We have received lots of feedback for our first GINCO-invitations and the subsequent award ceremony at the Comic Con Stuttgart 2019. We are very excited about the positive resonance on the Committee’s and our work throughout the scene. Naturally, there have also been some questions, uncertainties, and points of criticism that our team has collected and discussed extensively. In the following FAQ we would like to address the most recurring questions concerning the terms of submission and the criteria for awards.
TECHNICAL QUESTIONS FOR SUBMISSION:
Do I have to submit my work digitally?
Yes. But it is explicitly permitted that e.g. your publisher submits for you, or the pages are legibly photographed. If there is no one to help you digitalize it, please talk to us directly (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). We might be able to assist you in a specific case.
PDFs optimized for web are sometimes problematic for manga pages with screentones, often more than 300dpi are just impossible. What can I do in such a case?
If the comic is online anyways, you can just send us the respective link with your submission.
Otherwise just try to generate a PDF that meets your own requirements.
What do I do if my comic is on a platform with access restrictions?
If your comic happens to be behind a paywall as you are making use of the technical possibilities of special platforms (animation, for instance), one option could be to generate access codes for the members of our Committee (email@example.com). If that seems not possible or you are uncertain about it, first submit the link like that so that your entry reaches us is in time with all the necessary detail. If you talk to us directly, usually there will be some solution. Most platforms provide special press access, for instance.
CONTENT-RELATED/THEMATIC QUESTIONS FOR SUBMISSION:
Can I only submit comics with LGBTQ-content, or if I identify as part of a minority?
No. The GINCO identifies as an inclusive award and we welcome all submissions from the independent comic-scene. That being said, “inclusive” means to us that we especially value diversity within the contributions. Every comic has nevertheless the chance of being awarded if it manages to impress our Committee. In general, we would like to make visible and treat equally all forms and formats of comics that find less attention in other kinds of awards – including manga, webcomics, as well as works of artists from marginalized groups or with marginalized content. Our Committee tries to pay special attention to this overall focus, but it is entirely free in its selection.
Does the award take people with special needs into account?
First, it is our aim to make the participation and the award in general more and more accessible to everyone. We are always grateful for any and all observations and suggestions to improve on that. Please direct your feedback to Jonas Röhrig (Jroehrig.firstname.lastname@example.org) who takes responsibility for these questions within the Comic Solidarity. We would also like to encourage submissions that go beyond conventional habits of perception, that address atypical patterns of reception (reading difficulties, for instance), or that have been developed with that in mind specifically.
If German and English submissions are both possible, who is not invited to participate?
Relevant is whether you are publishing OR living in a German-speaking region. So if you are from Brisbane and publishing German comics from there, or if you are living in Dresden uploading English comics on Japanese platforms - in either way you are warmly invited to submit the for GINCO.
The GINCO is primarily an award by and for the German and German-speaking comic scene, although many artists residing in Germany (or abroad as expats) are obviously publishing their comics in English or even other languages. Since the organization team as well as our annual committee is contributing their efforts to make the award possible in their spare time, our capabilities and resources are limited. For these pragmatic reasons, the submitted work should be either published in German, within a German-speaking country, or by at least one collaborator residing in a German-speaking country at the time of publication.
I am currently creating a graphic novel I would like to submit, but it is not yet published. Will it be sufficient to upload it on a homemade website?
Yes, a homemade website would be entirely sufficient. You could also rely on existing online comic platforms auch as www.mycomics.de, www.toonsup.com, https://tapas.io, www.webtoons.com or the likes. Please keep in mind, however, that only works from the previous year will be considered; if you are going to publish your comic right now you can submit it for next year’s GINCO.
I have created a small comic within my university class and printed 8 versions of it. Does this count as “self-published”?
The condition of “being self-published” is fulfilled if your comic was distributed within University contexts. In order to participate, please generate a screen-friendly RGB-PDF, upload it into a cloud and post the link into the submission form.
How about 18+/NSFW/erotic comics?
Comics with adult content are also welcome.
My comic tells a continuous story and has over 800 pages. Can I be sure that the Committee is going to read all the material?
Probably not. You can be sure, however, that every member of the Committee is going to consider at least parts of your submitted work. It is up to each member how many pages are sufficient to get a sufficient impression. Due to the sheer amount of submissions (during the first award, there have been over 200 works of extremely varying page number) anything else would be impossible for our Committee of volunteers.
But does this not always produce a bias towards shorter comics?
This is hard to generalize. In principle, it is certainly easier for our Committee members to appreciate a self-contained comic of 30 pages appropriately than a webcomic which has been running for 5 years with weekly updates. A longer series has also some advantages, however. Some other works that were not awarded within one of the main categories nevertheless impressed the Committee for various reasons. In 2019, the Committee therefore implemented additional “spotlights” to shine some light on these comics. For the current run of submissions, too, the members will try to do justice to a large body of works in various forms, formats, and sizes.
Is the award funded via Comic Solidarity’s Patreon-account or are there donors?
The GINCO-Award is funded separately. At present, it is completely owed to private donors who wish to remain anonymous. However, joining in on http://patreon.com/comicsolidarity is a highly appreciated way to support some of the costs for the award ceremony and our ancillary expenses. Shortly there will also be an option to become a GINCO-sponsoring member within a non-profit association (gemeinnütziger Verein) to safeguard our award’s future more directly.