It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed since the last Dontmindme.com Wilhelm Awards. A lot has happened in the last 12 months, and there are a lot of things and people which are, if not very, at least moderately deserving of a Wilhelm Award. Some of the winners were formally nominated during the last year, while others are now for the first time being mentioned in association with this prestigious prize.
If you'd like to learn more about the Wilhelms, visit the Wilhelm Awards Page. There you can find out the explanation behind the name, listen to the actual Wilhelm scream, and see previous winners and nominees. But for now, on with the awards.
Worst Song Cover: Emerging artists can often find, or expand, their audience by performing covers of well known songs from decades gone by. And while this can work, it can also produce terrible, terrible, results. Such was the cover of "Good Morning Starshine" by Serena Ryder. While Ms. Ryder may well have achieved the coveted status of so hot right now, this is a truly awful song. While it might be sentimentally popular, just look at these lyrics: Gliddy glub gloopy/ Nibby nabby noopy / La la la lo lo / Sabba sibby sabba / Nooby abba nabba / Le le lo lo / Tooby ooby walla / Nooby abba naba / Early morning singing song. Those are the real lyrics, look it up if you don't believe me. Anything that includes that many made up nonsense words but yet has nothing to do with the Teletubbies should not be covered by anyone with pretensions of ever being taken seriously. "Good Morning Starshine" by Serena Ryder takes home the Wilhelm for Worst Song Cover.
Best Emerging Web Comic: While I had fully expected to give this award to the nominee from last summer, Erfworld, sometimes things just don't work out the way you expect. And so instead the Wilhelm is going to Basic Instructions. Updated twice weekly, it's a tongue in cheek guide to many daily activities, everything from picking a new razor to cheating at videogames. And of course, there are guides to less common activities as well, such as negotiating with the UN and avenging the murder of your brother. The artwork may not be spectacular, but the comic is very, very funny. And so while Erfworld is entirely excellent, Basic Instructions wins the Wilhelm for Best Emerging Web Comic.
Best Generic Food Product: I enjoy a glass of orange juice as much as the next person, but really, it's not something to get all that excited about. In my mind, OJ is something primarily drunk when you are fighting a cold — gotta get that extra dose of vitamin C. Unlike other staple juices like apple, there is a fair selection of orange juices to be had and factors to be considered such as pulp level (although why anyone wants anything other than always pulp free is beyond me). Into this mix there is a clear choice to be had, and it is President's Choice Valencia Orange Juice. If you could describe OJ as rich and creamy, but yet still very natural and sweet orange juice, without it sounding strange, that is how I would describe this. Even though it does sound weird, I'm going to stick with that description. It's the best orange juice I've ever tasted. PC Valencia Orange Juice wins the Wilhelm for Best Generic Food Product.
Most Shameless Plug: Blogs are so hot right now. It seems that half the people I know have one. Not too many of of them update with any sort of regularity, however. Brannigan's Law is a blog written by Mike Thomas, who is also one of the contributors to Dontmindme. While it may not have new content every day, the content it does have is generally funny enough to make it more than worthwhile visiting. Right now Mike is doing a series of spoof inspirational posters that are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Brannigan's Law easily deserves the Wilhelm for Most Shameless Plug.
Most enjoyable game: As regular readers of this site may know, I really like Risk. The boardgame, that is, not the taking of unwise chances. So a game that is similar to Risk in that it involves conquering territories with matched dice rolls would be right up my alley. Last year I found an online game of that sort, Dicewars, which was fairly fun, but I once I learned a few tricks of how to win it stopped being much of a challenge. But when I decided to play it a few days ago, and googled Dicewars, I found something else — an online multiplayer version. What more, it has a fairly active community of players, a ranking system, and live chat during games (ideal both for taunting opponents and making deals with potential allies). It's called Kdice, and it's entirely too much fun. A word of warning, however; it's potentially addictive. I played three games in a row before writing this. Kdice wins the Wilhelm for Most Enjoyable Game.
Wilhelm Special Award for Creativity and Innovation: Jeffrey Rowland has won a Wilhelm previously, specifically for his comic blog Overcompensating. But that is far from the only thing he does. He also for years ran the online comics When I Grow Up and Wigu, the latter which he now publishes in actual dead tree format. And there were side projects, such as the short lived Wigu-TV and American Platypus. And he still does Overcompensating, which remains consistently strange and amusing, and not long ago featured a cameo by an SNL character. But what really puts Jeff over the top is the fact that he also runs a webstore, TopatoCo, selling shirts, books, and other items, not just for his online properties, but half a dozen others as well. And we haven't even gotten to the Loch Ness Monster Adventure Club. Jeffrey Rowland fully deserves the Wilhelm Special Award for Creativity and Innovation.