The forum formerly known as Artwork III.
There are those who love the forum and there are those who don't. I don't get the impression that there are very many active members on here who are apathetic on it - it seems like everyone has an opinion, whether or not they express it, and independent of whether or not they are an active comic maker or are entering a work in the comics contest.
I respect comic makers and I sincerely believe that comics are a form of art. But comparing sprite comics to hand drawn comics is just like the proverbial comparison of apples and oranges, or comparing MOCs with epics. Simply put: it's not possible.
"But Sumiki, they're both comics! Why can't we compare?"
Compare all you like, but in the end of the day, it's different. Sprites are, by and large, made by select few members, be they comic makers or otherwise. I can compare pixel art to hand-drawn art all day, because there has to be innate artistic skill to do both. Yes, some comic makers who use other member's sprites have artistic skill, but I'm not going to go as far as to generalize all sprite comics and their makers.
"It takes a lot more time to make a sprite comic than to draw one by hand!"
This right here is a common defense, and on the surface, it seems to make some sense. It is, however, an ignoratio elenchi - an argument wherein one proves or disproves a point which is not at issue. The time it takes to make a sprite comic as compared to a hand-drawn one is totally irrelevant to the quality of the comic. There's no set time that one can make a sprite comic in, and there's no set time that it takes to draw one by hand. A ten-page sprite comic might be heinously bad, but the time it takes to assemble the sprites from the kit might take longer than the by-hand artist who makes an awesome four-page comic in half the time.
If the amount of time poured into any piece of art is the sole indication of its quality, the winner of the comics contest would be whichever one took the longest. There would be no need for a poll in the first place.
"How can you know, or compare? You don't even make sprite comics!"
I don't have to know to be able to compare. Do you have to walk on the Moon to know what it looks like? I didn't think so. Plus, I actually made a few sprite comics in the past, and with very limited software, so I have at least touched the surface of the medium.
Is it easy to make sprite comics look good? Not really. But is it easy to make them? Heck yeah. Anyone - even those who have no artistic ability whatsoever - can make a sprite comic.
"Its easier to make a hand-drawn comic than a sprite comic."
Sprite comics, for the most part, have stock backgrounds that are copied and pasted between frames. The characters, or parts of the characters, are already pre-created on another sheet entirely, ready to be copied and pasted into the comic. While professional hand-drawn comics sometimes do similar things, amateur comic makers on BZPower who draw their comics by hand do so because they don't want to copy and paste the same things like sprite comics are known to do.
"But Sumiki, the time and effort that it takes to make a sprite comic far outdoes the work put into hand-drawn comics!"
Ah, but the effort is the combined labor of the pixel artists, who aren't always necessarily the comic makers. Like I said, I respect the pixel artists and the kit makers for their creative skill, but I can't put them in the same category with the people who use their work to construct their own stories - unless, however, the pixel artists use their own handiwork in their comics.
I think a lot of the issues that people have with the comic makers is that they have a stereotype of being easily enraged. Professional debate quickly seems to degenerate into near-flame wars, and they would if the brave folks who make up the staff of that forum didn't respond to problems with great alacrity.
This entry is not intended to kindle anew the fires of a flame war. If anything, it is my response to many of the arguments that I've seen regarding the sprites-vs.-hand-drawn debate. The contest topic was not the place for it, and before you ask, no, I didn't start it. I try to stay out of drama here.
I don't think I'm being unreasonable if I can sincerely expect everyone to be professional about this and not degenerate the debates and discussion into a slurry of insults hurled hither and thither. I believe that the members can live up to those standards, so please, play nice. There's no reason not to.