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July 22, 2006


Your 2006 San Diego Con Update

I did make it down to the comic book convention for the weekend. A few random observations.

1. It is incredibly crowded down here. I talked to about 12-15 con regulars -- not professionals who seemed for the most part to enjoy the extra business, but con-goers -- all of whom said something along the lines of not coming back or severely limiting their exposure to the convention in future years. Preview Night in particular was crammed like a Saturday morning.

2. At a panel about the universality of the graphic novel, the artist Jean-Claude Mezieres confirmed something that we've been debating here for a while -- the big change in the French-language comics market because of the crush of new books and manga is turnover. Books show up on the shelves, they stay for a scant time, and they leave. Mezieres noted this isn't particularly the kindest model for new artists; we've discussed it here at CR on the basis of it being a tough market in which to find more alternative-type books, the kind you don't necessarily show up and buy the first week.

3. His fellow artists in the alternative/arts realm are abuzz with what a lovely man Yoshihiro Tatsumi seems to be; I've never seen this many artists concerned with making sure an artist and his wife are taken care of and have a good time.

4. I haven't really checked booth by booth, but Fantagraphics seems to be selling a lot of Linda Medley's Castle Waiting volume.

5. The blogger panel went okay. I noticed that Jay Kennedy from King Features Syndicate was in the audience, and I kept wanting to say something I thought he might be interested in hearing. It is always nice to see my blogging peers both on the panel and in the audience. This year's trends seem to be video blogging, more content instead of links, and more aggressive podcasting-type services.

6. It was great to meet the writer John Wagner, one of the great, underappreciated careers in comics.

*****

The cancelled Solo looks to me like the big winner at last night's Eisner Awards, and it stirkes me that other than Chris Ware and maybe Charles Burns it doesn't look like any alternative comic beat out a mainstream superhero comic when it had the chance. Just sayin'.

Congratulations to my peer and colleague Calvin Reid.

Your 2006 Eisner Winners (In Bold)

Best Short Story
* "Blood Son," by Richard Matheson, adapted by Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood, in Doomed #1 (IDW)
* "Monster Slayers," by Khang Le, in Flight, vol. 2 (Image)
* "Nameless," by Eric Powell, in The Goon #14 (Dark Horse)
* "Operation" (story #5), by Zak Sally, in The Recidivist #3 (La Mano)
* "Teenage Sidekick," by Paul Pope, in Solo #3 (DC)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
* The Bakers, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Ex Machina #11: "Fortune Favors" by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Feister (WildStorm/DC)
* The Innocents, by Gipi (Fantagraphics/Coconino Press)
* Promethea #32: "Wrap Party" by Alan Moore and J. H. Williams III (ABC)
* Solo #5, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

Best Serialized Story
* Desolation Jones #1-5: "Made in England," by Warren Ellis and J. H. Williams III (WildStorm/DC)
* Fables #36-38, 40-41: "Return to the Homelands," by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and Steve Leialoha (Vertigo/DC)
* Ex Machina #12-14: "Fact v. Fiction," by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Feister (WildStorm/DC)
* Y: The Last Man #37-39: "Paper Dolls," by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Sudzuka, and Jose Marzan Jr. (Vertigo/DC)

Best Continuing Series
* Age of Bronze, by Eric Shanower (Image)
* Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Marvel)
* Ex Machina, by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Feister (WildStorm/DC)
* Fell, by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith (Image)
* Rocketo, by Frank Espinosa (Speakeasy)
* True Story, Swear to God, by Tom Beland (Clib's Boy Comics)

Best Limited Series
* Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Ocean, by Warren Ellis, Chris Sprouse, and Karl Story (WildStorm/DC)
* Seven Soldiers, by Grant Morrison and various artists (DC)
* Smoke, by Alex de Campi and Igor Kordey (IDW)

Best New Series
* All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)
* Desolation Jones, by Warren Ellis and J. H. Williams III (WildStorm/DC)
* Fell, by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith (Image)
* Rocketo, by Frank Espinosa (Speakeasy)
* Young Avengers, by Alan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, and John Dell (Marvel)

Best Publication for a Younger Audience
* Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley (Renaissance Press)
* The Clouds Above, by Jordan Crane (Fantagraphics)
* Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius, by Chris Eliopoulous and Mark Sumerak (Marvel)
* Owly: Flying Lessons, by Andy Runton (Top Shelf)
* Spiral-Bound, by Aaron Renier (Top Shelf)

Best Anthology
* The Dark Horse Book of the Dead, edited by Scott Allie (Dark Horse Books)
* Flight, vol. 2, edited by Kazu Kibuishi (Image)
* Mome. edited by Gary Groth and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
* Solo, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)
* 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2005, edited by Nat Gertler (About Comics)

Best Digital Comic
* Copper, by Kazu www.boltcity.com/copper
* Jellaby, by Kean Soo, www.secretfriendsociety.com/archive.php?cat=2
* ojingogo, by matt forsythe www.comingupforair.net/comics/ojingogo.html
* PVP, by Scott Kurtz, www.pvponline.com/

Best Reality-Based Work
* Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)
* Epileptic, by David B. (Pantheon)
* Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Pyongyang, by Guy Delisle (Drawn & Quarterly)
* True Story, Swear to God (Clib's Boy Comics), True Story, Swear to God: This One Goes to Eleven (AiT/Planet Lar), by Tom Beland

Best Graphic Album--New
* Acme Novelty Library #16, by Chris Ware (ACME Novelty)
* The Rabbi's Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
* Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, by Alan Moore and Gene Ha (ABC)
* Tricked, by Alex Robinson (Top Shelf)
* Wimbledon Green, by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album--Reprint
* Acme Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
* Black Hole, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
* Feast of the Seven Fishes, by Robert Tinnell, Ed Piskor, and Alex Saviuk (Allegheny Image Factory)
* Ice Haven, by Dan Clowes (Pantheon)
* War's End, by Joe Sacco (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Archival Collection/Project--Comic Strips
* The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson (Andrews McMeel)
* The Complete Peanuts, 1955-1956, 1957-1958, by Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)
* Krazy and Ignatz: The Komplete Kat Komics. by George Herriman (Fantagraphics)
* Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays, by Winsor McCay (Sunday Press Books)
* Walt and Skeezix, by Frank King (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Archival Collection/Project--Comic Books
* Absolute Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (DC)
* Buddha, vols. 5-8, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
* The Contract with God Trilogy, by Will Eisner (Norton)
* DC Comics Rarities Archives, vol. 1 (DC)
* Fantastic Four Omnibus, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Marvel)

Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material
* Cromartie High School, by Eiji Nonaka (ADV)
* Dungeon: The Early Years, vol. 1, by Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim, and Christophe Blaine (NBM)
* Ordinary Victories, by Manu Larcenet (NBM)
* The Rabbi's Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
* Six Hundred Seventy-Six Apparitions of Killoffer, by Killoffer (Typocrat)

Best Writer
* Warren Ellis, Fell (Image); Down (Top Cow/Image); Desolation Jones, Ocean, Planetary (WildStorm/DC)
* Alan Heinberg, Young Avengers (Marvel)
* Alan Moore, Promethea, Top Ten: The Forty-Niners (ABC)
* Grant Morrison, Seven Soldiers, All Star Superman (DC)
* Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC); Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC); Runaways (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
* Geof Darrow, Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman)
* Guy Delisle, Pyongyang (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Eric Shanower, Age of Bronze (Image)
* Adrian Tomine, Optic Nerve #10 (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)

Best Writer/Artist--Humor
* Kyle Baker, Plastic Man (DC); The Bakers (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Paige Braddock, Jane's World (Girl Twirl)
* Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Oni)
* Eric Powell, The Goon (Dark Horse)
* Seth, Wimbledon Green (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Penciller/Inker
* John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Planetary (WildStorm/DC)
* Gene Ha, Top Ten: The Forty-Niners (ABC)
* J. G. Jones, Wanted (Top Cow/Image)
* Frank Quitely, All Star Superman (DC)
* J. H. Williams III, Promethea, Desolation Jones (WildStorm/DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
* Paul Guinan, Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate (IDW)
* Ladronn, Hip Flask: Mystery City (Active Images)
* Ben Templesmith, Fell (Image)
* Kent Williams, The Fountain (Vertigo/DC)

Best Cover Artist
* Frank Espinosa, Rocketo (Speakeasy)
* Tony Harris, Ex Machina (Wildstorm/DC)
* James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); Runaways (Marvel)
* Jock, The Losers (Vertigo/DC)
* Eric Powell, The Goon; Universal Monsters: Cavalcade of Horror (Dark Horse)

Best Coloring
* Jeromy Cox, Teen Titans (DC); Otherworld (Vertigo/DC)
* Steven Griffen, Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort (Image)
* Steve Hamaker, Bone: The Great Cow Race (Scholastic Graphix)
* Jose Villarrubia, Desolation Jones (WildStorm/DC)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)

Best Lettering
* Chris Eliopolis: Ultimate Iron Man, Astonishing X-Men, Ultimates 2, House of M, Franklin Richards (Marvel); Fell (Image)
* Todd Klein: Wonder Woman, Justice, Seven Soldiers #0 (DC); Desolation Jones (WildStorm/DC); Promethea, Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, Tomorrow Stories Special (ABC); Fables (Vertigo); 1602: New World (Marvel)
* Richard Starkings: Conan, Revelations (Dark Horse); Godland (Image); Gunpowder Girl and the Outlaw Squaw, Hip Flask: Mystery City (Active Images)
* Chris Ware: Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)

Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition
* Dawn Brown (Ravenous, Little Red Hot)
* Aaron Renier (Spiral-Bound)
* Zak Sally (Recidivist)
* Ursula Vernon (Digger)

Best Comics-Related Periodical
* Comic Art, edited by M. Todd Hignite (Comic Art)
* Comic Book Artist, edited by Jon Cooke (Top Shelf)
* The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth and Dirk Deppey (Fantagraphics)
* Draw!, edited by Michael Manley (TwoMorrows)
* Following Cerebus, edited by Craig Miller and John Thorne (Aardvark-Vanaheim/Win-Mill Productions)

Best Comics-Related Book
* The Comics Journal Library: Classic Comic Illustrators, edited by Tom Spurgeon (Fantagraphics)
* Eisner/Miller, interviews conducted by Charles Brownstein (Dark Horse Books)
* Foul Play: The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s EC Comics, by Grant Geissman (Harper Design)
* Masters of American Comics, edited by John Carlin, Paul Karasik, and Brian Walker (Hammer Museum/MOCA Los Angeles/Yale University Press)
* RGK: Art of Roy G. Krenkel, edited by J. David Spurlock and Barry Klugerman (Vanguard)

Best Publication Design
* Acme Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon) TIE
* Little Nemo in Slumberland, designed by Philippe Ghuilemetti (Sunday Press Books) TIE
* Promethea #32, designed by J. H. Williams III and Todd Klein (ABC)
* Walt and Skeezix, designed by Chris Ware (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Wimbledon Green, designed by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)

Hall of Fame
Judges' Choices: Floyd Gottfredson, William Moulton Marston
Voters chose four:
* Matt Baker
* Vaughn Bode
* Wayne Boring
* Reed Crandall
* Creig Flessel
* Ramona Fradon
* Harold Gray
* Graham Ingels
* Robert Kanigher
* Russ Manning
* Mort Meskin
* Marty Nodell
* Gilbert Shelton
* Jim Steranko

*****

Other Award Winners

Bill Finger Award: Alvin Schwartz, Harvey Kurtzman
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Calvin Reid
Russ Manning Award: R Kikuo Johnson
Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award: Zeus Comics

For supplemental coverage, particularly of the publishing news emerging from the show, I recommend my peers at The Beat, Newsarama, Comic Book Resources and The Pulse.
 
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