The nominees for the Eisners are out – here's the Digital Comics category:
- Bahrain by Josh Neufeld
- Battlepug by Mike Norton
- Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
- Outfoxed by Dylan Meconis
- Sarah and the Seed by Ryan Andrews
An interesting mix of new and familiar names (to me at least) and a range of styles and subject matters to boot. I haven't read any of these so here's my quick ill-informed reactions and/or paraphrasing of the about pages:
The full title of John Neufeld's webcomic is Bahrain: Lines In Ink, Lines In The Sand and follows Mohammed and Sara, two young Bahraini editorial cartoonists who found themselves on opposite sides of Bahrain's short-lived Pearl Revolution. Neufeld met Mohammed and Sara at workshops he led while visiting the tiny Persian Gulf country on a U.S. State Department trip. Neufeld documents their impressions of the events, through their words, experiences, and their own cartoons, which were published as events unfolded. A self-contained, non-fiction, journalistic effort.
Mike Norton's webcomic is about a giant pug. OMIGOD PUPPY!! On-going serialized comedic, fantasy adventure tale.
Tony Cliff's webcomic takes place in 19th-century Turkey where an officer in the Janissary army must struggle to repay a brash adventuress for saving his life, even though she was the one who endangered it in the first place. Another serialized adventure story albeit much less wacky than Battlepug.
Dylan Meconis' is a fable brought to webcomic form.
Ryan Andrew's webcomic also has the feel of a fable or better still an alegory. Both Dylan's and Ryan's efforts are self-contained, completed works of fiction.
I realize this is far from the due diligence of actual reviews but even so, it's striking how challenging it must be to try to compare the merits of such diverse work with such clearly different artistic and other goals. This year's nominees in particular feel like a world where instead of the Emmy awards, the Motion Picture Academy had just added a "Best Television Movie" category to the Oscars.