The Hugo Award nominations were announced and the nominees for Best Graphic Story are:
Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)
Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
This may be the first time a Foglio is not amongst the nominees, but congratulations and good luck to the webcomic contenders Schlock Mercenary and Digger.
The nominees for the Eisners are out – here's the Digital Comics category:
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.
Nominees for the Hugo Awards have been announced — the Hugo Awards ceremony will take place August 20, 2011. Members of the World Science Fiction Convention are eligible to vote on the Hugo Awards. You can get memberships right here.
The Nominees for BEST GRAPHIC STORY are:
Girl Genius has won this the previous two years – in other words, every year the category has existed. (The Watchmen is the only other graphic novel I think that has won recognition by the Hugo – but that was before the Graphic Story category was established.) Fables and Schlock Mercenary are both receiving their third nomination — will the third time be the charm?
Voting is open for the 2011 Eagle Awards — you can vote online for the winners. The nominees for Favorite Web-based comic are:
• Hark! A Vagrant! by Kate Beaton
• Freak Angels by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield
• Questionable Content by Jeph Jaques
• Axe Cop by Malachai and Ethan Nicolle
• xkcd by Randall Munroe
In addition to the update this morning mentioning the Joe Shuster Award nominations for this year, it's also time for professionals to send in nominations for the 2011 Harvey Awards. The Harveys are named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry's most innovative talents, and recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art.
Ballots can be downloaded from HarveyAwards.org and completed forms can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ballots are due for submission by Monday, March 28, 2011. Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected by creators – those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field.
Returning for his third consecutive Harvey Awards, Scott Kurtz will be the Master of Ceremonies for the awards banquet, to be held Saturday, August 20, 2011 as part of the Baltimore Comic-Con. This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held August 20-21, 2011.
Nominations open on Friday February 4th and run until March 7th for the world-famous Eagle Awards. The top five nominations in each section will then be verified and voting gets underway on March 14th. The Eagles award winners will be announced May 27th in a live ceremony the London Comic Con at London MCM Expo. The awards ceremony will be streamed LIVE to the world over the Internet.
Journalista notes that ballots for the 2010 Eisners must be submitted by June 15:
Voting has begun on the 2010 nominees for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. Sign in or Register to cast your vote now! If you voted last year, your login from last year should still work. If you have forgotten your password, click Sign In, then Recover Lost Password.
There are 29 categories in all, so be sure to visit all five ballot pages. You do not need to vote in every category. You also have the opportunity to write in votes if something you wish to vote for wasn't nominated. You can see a summary of your votes by clicking on Your Votes in the Voting menu after you sign in. Only one ballot per voter will be recorded.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. I grilled the heck out of some meat on Monday and good times were had by all. Speaking of food, the Portland Mercury offers up a ballsy cooking lesson from Achewood creator Chris Onstad. (h/t Waxy). I challenge you to read that one all the way to the end.
AWARDS: The 2010 National Cartoonist Society's Reuben Awards were announced — According to the NCS members Zits by Jerry Scott & Jim Borgman is the best comic strip and Rhymes with Orange by Hilary Price is the best panel in the newspapers this year… I actually think Rhymes does have some amazing work but Zits, while extremely well-crafted, feels like a bland family sitcom translated to the newspaper. These are both very safe choices although given the glacial rate of change in newspaperland there's not really much in the way of dangerous choices the NCS could have made.
ANTHOLOGY: A new webcomic collective – or maybe better to say online anthology? Space Dock 7 is a science fiction themed hub for seven new webcomics that have strategically adopted an update schedule staggering their weekly updates so that each has its own day.
HYPIN THE HYPE
I Want You To Feel the Pressure by M. Thomas Harding is interesting. The first thing you might notice however is how much the art and format of it look like Dresdan Codak. In fact the main character of IWYTFTP is kind of similar visually to a prominent character in Dresdan. It's worth mentioning that similarity, but it's not like Harding is slavishly copying — his comic is set-up to be about a super spy and her friends, but the first chapter was mostly about a night at a club — we'll see what the second chapter winds up focusing on. He's making progress with making the characters distinct and interesting, he's decently adept with the plot and there are some good beats in the individual comics. And his artwork is improving so possibly he'll get to a point where it doesn't seem to ape Dresdan so much.
Clockworks by Shawn Gaston is a lot of fun. It's not perfect but it has a lot of things going right. Visually, the comic is fantastic — Gaston has a great sense of color and design. The artwork is almost iconic at times where the characters can be submerged into the larger pattern of the panel. The whole world of Clockworks isn't necessarily unique but it's a well-done mashup of steampunk and fantasy images. Although there's a largely dark palette at work the use of color is really well thought out – it's often just very nice to look at. Story-wise after 90+ comics there's a bit more of the overall world revealed and you have a better sense of the characters. There's a lot of mystery and a bit of confusion as to motivation sometimes but give Gaston props for sticking (mostly) to the show not tell rule of story-telling. If you read the about page you learn that the webcomic is based on a roleplaying game that Gaston is running with a group of friends (inspired by this Dork Tower comic). I don't know how to feel about that — on the one hand, I now know that there's a structure to the world we're reading about that Gaston is borrowing, but on the other hand, the characters in the webcomic come from the roleplaying which may or may not lead to narrative coherence as the thing plays out (what makes a satisfying role-playing experience does not necessarily equal a satisfying narrative experience for the reader). I am going to give Gaston the benefit of the doubt and encourage you to as well (particularly if this is the type of story you'd already like).
The nominees for the 2010 Joe Shuster Award in the categoy of "Webcomics/Bandes Dessinées Web" are:
The 6th Annual Awards Ceremony is on Saturday, June 5th, 2010 at the Innis Town Hall (University of Toronto) with returning Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Llyr. The awards ceremony is held on the same weekend as the Toronto ComiCON FAN APPRECIATION Event (June 5-6).