Here we are. I was so excited to have the comic reach a year’s worth of updates I wanted to celebrate with a contest that would reward readers. I’d figured some Fan Art would reward readers by showing off the comic’s characters in a way they haven’t been seen before, and reward the contest winner with some handmade merchandise and a photo print. What I’d failed to consider was how hard this would be. Here’s a hint: IT’S HARD!
I wasn’t sure what to expect at first. If I’m honest I have to admit that lately I’ve become a very Glass Mostly Empty kind of guy and thought nobody would enter. While I’m glad I was wrong I have to admit that NONE would have made the job of selecting a winner much easier. This said, I look at the THREE submissions I received and am very happy to have held this contest. I’m in awe and am humbled to have such talented people read the comic and take the time to create and submit an entry. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who entered. Now onto the submissions.
The first entry I received was from buddy and fellow webcomics dude Jamie Noguchi. If you don’t know Jamie, here’s a list of SOME of the things he’s up to online: angryzenmaster, Erfworld (Book 1), Monster Cutie, Headline DS, Super Art Fight, and I’m sure there’s more. Here’s his entry.
My initial reaction to this was a rapid fire blown away torrent of excited curses and ill-enunciated gibberish. SO. FREAKIN’. AWESOME! From his e-mail:
Ninja and Kunoichi sharing a tender moment. And then… BUNNY STEW!!!!!
Seeing the characters (especially Chance) portrayed realistically is beyond surreal for me. I spend so much time looking at these little crocheted guys I hadn’t even imagined them in this style. I love the worried little bunny expression on Chance. It’s art like this that reminds me that if he doesn’t start to show the internet more comics soon I’m going to have to BEAT HIM UP!
Thanks, Jamie! My mind = Blown the frig up!
Less than 20 minutes later I received the second entry from Kristie. Kristie is a reader who follows me on Twitter and who makes some precious amigurumi and plushies. In fact, you can see some of them at her Etsy Store. You should probably BUY THEM! She’s also a great mom. When Amu and I talk about having kids it’s always about how we won’t be. We both have a myriad reasons why this is. Kristie’s Twitter updates, so full of happy and fun times with her child, remind me some of the ways I think we may be missing out. Here’s her entry.
ADORABLE! This Kunoichi plushi is made of black fleece, felt, embroidery floss and yarn. While I’m not a crafter myself, I live with one. I see the trial and error involved in creating something in person. I see the needle stabbed and yarn welted fingers. I witness the hours of twisting wrists and hands that give ME arthritis just watching! On the few occasions I’ve helped Amu prepare for selling her handmade items at craft shows or conventions I learned how much time and concentration goes into making even the most basic of things. I nearly lost my mind attaching limbs to some of her cellphone charms.
Above all I learned to respect how much dedication goes into hand crafting a plushie, or amigurumi, or doll. It’s nothing I could ever do and I admire those who have the manual dexterity to MAKE AWESOME THINGS.
Thanks so much, Kristie! So squishy, huggably awesome.
Heroes Of Amitown
The third entry was quite the buzzer beater. Right at the end I got a nice surprise as I had yet another reason to be glad I do this comic. Ami, who does the webcomic The Glass Urchin is someone in the webcomics world I’ve only met online, via Twitter. The East Coast webcomics scene has been a nice, welcoming little family. Ami’s comic is autobiographical, cute, funny, and contains one of my favorite webcomic updates of all time. I say this because this comic is SO DANG TRUE!
There’s a lot I do to escape my day and explore new places, ideas, stories, and characters. Comics is one of those places. To be a part of that, and be part of a family that is a part of that, is amazing. Ami’s also reached a milestone in publishing her FIRST BOOK, which collects the first year of her webcomic in print form. Hooray! Here’s Ami’s entry.
SO CUTE! I love it I love it I love it! In her e-mail Ami mentions that she loves Hidalgo, Juan’s attack alpaca. In truth, I’ve had more people tell me he’s their favorite character than any other character. I think that’s HILARIOUS because he almost didn’t make it into the comic at all. It was on a whim that Amu mentioned we should add him. It’s wonderful to see him in this style. The tongue is super cute and I love the colors. I was hoping people would depict the characters in their own style, and this is why. This is so sweet my teeth have rotted away, been replaced with dentures, which have also been destroyed by the cute sweetness.
Thank you Ami for contributing MAXIMUM HIDALGO CUTENESS!
This is one of the harder things I’ve had to do, and after much thought Amu and I have decided that ALL THREE HAVE WON!
Don’t think it wasn’t difficult to make this decision. I personally spent HOURS going over the entries, talking to Amu, and getting feedback and advice from people I trust. After going back and forth with myself over how to select a winner it was ultimately Amu who swayed me to this result after stressing that we got three entries, and all three are fantastic. There wasn’t any way we COULDN’T reward everybody for taking the time out to make such flattering pieces for the contest. You’re all wonderful and did an amazing job. We’re so lucky to have gotten such phenomenal art.
So Amu and I are going to be working hard to get Jamie, Kristie, AND Ami each an Amu’s World amigurumi, and a large print of THEIR CHOICE from any of the Photo Phriday pictures. If those photos weren’t enough of a selection, I’ll extend your options to a large print of ANY comic if you had a favorite instead of a Friday photo.
I’m going to hit each of you up with an e-mail for your information, and as soon as you’ve selected which photo or comic you’d like a print of I’ll make the order and Amu will get cracking on an amigurumi for you. Thank you so much for participating, and I hope it was fun for you and all the other readers. I’m humbled.
All three pieces of Fan Art for the contest featured Kunoichi. As a result, I’m soon going to be exploring a Kuno-focused story. I’m looking forward to delving into her story and fleshing out her personality.