Pink Planets and Killer Pumpkins Dominate DC's Online Comics Competition

Illustration for article titled Pink Planets and Killer Pumpkins Dominate DCs Online Comics Competition

A new crop of competitors has arrived for the Zuda Competition, DC's monthly contest to find new and innovative comics talent. This month's frontrunners chronicle the exploration of a mysterious planet, and a sentient pumpkin patch out for revenge.


Each month, Zuda, the online branch of DC Comics, selects 10 eight-page comic pitches to compete. The winner, based on reader votes and ratings, receives a contract for a 52-page run on Zuda, with the possibility of renewal after that.

Unfortunately, there are a number of firm and near misses in this round. Mystery Jungle is a Lost World pastiche so straightforward it's dull, Incarna loses its narrative thread in a sea of ninja zombies, and Wheeljack Union resembles Atomic Robo without the charm. More promising is the rather twee My T-Shirt Fairy Tale, which uses the interesting concept of narrating through novelty t-shirts, but doesn't quite have the art or story to back it up, and The Symptoms, about a superpowered punk band that battles a zombie-like menace, but could use a little more attitude.


There are, however, some real standouts in the pile. One of the clear frontrunners for this month is the dreamily rendered Goldilock, a science fiction drama about the exploration of a newly discovered planet. After the people of Earth have long searched for a new home, the planet Goldilock seems perfect for human habitation, and a team has been dispatched on a two-year mission to explore the planet and determine if it holds any sentient life. Goldilock features an unusual color palette and a beautifully strange array of creatures, and manages to introduce a large cast in its eight pages without feeling overly busy.

Illustration for article titled Pink Planets and Killer Pumpkins Dominate DCs Online Comics Competition

And, on the somewhat lighter side of things is Revenge of the Homicidal Pumpkins a B movie-inspired horror comic that doesn't skimp on the blood and guts. Thirteen year-old horror movie buff Robbie Jarvis lives in a small town suddenly plagued by bizarre and gory accidents, accidents suspiciously accompanied by a trail of pumpkin seeds. The comic tempers its sinister squash with an animated look and a wicked sense of humor, ending on a wonderfully gruesome one-liner.

Voting for this month's Zuda contestants will close around noon on Wednesday, September 30.


[Zuda Competition]

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I scoured Zuda fairly well, and damn near gave up. Then I came across Bayou, and was impressed by great story and art. ([])

I don't think the Zuda model of marketing webcomics is very good yet, and the "prize incentive" isn't very good incentivisizing... how about a -paper- comic publishing contract instead like Platinum Studio's ComicBook Challenge? I know webcomics isn't dead per se, but even with rock-solid talent, it's not worth much other than name-dropping and page hits. Much like the post-Napster progressives who thought the music industry will be taken back by the people via the internet, webcomics are a ridiculously inefficient medium (output energy from creators =/= net gains).

You don't need to show me the money, just show me the value, credit, or networking that justifies making these funny-pages. [/whaaambulance?]