Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mid-Summer Classic

A few weeks back I listed in these pages this year's Harvey Awards nominees. Well those aren't presented til September, baby. The Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comics) are give out in just two short weeks at San Diego Comic-Con, looming like a congratulatory Star Destroyer whose turbo lasers are poised to highlight some of the year's best comic achievements.

So without further ado here is a list of the nominees (handy dandy, especially if you're looking up and down the aisles of your favorite store (FP), browsing for a good purchase.

Best Short Story

  • "The Black Knight Glorps Again," by Don Rosa, in Uncle Scrooge #354 (Gemstone)

  • "Felix," by Gabrielle Bell, in Drawn & Quarterly Showcase 4 (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • "A Frog's Eye View," by Bill Willingham and James Jean, in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

  • "Old Oak Trees," by Tony Cliff, in Flight 3 (Ballantine)

  • "Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man," by Stan Lee, Oliver Coipel, and Mark Morales, in Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man (Marvel)

  • "Willie: Portrait of a Groundskeeper," by Eric Powell, in Bart Simpsons's Treehouse of Horror #12 (Bongo)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
  • Batman/The Spirit #1: "Crime Convention," by Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke (DC)

  • A Late Freeze, by Danica Novgorodoff (Danica Novgorodoff)

  • The Preposterous Adventures of Ironhide Tom, by Joel Priddy (AdHouse)

  • Skyscrapers of the Midwest #3, by Joshua Cotter (AdHouse)

  • They Found the Car, by Gipi (Fantagraphics)

Best Continuing Series
  • All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)

  • Captain America, by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting (Marvel)

  • Daredevil, by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, and Stefano Gaudiano (Marvel)

  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)

  • The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard (Image)

  • Young Avengers, by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung (Marvel)

Best Limited Series
  • Batman: Year 100, by Paul Pope (DC)

  • The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M, by Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier, and Ben Templesmith (Image)

  • The Other Side, by Jason Aaron and Cameron Stewart (Vertigo/DC)

  • Scarlet Traces: The Great Game, by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli (Dark Horse)

  • Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident, by Tony Millionaire (Dark Horse)

Best New Series
  • Criminal, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)

  • East Coast Rising, by Becky Cloonan (Tokyopop)

  • Gumby, by Bob Burden and Rick Geary (Wildcard)

  • Jack of Fables, by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Tony Akins, and Andrew Pepoy (Vertigo/DC)

  • The Lone Ranger, by Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello (Dynamite)

Best Publication for a Younger Audience
  • Chickenhare, by Chris Grine (Dark Horse)

  • Drawing Comics Is Easy (Except When It's Hard), by Alexa Kitchen (Denis Kitchen Publishing)

  • Gumby, by Bob Burden and Rick Geary (Wildcard)

  • Moomin, by Tove Jansson (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, by Sienna Cherson and Mark Siegel (Simon & Schuster)

Best Humor Publication
  • Flaming Carrot Comics, by Bob Burden (Desperado/Image)

  • Onionhead Monster Attacks, by Paul Friedrich (Hellcar)

  • Schizo #4, by Ivan Brunetti (Fantagraphics)

  • Tales Designed to Thrizzle, by Michael Kupperman (Fantagraphics)

  • Truth Serum, by Jon Adams (City Cyclops)

Best Anthology
  • Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, by Bill Willingham and various (Vertigo/DC)

  • Hotwire Comix and Capers #1, edited by Glenn Head (Fantagraphics)

  • Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators, edited by Frédéric Boilet (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

  • Kramers Ergot 6, edited by Sammy Harkham (Buenaventura Press)

  • Project: Romantic, edited by Chris Pitzer (AdHouse)

Best Digital Comic
  • Bee, in "Motel Art Improvement Service," by Jason Little, beecomix.com

  • Girl Genius, by Phil and Kaja Foglio, www.girlgeniusonline.com

  • Minus, by Ryan Armand, www.kiwisbybeat.com/minus1.html

  • Phables, by Brad Guigar, www.phables.com

  • Sam and Max, by Steve Purcell, telltalegames.com/community/comics/samandmax/issue-3

  • Shooting War, by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman, www.shootingwar.com

Best Reality-Based Work
  • Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)

  • I Love Led Zeppelin, by Ellen Forney (Fantagraphics)

  • Mom's Cancer, by Brian Fies (Abrams)

  • Project X Challengers: Cup Noodle, by Tadashi Katoh (Digital Manga)

  • Stagger Lee, by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix (Image)

Best Graphic Album - New
  • American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)

  • Billy Hazelnuts, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)

  • Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)

  • Ninja, by Brian Chippendale (Gingko Press)

  • Scrublands, by Joe Daly (Fantagraphics)

  • The Ticking, by Renée French (Top Shelf)

Best Graphic Album - Reprint
  • Absolute DC: The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

  • Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley (Fantagraphics)

  • Mom's Cancer, by Brian Fies(Abrams)

  • Shadowland, by Kim Deitch (Fantagraphics)

  • Truth Serum, by Jon Adams (City Cyclops)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Strips
  • The Complete Peanuts, 1959–1960, 1961–1962, by Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)

  • Mary Perkins On Stage, by Leonard Starr (Classic Comics Press)

  • Moomin, by Tove Jansson (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Popeye: I Yam What I Yam, by E. C. Segar (Fantagraphics)

  • Walt & Skeezix, vol. 2, by Frank King (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Books
  • Abandon the Old In Tokyo, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Absolute Sandman, vol. 1, by Neil Gaiman and various (Vertigo/DC)

  • Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900–1969, by Dan Nadel (Abrams)

  • The Eternals, by Jack Kirby (Marvel)

  • Ode to Kirihito, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • A.L.I.E.E.E.N., by Lewis Trondheim (First Second)

  • De:TALES, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

  • Hwy 115, by Matthias Lehmann (Fantagraphics)

  • The Left Bank Gang, by Jason (Fantagraphics)

  • Pizzeria Kamikaze, by Etgar Keret and Asaf Hanuka (Alternative)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Japan
  • After School Nightmare, by Setona Mizushiro (Go! Comi)

  • Antique Bakery, by Fumi Yoshinaga (Digital Manga)

  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)

  • Old Boy, by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi (Dark Horse Manga)

  • Walking Man, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

Best Writer
  • Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Daredevil (Marvel); Criminal (Marvel)

  • Bob Burden, Gumby (Wildcard)

  • Ian Edginton, Scarlet Traces: The Great Game (Dark Horse)

  • Grant Morrison, All Star Superman, Batman, 52, Seven Soldiers (DC)

  • Bill Willingham, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

Best Writer/Artist
  • Allison Bechdel, Fun Home (Houghton Mifflin)

  • Renée French, The Ticking (Top Shelf)

  • Gilbert Hernandez, Love and Rockets, New Tales of Old Palomar (Fantagraphics); Sloth (Vertigo/DC)

  • Paul Pope, Batman: Year 100 (DC)

  • Joann Sfar, Klezmer, Vampire Loves (First Second)

Best Writer/Artist - Humor
  • Ivan Brunetti, Schizo(Fantagraphics)

  • Lilli Carré, Tales of Woodsman Pete (Top Shelf)

  • Michael Kupperman, Tales Designed to Thrizzle (Fantagraphics)

  • Tony Millionaire, Billy Hazelnuts (Fantagraphics); Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident (Dark Horse)

  • Lewis Trondheim, A.L.I.E.E.E.N. (First Second); Mr. I (NBM)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, Fables (Vertigo/DC)

  • Tony Harris/Tom Feister, Ex Machina(WildStorm/DC)

  • Niko Henrichon, Pride of Baghdad (Vertigo/DC)

  • Michael Lark/Stefano Gaudiano, Daredevil (Marvel)

  • Sonny Liew, Wonderland (SLG)

  • Steven McNiven/Dexter Vines, Civil War (Marvel)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
  • Nicolas De Crecy, Glacial Period (NBM)

  • Melinda Gebbie, Lost Girls (Top Shelf)

  • Ben Templesmith, Fell (Image); The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M (Desperado/Image); Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse (IDW)

  • Jill Thompson, "A Dog and His Boy" in The Dark Horse Book of Monsters; "Love Triangle" in Sexy Chix (Dark Horse);"Fair Division," in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

  • Brett Weldele, Southland Tales: Prequel Saga (Graphitti); Silent Ghost (Markosia)

Best Cover Artist
  • John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); The Escapists (Dark Horse); The Lone Ranger (Dynamite)

  • Tony Harris, Conan (Dark Horse); Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC)

  • James Jean, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

  • Dave Johnson, 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC); Zombie Tales, Cthulu Tales, Black Plague (Boom!)

  • J. G. Jones, 52 (DC)

Best Coloring
  • Kristian Donaldson, Supermarket (IDW)

  • Hubert, The Left Bank Gang (Fantagraphics)

  • Lark Pien, American Born Chinese (First Second)

  • Dave Stewart, BPRD, Conan, The Escapists, Hellboy (Dark Horse); Action Comics, Batman/The Spirit, Superman (DC)

  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #17 (ACME Novelty)

Best Lettering
  • Ivan Brunetti, Schizo(Fantagraphics)

  • Todd Klein, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables:1001Nights of Snowfall, Pride of Baghdad, Testament (Vertigo/DC); Fantastic Four:1602, Eternals (Marvel); Lost Girls

  • Clem Robins, BPRD, The Dark Horse Book of Monsters, Hellboy (Dark Horse); Loveless, 100 Bullets, Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC)

  • Richard Sala, The Grave Robber's Daughter, Delphine (Fantagraphics)

  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #17 (ACME Novelty)

Special Recognition
  • Ross Campbell, Abandoned (Tokyopop); Wet Moon 2 (Oni)

  • Svetlana Chmakova, Dramacon (Tokyopop)

  • Hope Larson, Gray Horses (Oni)

  • Dash Shaw, The Mother's Mouth (Alternative)

  • Kasimir Strzepek, Mourning Star (Bodega)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
  • Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)

  • Comic Art 8, edited by Todd Hignite (Buenaventura Press)

  • The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Dirk Deppey, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)

  • The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon and Jordan Raphael (www.Comicsreporter.com)

  • ¡Journalista!, produced by Dirk Deppey (Fantagraphics, www.tcj.com/journalista/)

Best Comics-Related Book
  • The Art of Brian Bolland, edited by Joe Pruett (Desperado/Image)

  • Cartoon America: Comic Art in the Library of Congress, edited by Harry Katz (Abrams)

  • Dear John: The Alex Toth Doodle Book, by John Hitchcock (Octopus Press)

  • In the Studio: Visits with Contemporary Cartoonists, by Todd Hignite (Yale University Press)

  • Wally's World, by Steve Sarger and J. David Spurlock (Vanguard)

Best Publication Design
  • Absolute DC: The New Frontier, designed by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

  • Castle Waiting graphic novel, designed by Adam Grano (Fantagraphics)

  • Lost Girls, designed by Matt Kindt and Brett Warnock (Top Shelf)

  • Popeye: I Yam What I Yam, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)

  • The Ticking, designed by Jordan Crane (Top Shelf)

Releasing 7/11/07

Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #1 - Various Solar Plexus. Bursting out from the hit Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report - here comes Tek Jansen! In this stunning continuation of Stephen Colbert's critically acclaimed, yet unpublished prose novel, everyone's favorite sci-fi hero must stand against the enemies of freedom, no matter what dark planet they crawl from! Haven't fulfilled your daily dosage of smarm and snark? Long for the days when your heroes got the babes in the end? Your comics missing that extra whizbang? Never fear, citizen of the galaxy, Tek Jensen's on the case.

Bossy Bear - by David Horvath. If you or your kids are as enamored of and embroiled in the Ugly Doll phenomenon as I think you are, you're gonna want this book. Cute and yet ugly as all heck, Bossy Bear spends the whole book bossing everybody around until... Well, I won't spoil the plot for you. Okay. That's the whole plot. David's art (he's co-creator of Ugly Dolls and an altogether swell guy) has some kind of irresistible charm that has enslaved millions around the world, and this, his first picture book, will only perpetuate that claim. No matter what your cute quotient/tolerance is this book'll grab you. And we've also just received a plethora of new Bossy Bear toys!

Martha Washington Dies - by Frank Miller (w) and Dave Gibbons (a). Almost sixteen years after the titular heroine debuted in Give me Liberty, uncle Frank and Mr. Gibbons return to off the vigilant Martha Washington. The year is 2095 and the day is her one-hundredth birthday, and today marks the conclusion of her quest for true, if elusive, freedom.

48 Nude Girls - all new drawings from Ashley Wood (Popbot, Hellspawn). Here's a glimpse of what my life is like, kids. I'm now going to share with you the type of material I have to read to provide our customers with their wonderfully geeky fixins. See, before you ever see or here of a given book, a slew of other industry folks have to be sold on it as well. It's not getting into your hands, dear consumer, unless I as a buyer am sold on it. Unless stores throughout the world are carrying it, their buying departments convinced the item will sell. So here's the last line of IDW's pitch for 48NG, word for word: Soft-bound in an attractive 11" x 11" format, you can finally add some more Wood to your collection. I'm not joking. While I can't tell if I want to live in a world where the above text exists or not, I do know Mr. Wood's work sells. And I do know it sells because it's pretty derned good. And your collection needs good material regardless of the dude's name and any puns one might associate with it.

Recent Reads highly recommended with little to no hyperbole:

  1. Fox Bunny Funny by Andy Hartzell, an intricate and poignant silent graphic novel, anthropomorphically touching upon issues of identity. Terrific!

  2. Sammy the Mouse by Zak Sally. Sammy and his pals Puppy Boy and H. G. Feekes walk around, have epileptic seizures, talk to disembodied voices, drink liquor in a bar the shape of a giant baby, and more!
  3. Judge Dredd Complete Case Files vol.8. He is the Law.
  4. Doomed Presents Ashley Wood - aforementioned illustration maestro adapts stories by Robert Bloch and Richard Matheson. And though she ain't in the buff, DPAW includes a pin-up gallery of Ms. Doomed, the magazine's pitch-woman (Think the Crypt-Keeper, only attractive, minus hanging flesh).
  5. Reading Comics How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean - by Douglas Wolk. This book touches on almost every era and every genre imaginable, and sounds really dorky -- because it is. That's a compliment. The irony here is I highly recommend Reading Comics to people who have already read a bunch of comics, and not, as such a text-booky title would imply, to newcomers.

Well at least I can still outmaneuver 'em!"



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