I saw a tweet the other day (I think it was from Marguerite Bennett, maybe; btw, you should follow her on Twitter–she’s fun to read) reminding those who can to cast her or his vote for the Eisner Awards. Being that I am not a comic book professional by any definition, I decided to take matters into my own hands and pick some winners myself. Let’s get kracklin’!
First of all, here is the complete list of nominees. I won’t be picking a “winner” in every category because I’m simply not familiar enough with everything that was nominated.
Best Short Story. I’m not off to a good start because I only read one of the nominations in this category: “The Sound of One Hand Clapping,” by Max Landis & Jock, in Adventures of Superman #14 (DC). That was a really good story, with Superman easily defeating Joker and coming across as a bit menacing, which how Superman should be portrayed. It was a lot of fourth-wall commentary about how some fandom see Superman as well. And Jock’s art was damned impressive, especially in some select panels. I also loved the bit near the beginning where we get to see a bunch of versions of Joker as he has been portrayed over the years as the character contemplates who he is.
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot). Hey! I read two of these: Astro City #16: “Wish I May” and The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1. Kurt Busiek has a tremendous talent for creating wonderful characters that we may never see again, and I hate him for it. :) But the clear winner of these two options is Pax Americana. There’s just so much to digest in this story, so much narrative and commentary and history. So good, so good….
Best Continuing Series. I’ve read four of the series on this list, though The Walking Dead I am not current on, so really it’s three. Out of Astro City, Hawkeye, and Saga, it is the third book that is clearly the best. What Bryan K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is creating is playful, fun, adult, meaningful, and satisfying on several levels. The other two do the same, just not as well (but close!).
Best Limited Series. Sandman: Overture is so lovely to look at, but The Multiversity is the clear winner here (see above for one reason why). Gods, I wish that Grant et al could’ve done this series for much longer.
Best New Series. Oh, man! The Fade Out or The Wicked + The Divine? Actually, that’s easy. While WicDiv is great to look at, and I love the ideas behind it, Brubaker and Phillips’ series has so much depth and interesting characters and history (see a pattern with me?), plus it’s noirish, and I love that.
Best Writer. Geez! How do I choose between Jason Aaron (who is absolutely killing it on Thor), Grant Morrison, and Brian K. Vaughan? Ok, no offense to Mr. Aaron, but it’s really down to the other two. Multiversity vs. Saga? Based on those works alone, I have to give the edge to Mr. Morrison.
Best Penciller/Inker. Easy: Fiona Staples for her work on Saga. Her line work is simple yet evocative. She makes me hurt inside when she shows the characters as they feel. Plus, I may be a little bit in love with Alana.
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art). I am not familiar with anyone else on the list, but J. H. Williams work on Sandman: Overture is simply divine. I didn’t think it was possible for anyone’s art to top Mr. Gaiman’s words/ideas, but Mr. Williams did it. In spades.
Best Cover Artist. While I always loves me some Alex Ross (Astro City) art, this comes down to Francesco Francavilla, for the Afterlife with Archie covers, and Darwin Cooke for his variant cover month at DC. I’ll give the award to Mr. Cooke because those variants were so much fun to look at. DC should put out a hardcover of just those covers!
Best Coloring. I’m afraid that I’m only familiar with Matthew Wilson’s work of the nominees in this category, but he’s done some damn fine work in WicDiv for sure.
Best Lettering. Todd Klein, just for his work on The Unwritten, Sandman: Overture, and Fables.
And just like an awards show that’s ten minutes over, I am done! Best of luck to all the nominees, but especially to my choices in the preceding categories. Good day, good night!