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July 28, 2007


Your 2007 San Diego Con Update

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Notes and Observations About or Caused by Comic-Con International, Taking Place July 26-29 (With a July 25 Preview Night) in San Diego, California

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1. Eisner Awards results with winners in bold can be found directly underneath this list. Short form: Jonathan Ross, Brian Posehn and the guys from Reno 9-11 are funnier than most comics people. Ed Brubaker and Paul Pop each win two; Bill Willingham is the king of comics. Neil Gaiman blushes when he kisses. I'll write a full report next week.

2. In addition to the fans and pros out there, there are several writers with an interest in comics on the convention floor.

* RC Harvey says his original Milton Caniff manuscript was perhaps 40 percent longer than what made it into his new book. Since the book is a size of a small dog, this is terrifying.
* Ben Schwartz and Brian Doherty were on hand. Doherty, of Reason fame, was there to interview Joe Matt at a spotlight panel.
* I met Ron Goulart yesterday; he has a book on good girl art coming out and was carrying that manuscript around.
* I always enjoy catching up with Alex Chun, who has been editing a series of Fantagraphics pin-up books in addition to his LA Times work.
* Marc Mason is apparently adding an advice columnist to his comics site.
* I'm pretty certain I met Rich Watson briefly; he does the GLYPHS site. He seemed very nice. I was probably acting like an ass.
* I saw George Khoury on Thursday evening as he was anticipating his Image Founders panel that took place Friday.

3. Retailer Lee Hester notes that in the last several years he's done better with his Comic-Con presence by diversifying the material at his booth. In addition to his discount comics rack, where I picked up some early '70s Marvel reprints at $2 a pop, Hester offered an array of merchandise and was one of the few retailers carrying this week's comics in addition to his other items. Something I hadn't known is that when Hester started retailing 25 years ago, he did so with almost no capital build-up beforehand.

4. One notion that I discussed with several retailers (well, four), none of whom was Lee Hester, is that the ability of stores to profit off of the current boom period has a lot to do with how the store was uniquely set up to enter into this specific historical moment in the first place. For instance, any store that has had to build inventory or needs to continually ramp up its inventory to keep pace with growing product lines has likely down worse than a store that was already over-carrying product.

5. Best new con hotel: The Ivy. Best new hotspot: Eden Rooftop. Best new breakfast: Cafe Chloe.

6. Your 2007 Friends of Lulu awards winnners:

* Women Cartoonist's Hall of Fame: Colleen Doran
* Lulu of the Year: Abby Denson
* Kim Yale Award for Best New Female Talent: Rachel Nabors
* Women of Distinction Award: Jennifer De Guzman
* Volunteers of the Year: MK Reed and Robin Enrico

7. Lee Hester was among those with a kid on-hand: Lee Hester IV, who was working the booth and taking in cash. Eddie Campbell's son was at the show with his for the first time in several years.

8. Ellen Forney showed up at the show for the first time in a long while. She spoke glowingly of teaching comics as a way to reignite her own interest in the form. Forney noticed as many had that there was a much more sedate feel at the show. One of her students a few years back was current Fantagraphics employee Adam Grano. Forney's next comics project is Lust: Kinky Online Personal Ads, a 172-page hardbound collection from Fantagraphics coming out in early 2008.

9. One oddly affecting San Diego memory someone shared with me was from several years ago when a couple of small publisher employees climbed out on the fire escape in the middle of the night after an evening of big parties and watched skateboard kids ride up and down the city street from their vantage point high above.

10. One item of conversation has been how predictable and calcified the Direct Market has become, to the point that you can almost pinpoint performance for everything but the very top comics, and sometimes those as well. This was brought up to me in conversation twice by people with work at the opposite ends of that market.

11. Mark Waid will apparently become Editor-In-Chief at Boom! Studios, which seems to be an interesting and astute choice. Although he's best known as a writer, he has editorial experience as well, and I think I remember him doing some consulting work with the mainstream publishers, too.

12. Hooray for San Diego: both Eddie Campbell and Michael Martens lost important items for a period of time and both had them returned intact.

******

2007 Eisner Award Results
Winners In Bold


Best Short Story
* The Black Knight Glorps Again, by Don Rosa, in Uncle Scrooge #354 (Gemstone)
* Felix, by Gabrielle Bell, in Drawn & Quarterly Showcase 4 (Drawn & Quarterly)
* A Frog's Eye View, by Bill Willingham and James Jean, in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)
* Old Oak Trees, by Tony Cliff, in Flight 3 (Ballantine)
* Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man, by Stan Lee, Oliver Coipel, and Mark Morales, in Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man (Marvel)
* Willie: Portrait of a Groundskeeper, by Eric Powell, in Bart Simpsons's Treehouse of Horror #12 (Bongo)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
* Batman/The Spirit #1: "Crime Convention," by Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke (DC)
* A Late Freeze, by Danica Novgorodoff (Danica Novgorodoff)
* The Preposterous Adventures of Ironhide Tom, by Joel Priddy (AdHouse)
* Skyscrapers of the Midwest #3, by Joshua Cotter (AdHouse)
* They Found the Car, by Gipi (Fantagraphics)

Best Continuing Series
* All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)
* Captain America, by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting (Marvel)
* Daredevil, by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, and Stefano Gaudiano (Marvel)
* Naoki Urasawa's Monster, by Naoki Urusawa (Viz)
* The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard (Image)
* Young Avengers, by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, and various inkers (Marvel)

Best Limited Series
* Batman: Year 100, by Paul Pope (DC)
* The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M, by Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier, and Ben Templesmith (Desperado/Image)
* The Other Side, by Jason Aaron and Cameron Stewart (Vertigo/DC)
* Scarlet Traces: The Great Game, by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli (Dark Horse)
* Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident, by Tony Millionaire (Dark Horse)

Best New Series
* Criminal, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)
* East Coast Rising, by Becky Cloonan (Tokyopop)
* Gumby, by Bob Burden and Rick Geary (Wildcard)
* Jack of Fables, by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Tony Akins, and Andrew Pepoy (Vertigo/DC)
* The Lone Ranger, by Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello (Dynamite)

Best Publication for a Younger Audience
* Chickenhare, by Chris Grine (Dark Horse)
* Drawing Comics Is Easy (Except When It's Hard), by Alexa Kitchen (Denis Kitchen Publishing)
* Gumby, by Bob Burden and Rick Geary (Wildcard)
* Moomin, by Tove Jansson (Drawn & Quarterly)
* To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, by Sienna Cherson and Mark Siegel (Simon & Schuster)

Best Humor Publication
* Flaming Carrot Comics, by Bob Burden (Desperado/Image)
* Onionhead Monster Attacks, by Paul Friedrich (Hellcar)
* Schizo #4, by Ivan Brunetti (Fantagraphics)
* Tales Designed to Thrizzle, by Michael Kupperman (Fantagraphics)
* Truth Serum, by Jon Adams (City Cyclops)

Best Anthology
* Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, by Bill Willingham and various (Vertigo/DC)
* Hotwire Comix and Capers #1, edited by Glenn Head (Fantagraphics)
* Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators, edited by Frederic Boilet (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* Kramers Ergot 6, edited by Sammy Harkham (Buenaventura Press)
* Project: Romantic, edited by Chris Pitzer (AdHouse)

Best Digital Comic
* Bee, in Motel Art Improvement Service, by Jason Little
* Girl Genius, by Phil Foglio
* Minus, by Ryan Armand
* Phables, by Brad Guigar
* Sam and Max, by Steve Purcell
* Shooting War, by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman

Best Reality-Based Work
* Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)
* I Love Led Zeppelin, by Ellen Forney (Fantagraphics)
* Mom's Cancer, by Brian Fies (Abrams)
* Project X Challengers: Cup Noodle, by Tadashi Katoh (Digital Manga)
* Stagger Lee, by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix (Image)

Best Graphic Album--New
* American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
* Billy Hazelnuts, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)
* Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)
* Ninja, by Brian Chippendale (Gingko Press)
* Scrublands, by Joe Daly (Fantagraphics)
* The Ticking, by Renee French (Top Shelf)

Best Graphic Album--Reprint
* Absolute DC: The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)
* Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley (Fantagraphics)
* Mom's Cancer, by Brian Fies (Abrams)
* Shadowland, by Kim Deitch (Fantagraphics)
* Truth Serum, by Jon Adams (City Cyclops)

Best Archival Collection/Project--Strips
* The Complete Peanuts, 1959-1960, 1961-1962, by Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)
* Mary Perkins On Stage, by Leonard Starr (Classic Comics Press)
* Moomin, by Tove Jansson (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Popeye: I Yam What I Yam, by E. C. Segar (Fantagraphics)
* Walt & Skeezix, vol. 2, by Frank King (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Archival Collection/Project--Comic Books
* Abandon the Old In Tokyo, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Absolute Sandman, vol. 1, by Neil Gaiman and various (Vertigo/DC)
* Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900-1969, by Dan Nadel (Abrams)
* The Eternals, by Jack Kirby (Marvel)
* Ode to Kirihito, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
* A.L.I.E.E.E.N., by Lewis Trondheim (First Second)
* De:TALES, by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba (Dark Horse)
* Hwy 115, by Matthias Lehmann (Fantagraphics)
* The Left Bank Gang, by Jason (Fantagraphics)
* Pizzeria Kamikaze, by Etgar Keret and Asaf Hanuka (Alternative)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material--Japan
* After School Nightmare, by Setona Mizushiro (Go! Comi)
* Antique Bakery, by Fumi Yoshinaga (Digital Manga)
* Naoki Urasawa's Monster, by Naoki Urusawa (Viz)
* Old Boy, by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi (Dark Horse Manga)
* Walking Man, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

Best Writer
* Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Daredevil (Marvel); Criminal (Marvel Icon)
* Bob Burden, Gumby (Wildcard)\
* Ian Edginton, Scarlet Traces: The Great Game (Dark Horse)
* Grant Morrison, All Star Superman, Batman, 52, Seven Soldiers (DC)
* Bill Willingham, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

Best Writer/Artist
* Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (Houghton Mifflin)
* Renee French, The Ticking (Top Shelf)
* Gilbert Hernandez, Love and Rockets, New Tales of Old Palomar (Fantagraphics); Sloth (Vertigo/DC)
* Paul Pope, Batman: Year 100 (DC)
* Joann Sfar, Klezmer, Vampire Loves (First Second)

Best Writer/Artist--Humor
* Ivan Brunetti, Schizo (Fantagraphics)
* Lilli Carre, Tales of Woodsman Pete (Top Shelf)
* Michael Kupperman, Tales Designed to Thrizzle (Fantagraphics)
* Tony Millionaire, Billy Hazelnuts (Fantagraphics); Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident (Dark Horse)
* Lewis Trondheim, A.L.I.E.E.E.N. (First Second); Mr. I (NBM)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
* Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, Fables (Vertigo/DC)
* Tony Harris/Tom Feister, Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC)
* Niko Henrichon, Pride of Baghdad (Vertigo/DC)
* Michael Lark/Stefano Gaudiano, Daredevil (Marvel)
* Sonny Liew, Wonderland (SLG)
* Steven McNiven/Dexter Vines, Civil War (Marvel)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
* Nicolas De Crecy, Glacial Period (NBM)
* Melinda Gebbie, Lost Girls (Top Shelf)
* Ben Templesmith, Fell (Image); The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M (Desperado/Image); Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse (IDW)
* Jill Thompson, A Dog and His Boy in The Dark Horse Book of Monsters; Love Triangle in Sexy Chix (Dark Horse); Fair Division, in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)
* Brett Weldele, Southland Tales: Prequel Saga (Graphitti); Silent Ghost (Markosia)

Best Cover Artist
* John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); The Escapists (Dark Horse); The Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
* Tony Harris, Conan (Dark Horse); Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC)
* James Jean, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)
* Dave Johnson, 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC); Zombie Tales, Cthulu Tales, Black Plague (Boom!)
* J. G. Jones, 52 (DC)

Best Coloring
* Kristian Donaldson, Supermarket (IDW)
* Hubert, The Left Bank Gang (Fantagraphics)
* Lark Pien, American Born Chinese (First Second)
* Dave Stewart, BPRD, Conan, The Escapists, Hellboy (Dark Horse); Action Comics, Batman/The Spirit, Superman (DC)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #17 (ACME Novelty)

Best Lettering
* Ivan Brunetti, Schizo (Fantagraphics)
* Todd Klein, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall; Pride of Baghdad, Testament (Vertigo/DC); Fantastic Four: 1602, Eternals (Marvel); Lost Girls (Top Shelf)
* Clem Robins, BPRD, The Dark Horse Book of Monsters, Hellboy (Dark Horse); Loveless, 100 Bullets, Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC)
* Richard Sala, The Grave Robber's Daughter, Delphine (Fantagraphics)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #17 (ACME Novelty)

Special Recognition
* Ross Campbell, Abandoned (Tokyopop); Wet Moon 2 (Oni)
* Svetlana Chmakova, Dramacon (Tokyopop)
* Hope Larson, Gray Horses (Oni)
* Dash Shaw, The Mother's Mouth (Alternative)
* Kasimir Strzepek, Mourning Star (Bodega)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
* Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
* Comic Art 8, edited by Todd Hignite (Buenaventura Press)
* The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Dirk Deppey, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
* The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon and Jordan Raphael
* ¬°Journalista!, produced by Dirk Deppey (Fantagraphics)

Best Comics-Related Book
* The Art of Brian Bolland, edited by Joe Pruett (Desperado/Image)
* Cartoon America: Comic Art in the Library of Congress, edited by Harry Katz (Abrams)
* Dear John: The Alex Toth Doodle Book, by John Hitchcock (Octopus Press)
* In the Studio: Visits with Contemporary Cartoonists, by Todd Hignite (Yale University Press)
* Wally's World, by Steve Sarger and J. David Spurlock (Vanguard)

Best Publication Design
* Absolute DC: The New Frontier, designed by Darwyn Cooke (DC)
* Castle Waiting graphic novel, designed by Adam Grano (Fantagraphics)
* Lost Girls, designed by Matt Kindt and Brett Warnock (Top Shelf)
* Popeye: I Yam What I Yam, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)
* The Ticking, designed by Jordan Crane (Top Shelf)

Hall of Fame
* Ross Andru & Mike Esposito
* Dick Ayers
* Bernard Baily
* Matt Baker
* Wayne Boring
* Creig Flessel
* Harold Gray
* Irwin Hasen
* Graham Ingels
* Joe Orlando
* Lily Renee (Peters) Phillips
* Bob Powell
* Gilbert Shelton
* Cliff Sterrett
(Judges' Choices: Robert Kanigher and Ogden Whitney)

Other Awards
Bill Finger Award: Gardner Fox, George Gladir
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Neil Gaiman
Russ Manning Award: David Petersen
Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award: Earth-2

Honored During the Memorial Service: Will Eisner, Leah Adezio, Tom Artis, Jerry Bails, Joe Barbera, Don R. Christensen, Dave Cockrum, Arnold Drake, Daniel Robert Epstein, Joe Gill, Johnny Hart, Brant Parker, Drew Hayes, Jay Kennedy, Marty Nodell, Bob Oksner, and Marshall Rogers. I think.

******

For coverage of general comics news outside the convention and for differing views of the convention itself, I recommend my peers at ComicMix.com, Publishers Weekly, Journalista, The Beat, Newsarama, Comic Book Resources and The Pulse. Groups of photos from the show can be found here.
 
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