I really hate to keep playing the role of the heavy on this blog, but it looks like no one else will (there are illustration professors in our group who ought to be all over this). Simply put: I'm not sure artists can "take advantage" of a contest when there's no prize. Oliver started a thread recently concerning everyday folks asking for free services. Sponsoring contests is the way businesses get our services for free. It appears that this group at least lets the artists keep the copyrights (many do not), but a poster is pretty poor compensation for filling an entire page of a magazine with original artwork. If these guys get illustration for free (and I'm sure a lot of it is first-rate) how do we as illustrators get other magazines to pay for a spot or a quarter page? Just my two cents.
I remember in college there was a lot of discussion about design competitions for major corporations (which often did say they owned anything that you entered.) I just looked at the link (it has been a busy week) and this is a fanzine and not really a commercial venture. It is a community of gaming enthusiasts that provite their own content. They are very up front about it.I have no problem with fanzines. Frazetta, Wrightson, and many other comic artits got their start in them. I have a friend currently writing a series of articles about the great fanzines in the 60s and 70s. Amazing stuff...It is irritating when commercial publications (that sell ads and charge for their magazines/publications) do not want to pay for art when clearly they could pay something.