Sunday, July 20, 2003

2003 eisner awards and the death of pamphlets

There is that miserable segment of humanity that deplores awards - they consider the accolades irrelevant.

I'm with the other side, who recognizes the value in honoring excellence as a means to encourage and to set as an example of what to exceed.

The Eisner Awards, of course, is the biggie for comic books. And I am delighted that most of the winners were truly among the best reads of the past year.

In particular, I'm happy that Mike Mignola and his (then) 8-year-old daughter, Katie, won Best Short Story for what was truly the best short story in graphic format that I've read this past year - The Magician and the Snake. Mignola pere also won the humor Eisner for the incredible The Amazing Screw-on Head.

Brian Michael Bendis won Best Writer - well-deserved for his continuing work on Alias, Daredevil, Ultimate Spiderman and Powers.

Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze garnered him the Best Writer/Illustrator (once again I'm struck by the fact that I have to wait 10 years for the Trojan War to finish), while Tony Millionaire won for Best Writer/Artist—Humor.

Mike Kunkel's tender Herobear and Kid won Best Title for a Younger Audience.

Best Graphic Novel went to part-Filipino Linda Barry for One! Hundred! Demons! (I wish there were more of her).

Bill Willingham's Fables walked away with Best New Series as well as Best Serialized Story for his first story arc. (I actually think that someone else deserved this more, but that's just me).

An interesting comment from presentor Frank Miller, before presenting the award to Lynda Barry:

"Our future is not in these little pamphlets that kids can barely afford. It's hobbling us in so many ways ... Our future is in books, in graphic novels. This award, I believe, will be the centerpiece of these awards very soon."

A sentiment echoed by Kyle Baker (why oh why isn't his wonderful run of The Shadow left uncollected?):

"I'm on Frank Miller's side and graphic novels are the future - and monthly books, they're dead."

I couldn't agree more.


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