OzComic 24 hour Challenge 2006

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OzComic 24 hour Challenge 2006

Postby mark selan on Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:30 pm

cross posted from my blog

I had always thought I???d only organize 3 challenges and then hope someone else would have a go. After the really good showing in 2005, I considered doing a fourth, especially with the great exposure in the media drummed up by Graeme McDonald (Anomic) but when I sit down and consider what I need to do in 006 ??? I realize I???ve already got too much on my plate.
Last year???s challenge brought up the issues of censorship, media scrutiny and keeping sponsors happy ??? all issues I don???t think I can resolve in a manner that???ll keep everyone happy and still move the whole thing forward. Actually, I could probably think of something but honestly I can???t be arsed; organizing the challenge takes a lot of time and some money and both resources are limited this year with a wedding to organize, a cellar to build and publishing plans of my own. I???ve run out of professionals I can bother for stuff and I???m probably not the best person to front up for media gigs because I???m not that smart or interesting a subject to talk about. I???m a planning kind of guy not a coordinator or a communicator.
So, having spoken to Graeme earlier this year and Maggie recently ??? the options are few.

This coming saturday I'm chatting with Peter, the owner of Pulp Fiction Comics, because he's inetrested in taking over. I've drafted out a plan and made some notes on what he needs to do and what he needs to consider. I'm hoping he'll be able to use some of his connections to get prizes and he's willing to put money and effort into the whole thing so i'm hoping it'll have a good outcome. I'll keep you all informed.

If he backs out, scared by the size of it all, the other option is a cut down version is run; no prizes, no promotion, no polls ??? just 24 hours of comic creation. Of course people would be free to promote the event on other websites (madman message board, indesign message board, etc), but it wouldn???t be official because there is nothing really that official other than a date, a name and a place.

I???m really disappointed that I???ve had to come to this decision, but it???s a decision I???ve HAD to make. Whilst I???d like to be able to live and breathe Australian comics, I can???t at the moment.

I'm pretty sure that there'll be a 24 hour challenge in Australia this year, in whatever form it takes.
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Postby Egofreaky on Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:50 pm

I'm going to hate myself for suggesting this, and probably end up having to pick my teeth up from the ground after a few of the others see me... but:

What about delegating the organization of the event to a committee?

*cowers*

Seriously though, Mark, you've done a fanfuckingtastic job these past few years. So have people like Graeme and Maggy. But I can totally see where you're coming from, as I'm starting to realise the amount I've bitten off this year with Doujicon.
So, here's what I'm thinking.

1) Let's look at what we've got already:
  • If Maggie is willing, we've already got space for display, and an automatic voting system thanks to the polls function. In so far as hosting, there's a plugin/mod for the phpBB forums that allows the upload file link to be redirected to an Image Shack or Photobucket account (I forget exactly which... I was thinking of using it for OzTAKU)
  • A LOT of artists willing to both participate and promote. If we can organise it, we basically have someon who's able to put a message on almost EVERY online art community forum in the country.
    We also have almost the entire country covered in a geographical sense. If a template poster can be agreed on, people can volounteer to print out X number of posters, canvass Unis, art stores, comic shops, etc., with them. With the costs spread between people, it won't be too expensive for anyone. It just requires people not doing it on the cheap by using draft mode or something. Hell, if I have an A3 printer by then, I'm willing to make some big ones.
  • Several people that have PR or Journalistic training. They can be used to write up press releases and try to score some free promo out of news agencies. This is something that would need to be coordinated or delegated REALLY well.

2) What we don't have:
  • Sponsors - Something we're going to need an incredibly perky, charming and charismatic individual to try and rustle up, while the rest of us supply them with potential contact details for businesses. Whilst I am charismatic, I ain't perky, and I don't have a nice rack which really works against me. I DO have contact details for a LOT of useful people though ranging from printers and publishers to art supply suppliers and gaming companies.
  • GOOD coverage - How do we go about getting a Today Tonight or ACA beat up about this? Maybe some flash mobbing in each city?
  • Someone currently willing to take this on - Honestly, I'd love to give this a shot, but I already bit off something else with the whole Doujicon thing. If Doujicon goes well and looks to be self-sustaining, I'm happy to take this on next year.


Another thing to do is actually to run it in line with the International 24Hour Comic Challenge as started by Scott McCloud. I remember a while back I emailed him, asking for a signed copy of his books as a prize and he was all "Only if you join the Dark Si- I mean make the dates the same"

What do people think?
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Postby Troy Kealley on Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:35 pm

Hey Mark you've done an amazing job of getting it this far - so well done and thanks - understandable you need a break.
OK personally I think we're mostly in it for fun so I don't think we need to worry too much about making a huge 'event' of it - I'd be quite happy if we said 'Ok on it's on this weekend, post it up on the forums, vote for your favourite'. It'd be nice to have sponsors and media and stuff but really it's all for a laugh but I dont think anyone needs to give up weeks of thier life organising it. I think you said it yourself Avi - but commitee is a plain dirty word. A commitee can make a decision dumber than any of it's members!!!

All that said though - and I'm throwing myself to the wolves - I'm volunteering myself to don the organiser hat. I am bored out of my brain at the moment at work so I've got the oppurtunity to do this.

This, of course, is provided:
a: Maggie - you are happy to host the challenge again on these boards
b: No one violently objects to my running it
c: that I can count on a few volunteers in each state to drop flyers into comic stores/art stores/book cafes.
d: No-one expects to win new cars or trips to the Cayman Islands

No excuses here it's a blatant chance for me to plug my own work - if you're wondering what's in it for me. I would be the primary sponsor for the event, and I'll be looking for fellow publishers to throw some support our way.

My plan would follow Mark's largely; kick off with a poster comp, get an information website happening, beg for prizes, send out media releases, cement the rules and then prepare the coffee! Afterwards I'llorganise the polls, count the votes, announce the winners, and send out prizes.

So - any objections to me running the event? If not - I'll get the ball rolling at Swancon this weekend.

EDIT: Sorry, just to clarify: the above offer is only nessecary if Peter from Cult Fiction is unable to do it - somehow I missed that bit of Marks post!
Last edited by Troy Kealley on Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Laocorn on Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:39 pm

I'll admit I haven't read the followup posts, but what is involved in running/organising it?

Edit: Ok i'm an idiot for posting the above, Troy I've got no problems with you organising it. I'd like to get Siberian in to lend a hand if I can if you take up the mantle.
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Postby jacen_c on Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:11 pm

If there's anything a Solicitor (who also studied journalism) situated in the middle of Queensland can do to lend a hand, then count me in. I know a couple of journos who work for ABC radio/ on-line in BrisVegas as well as Triple J. Send me any details and I'll pass them on for some free P.R
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Postby mark selan on Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:06 pm

thanks for all the feedback, suggestions and offers, its much appreciated..

I'll be discussing this with Peter and seeing if we can see where he sees this event in relation to everyone elses' respective role and aims. he's been supportive in the past so i feel obligated to hear him out.

My aim is to get people involved and satisfied.

any more people interested or have anything else to add please do so.
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Postby mark selan on Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:10 pm

thanks for all the feedback, suggestions and offers, its much appreciated..

I'll be discussing this with Peter and seeing if we can see where he sees this event in relation to everyone elses' respective role and aims. he's been supportive in the past so i feel obligated to hear him out.

My aim is to get people involved and satisfied.

any more people interested or have anything else to add please do so.
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Postby Troy Kealley on Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:05 am

Whatever we can do to help - just let me know!
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Postby Egofreaky on Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:38 pm

Well, if OzTAKU ends up falling back onto our second preference for major sponsors (large/professional copy shops) I'll see if I can swindle an extra copy card to throw in as a prize.

When it comes time to look into sponsors, I'm happy to open up my teledex... I've got a few people in there that'd be highly relevant to this I think.
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Postby maggie on Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:53 pm

And just to reiterate what I said to Mark elsewhere, I'm totally committed to hosting again and that includes the main site too. With a little sweet talking, I might even be persuaded to up the file limits and host the images for those who don't wish to do so themselves (actually, I offered to do so for the desperate last year but had very few takers).

So... whatever happens and whoever happens it, count me in to help as much as I can. I'll even commit to providing a prize: a care package of the hard-to-find stuff (good bristol, non-photo blue pencils, comic boards).
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Postby mark selan on Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:40 am

this'll be a long winded post, so bear with me, but hopefully i'll cover it.

i think it's necessary to more from the essentially one man band of previous years (tho i did have help from lots of beautiful people) to something more collaborative, something like a committee (Egads!). Actually i do a lot of work with committees and they can be incredibly successful as long as roles and responsibilities are designated clearly and carried out efficiently. Subsequently this is my proposal to all you out there based on what's been posted here and my discussion with Peter (from Pulp Fictions Comics). Other than Peter, i haven't discussed or asked people if they want specific jobs but having been following people's various posts and projects i think i've got a fair handle what people can do, and more importantly what people can handle. I'll be proposing roles for specific people, i'm hoping people named will be interested in those roles - i've tried to be fair and doled out jobs evenly. I think it'll be more efficient to just name names otherwise, if i ask "who wants to be media rep?" it'll be like year 9 dance with all the guys just hugging the wall staring at the girls across the dance floor.

Of course everything is negotiable, and roles of course can be shared.

So Roles
Maggie - hosting and maintaining website (putting content on) this may include redoing the registration form (back up Mark Selan)

Avi - Sponsorship and prize hunting, online promotion (on boards he frequents or has connections with - madman, etc) as well as distributing posters in flyers and posters in melbourne and if possible coordinating promotional material distribution in Sydney.

Graeme - Press release development and distribution, having Jacen as a backup/ sounding board would be good. I know from speaking with Graeme early in the year he did have to pull back from the event but i can't remember to what extent. So calling him out - if he can deal with the media, that would be awesome. If he can't then it should be split between Jacen (east coast) and Troy (west coast).

Peter - Directly sponsoring the event and sourcing other sponsors as well as being the media representative in South Australia for local media who he'll be contacting directly.

Troy - Lead Media representative, if Graeme passes on the role, Troy would be an excellent replacement because he's mature and reasonably well connected to the scene knowing a lot of creators who he can approach about doing interviews.

Me - if anything i'm the project manager but it'll be more coordinating/providing direction than managing. I'll be asking some creators for prizes and i'll be picking the judging panel. i'll also have a deciding vote if there's an issue and i'll check any out going material for accuracy.

We need
[list=]Brisbane promotional representative
Tasmania promotional representative
Canberra promotional representative
Online promoters 9people to post stuff on various lj, forums, etc, under the supervision of avi[/list]
These people will make sure posters and flyers get distributed to various stores, they won't be dealing with the media directly because 2-3 people for that is plenty. Though if applicable they can get face time with the media.

We got a bunch of interest last year from New Zealand if some one could be the representative there, that would be very cool - they would handle promotions and media or delegate those jobs.


Ok, now in terms of direction
Media
I want to concentrate on magazines this year, i think they can be focused more towards our target demographic (designers, illustrators, etc), they are more prestigious and would be more useful to attract sponsors. We need to brainstorm what magazines.
Online - i think posting on messageboards, blogs and lj communities is an incredibly efficient way of getting attention; it can be directed to the right people and its cheap and easy. We need to brainstorm on what sites.
We got a lot of attention from newspapers and i think as raising the australian comic scene to a wider community this is really useful - we got a lot of registrations from those articles.
Radio - we got some radio exposure but this didn't lead to many registrations
TV - i don't think we should put any effort into TV, because 1) there isn't anything to show on TV and 2) its a bit of a headfuck to organise. If they come to us because some assistant producer has seen something in a magazine or newspaper - then yes, otherwise no.
In stores, posters and flyers in comic shops, art stores, etc

I???ll prepare some sort of FAQ so people know answers to questions journo???s may ask about the event.

Prizes/Sponsorship
I'd like to move away from the comic shop and creator provided sponsorship. The former because i think it essentially puts shops in competition with each other; a NSW shop won't sponsor it because a Canberra shop is involved. It becomes a pissing match AND understandably why would Comics ETC want to put up a poster when it contains the Kings logo. I think comic shops can get involved if they are a 2nd tier sponsor and are responsible for supplying a ???Best Western Australia 24 Hour comic??? ??? this way they can use the Challenge to better market themselves without infringing on another store. Local stores have been great in the past and I think that for local media articles (radio, newspaper) they should get a shout out.
I would like to get more mainstream prizes; Sony, Nintendo, Apple, dvd, art supply, etc because I think this is what people actually want and more well known sponsors gives the whole thing more credibility and would help getting media attention. Though it is a chicken scenario, sponsors what track record in media so they get something out of it but media only will spend time that has some mainstream backing. Only 2 or 3 people will hunt for sponsors and they???ll all swap notes beforehand so there???s no double up and everyone???s on the same page. So if people (including peter and avi) can list who they have connections with then Peter and Avi can start banging on doors.

Judging
I think having a committee, gives it some more credibility. But I think there should be some public voted polls. I think in the past a lot of good entries have been ignored because there are so many entries its impossible to read them all. A committee would read them all and vote and the winners would be announced in the actual year that the challenge took place. Having a committee would also take some strain off the webmaster (either me or Maggie) having to compile all the entries in a list for people to peruse. Plus by having a committee and public voted categories it gives more ???slots??? for prizes and sponsorship.
Of course people who just want to draw and don???t care about prizes (for they are the beautiful) don???t have to include anything.

The secret item
I think in the past people have cheated, there I said it ??? I don???t think the whole secret item thing has worked to make sure its all done in 24 hours. And if we have bigger sponsors and more people involved then entries need to be scrutinized and be on the up and up. Whilst drinking we did a bit of a brainstorm and came up with a way that doesn???t stifle creativity but would still be pretty hard to fudge. For an entry to be eligible for prizes they would need to contain
-An object
-A piece of dialogue
-A character (butler or cowboy or meter maid, etc)
Participants would be given a choice of three objects, pieces of dialogue and characters, but one of each must be in it. So with a choice hopefully creators won???t be subdued in their stories. Of course how these pieces of dialogue or characters are picked hasn???t been thought of yet but ideas are welcome.

Sites
Whilst the idea of setting up official sites is a good one they 1) follow the American model which I think we should distance from and they are a headfuck to organize. Friends can get together (everyone go to Pirotess??? place!) but nothing official. Maybe next year when I???m not involved and don???t have to do anything and the kinks in this committee approach can be ironed out.

Censorship
Sigh ??? I don???t like having to say there are rules on what people can do because I???d like to think people were smart enough to figure out what???s appropriate and what???s not. But if we say no child pornography and no explicit sexual violence can we all be happy. I???m happy to hear people???s ideas on this sensitive and tricky subject. Anything that is deemed wrong by the majority of the committee (with Maggie having final say, veto power because its her website) can get turfed.

So where do we go from here?
Step one people need to say yes or no to the roles prescribed here ??? once that is done, then it???s the poster competition. Peter from Pulp Fiction has already said he???ll provide a prize ??? I???m not sure but most likely graphic novels. I???d like a poster done by the end of March - ready for Supanova and ready to be incorporated into the website and promo material so we can start sending out to magazines. The winner will be picked from the committee (me, avi, troy, peter, Maggie, Graeme, jacen) and it would be cool if the poster comp was promoted online in various places.

So what do people think?
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Postby maggie on Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:39 pm

Count me in.

Maggie

PS - I'd like to open the floor now for debate about censorship. But I'll take that to another thread so as not to sully this one and derail its purpose - getting the challenge on track.
So if you want to debate this, go h'yar:
http://forums.pulpfaction.net/viewtopic.php?p=15514
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Postby Troy Kealley on Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:41 pm

A big yes from me. Hopefully meeting up with the PerthComics crew next week and get the ball rolling here. You've obviously put a lot of time and thought into this; so without reiterating what you've said I'll just say i'm in full agreement with all points!
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Postby Gary Lau on Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:34 pm

Hey Mark,

Like I mentioned to you on your blog, I'm in if you need my help. With all the other people you've listed already, I think I fit in as one of the online promoter roles for now. The things you've said about judging and the secret item(s) sounds good.

From a prize/sponsor side of things, I'm actually thinking this year to be the sponsor to publish the winning entries (limited print run). I don't know if I'm stepping on any toes with this idea and of course I'm still deciding and thinking about the details myself. Let me know what you think about this idea and discuss.
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Postby Egofreaky on Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:04 am

I'm happy to hunt for prizes, but my track record last year was pretty bad *sigh*

Looking at my Teledex, here's who I have contact details for, and what they do:
  • Barney's Print Management - print service
  • EB Games - Electronic gaming retailer
  • Letraset - Stationary
  • Funtastic (Publishing Arm) - Publishing
  • Hobby Japan - Retailer of Japanese kitsch
  • Hobbyco - Importer for model kits
  • MadMan Entertainment - Manga & Anime wholesaler
  • Manga Arts Supply - Wholesaler of comic materials
  • Nintendo - Itsa them! Mario!
  • Number one Chicken - Button badge makers (people like badges)
  • Polyester - Undergound bookstore (Melbourne based)... May be good to tell us who to talk to for some good prizes
  • SupaNova - A table at a con always makes a nice prize... Perhaps in conjunction with a copycard from Kinkos or some such, the comic could be made into a bag inclusion?
  • Tokyopop - Manga publisher
  • Toxic - Clothing chain
  • Upper Deck Entertainment - We probably don't want card games...

I can look into more, although my time is seriously stretched at the moment, as I'm back at Uni this semester close to full time as well as working, plus OzTAKU & Doujicon.
So I'm going to say point-blank... the quality of my work on this is not going to be 100% if I do do it.

I'm happy to distribute posters n what not around town though That I can do 100%.
Also, somewhere or other, I have a list with the contact details of pretty much every Tertiary student publication in the country. That would probably be a good bet for target market in terms of participants and audience.

In terms of prizes and sponsors, should I try to go for something like an energy drink company?
If people have suggestions, I'm all ears, but if you have contact details already, that's even better.

Maggie: You may want to check out this phpBB modification - http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=326318
It adds a little thing that lets people upload images straight to an ImageShack account that's been made for the forum. I guess it works in a similar way to the current file-attachement mod.
This would save on bandwidth for you, and also provide a uniform hosting and layout for people competing.
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