This article is to address the elephant in the room, so far we have been reviewing comics without scoring them, this is because a simple 1 to X star scoring system would massively oversimplify the complexity of comic quality.

We don’t want to judge a strip comic based on a criteria designed for a full page long form comic.

No perfect solution has been found so far, so suggestions from the community would be massively appreciated.

So far we have 3 buzzwords:

content.pngContent

style.pngStyle

merit.pngMerit

The idea being we give each comic 3 scores, one for each of these categories, that way people will be able to judge not only how good a comic is, but in what aspects.

content

We are thinking of defining content as mostly the writing aspects but also some visual aspects, these would be the plot (if it’s a plot heavy comic), the jokes (if it’s a joke heavy comic), or the action (if it’s an action heavy comic).

We don’t expect it to be necessary to specify which of these subcategories we are referring to, because hopefully that will be clear from just reading the comic’s summary. But perhaps a small graphic could be used to indicate if one of these subcategories overshadows the others.

style

Style is difficult to define, but for fairness we want to have a written definition that we judge comics by. At the moment we judge style as a combination of; Atmosphere (this can be visually or through writing), Design, Artistic themes (things like symbolic use of color etc) and visual composition.

merit

Merit is even harder to define than style, what it should be is an additional layer of scoring that will determine the difference between a comic that just ticks every box for being good and a comic that goes beyond a mathematical formula of quality.

We will judge merit by; Skillful art, Effective writing, Originality and clever use of the format

For each of these categories we are thinking of perhaps a 0 to 5 scoring system, but not just an arbitrary one. Each number on the scale will represent something specific.

0 being completely devoid of that category, 5 being no room for improvement/ flawless in that category.

We would like a definition for every number for clarity, and decimals can be used when it’s difficult to judge between two scores.

In addition to these three primary scores, we are thinking of including bonus points for specific things, they won’t affect the overall score, but will award small graphics next to the scoring. We think the bonus points should have 2 levels, the first being simply achieving that bonus point the 2nd being a gold standard for that bonus point (these will be rare and tell people that a comic is outstanding in that aspect)

So far for bonus points we’ve come up with these:

Suspense

surprise

Consistency

Emotion

Comedy

Pacing

Visual storytelling

Story + art synergy

We may want more, or combine some of these to be less. Any suggestions for better definitions for the three primary scores, or more bonus points, or any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated.

We want nice graphics for all of these, but we also intend to overhaul the artstyle of the twitter page. So we’ll just put in some temporary ones for now, and get the community involved when we reinvent the overall aesthetic later.