The winners are in from Platform Comics’ very first comic book competition. Many submitted their short comics to be judged by myself, Erica Schultz, Joseph Keatinge, Scott Kolins, Ryan Ferrier, and Hope Nicholson. The competition was fierce, with many great comics submitted making it quite tricky to love just one (or two, or five!). You can see read all the winners, runners up, and finalists on Platform Comics’ website, but the top prize went to Jed McPherson and Zorika Gaeta for their story Puzzle. Coming in as runner up was Big White by Brian Wickman, Vlad Legostaev, and Rachel Deering.
Runner Up: Big White is a twelve-page story that would convince you it’s already being published at Image Comics. It comes with a cover, credits page, and a whole lot of heart. Over its twelve pages writer Brian Wickman, artist Vlad Legostaev, and letterer Rachel Deering reveal a future where humanity is barely surviving in a cold, snowy world. People live underground, and over the course of the story we learn why. The tale has sci-fi sensibilities with a heartbeat not dissimilar from The Thing. Legostaev and Deering draw you in with cinematic style close-ups, mid, and long shots. Possibly more impactful are the facial expressions and humanity in the characters. They’ve laid out a world you’ll want to explore further.
Winner: Puzzle is a four-page tale written by McPherson with art by Akiro Tea. The first thing that stands out in this story is the art that is unique and like nothing you’ve seen before. Textured and limiting itself to red and green, the style pops well. The color choice matters as we soon learn red plays into the characters, and as we eventually learn, a traumatic moment in the lives of the monkeys. Yes, that’s right, the main character is a young monkey who attempts to solve a Rubix cube. He brings it to an older monkey who flashes back to his time in a lab. Told via creative layouts, this moment of fear and memory leads to a moment of learning and lesson. This is a striking story that is efficient and impactful.
The fact that these two stories got first and second is a testament to the creators and the work they put into these stories, as it was a packed field. As a judge for this competition, I say with certainty the quality and effort put into all of the short comics was nothing less than astounding. Comic book storytelling always seems to improve and grow each year, and based on the excellent competition Platform Comics put on, I’m only more excited to see future stories from these amazing comic book storytellers.
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