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April 16, 2013

A Few Eisner Awards Notes The Day After Nominations



Here are a few things that occurred to me this morning while reviewing this year's nominations for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, a traditional big deal for the North American comic book industry as much as those kinds of things are a big deal to folks. These are the ones given out during the Friday evening of Comic-Con International weekend.

1. I think this is the kind of nominations slate people expected when the judging panel included Frank Santoro, Michael Cavna and Charles Hatfield -- all three of whom are broadly cognizant of alternative work from a variety of comics-maker, including young ones.

image2. Chris Ware nabbing a bunch of nominations for Building Stories isn't a surprise, nor is recent fan- and critical-favorite Ed Brubaker getting a bunch in conjunction (mostly) with his work on the horror noir Fatale with longtime collaborator Sean Phillips. I do think the latter is noteworthy, though, as Brubaker is enough of an old hand to appreciate the nominations -- he was nominated years and years ago very early on and then I believe not again, or at least without sustained momentum, until this latest phase of his comics-writing career began to flower.

3. I'd say the surprise title in terms of multiple nomination would probably be the four going to the charming on-line title Bandette. That's good work, and the first issue is free for you to look at right now. I was also happy to see Joseph Remnant and Carol Tyler take home multiple nominations. Tyler in particular, I think, gets frequently overlooked.

4. It's weird to see DC not take home bunches and bunches and bunches of nomination if you came up in the mid-1990s when it seemed they were one Gary Groth and Kim Thompson bankruptcy away from winning all of the nods every single year. It's a different company now, particularly as oriented towards prestige work of the kind that tends to take home recognition like these awards.

5. That's a first nomination for 2000 AD, which is a nice nod in the direction of the super-solid work they've been doing there and the Premier League-type growing appreciation for that work by hardcore comics aficionados in the US.

6. I like that Faith Erin Hicks is invested enough in this kind of signifier to express disappointment that her Friends With Boys didn't get a nomination for something. I think Hicks is the real deal, a total comics lifer that will work for the next three decades if she wants to do so.

7. I'll be rooting for CR contributor Bart Beaty to win the book category for which his fine Comics Vs. Art is nominated.

8. The Matt Fraction-written Hawkeye series from Marvel is different enough and of a high-enough quality that it seems like it stands a good chance of winning an award or two. I thought Fraction's work on that last cycle of Casanova was really interesting, so I'm glad to see that get some attention as well.

9. I'm not sure if it's a representative list or if that's even possible in comics these days; comics' overall output is more Balkanized than it's ever been. But I think there are some really good books on that list, and only a handful I didn't personally care for when I read them.

10. For whatever it's worth, the highest-ranked work on my never-released, best-of-2012 list not receiving a nomination of any kind were the Joe Sacco books that came out, which I had as a single entry. I thought those were both pretty great books.



posted 7:00 pm PST | Permalink

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