Tuesday, February 08, 2005

And the Jury is in or out, but more likely in, somehow.

In terms of voting for who wins a ledger for a particluar category; there's essentially to methods; Jury voted or public voted. Both have their benefits and detractions.

Public voting can be rigged, getting your mates who have never even read your comic, let alone anyone elses clicking Yes buttons or filling out forms is easy. Public voted awards lack credibility, like People's Choice awards or the Logies. It assumes that people have read a good cross section of what has been released and I don't think that's usually the case. But they are kind of fun, its kind of cool getting involved in an awards and putting your 2 cents in. (i love putting my 2 cents in, have you noticed?)

Jury voting though just needs a group of people with an agenda to run over people and stack the vote. However dealing with a smaller group does mean that some sort of action can be taken to get nominated books in the jury's hands for evaluatiuon. Or hopefully the jury already has a wide appreciation of what is out there. But then there is the problem of picking the jury; who, how, and what as in what do they vote for - do they pick the nominees, do they vote for the winners. It gets tricky here.

If a Jury picks the nominees, they may pick books that no one has bought or heard about and the public will then base their votes on who they have heard of or not vote at all. If the public nominates books and the Jury then votes for a winner, the public aren't as involved as much and may lose interest.
Probably the latter situation is the lesser of the two evils though.

Or the other solution is to have a mix of jury voted categories and public voted categories, best and favourite respectively.

The public votes for favourite comic, creator, web comic, strip, design, retailer, achievement and ledger of honour. All these are easy to display over the web to give the public a good look for what they are voting for.
And the jury votes for best small press, indy press, artist, writer, new talent, single story and anthology.

The Jury is made up of the previous years winners so the winners of 2004 are the jury for 2005. This would mean a large number of creators in the jury which would then be harder to stack, especially if preferential (ranking 1, 2, 3) voting is used. Plus this would change every year so it keeps it fresh.

The public nomiates for most of the categories but its not an accumulative process, a book or creator only needs one nomination to be considered. The Jury would select stuff like New Talent, Design, Achievement and Ledger of Honour because it kind of makes sense that those categories be selected by peers (for some reason).

That way everyone gets a voice and hopefully good books are recognised, not just popular books.


Anonymous said...

Mark, you should get the Ledger of Honour next year just for all the thought and discussion you've contributed to the process.

I'm not sure about the Ledger of Honour being decided by public vote though. I'm thinking a jury of informed creators and reviewers etc would be more informed about the past achievements and contributions certain creators have made. I think that would give the jury an advantage over a public vote that may not be informed about the contributions of past creators.

But then, I hate the public vote idea altogether. The readership base is far too small to expect an outcome to be an acurate assessment of all the nominees. Some books aren't even available in all states, some books have very small print runs, etc.

I think a jury of past winners would be a good idea, but then we're talking maybe ten or eleven creators each year. Getting them all to agree on one winner for each category will be a problem. I think a smaller panel of hand picked industry proffesionals would be a better gamble. If not, then perhaps just the winners of best artist, best writer, ledger of honour, and maybe one or two others. Also, getting a jury of past winners involved means disqualifying their work from being up for nomination that year. You can't expect a creator to judge whether or not their work is worthy of an award, and if it IS worthy and ends up being the best thing out there, it'd be kind of unfair not to put it up for consideration. It's an unfair position to put the judges in and would eventually end in tears.

So... maybe a panel of pros that know the game?

Congrats on your Most Excellent Person award, too. If there were more Most Excellent Persons in the world, the world would be Most Excellent.


Anonymous said...

>so... maybe a panel of pros that know the game?

Do any of us know any? Name ten!

Mark Selan said...

In terms of who votes for the ledger of honour, i think you have a point about who should vote. Probably not an issue now since the 'public' that does vote are mainly creators who should know who has done what. But hopefully this will grow and we don't want the kids from Cheez Tv winning because the older one is kind of hunky.
But if a jury selects the nominees hopefully the people listed will have 'done' something. But yeah then the public will need some sort of description/reasoning on why "Jimmy Mickle, organised the first zinefest for comics in 1968 and started the comic party in 1971. He was briefly elected to the Wollongong city council in 1976 but left due to him printing his 'Erotic adventures of Richo and Tommo' minicomic using council printers".

A jury vote would be majority rules; if Knee Pockets #3 gets 5 votes and Killeroo #3 gets 4 votes, Knee Pockets wins. Getting professionals involved could be tricky. Also I don't feel that creators in the jury would not have to disqualify their own work, they are only one vote out of 10? or 12? I'd probably suggest that if the Jury number is below say 9 then some nominees (from say best artists or best writer) from the previous year are included to boost numbers.

Thanks, and congrats on the new talent nomination.

Anonymous said...

not really connected to the voting system but as a way of increasing awareness of the people/books being voted on - maybe an Ozcomics special ledgers issue in nov/dec?