This year, the Eisners, the awards the comics community gives themselves for being awesome, decided that everything new sucked.
There’s really no other way to construe their just flat-out dropping the entire award category this year, and saying that it’s because “they didn’t find enough contenders that reached the level of quality they were looking for.” That’s what Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada actually said.
Well, we’ve got a few nominees, and a few of them were even suggested to the committee.
In fact, to be honest, yes, this may not have been the most brilliant year in comics, depending on who you ask, but this is a pretty harsh gesture towards the entire community. And keep in mind, the committee wasn’t limited to what publishers submitted: they could have suggested their own.
#5) Animal Man
Actually suggested to the committee, we have no idea why this was turned down. Jeff Lemire has been handing in some absolutely fantastic writing on this title, and Travel Foreman’s art is great about bringing out the horror Lemire wants to present while also preserving the family-man dynamic that makes “Animal Man” great. We can only assume that Lemire is being punished for writing “Animal Man” while not being a crazy bald British dude, and that’s BS.
#4) Star Trek Ongoing
Mike Johnston took what could have been a terrible book, rewriting old “Star Trek” plots to fit into the new continuity, and has consistently made it sing. It’s a crime he hasn’t been given the opportunity to write the second movie, because he thoroughly understands “Star Trek” while making the stories his own.
Brandon Graham took a faintly silly concept and turned it on its head, making the story of John Prophet the best pulp sci-fi weirdness Robert E. Howard never got around to writing. Simon Roy’s art really works in making the bizarre seem natural. Maybe it was just too weird for the committee, but it’s hard to argue “Prophet” isn’t a distinct voice, or Image Comics at its best.
The words “alternate take on Lewis Carroll” generally make us want to barf, because it usually means we’re about to be subjected to some lonely guy’s idea of a Hot Topic catalogue spread. Snarked!, by Roger Langridge, is something entirely different, though. It sends up Carroll while being respectful, not least because unlike a lot of “alternate” Alices, he bothered to read the damn books.
#1) Wonder Woman
Batman has “The Dark Knight Returns” or “Batman: Year One” or “A Death In The Family”. Superman has “The Man of Steel” and “Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow”. Wonder Woman has…”Amazons Attack!”
DC has never quite known what to do with a super-strong woman who gets tied up a lot. They’ve tried a lot of things, but none of them have really stuck. At least until now. Brian Azzarello incorporated horror and mythology elements into a tightly written package complimented by Cliff Chiang’s angular and sometimes deliberately harsh art. It’s easily one of the best reboots of the New 52.
In short, Eisner committee, you guys dropped the ball.
image courtesy Image Comics