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Comicscape - July 28, 2004

The Eisners: Who Got 'Em, Who We Thought Would Get 'Em

By Tony Whitt     July 28, 2004


The Eisner Awards.
© Comic Con International


OPINION:



The results are in, and it looks like I should leave the predictions game to the experts. Out of the eleven categories I made predictions about, I was only right about seven of them and at the college I teach at, 60% or thereabouts would be a D. Oh, well. Congrats to all those who won, and to those who lost get a grip! You don't see regular joes like us getting nominated for Eisner Awards every day, do you?



Anyway, just for fun, here's my predictions and who actually won in those categories I felt (past tense) qualified enough to predict:



Best Single Issue (or One-Shot):


Who I Said Would Get It: CONAN THE LEGEND #0, by Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord (Dark Horse).
Who Got It: (tie) CONAN THE LEGEND #0, by Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord (Dark Horse)
THE GOON #1, by Eric Powell (Dark Horse)



See, I was playing by the rules after getting slammed so many times by readers for giving ties while compiling favorite comic movie and TV show lists, I figured I'd play by the rules this time. Still, it's good to see both these books getting the recognition they deserve even if it means I have to go pick up THE GOON now!



Best Serialized Story :


Who I Said Would Get It:

Brian Michael Bendis for ALIAS #22-28: "The Secret Origin of Jessica Jones" & "Purple" (Marvel).
Who Got It: GOTHAM CENTRAL #610: "Half a Life," by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (DC).



Tough one, isn't it? On the one side, you have storytelling excellence, terrific art, and realistic characters...and on the other side, you have storytelling excellence, terrific art, and realistic characters. The judges must've had a tough time with this one. If you didn't get a chance to read the "Half A Life" storyline, by the way, you should only have a few months to wait for the trade paperback.



Best Continuing Series :


Who I Said Would Get It: GOTHAM CENTRAL, by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, Brian Hurtt, and Stefano Gaudiano.
Who Got It: 100 BULLETS, by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso (Vertigo/DC).



What I know about 100 BULLETS would fit on the head of a pin, so I'm not too upset about not predicting this one. Besides, at least I predicted GOTHAM CENTRAL would win something, right? Anyway, from what I understand, this one came as no surprise, so if you haven't picked up this series yet, it's time to go to the local comic shop and get it. I'll probably see you there...



Best Limited Series :


Who I Said Would Get It: UNSTABLE MOLECULES, by James Sturm and Guy Davis (Marvel).
Who Got It: UNSTABLE MOLECULES, by James Sturm and Guy Davis (Marvel).



While there were some remarkable nominees in this category, as I pointed out in my original column, this was far and away the best of the bunch.



Best New Series :


Who I Said Would Get It: PLASTIC MAN, by Kyle Baker (DC).
Who Got It: PLASTIC MAN, by Kyle Baker (DC).



Guess I wasn't so crazy after all! You might have expected this award to go to some dramatic series (it was up against SLEEPER, fer chrissakes!), but Kyle Baker obviously made the Eisner Committee believe a man could stretch. Way to go, Kyle!



Best Anthology:


Who I Said Would Get It: THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS (Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean, P. Craig Russell, Miguelanxo Prado, Barron Storey, Frank Quitely, Glenn Fabry, Milo Manara, and Bill Sienkiewicz; co-edited by Karen Berger and Shelly Bond, from Vertigo/DC).
Who Got It:THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS (Neil Gaiman, et cetera, et cetera...



True, there were some good nominees in this category, too, but this one had Gaiman. What else does an anthology need to win?



Best Graphic Album New:


Who I Said Would Get It: BLANKETS, by Craig Thompson (Top Shelf).
Who Got It: BLANKETS, by Craig Thompson (Top Shelf).



I hadn't even read BLANKETS at the time this nomination was made, but already the book had gotten a ridiculous amount of buzz, so much so that it was simply bound to blow even such fine works as THE FIXER: A STORY FROM SARAJEVO by Joe Sacco, PERSEPOLIS by Marjane Satrapi, and YOSSEL, APRIL 19, 1943, by Joe Kubert out of the water. Then I read it. Whoa.



Best Writer :


Who I Said Would Get It: Brian Michael Bendis, ALIAS, DAREDEVIL, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, ULTIMATE X-MEN (Marvel); POWERS (Image)
Who Got It: Alan Moore, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, PROMETHEA, SMAX, TOM STRONG, TOM STRONG'S TERRIFIC TALES (ABC).



All right, all right, so I didn't consider that it would be unlikely that Bendis could win two years in a row in the same category. This is Bendis, after all! But Moore's work speaks for itself, and while I can't say I cared much for LEAGUE Volume II (I taught Volume I in my Novels and Short Stories class, but Volume II simply wouldn't have worked so well), the rest of the work listed here more than makes up for that slight disappointment. Then there's THE VOICE OF THE FIRE and all that other stuff he's written this year...All of that alone makes this less a surprise and more an instance of fate. Or something like it.



Best Writer/Artist:


Who I Said Would Get It: Craig Thompson, BLANKETS (Top Shelf).
Who Got It: Craig Thompson, BLANKETS (Top Shelf).



See above and the Powers That Be willing, we should have an interview with Mr. Thompson in an upcoming COMICSCAPE column, probably sometime in August. Once he catches his breath, of course!



Best Writer/Artist Humor :


Who I Said Would Get It: Kyle Baker, DC Comics both for PLASTIC MAN (DC) and THE NEW BAKER (Kyle Baker Publishing).
Who Got It: Kyle Baker, DC Comics both for PLASTIC MAN (DC) and THE NEW BAKER (Kyle Baker Publishing).



Bit of a long shot to predict Baker would win both this category and Best New Series, but I guess it was a bigger long shot for him to actually win them both! I'll see what I can do about talking to this man in the column in September.



Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team:


Who I Said Would Get It: Jim Lee and Scott Williams for BATMAN(DC).
Who Got It: John Cassaday, PLANETARY, PLANETARY/BATMAN: NIGHT ON EARTH (WildStorm/DC); HELLBOY WEIRD TALES (Dark Horse).



Ah, well, can't win 'em all. Besides, with all the buzz around Jim Lee and Scott Williams' work on the Bat-book, I'd have thought they were a shoe-in. Of course, I'd made that prediction long before actually picking up a copy of PLANETARY, which no doubt would have changed my mind. See, there's just not all that much to this "comics expert" business...



The other winners were:



Best Short Story:

"Death," by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell, in THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS (Vertigo/DC)



Best Title for a Younger Audience:

WALT DISNEY'S UNCLE SCROOGE, by various (Gemstone)



Best Humor Publication:

FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire, and Joe Rubinstein (DC)



Best Graphic AlbumReprint:

BATMAN ADVENTURES: DANGEROUS DAMES AND DEMONS, by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and others (DC)



Best Archival Collection/Project:

KRAZY AND IGNATZ, 19291930, by George Herriman, edited by Bill Blackbeard (Fantagraphics)



Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material:

BUDDHA, vols. 1 and 2, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)



Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art) :

Jill Thompson, "Stray," in THE DARK HORSE BOOK OF HAUNTINGS (Dark Horse)



Best Coloring:

Patricia Mulvihill, BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN (DC), 100 BULLETS (Vertigo/DC)



Best Lettering:

Todd Klein, DETECTIVE COMICS (DC); FABLES, THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS (Vertigo/DC); TOM STRONG, PROMETHEA (ABC); 1602 (Marvel)



Best Cover Artist:

James Jean, FABLES (Vertigo/DC); BATGIRL (DC)



Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition:

Derek Kirk Kim (writer/artist, SAME DIFFERENCE AND OTHER STORIES)



Best Comics-Related Periodical:

COMIC BOOB ARTIST, edited by Jon B. Cooke (Top Shelf)



Best Comics-Related Book:

THE ART OF HELLBOY, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)



Best Publication Design:

MYTHOLOGY: THE DC COMICS ART OF ALEX ROSS, designed by Chip Kidd (Pantheon)



Hall of Fame:

Judges' Choices: Otto Binder, John Stanley, Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima
Also inducted were Al Capp, Jules Feiffer, Don Martin, and Jerry Robinson.



I'd like to hear if your own predictions were any more or less accurate than my own, which winners truly surprised you, and which winners truly didn't, so send them to me via the web site contact address here or to me directly. And remember, if you should happen to make reference to a title of a comic series please use CAPS when giving the title. I do the HTML coding on this column every week, and having the titles in caps already makes my life much easier. Finally, as always, don't forget our discussion boards! Next week, I'll present the first half of your reactions to last week's extended review of SPIDEY 2, with the ones who responded positively to it first (just because I can, so n'yah!). But first, here's this week's listings:




THIS WEEK:



For the

TEEN TITANS GO! #9.

kids this week, there's the ever-popular CARTOON CARTOONS #32 featuring Dexter and Johnny Bravo (oh, mama!) as well as TEEN TITANS GO! #9, featuring Fixit (whoever that is I never watch the damn thing...)



I'm not quite sure what the point of the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #509 DIRECTOR'S CUT is, but it's available for $3.99. Maybe JMS does a special commentary over it or something... In the meanwhile, a totally un-special non-director's cut of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #510 is also out, featuring the two mystery men or rather, one mystery man and one mystery woman who almost took Spidey out last time. It'll all be explained in the liner notes, no doubt.



Finally, it's the book you've all been waiting for (and which almost every other Marvel book has suffered some horrible storylines for...):AVENGERS #500 (or #85, for you "old schoolers" who haven't a clue), a double-sized anniversary issue for $3.50. Bendis is in the house! Let the Disassembling begin!



There's a cyborg on the rampage in BATGIRL #54; a Scarebeast on the loose in BATMAN #630 (and no, we don't mean the newly named permanent writer Judd Winick); and Selena herself is out for blood in CATWOMAN #33 (but sadly it's not that of Halle Berry).



As usual, a drag queen and her posse are two men's only chance for survival in Judd Winick's CAPER #10 (Of 12). You'd think that man had been on the New Orleans version of THE REAL WORLD rather than the San Francisco one...



Take a chance to see just how silly and occasionally how good those JLA/JSA crossovers used to be with the CRISIS ON MULTIPLE EARTHS: VOL 3 trade paperback, reprinting JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #s 91-92, 100-102, 107-108, and 113, all for only $14.95.



From

LAST TRAIN TO DEADSVILLE: A CAL MCDONALD MYSTERY #3.

Dark Horse comes the Eisner Award winning CONAN #6 (not this particular issue, mind you, but close enough)! They're also bringing you LAST TRAIN TO DEADSVILLE: A CAL MCDONALD MYSTERY #3 (Of 4), the SAMURAI EXECUTIONER: VOL 1 trade paperback for $9.95, and USAGI YOJIMBO #77, but they didn't win Eisners, did they? Oh, who cares read 'em, anyway. You'll thank me later.



Writer Kurt Busiek with artist Walter Simonson and writer Cary Bates with artist John Byrne give us their takes on the cover of HAWKMAN #6, featuring the Winged Wonder fighting a Winged Gorilla in DC COMICS PRESENTS: HAWKMAN #1. Let's hope none of these boys gets it into their heads to do some JLAPE flashback or some crap like that...



The Silver Age dawns, even as a new menace threatens America, in Darwyn Cooke's revisionist masterpiece DC: THE NEW FRONTIER #5 (Of 6) for $6.95. Only one more to go!



And here I've been complaining about JLA #100 being one long ad for JUSTICE LEAGUE ELITE - imagine all those poor people who sat through the John Byrne-Chris Claremont "epic" that came before that only to discover that it was an extended lead-in to the new DOOM PATROL. Poor bastards. Issue #2 is out this week, if anyone cares.



A final showdown with the new and horrifyingly more sadistic Frightful Four (which bears an uncanny resemblance to the recent return of the Fearsome Five in OUTSIDERS last week...hmmm...) takes place in FANTASTIC FOUR #516; while the team's knightly counterparts in MARVEL KNIGHTS: 4 #8

deal with a lovesick Namor (again?). For a cold-blooded aquatic type, he runs pretty hot and cold, doesn't he?



Kyle

GREEN LANTERN #179.

and John fight each other, kill each other, and leave room for Hal to return in GREEN LANTERN #179. Actually, they just fight each other but Lord knows the other scenario would make far too many people happy...meanies.



There's a whole bunch of Image-ry this week, including the BATTLE OF THE PLANETS VOL 2: BLOOD RED SKY trade paperback for $16.95; DAWN THREE TIERS #4 (Of 6); the DROWNED graphic novel for $9.95; GRAY: AREA #1 (Of 3) for $5.95; TOMB RAIDER: ARABIAN NIGHTS for $5.99; and WITCHBLADE #77. With all that out there, something's just bound to be good! Right?



No ads this time just a story about the Flash's one major failure (no, not his joining the JLE shame on you!) in JLA #102; while JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: ANOTHER NAIL concludes with #3 (Of 3) for $5.95, leaving room for JLA: YET ANOTHER NAIL, JLA: ONE MORE NAIL, JLA: NAIL ME ONE MORE TIME, and JLA: OH, MY GOD, HOW MANY F**KING NAILS ARE THERE?



He can walk, he can use his right arm, and he doesn't need medications and these are just some of his superpowers! But can this formerly disabled teen turn his life around in KINETIC #5? Guess there's one way to find out...



You'd be doing yourself a grave disservice by not picking up LEGION #36, now written by Gail Simone. Forget the fact you don't have #35 yet. Forget that you miss Dan and Andy. Forget the fact that you don't have $2.50! Just pick it up already!



How

METAL HURLANT #12.

they ever got the title "Heavy Metal" from the phrase METAL HURLANT, since it actually translates as the much cooler sounding "Howling Metal", but what do I know...I didn't speak French when they started this series way back when. Anyway, issue #12 is now available from DC/Humanoids for $3.95 well worth the price!



Mystique is about to be sold on the black market (though it's obvious to anyone with eyes that she's blue) in MYSTIQUE #17. Hmm, I wonder what use someone would put a shape-changing mutant with the body of Rebecca Romajin-Stamos to..? I'd pick gardening, myself, or light housekeeping, but that's just me.



From what I hear from my local comics dealer, POWERLESS #2 (Of 6) is already sold out or at least, it is down our way. Guess that means another foil cover reprint that I won't get either... *Sigh* Oh, well. If you can get it, buy it and then pass it on to your grandchildren as a heirloom or something.



Speaking of heirlooms, the all-new POWERS #2 is out from Marvel's Icon imprint this week. Betcha Brian Michael Bendis will get that award next year, just you wait! And to see why he got it last year, check out the POWERS: THE SELL OUTS trade paperback for $19.95, which reprints one of the most phenomenal storylines of the original series ever.



Ah, but why buy POWERS when you can spend your money on RICHARD DRAGON #3, guest-starring Nightwing? (You do realize I'm kidding, I trust.)



Wanna

Cover to ROGUE #1.

see Rob Rodi's take on a mutant who's obviously been touching Anna Paquin so much she's starting to look a lot like her? Then check out ROGUE #1 this week. I will be.



Supes finally sets aside his neutrality to fight a ruthless dictator, but is unsure if he's fighting on the right side in SUPERMAN #207. Meanwhile, you either loved it, hated it, or didn't read it at all, but you couldn't avoid hearing about it: the miniseries that divided a nation (of comics readers, anyway), SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT, comes to an end this week with #12 (Of 12). Two months till the trade, or less, I'm thinkin'!



Want some more European, transcontinental action? Well, you won't get it from the TOWNSCAPES trade paperback, but you may get some interesting comics fiction done with a distinctly Old World flavor. It's available from DC/Humanoids this week for $17.95.



Why, it's everyone's favorite family again, but they're somehow different... Is it that Sue is suddenly a brunette Latina woman? No, that's the movie. We're talking about ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #9, in which Victor Van Damme makes a comeback. (No, not in UNIVERSAL SOLIDER 4 ...you're thinking the wrong Van Damme, dammit.) Meanwhile, the ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 1: THE FANTASTIC trade paperback, selling for $12.99, collects the first six issues when some unknown writer or other was writing it still.



Oh, look, it's double no, triple - the pain and suffering as we get not only VENOM #17 (it's gone on this long?), we also get VENOM VS CARNAGE #1 (Of 4). Can we hope they'll both kill each other so we don't have to see them ever again? Please, Spider-Fairy?



Vertigo's got it going on this week with a build-up to John Constantine's big 2 double-0 in HELLBLAZER #198; the team finishes up a storyline set in Qatar, which bears no resemblance to any real-world country at all (oh, no, sir!) in LOSERS #14; and a threesome of witches does...um, things...in THE WITCHING #2. (Hey, it's a Vertigo title...they really could get up to anything.)



Wildstorm

John Cassaday's cover to PLANETARY #20.

brings you the Eisner Award winning artist John Cassaday in PLANETARY #20 (who's working with some guy named Warren or something; while Ed Brubaker gloats over having been nominated for this and winning for another title while he writes SLEEPER: SEASON TWO #2 (Of 12). Or at least he will be now...



The Marvel miniseries WITCHES concludes with #4 (Of 4), so if you were really, really getting confused at having two similar titles out there from two different companies, your life just got easier...unless you're reading IDENTITY CRISIS and IDENTITY DISC, of course. Then there's simply no help for you, you sad monkey.



And finally, a round of applause for a series which continues to come out on time despite Joss Whedon writing it (and are we ever glad he is, too!) as ASTONISHING X-MEN #3 hits the stands; EXCALIBUR #3 is out there, too, though maybe you might hold the applause in this case; fans of the mutant world's answer to SLIDERS will be in hog-heaven (and in debtor's prison) as the EXILES VOL 2: A WORLD APART trade paperback ($14.99), the EXILES VOL 3: OUT OF TIME trade paperback ($17.99), and the EXILES VOL 5: UNNATURAL INSTINCT trade paperback ($14.99) all come out together in one ungodly clusterorgy; and finally, the fun continues as the team continues to disassemble the Avengers (or get disassembled themselves) in X-STATIX #25.



Call your bookies if you bet on the Eisners, they owe you big time.



Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think by e-mailing us here!

Comicscape is our weekly Comics column.


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