What Were the Best Comics of Last Year?
Movies have the Academy Awards, music has the Grammys, and comics have the Eisners. Every year a panel of judges nominates what they consider to be the best achievements in comic art from the previous 12 months, and then creators, retailers and scholars vote on the winners, who receive their awards at the San Diego Comic-Con. There are a ton of nominees in a total of 27 categories (you can read the whole list here), but we thought we'd run down the books that received the most nominations. Do you read any of these books? What do you think of 'em?
Leading the pack with SIX nominations is Marvel Comics' Daredevil, including Best Single Issue, Best Writer, Best Penciller/Inker team and Best Continuing Series. It seems rare for a mainstream superhero comic to clean up so thoroughly, but Daredevil is JUST THAT GOOD. Starring blind lawyer and kick-butt crimefighter Matt Murdock, every month Daredevil delivers some of the most exciting, well-drawn adventures in all of superhero comics.
Coming close behind the Man Without Fear is Jim Henson's Tale of Sand, an original graphic novel drawn from an unproduced Jim Henson film script. Like much of Henson's work, this book found wide appeal, and scored Eisner nominations for categories like Best Graphic Album (New), Best Coloring and Best Penciller/Inker. It focuses on a guy named Mac who's chased across America's Southwest by the kind of inventive monsters Henson's best known for.
A few books received three nominations, two of which might be familiar to readers of our site. DC/Vertigo's iZombie, a comedy/horror/adventure story with amazing art by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred, is up for categories including Best Penciller/Inker and Best Cover Artist (and it may be hard to take down industry legend Mike Allred here). MindHut favorite The Unwritten got nominations for Best Single Issue, Best Writer and Best Cover Artist. The IDW graphic novel Richard Stark's Parker: The Martini Edition (drawn by the incomparable Darwyn Cooke) also has three potential wins, including Best Graphic Album (Reprint) and Best Short Story.
Though lots of titles got two nominations, one worth mentioning is Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin's Princeless, a fairy tale parody aimed at teen readers that challenges typical gender roles by having the princess who's locked up in her tower become the crusading hero of the whole story. Princeless is a really funny, endearing book that's totally worth your time.
There are a lot of great books up for Eisner wins this year, but we wondered: did any book not get the recognition it deserves? A lot of commenters have noted, for instance, that in a year that was all about relaunched comics there was no Best New Series category (surely Scott Snyder's Batman or Jeff Lemire's Animal Man ought to get SOME recognition?!). In fact, while Lemire DID get a deserved Best Writer nomination, Scott Snyder appears not once on this list. Between his work on Batman, Swamp Thing, and American Vampire, this seems like a giant mistake. No doubt there's some other real talent that got overlooked as well; that just strikes us as the most obvious example.
What do YOU think about the comics that got Eisner nominations this year? Did your favorite books make the list?