a semi-auto-biography STREET CODE - they are ALL folks I feel comfortable around. We're a tribe a creators who support one another.

    On a community level, the Zuda message board is a tremendous resource for creators to find other artists or writers to work with, learn how to improve your craft, get constructive critiques on your work, or learn how to promote your work. It's a really strong group of folks.

    Now, to answer the specific questions posed in the opening post ...

    How many of you guys read comics on Zuda regularly? And, for those that have submitted a comic to Zuda: what did you think of the process/results/etc.?

    I read all of the ongoing serieses [seri?] - and when time permits as many of the monthly competition comics as I can.

    I enjoyed the process. Just for participating in the contest, Zuda sent me a check for $500 as a one time usage fee.

    I haven't spent a ton of time on there but it seems like it's more of a competition for the benefit of the competitors than it is a competition for the benefit of readers, if that makes any sense.

    There is a core Zuda community and they are passionate about their tastes. They run blogs, write reviews, and are supportive of the comics they like and want to see on the site.

    Some creators DO go overboard on the marketing/promoting/shillings. I've seen that work in a very positive way and I've seen that work in a very negative way. I do believe that to make it in their profession you do need to market yourself to be successful, but don't make yourself look desperate or pathetic. It's unbecoming and does a disservice to you and to the community as a whole.

    There's one winner chosen a month, correct?

    Typically, yes. There are a few INSTANT WINNERS every year that get to bypass the competition.

    Well, how many competitors are there in the average month?

    One. It starts on the first Monday of the month.

    I'm not sure but I see new stuff every time I go to the site. So you get 8 pages to hook readers, but what happens if you hook a lot of people and get positive feedback but don't win the competition for that month?

    You can take your comic where ever you want - ACT-I-VATE, SHADOWLINE, Amalgamated Artists, DRUNK DUCK are just several webcomics communities out there that host the strips of non-winning Zuda competitors.

    I think that's one of the reasons I've sort of stayed away from it to a degree. I mean sure, there's crap on there and that sort of stuff won't win for the month, but what about all the webcomics I want to see more of that I can't because it doesn't win?

    As I said, there are more than a few comics that have continued beyond Zuda - SAM & LILAH, ACTION OHIO, HANNIBAL GOES TO ROME, STARFISH, UNTRUE TALES, E - and many others!

    If you have further questions about the submissions process, it's all online for you to take a look at here:
    http://www.zudacomics.com/submit

    I hope that helps -

    - David Gallaher
  3.  (6403.4)
    If you'd like another view on Zuda, check out this link by Valerie D'Orazio:
    http://occasionalsuperheroine.blogspot.com/2008/10/zudtopia.html
    •  
      CommentAuthorFerburton
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.5)
    I don't like the reading format at Zuda myself. But that said, I like the competitive atmosphere of the website, that's the industry in itself, except I feel like it's at a micro level in comparison and my word counts more for these creators. I only read one comix on there right now, SUPERTRON, but my buddy's Zuda entry ROCKSTAR is up for vote and number one at the moment and I'm looking forward to reading some more of that.
    But the thing that ruins it mostly for me is the way you have to read the comics. On my laptop they're impossible to read unless you go to full screen. The images take time to load from my connection, not to long, but the fact I have to look at this little face bubble load up is annoying to me when I can go to a regular webcomix and have it load up in seconds and barely have to even scroll down to read it. It's just inconvenient in my opinion compared to other webcomix and webcomix collection sites like Act-i-vate.
    • CommentAuthorsonictail
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.6)
    Zuda's a odd one, so let me explain. A site is only as good as it's content, Zuda gets a pile of crap, sifts through a little and picks out some good nuggets and after a month long popularity contest some gold is chosen. Ignore the poll, ignore the comp. What matters is that there is <em>some</em> fantastic content on there. What matters is that there is a paid editorial group, that winners are paid and happy and occasionally there is a printed book.

    And thank fucking god there's occasionally a printed book because the act of using the Zuda website requires the patience of mother Theresa and the forgiveness of JP. The financial plan appears to be make the website a pain to use so that you buy the books. I'm sorry but zoomable full screen pages are not the way to reading. Non bookmarkable pages which I can flick to a friend are not the way to reading. You know why printed comics will never die? cause you can flick to a page, use your eyes and see what's goddam written, not wait for a load, click on a full screen and then manipulate the screen into position.

    Nielsen could have a field day on Zuda's site ;)

    But basic usability aside, i've heard nothing but good words from a author perspective if you're willing to put the time in. And what do you have to lose? (legal non-withstanding) the internet allows you to set up any old shit, and quite often does. So once you dust yourself off there's nothing standing in your way!

    ST~

    p.s: David, I hope you're getting paid well as a Zuda evangalist ;)
    •  
      CommentAuthorlastres0rt
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.7)
    Mm. If I hadn't already started my comic before Zuda took off, I'd be tempted. I'm not sure what I'd do now if I had eight pages worth of art to burn on a new concept.
  4.  (6403.8)
    Well, how many competitors are there in the average month?

    I didn't answer this properly before. There are 10.
  5.  (6403.9)
    In terms of the Zuda interface, it works beautifully for me - but if its running slow for you, here's how you fix it.
  6.  (6403.10)
    David, I hope you're getting paid well as a Zuda evangalist ;)

    Putting you playful snark aside for a moment.

    I love working with Steve Ellis on HIGH MOON. The response and exposure has been incredible. The creative freedom has been awesome. I like working with the Zuda editorial team. I like my peers and I like the community I'm a part of.

    Nobody has to pay me to say that.

    If they want to pay me EXTRA that's cool.

    But, really ... if I didn't like the people I worked with, I wouldn't be here.
  7.  (6403.11)
    I was happy with my Zuda experience. Winning's nice because you get money. Losing's nice because you get publicity plus full freedom to use your copyright. At any rate, it's a nice way to offer fresh fish the rights comparable to what I understand Vertigo creators get. I applaud its existence, though I await an updated viewer.
  8.  (6403.12)
    I'm currently in the middle of my second competition on ZUDA. Winning would be nice, but my main goal is to gain a little publicity and a bit of a following for the my comic (THE ADVENTURES OF MR. SIMIAN). I'm pretty sure I could take it to another web comic collective after this, and while I wouldn't receive an upfront page rate anywhere else, I can hopefully build on what's started at ZUDA and eventually release the comic in graphic novel form with bonus material.

    No matter what you get a little pocket money from ZUDA for just getting in the competition, which doesn't hurt. I guess the fact that I'm working with a writer on my third submission for them at the moment shows that my attitude hasn't soured from my experiences with the company.
    •  
      CommentAuthoradam_geen
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.13)
    Seems cool enough, might try my hand at it some day.

    Hate the damn viewer though. That's what keeps me away from it.
    • CommentAuthormpd57
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.14)
    If you can get past the issues of the viewer and the clunky front page, the comics and the competition is all pretty entertaining. It's not for everyone, but I'm enjoying it - a lot. Among the also rans and wannabees are some pretty smart talents - certainly enough to keep me interested. Payment, competition, community, a sneaky look at a talent pool if nothing else, what's not to like? It gets better by input, so input! And (ahem) check out the blog!

    I'm not a fan of the viewer, but that alone wouldn't keep me off the site even when I had a clunky dial-up connection - and believe me it was CLUNKY!
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.15)
    just a thought, have any of the zuda artists or writers gone on to work at other printed comic companies?
    •  
      CommentAuthorFerburton
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.16)
    I know Sheldon from SUPERTRON has been printed in POPGUN.
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.17)
    I think that must have been before. I've read the zuda contract and if I remember correctly if you win they get the rights. Though your right, sheldon has gotten work since. I think he's doing coheed and cambria's new comic. Any others then?
  9.  (6403.18)
    I think that must have been before. I've read the zuda contract and if I remember correctly if you win they get the rights.

    Technically speaking, you keep the copyrights, Zuda takes the trademarks. The contract also has a rights reversion clause.

    Have any of the zuda artists or writers gone on to work at other printed comic companies?

    Well, there's Dean Haspiel who continues to work with DC Comics - and did a Marvel Comics digital project.
    There's Sheldon, who was already mentioned. There's Steve Ellis, whose issue of USA COMICS was recently published by Marvel. It features the writing of John Arcudi and The Mighty Destroyer too! Steve and I also have something special that will be mentioned at San Diego. There's Daniel Serra from PRAY FOR DEATH, who recently came out with a book called ILLUSIONS. There's Ilias Kyriazis, from MELODY, who is doing the "GHOSTBUSTERS: Displaced Aggression" mini for IDW.
    • CommentAuthordnwilliams
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009
     (6403.19)
    i like zuda. bayou and high moon are good. i find it hard to keep reading, but i do with most webcomics...
  10.  (6403.20)
    I understood it to be they license the rights for the life of the copyright. But I'm no lawyer.

    HANNIBAL and ACTION, OH got picked up as Shadowline webcomics.