The Webtoon Short Story Contest

Webtoon is an online comic company that uses the Korean style of online comics and has become an increasingly popular platform for graphic stories. I mentioned Webtoon mostly recently in my summary of James Davis Nicoll’s Hugo Packet where he reviewed this series

Where there are stories gathered together there are story competitions and Webtoon is no different. They recently held their Short Story competition with the winners announced here It’s a juried award with cash prizes that splits winners and runners up into two categories: “Brain” for stories that blow your mind and “Heart” for stories that warm your heart (Rules and FAQs).

“Why are you telling us all this Camestros?” I hear you say. Why because these are interesting graphic stories told in a vertically scrolling format and I think you might like some of them. I don’t need hidden agendas to do that do I? I don’t need ulterior motives just to point out fun or interesting genre-related stories?


Remember Comicsgate aka The Crappiest Gate and how Vox “I have never been a neo-Nazi” Day’s Castalia House had its own comics imprint Arkhaven and how they were going to have a movie etc etc? Recently, Arkhaven started putting a limited number of their comics on Webtoons. Arkhaven submitted one of their series “Midnight’s War” to the webtoons Short Story Competition. It’s a story about a vigilante superhero in a dystopian future were vampires rule the world (you can work out the subtext given it is coming from a company that’s published overtly Qanon themed comics).

Well surprise, surprise, it didn’t win. Fair’s fair, the artwork is more slick than the rest of Arkhaven’s offerings but it has dull dialogue and is not an obvious fit with the general style of Webtoons. It’s also not really a short story as such (more an opening chapter) and also it’s violent and the rules expressly stated that entries should not be “excessively violent”…and so on.

Anyway, no surprise it didn’t get anywhere.

Day though isn’t happy:

“And it wasn’t just unawarded. Midnight’s War somehow didn’t even qualify as one of the 36 runners-up despite being one of the top 10 ranked in Popularity and earning a higher rating than two out of the three Silver winners.

This tells me that Arkhaven needs to seriously rethink our plan to use Webtoons as a platform. While some of the winning stories were pretty good, precisely none of the art in any of the winners or runners-up was even close to that of Midnight’s War. It’s now clear that it’s just not the sort of thing that they are ever going to promote to their readership.” [warning]

It’s bad week for the right in literary awards but it’s actually worse than it looks.

Arkhaven already has it’s own website and Day has boasted about the money made from crowd funding and Amazon sales etc…so why the mini-tantrum about not winning an award on website were Arkhaven is giving away their material?

It is the law of diminishing returns or rather the law of a very saturated and limited audience. Each of Day’s multiple schemes over the years have been tapping the same cloud of people for money each time. To be fair to Day and his publishing schemes, he has actually produced products (books, comics etc) that have actual words and pictures. It’s not a con as such but Arkhaven is facing the same problem Castalia House had, the products never break out beyond this limited audience. Worse, back in 2014 the potential audience (disaffected right-leaning online people who like SFF) was broader and less factional. Day’s own antics have pissed off multiple people over time e.g. Back in 2013/14 Mad Genius or Larry Correia would still make excuses for Day, in 2015 they distanced themselves to create deniability over Rabid Puppies, by 2016 they started pretending he doesn’t exist. Similar disputes with people further to the right (e.g. Gab or other putative leaders of the Alt-right) have divided the potential audience for his product further. Feuding with Ethan Van Scriver over who owns “Comicsgate” in a bald-men-figthing-over-a-broken-comb dispute, divided that audience further and so on.

Webtoons was a recruitment drive and it didn’t work.


12 responses to “The Webtoon Short Story Contest”

  1. Just read the Silver Winner “Solid State” and while it’s not groundbreaking, I enjoyed it. Gold Winner “The Ladder” is very Godot. Gold Winner “The Monster Under My Bed” has beautiful art and is ADORABLE but not twee.

    So, yes, Cam, I did like it!

    The fact that they clearly don’t take to Teddy’s brand of fiction is just a bonus.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have a friend who occasionally teases me about how my blog posts often have a long anecdote before I get to the point. Next time he mentions that, I’m stealing your tweet about burying the lede. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah, see, I know where he went wrong. He accidentally entered his shitty comic into a short story contest, not a shart story contest. Easy mistake to make Ted, better luck next time!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I don’t really get why he’s bothering. Isn’t it just the usual thing that he stops doing whatever operation he’s doing when it peters out? I thought he was trying to get in with Benjamin’s crowd instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beale tends to keep them running as long as he can, while spending more and more time on the new “surefire winner”. As most of them are low effort projects, this isn’t too tough. Hell, usually, they run a bit better once his interest has waned, as he no longer tries to do stupid things with them. (Castalia House is probably having a far less problematic existence now that it is no longer pulling stupid stunts like ‘The Corroding Empire’, even if its just circulating a terrible little back catalog on Kindle indefinitely.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Grifters like Vox depend upon outrage cycles in order to drum up business from the same repeated customers. When those grifters aren’t connected to a mainstream outlet like say a Fox News to help them drum up outrage, they have to go even further afield to find new places to drum up said outrage, resulting in weak efforts like this.


      • Beale stands out among his ilk, because he generally does deliver, instead of taking the money and running–he says a comic is going to be made, and a comic is made. It is shitty and terrible, beyond simply having reprehensible politics–but by gum, it is a comic. A part of me wonders if that isn’t a portion of why he keeps burning out on projects.

        Turning to his audience–I can’t help but feel that he’s constantly trying to recapture the “glory days” of Gamergate, where while he managed to capture a following by being one of the guys openly saying what others involved in the group were merely implying. The immediate aftermath of that is probably the most influence and popularity Beale has ever had–he did not exactly set the world on fire as an author, or as a right-wing columnist in WorldNetDaily–and I think he imagined it would last, or even grown. It didn’t–large chunks of his fans have drifted away as they got bored, or broken away as they got sick of his bullshit for one reason or another. And so he there he is, playing the same dull routine to a smaller and smaller house, dreaming of the big time again…

        Liked by 5 people

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