4.08.2010

2010 Eisner Award Nominees

I don't really have the time or inclination to go into detail on every single category; in fact, Rich Johnston has already done a bang up job over at Bleeding Cool, so I'll just mention a few things that popped out at me. Overall, the Eisner Awards are losing credibility with me. Either the process and participants are so desperately out of touch with reality that I just don't get it and question the value of the entire endeavor, or my own personal tastes have strayed so far from the mainstream that I don't even know what the awards mean any longer. They don't seem to hold any relevance for me. In most cases I find myself just totally disinterested. The remainder of the time, it seems that my reaction is an exasperated "WHAT?!" due to what is, or in some cases, what is not present.

So, yeah... it was nice to see Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life and David Mazzuchelli's Asterios Polyp nominated in multiple categories. Sure, it's all a bit predictable and safe, particularly in the case of Asterios Polyp, (I'm secretly hoping A Drifting Life wins), but they're both great books and it's reassuring, if nothing else, that there still exists some sanity. Probably my favorite nominee, and one of the very few that seemed to make sense in my opinion, was Terry Moore's Echo in the Best Writer/Artist category. It's very much deserved and I hope he outright takes a win in this category to send a clear message about the quality existing outside the mainstream. I also thought it was nice to see JH Williams III getting some love for his work on Batwoman in Detective Comics, though it seems ironically ill-timed with DC's clusterfuckish handling of the series, the character, and both creators involved. It's critically lauded, nominated for an Eisner Award now, so yeah, let's just stop publishing that, ok? I, too, think it's kinda' irreverently funny that Robert Crumb's The Book of Genesis: Illustrated adaptation - of the Bible - was not listed in the non-fiction category, thus by default appears in the fiction category. From this we can assume that all of the liberal arts Blue Staters are secretly behind it all. Ha! Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as Best New Series? That's a joke, right? Because the art is so awful, and apparently nobody had an issue with an interpretation of a decades old Philip K. Dick story, already translated to film, being considered "new" material.

Where it all really totally derails is the Best Writer category. If that list really represents what anyone involved in this believes the best writers working right now in the industry are, then we're all doomed. That list is a joke. It's painfully mainstream, painfully repetitive of previous nominees, and doesn't at all reflect my taste, the taste of the people I associate with, or the taste of the critics I read and their online discourse. Perhaps these writers sell the most, or are the most commercial, but that's not supposed to be what this is about. Is it? Isn't it about the art, the craft, not the popularity contest of who's working the most high profile crossovers? To rub flaming gasoline right into the gaping flesh wound, included is James Robinson (who, in his defense, is a writer I've enjoyed in the past - hello, Starman), but is nominated here for Justice League: Cry for Justice, easily the worst book I read all year, a book that has been universally panned and painfully cited as an example of everything wrong with the industry, fullfilling multiple stereotypes around editorial interference, poor plotting and mis-characterization, awful panel to panel storytelling, indecipherable page composition, downright mysogynistic and/or homophobic tendencies, and outright superhero tragedy porn. Whew! It's just ridiculous. On top of it all, (sometimes) series artist Mauro Cascioli (really, shouldn't you have to actually complete the entire mini-series to be nominated?) is nominated in the Best Painter/Multimedia Artist category for the same awful book. Really? Really? REALLY. Look at that picture! It's like they missed April 1st and forgot to run the announcement that day as a prank.

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