Thursday, April 7, 2011

2011 Eisner Award Nominations

No, I didn't get any, silly. I didn't put out anything last year (which is not to presume I'd have gotten nominated if I had). But I still care, and looked over the nominees announced yesterday with avid interest.

My first impression is how few of the nominated works I've read. Partly that's because I just don't read mainstream comic books anymore (that's maybe a subject for another post . . . short version: I didn't leave comics, comics left me). My second impression is how many of these works I've never even heard of. From that I draw two, not necessarily mutually exclusive, conclusions: 1) The comics industry is healthier and more diverse than ever, with a wide range of offerings to appeal to an expanding universe of readers; 2) My ignorance is vast.

Still, there are some books and creators I know and like, and am happy to see on the list:

For "Best Continuing Series" and "Best Writer/Artist" I like Echo by Terry Moore. Terry and his wife Robyn are good people making comics for all the right reasons, and Echo is gorgeous work. I like it and him.

In "Best Publication for Teens" I can recommend Raina Telgemeier's Smile and Barry Deutsch's Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword. Hereville is a great story and published by Amulet, an imprint of my publisher Abrams, but I'd really like to see Raina win this. Smile is very good, plus I first met her at the 2005 Eisner Award ceremony where she was up for "Best New Talent" and didn't get it. I think the universe owes her one.

In "Best Digital Comic" (my category!), the nominee I regularly read is "The Abominable Charles Christopher" by Karl Kerschl, whom I've never met. It is a charming strip about a mute Sasquatch lumbering through a vaguely medieval world filled with talking animals and some of the best artwork around. However, my girls wouldn't forgive me if I didn't point out that Tracy Butler's "Lackadaisy," an "anthropomorphic cats during Prohibition" favorite of some of their friends, is also nominated.

For both "Best Reality-Based Work" and "Best Painter/Multimedia Artist" I can recommend Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage, Carol's continuing tale of her father's World War II experience and the long shadow it still casts on her family. I've met Carol a couple of times and I just flat-out love her. She's one of the most joyful, creative people I know and her work shows it.

In "Best Comics-Related Book," I have to go with Shazam! The Golden Age of the World's Mightiest Mortal, by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear. This beautiful overview of the comics and merchandising career of the original Captain Marvel was published by Abrams ComicArts and edited by Editor Charlie, but that bias aside it's a very deserving book.

I have some favorites in other categories but those are the nominees I feel strongest about. I also feel some responsibility to give all the nominees a fair shake and not just vote for my pals, and will perform my due diligence. I already know I'll turn in my ballot with several categories unmarked because I just haven't seen enough of the work. But it's neat to have a small voice in the "Oscars of Comics" and I wish all the nominees the best. If you win, just remember the coolest part: the little globe on the trophy spins!


Nat Welch said...

I'll admit I haven't read a lot of the books that were nominated this year, but I did read Fables #100. If you're ever looking for a very interesting and well written comic series, check Fables out.

Brian Fies said...

Nat! Buddy! Nice of you to visit. I confess I haven't read "Fables," one of a zillion well-regarded works that's on my to-do list. Thanks for the recommendation.