Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

August 5, 2005

The Quills Are Kind of Weird

imageGraphic Novel division nominees for The Quill Awards administered by Publisher's Weekly and to be given out on NBC television include works from Harvey Pekar, Jeff Smith, Art Spiegelman, Neil Gaiman and Marjane Satrapi.

As generally strong as the division turned out (Luis from Sesame Street could maybe step in without my complaining, but still, that's as high-quality as any similar comics industry awards category if not slightly better), the Quills look odd to my non-book industry eyes in that they seem to indiscriminately feature formats, genres, and entire forms as categories. Maybe that's the way the book trade works, I don't know.

As far as other commentary, I'm also not entirely sure if Jeff Smith's nomination for The Complete Bone is worth noting given that it was a self-published work in a sea of big-company works -- meaning perhaps that Smith and Vijaya Iyer have done a great job exposing that book to bookbuyers and librarians. I may not be the best judge of what's a big company and what's a small company, though, and the deal with Scholastic has certainly given Smith's work a higher profile that may have benefited this work. It's also nice to see the New Yorker compilation get its due in the humor category, where along with a Fantagraphics Peanuts volume it is likely to be slaughtered by the Jon Stewart juggernaut. The New Yorker book may be the best collection of the last few years that nobody in comics seems to have purchased or talked about.
posted 7:06 am PST | Permalink

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