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News: Craig Thompson Leads Harveys Winners
posted June 27, 2004

June 27 --The Harvey Awards returned to full awards presentation honors after a year where the winners were announced in ad-hoc fashion at the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art Festival in New York City. In a dinner Saturday evening, Craig Thompson proved to be the big winner with wins in the Best Artist, Best Cartoonist, and Best Graphic Album of Original Work categories. Chester Brown, Tony Millionaire, Charles Burns and Chris Ware won two awards each. Drawn and Quarterly edged out Fantagraphics and Top Shelf (who tied Fantagraphics if the Top Shelf sub-distribution deal for Derek Kirk Kim's Same Difference and Other Stories is included) for most awards as a publisher, five to four.

In addition to Thompson's series of wins there were a few rewards that may have marked a potential changing of a guard: Comic Art Magazine won over multiple past Harvey winner The Comics Journal in the journalistic presentation category, and the new-approach Batman title Gotham Central shared an award for best single story with alternative comix legend Love and Rockets. Other awards represented more traditional selections: Dave Sim, who earlier this year concluded his Cerebus series with its 300th issue, won for Best Letterer.

The evening went smoothly with writer Neil Gaiman presenting an optimistic and widely-praised keynote speech celebrating comics' below-the-cultural-radar advantages and cartoonist Evan Dorkin fighting past throat difficulties to continue his emcee duties from the awards program's previous stay as a function at the Pittsburgh Comicon. The evening presentation itself went reasonably smoothly according to attendees contacted by the Journal. The larger number of cartoonists drawing from the New York area combined with greater access to alcohol provided by a corporate sponsor to ensure a corresponding rise in crowd-related noise and, overall, a slightly raucous evening. T-shirts shared equal time with suits and fancy dresses. Cartoonist Dean Haspiel said, "The Harveys were energetic, well catered, and packed for the first half of the ceremony. Attendance began to noticeably dwindle by the time the major awards were presented. Attendance began to noticeably dwindle by the time the major awards were presented." One MoCCA festival attendee who skipped the bulk of the Harveys ceremony but snuck back for the end of the awards told the Journal he believed the seats were half-filled at that point.

The evening's winners as in other years, beamed with gratitude. "2003 was one our strongest editorial year ever," Chris Oliveros of Drawn and Quarterly told the Journal, "which we're happy that the comics creative community recognized."

Winners of the 2004 Harvey Awards
Best Writer: Chester Brown, Louis Riel (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Artist: Craig Thompson, Blankets (Top Shelf)
Best Cartoonist: Craig Thompson, Blankets (Top Shelf)
Special Award for Humor in Comics Tony Millionaire, Sock Monkey (Dark Horse)
Special Award for Excellence in Presentation: Acme Novelty Datebook, Chris Ware
(Drawn & Quarterly)
Best New Series: Plastic Man, Kyle Baker (DC Comics)
Best Continuing or Limited Series: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume II, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, (ABC/Wildstorm/DC Comics)
Best Single Issue or Story: Gotham Central #6-10, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark
(DC Comics) and Love & Rockets #9, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
Best Graphic Album of Original Work: Blankets, Craig Thompson (Top Shelf)
Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work: Louis Riel, Chester Brown (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Anthology: Drawn & Quarterly #5, edited by Chris Oliveros (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Inker: Charles Burns, Black Hole (Fantagraphics)
Best Letterer: Dave Sim, Cerebus (Aardvark-Vanaheim)
Best Colorist: Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Datebook (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Syndicated Strip or Panel: Maakies, Tony Millionaire (Syndicated by the Artist)
Best Biographical, Historical Or Journalistic Presentation: Comic Art Magazine (Comic Art)
Best American Edition of Foreign Material: Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)
Best Domestic Reprint Project Krazy and Ignatz, George Herrimann edited by Bill Blackbeard (Fantagraphics)
Best New Talent: Same Difference and Other Stories, Derek Kirk Kim (Self-Published)
Best Cover Artist: Charles Burns, Black Hole (Fantagraphics)