2008 Eisner Nominations Announced

Surprisingly, there's not much that excited me with the nominees this year. Here are a few selections that I noticed or had a reaction to;

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Amelia Rules! #18: "Things I Cannot Change," by Jimmy Gownley (Renaissance)
Delilah Dirk and the Treasure of Constantinople, by Tony Cliff (self-published)
Johnny Hiro #1, by Fred Chao (AdHouse)
Justice League of America #11: "Walls," by Brad Meltzer and Gene Ha (DC)
Sensational Spider-Man Annual: "To Have or to Hold," by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca (Marvel)

JLA #11? Really? Why? Out of all the choices? WTF?

Best Continuing Series
The Boys, by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson (Dynamite)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, by Joss Whedon, Brian K. Vaughan, Georges Jeanty, and Andy Owens (Dark Horse)
Naoki Urasawa's Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)
The Spirit, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)
Y: The Last Man, by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Jose Marzan, Jr. (Vertigo/DC)

Aside from Y's predictable and requisite nod, I can't believe this is what the judges consider the best work from last year. That's underwhelming...

Best New Series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, by Joss Whedon, Brian K. Vaughan, Georges Jeanty, and Andy Owens (Dark Horse)
Immortal Iron Fist, by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, and others (Marvel)
Johnny Hiro, by Fred Chao (AdHouse)
The Infinite Horizon, by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto (Image)
Scalped, by Jason Aaron and R. M. Guera (Vertigo/DC)

Honestly, this is the only thing I feel passionate about. Jason Aaron deserves an Eisner. Scalped is brilliant. I will be very disappointed if this doesn't win. I gotta' question some category placement here. Is Buffy Season 8 new or is it ongoing? Can it be both? Is that fair? And I'm pretty sure Infinite Horizon is a mini-series. Hello.

Best Graphic Album-New
The Arrival, by Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic)
Bookhunter, by Jason Shiga (Sparkplug Books)
Essex County, vols. 1-2: Tales from the Farm/Ghost Stories, by Jeff Lemire (Top Shelf)
Exit Wounds, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)
Percy Gloom, by Cathy Malkasian (Fantagraphics)

Nice to see Shiga's little gem get a nod here; were it up to me, I'd pick Bookhunter to win. But, I'm sure Exit Wounds will take this category. It seems to be a critical darling among the top 10 lists I've seen and even in the mainstream media. I read it. I thought it was a *good* book. I don't see what all the hype's about.

Best Graphic Album-Reprint
Agents of Atlas Hardcover, by Jeff Parker, Leonard Kirk, and Kris Justice (Marvel)
Godland Celestial Edition, by Joe Casey and Tom Scioli (Image)
James Sturm's America: God, Gold, and Golems, by James Sturm (Drawn & Quarterly)
Mouse Guard: Fall 1152, by David Petersen (Archaia)
Super Spy, by Matt Kindt (Top Shelf)

Love the Matt Kindt nod here and that'd be my pick hands down. Though I have a feeling Mouse Guard is going to creep in here and steal the show.

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
The Arrival, by Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic)
Aya, by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Obrerie (Drawn & Quarterly)
Garage Band, by Gipi (First Second)
I Killed Adolf Hitler, by Jason (Fantagraphics)
The Killer, by Matz and Luc Jacamon (Archaia)

Wow! Tough category! Aya, Garage Band, I Killed Adolf Hitler, and The Killer are all excellent books - every single one of those was a Graphic Novel of the Month here at 13 Minutes. I'd have to go with The Killer on this one. Again, placement. Is The Arrival a "Graphic Album - New" or is it a "US Edition of International Material?" I don't think it's fair the way some titles double or triple dip.

Best Writer
Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Criminal, Daredevil, Immortal Iron Fist (Marvel)
James Sturm, Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow (Center for Cartoon Studies/Hyperion)
Brian K. Vaughan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Dark Horse); Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC), Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC)
Joss Whedon, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Dark Horse)
Brian Wood, DMZ, Northlanders (Vertigo/DC); Local (Oni)

Brian Wood all the way, baby! Look at the diversity in his body of work. Whedon or BKV (in that order) if Wood doesn't pull it off. God, I hope Brubaker doesn't win.

Best Cover Artist
John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse); Process Recess 2; Superior Showcase 2 (AdHouse)
J. G. Jones, 52 (DC)
Jae Lee, Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born (Marvel)
Jim Lee, All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder (DC); World of Warcraft (WildStorm/DC)

For me, it's a toss up between Cassaday and Jean. Both are deserving and really represent the medium well.


At 9:41 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm not feeling many of these nomination either. My list would have looked radically different. I suppose that's true for everyone, but I like to think my opinion is a bit.....correcter. :)

I hope Wood gets Best Writer as well. If BKV had another book going I'd definitely throw it his way, particularly with the conclusion of Y. The only thing that Bru really has going for him here is the sheer volume of work. He put out twice as much as those other guys. Where the hell is Matt Fraction in this?

James Jean is definitely my vote for covers. Fables put out some of the best covers they've had with the Frog Prince storyline, and everything he did on Umbrella Academy was righteous as well. The JG Jones nomination is a total misfire as well. Can Jock get some freaking love for his work on Scalped? I mean damn.

And what's up with all this Buffy Season 8 love? Are we serious? One of the five best series of the year? Pfft.

With the exception of rooting for Scalped as best new series, and rooting for other particular titles to LOSE in various other categories -- I have nothing invested in this this year.

Boo to the Eisner's for slowly becoming as relevant as the Grammys.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Justin Giampaoli said...

Dude, we so park our cars in the same garage. Woulda' been nice to see Fraction get a nod for his work on Iron Fist and especially Casanova - that's some unique stuff and shows his craftiness as a writer.

We both like Whedon on Astonishing, but I don't even get the hype re: Buffy Season 8.

Nice way to summarize the waning relevance of the Eisners. Sometimes it feels like picking the least stinky turd in the room. I think a lot of it has to do with the judging panel's taste though. Last year, even though I didn't personally agree with some of the choices, I could at least respect the selections. Not the case this year.

It all just feels a little random and haphazard. I feel like I could close my eyes and randomly pick books from my shelf, and any ol' stray issue of DMZ, Fear Agent, Wasteland, Local, Scalped, Black Summer (etc., etc.) would be better than much of what was picked this year.

Overall, I just don't feel this list is representative of the best the industry had to offer during this time period.


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