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The Man Who Wasn't There
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Eisner Awards nominees and my picks

Thought I'd interject a little conversation here... Here are the 2002 Eisner Awards nominations. My picks, where I have one, are in bold, with any comments in italics. I'm not making guesses on any category where I haven't read at least a couple of the entries.



"The Adventures of Herg�," by Boquet, Fromental, and Stanislas, in Drawn & Quarterly, vol. 4 (Drawn & Quarterly)
"The Eltingville Club in 'The Intervention,'" by Evan Dorkin, in Dork #9 (Slave Labor)
"His Story," by Dave McKean, in Bento #1 and Pictures That [Tick] (Hourglass/Allen Spiegel Fine Arts)
"Me and Edith Head," by Sara Ryan and Steve Lieber, in Cicada, vol. 4 no. 1 (Carus Publishing)
"Oh, To Celebrate," by Miriam Katin in Drawn & Quarterly, vol. 4 (Drawn & Quarterly)
"The Willful Death of a Stereotype," by Chris Staros and Bo Hampton, in Expo 2001 (The EXPO)

Best Single Issue
Eightball #22, by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics)
The Fall, by Ed Brubaker and Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)
Finder #22: "Fight Scene," by Carla Speed McNeil (Lightspeed)
100 Bullets #27: "Idol Chatter," by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso (Vertigo/DC) -- The most chillingly original take on the Kennedy assassination I've ever read. I must've read this a couple dozen times, thrilling to the pacing, the interplay of dialogue and art, the layering of plots atop one another.
Optic Nerve #8: Bomb Scare," by Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Serialized Story
Amazing Spider-Man #30-35: "Coming Home," by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita Jr., and Scott Hanna (Marvel)
Hellblazer #164-167: "Highwater," by Brian Azzarello and Marcelo Frusin (Vertigo/DC) -- Azzarello did something unexpected here -- he wrote a story about neo-Nazis in which the bad guys weren't flat characters brimming with evil and nothing else. They were human beings first, then bad on top of it -- making them all the scarier because they could conceivably be people you'd know.
Finder #18-22: "Talisman," by Carla Speed McNeil (Lightspeed)
New X-Men #114-117: "E Is for Extinction," by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Ethan Van Sciver, and Tim Townsend (Marvel)
Queen and Country #1-4: "Operation: Broken Ground," by Greg Rucka and Steve Rolston (Oni)

Best Continuing Series
Finder. by Carla Speed McNeil (Lightspeed)
100 Bullets, by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso (Vertigo/DC)
Planetary, by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday (Wildstorm/DC)
Queen & Country, by Greg Rucka and Steve Rolston (Oni) -- I wasn't aware any issue of Planetary came out last year; that'll hurt it. I think Ruse could be hurt by the semi-controversy over the Kurtzman Awards.
Ruse, by Mark Waid, Butch Guice, and Michael Perkins (CrossGen)

Best Limited Series
Enemy Ace: War in Heaven, by Garth Ennis, Chris Weston, Christian Alamy, and Russ Heath (DC) -- It was a stunning revival of the war genre, though in my ideal world, this would share the award with Hopeless Savages.
Hellboy: Conqueror Worm, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse Maverick)
Hopeless Savages, by Jen Van Meter, Christine Norrie, and Chynna Clugston-Major (Oni)
Rose, by Jeff Smith and Charles Vess (Cartoon Books)
Scary Godmother: Ghouls Out for Summer, by Jill Thompson (Sirius)

Best New Series
Private Beach, by David Hahn (Slave Labor)
Queen & Country, by Greg Rucka and Steve Rolston (Oni) -- Again, I think the Kurtzman issues will hurt Ruse, though I hear it's very good. Private Beach is enjoyable, but some people are probably writing it off as a Strangers in Paradise knock-off.
Ruse by Mark Waid, Butch Guice, and Michael Perkins (CrossGen)
The Sandwalk Adventures, by Jay Hosler (Active Synapse)
True Story, Swear to God, by Tom Beland (Clib's Boy Comics)

Best Title for a Younger Audience
Courageous Princess: The Quest for Home, by Rod Espinosa (Antarctic)
Herobear and the Kid, by Mike Kunkel (Astonish)
Little Lit: Strange Stories for Strange Kids, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly (HarperCollins)
Patty Cake & Friends, by Scott Roberts (Amaze Ink/Slave Labor)
The Return of Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures, by J. Torres and J. Bone (Oni) -- This is my pick, but I think the Spiegelman book will win. Herobear had some shipping irregularities, as I recall; otherwise, it might have been a shoo-in.

Best Humor Publication
The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius: Monkey Tales, by Judd Winick (Oni)
Bizarro Comics, edited by Joey Cavalieri (DC) -- This has added pull simply because Kyle Baker's "Laetitia Laerner, Superman's Babysitter" story is in it. I believe it's already won a past Eisner from its apperance in the pulped Elseworlds 80-Page Giant. The Barry Ween book maybe should win, but it's probably a bit racy to win -- and besides, it only collects the first half of the six-issue mini, and the second half had the real emotional punch.
Dork #9, by Evan Dorkin (Slave Labor)
Hey, Mister: Dial "M" for Mister, by Pete Sickman-Garner (Top Shelf)
Jingle Belle: The Mighty Elves. by Paul Dini and J. Bone (Oni)
Radioactive Man, by Batton Lash, Abel Laxamana, Dan De Carlo, Mike DeCarlo, and Bob Smith (Bongo)

Best Anthology
Bizarro Comics, edited by Joey Cavalieri (DC)
Comics Journal Winter Special 2002, edited by Gary Groth and Anne Elizabeth Moore (Fantagraphics)
Drawn & Quarterly, vol. 4, edited by Chris Oliveros (Drawn & Quarterly)
Little Lit: Strange Stories for Strange Kids, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly (HarperCollins)
Oni Press Summer Color Special 2001, edited by Jamie Rich (Oni) -- This is my pick, but I figure Little Lit or the Comics Journal special will win because they're more high-brow. The Blue Monday and Powers stories in this were absolutely brilliant.

Best Graphic Album-New
The Book of Leviathan, by Peter Blegvad (Overlook Press)
Fallout, by Jim Ottaviani, Janine Johnston, Steve Lieber, Vince Locke, Bernie Mireault, and Jeff Parker (GT Labs)
The Golem's Mighty Swing, by James Sturm (Drawn & Quarterly)
Hey, Wait . . . by Jason (Fantagraphics)
Mail Order Bride, by Mark Kalesniko (Fantagraphics)
The Name of the Game, by Will Eisner (DC) -- Eisner's still kicking the artistic @$$es of people a quarter his age. This one was like a fine baklava.
Pictures That [Tick] by Dave McKean (Hourglass/Allen Spiegel Fine Arts)

Best Graphic Album-Reprint
Batman: Dark Victory, by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (DC)
Berlin: City of Stones, by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)
Box Office Poison, by Alex Robinson (Top Shelf) -- This is my pick, though I expect Berlin or Dark Victory to win it. How I missed this book in its original format, I'll never know. Actually, it was because I was all-superheroes and horror, all the time until the last year and a half or so.
Scatterbrain, edited by Phil Amara and Scott Allie (Dark Horse Maverick)
Stray Bullets: Other People, by David Lapham (El Capitan)

Best Archival Collection/Project
Akira, by Katsuhiro Otomo (Dark Horse)
Plastic Man Archives, vol. 3, by Jack Cole (DC)
Spy vs. Spy: The Complete Casebook, by Antonio Prohias (Watson Guptill)
Wendell All Together, by Howard Cruse (Olmstead Press)
The Complete Classic Adventures of Zorro, by Alex Toth (Image)

Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material
Akira, by Katsuhiro Otomo (Dark Horse)
Eagle, by Kaiji Kawaguchi (Viz)
Hey, Wait . . . by Jason (Fantagraphics)
Nogegon, by Luc and Francois Schuiten (Humanoids)
Uzumaki, byJunji Ito (Viz)

Best Writer
Brian Azzarello, 100 Bullets, Hellblazer (Vertigo/DC) -- I fully expect Bendis to win this, or maybe even Morrison. But "Idol Chatter" in 100 Bullets and the Highwater story in Hellblazer were among Vertigo's best moments ever. But if there was ever an "It's an honor just to be nominated!" lineup, this is it.
Brian Michael Bendis, Powers (Image); Alias, Daredevil, Ultimate Spider-Man (Marvel)
Grant Morrison, FF 1234, New X-Men (Marvel)
Greg Rucka, Queen & Country (Oni); Detective Comics (DC)
Mark Waid, Ruse (CrossGen)

Best Writer/Artist
Jessica Abel, La Perdida (Fantagraphics)
Dan Clowes, Eightball (Fantagraphics)
Carla Speed McNeil, Finder (Lightspeed)
James Sturm, The Golem's Mighty Swing (Drawn & Quarterly)
Adrian Tomine, Optic Nerve (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Writer/Artist-Humor
Tom Beland, True Story, Swear to God (Clib's Boy Comics)
Chynna Clugston-Major, Blue Monday: Absolute Beginners (Oni) -- Anyone who's not reading this book is missing out. The first two mini-series are out in collected form now. Go get them and have your shop special-order the one-shot from this year titled Lovecats.
Evan Dorkin, Dork (Slave Labor)
Makoto Kobayashi, "What's Michael?" in Super Manga Blast (Dark Horse)
Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library (Fantagraphics)
Judd Winick, The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius (Oni)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
John Cassaday, Planetary (Wildstorm/DC)
Butch Guice, Ruse (CrossGen)
Gene Ha, Top 10 (ABC)
Humberto Ramos/Sandra Hope, Out There (Wildstorm/DC)
Eduardo Risso, 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC) -- This is my pick, though Guice will probably win it. I figure the scarce appearances by Top 10 and Planetary both have set that stage. Risso's art isn't for everyone...
Francois Schuitten, Brusel (NBM); Nogegon (Humanoids)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Allen Coulter and Snakebite, The Red Star (Image)
Dave McKean, Pictures That [Tick] (Hourglass/Allen Spiegel Fine Arts)
David Mack, Daredevil #16-19 (Marvel)
John Van Fleet, Batman: The Ankh (DC)
Charles Vess, Rose (Cartoon Books) -- I didn't read this, but I did flip through the issues. The art was certainly stunning.

Best Coloring
Edgar Delgado/Studio F, Out There (Wildstorm/DC)
Laura DePuy, Ruse (CrossGen); Ministry of Space (Image) -- She's good, damn good.
Patricia Mulvihill, Wonder Woman (DC), 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC)
Jose Villarrubia, Fantastic Four 1234 (Marvel)
Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #15 (Fantagraphics)

Best Lettering
Dan Clowes, Eightball #22 (Fantagraphics)
Todd Klein, Promethea, Tom Strong's Terrific Tales, Tomorrow Stories, Top 10, Greyshirt (ABC); The Sandman Presents: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dreams But Were Afraid to Ask (Vertigo/DC); Detective Comics, The Dark Knight Strikes Again (DC); Castle Waiting (Olio); Universe X (Marvel) -- Easy to read, but also distinctive and compelling.
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo, Groo: Death & Taxes (Dark Horse Maverick)
Dave Sim, Cerebus (Aardvark-Vanaheim)
Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #15 (Fantagraphics)

Best Cover Artist
Tim Bradstreet, Hellblazer (DC)
Dave Johnson, Detective Comics (DC), 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC) -- Go find 100 Bullets #27, "Idol Chatter," and you'll see why I picked him. If that's the only cover he'd done all year, I'd still have picked him. Then read the issue. It's good for you.
J. G. Jones, Codename: Knockout, Transmetropolitan (Vertigo/DC)
Jae Lee, "Our Worlds at War" specials (DC); Fantastic Four 1234 (Marvel)
Mike Mignola, Hellboy: Conqueror Worm (Dark Horse Maverick)

Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition
Jen Benka and Kris Dresen (Manya)
Nick Bertozzi (The Masochists)
Arthur Dela Cruz (Kissing Chaos)
Dean Haspiel (Opposable Thumbs)
Dylan Horrocks (Hicksville, Atlas)

Best Comics-Related Periodical
Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
Comic Book Artist, edited by Jon Cooke (TwoMorrows) -- It's definitely a niche magazine, but it's so damn thorough...
The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth and Anne Elizabeth Moore (Fantagraphics)

Best Comics-Related Book
Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators, Father of the Adventure Strip, by Brian M. Kane (Vanguard)
Jack Cole and Plastic Man, by Art Spiegelman (Chronicle Books)
Kimota! The Miracleman Companion, by George Khoury (TwoMorrows)
OPUS, vol. 2, by Barry Windsor-Smith (Fantagraphics)
Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, edited by Chip Kidd (Pantheon)

Best Comics-Related Item
Dark Horse classic comic characters statuettes, sculpted by Yoe Studio (Dark Horse)
Hellboy PVC set (Dark Horse)
Little Enid Doll (Press-Pop Gallery)
R. Crumb Catholic Schoolgirl statue, sculpted by Ken Melton (Bowen designs)
Roman Dirge's Lenore lunchbox (Slave Labor)

Best Publication Design
Acme Novelty Library #15, designed by Chris Ware (Fantagraphics)
Drawn & Quarterly, vol. 4, designed by Chris Oliveros (Drawn & Quarterly)
Non #5, designed by Jordan Crane (Red Ink)
OPUS, vol. 2, designed by Barry Windsor-Smith (Fantagraphics)
Red Star vol. 1: The Battle of Kar Dathra's Gate, designed by Team Red Star (Image)
Scatterbrain, designed by Cary Grazzini and Craig Thompson (Dark Horse Maverick)

Hall of Fame
Judges' Choices: Charles Biro, Osamu Tezuka

Nominees (4 will be chosen):
Sergio Aragones -- Still one of the funniest cartoonists ever.
Vaughn Bode
John Buscema -- Sadly, he's now gone.
Al Capp
Nick Cardy -- While he's still with us, please...
Gene Colan
Dan De Carlo -- Another one who passed before getting his due reward -- financially or artistically.
Will Elder
Lou Fine
Herge
Bernie Krigstein
Joe Orlando
John Romita
John Severin
John Stanley
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