Harvey nominations (Part Two): the rest of the categories

Portions of this article were taken from a Baltimore Comics Con press release.

For more information on Harvey Kurtzman, the Harvey Awards, and the list of last year’s nominees and winners , go to www.harveyawards.org

For more information about the Baltimore Comic-Con, go to www.baltimorecomiccon.com   Banquet ticket information is also available there.  Mark Waid has recently been added to the list as guest speaker.  Scott Kurtz is Master of Ceremonies.

HARVEY-LOGO-2010-brown

Continuing the list of nominees from Part One:

BEST NEW TALENT

Kevin Cannon, ‘FAR ARDEN”, Top Shelf

Rob Guillory, “CHEW”, Image Comics

Reinhard Kleist, “JOHNNY CASH: I SEE A DARKNESS”, Abrams ComicArts

Nathan Schreiber, “ACT-I-VATE:  POWER OUT”, http://act-i-vate.com

Matthew Weldon, “NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY”,  Image Comics

I’m only familiar with Rob Guillory here but I suspect he’d be getting my vote anyway.  CHEW is just one of the most original and creative titles I have had the pleasure to read. It amuses and entertains on many levels.

BEST NEW SERIES

‘BATMAN AND ROBIN”,  DC Comics

“CHEW”,  Image Comics

“IRREDEEMABLE”, BOOM! Studios

“SWEET TOOTH”, Vertigo/DC Comics

“UNWRITTEN”, Vertigo/DC Comics

I’ve read all five of the nominated series here (some more than others), which makes me feel a little better about my credentials.  This is another hard choice.  I think UNWRITTEN is by far the most creative and engaging of the bunch.  It demands you pay attention. If you don’t you’ll miss the fun of trying to figure out everything else going on behind the surface storyline.

BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES

BEASTS OF BURDEN”, Dark Horse comics

“DIARY OF A WIMPY KID”, Amulet Books

“GANGES”,  Fantagraphics Books

“INVINCIBLE”, Image Comics

“SCALPED”, Vertigo/DC Comics

“THE WALKING DEAD”, Image Comics

I’m at the 50% level here. I haven’t read any of the first three series.  INVINCIBLE is very popular but just hasn’t caught on with me.  SCALPED is a great crime series and can be very complex with psychological undertones.  However, I tip my hat to THE WALKING DEAD   - - many volumes more than SCALPED and in spite of being grouped in with the endless and wearing-thin  zombie genre it continues to surprise.  You worry about these characters, thanks to the skills of Kirkman.


BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC PUBLICATION FOR YOUNGER READERS

“AMULET: STOREKEEPER’S CURSE,”  Graphix

“DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW”, Amulet Books

“GROWN-UPS ARE DUMB”, Hyperion Books

“THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK, “  BOOM! Studios

“NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY”, Image Comics

“3 –2-3 DETECTIVE AGENCY”, Amulet Books

I’m shamed to admit that I (an advocate for quality books for younger readers) only know of one of these titles.  More homework for me.  But the one I know is a real keeper - - THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK which I suspect would be getting my vote anyway.

BEST ANTHOLOGY

“ACT-I-VATE”, http://act-i-vate.com

“FLIGHT #6”, Villard

“POPGUN #3”,  Image Comics

“STRANGE TALES”,  Marvel Comics

“WEDNESDAY COMICS”, DC Comics

More embarrassment for me as I’ve only seen WEDNESDAY COMICS, which gets my nod.  It was simply a great idea to create a tribute to the late lamented big Sunday comics sections with serialized adventures stories.  Very well done and true to scale.  Art and story were very good, considering the naturally choppy nature of this medium.

BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC ALBUM

“ASTERIOS POLYP”, by David Mazucchelli, Pantheon

“BOOK OF GENESIS”, by Robert Crumb, W.W. Norton

“GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975)”, by Seth, Drawn and Quarterly

“FOOTNOTES IN GAZA”, by Joe Sacco, Metropolitan Books

“STITCHES”, by David Small, W. W. Norton

“WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW?”, by Brian Fies, Abrams ComicArts

ASTERIOS POLYP should get the win.  It is the best work I have seen from Mazucchelli.  There is a scheme to everything on every page - - the dialogue, the art, the inks and colors, the font size used, the panel layout and shapes  - - it all contributes to the story-telling. An amazing accomplishment.  Am I being fair to the other nominees by singling out this work?  I honestly don’t know.  I like Robert Crumb, but I haven’t seen BOOK OF GENESIS.  I’m clueless about the others.

BEST PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED GRAPHIC ALBUM

A.D.: NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE DELUGE, “ by Josh Neufeld, Pantheon

“COLLECTED ESSEX COUNTY”, by Jeff Lemire, Top Shelf

“GRAVESLINGER”, by Shannon Denton, Jeff Mariotte, John Cboins & Nina Sorat, IDW

“MASTERPIECE COMICS”, by R. Sikoryak, Drawn and Quarterly

“MICE TEMPLAR VOLUME 1”, by Bryan J. L. Glass and Michael Avon Oeming,  Image Comics

I regret that I was unaware of the NEW ORLEANS book.  I’m sure that the comics medium is a great medium to depict and express the anguish, sorrow and devastation that rained down on New Orleans.  Sorry I missed that one. MASTERPIECE COMICS  is a great idea, and I greatly admired the package.  The price tag and my budget were the only things that prevented me from picking this up.  But I wholeheartedly recommend COLLECTED ESSEX COUNTY to all.  This is a great example of the skills of Jeff Lemire, his ability to tell so much with so little in both story and art.  He’s exceptionally good maximizing the potential in his style.

BEST SYNDICATED STRIP OR PANEL

“CUL-DE-SAC”, by Richard Thompson, Universal Press Syndicate

“FOXTROT” by Bill Amend, Universal Press Syndicate

“GET FUZZY”, by Darby Conley, United Feature Syndicate

“MUTTS’ by Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate

“PEARLS BEFORE SWINE’, by Stephan Pastis, United Feature Syndicate

If newspaper comics were more like WEDNESDAY COMICS I would read them every day.  I stopped checking the comics section of the newspaper years ago - - mainly from boredom.  I do admit to having a soft spot for MUTTS.  Whenever I’ve bothered to check it out it didn’t disappoint.

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BEST DOMESTIC REPRINT PROJECT

“THE BEST OF SIMON AND KIRBY”, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, edited by Steve Saffel, Titan Books

“HUMBUG”, conceived and edited by Harvey Kurtzman and created by Harvey Kurtz man, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth; edited by Gary Groth, Fantagraphics Books

“RIP KIRBY”, by Alex Raymond; edited by Dean Mullaney, IDW

“THE ROCKETEER: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES”, by Dave Stevens; edited by Scott Dunbier, IDW

“THE TOON TREASURY OF CLASSIC CHILDREN’S COMICS”, edited by Art Spiegel man and Francoise Mouly, Abrams ComicArt

I’d probably be voting for Simon and Kirby, Dave Stevens or Alex Raymond if there wasn’t any Kurtzman work among the nominees.  But there is.  Give a Harvey to Harvey.  Just look at the company he is keeping - - a list of early MAD magazine greats.  This is a no-brainer.

BEST AMERICAN EDITION OF FOREIGN MATERIAL

“THE ART OF OSAMU TEZUKA: GOD OF MANGA”, by Helen McCarthy, Abrams ComicArts

“MANGA KAMISHIBAI”, by Eric P. Nash, Abrams ComicArts

“THE PHOTOGRAPHER”, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier LeFevre and Frederic Lemercier, First Second

“PLUTO: URAWAWA X TEZUKA”, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki, Viz Media

”20TH CENTURY BOYS”, by Naoki Urasawa, Viz Media

I better sit this one out.  I just don’t know. I must admit that the title GOD OF MANGA is a bit intimidating.  Makes you want to vote for that out of fear of incurring some wrath.

BEST ON-LINE COMICS WORK

“HARK! A VAGRANT”, by Kate Beaton, http://harkavagrant.com

“HIGH MOON”, by Steve Ellis, David Gallaher and Scott O. Brown, http://zudacomics.com/high_moon

“POWER OUT”, by Nathan Schreiber, http://act-i-vate.com

“PVP”, by Scott Kurtz, http://www.pvponline.com

“SIN TITULO”, by Cameron Stewart, http://www.sintitulocomic.com

I prefer my comics in-hand versus on-line.  But I’m making notes here and will most likely check out all of these at some point.  HIGH MOON gets a lot of favorable comments in the fan press and PVP is consistently popular as well.

SPECIAL AWARD FOR HUMOR IN COMICS

Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, “BEASTS OF BURDEN”, Dark Horse Books

Jeff Kinney, “DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW”, Amulet Books

Roger Landridge, “THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK”, BOOM! Studios

Bryan Lee O’Malley, “SCOTT PILGRIM #5’, Oni Press

Andrew Peopy, “THE ADVENTURES OF SIMONE & AJAX: A CHRISTMAS CAPER”,  ComicMix

I recently read a SCOTT PILGRIM book for the first time and was somewhat impressed, but it didn’t do for me all the things that THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK does.  Such a delightful read for any age group.

SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION

“ART OF HARVEY KURTZMAN: THE MAD GENIUS OF COMICS”, by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle, Abrams ComicArts

“THE BRINKLEY GIRLS: THE BEST OF NELL BRINKLEY’S CARTOONS FROM 1913 –1940”, edited by Trina Robbins, Fantagraphic Books

“GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975)”, by Seth, Drawn and Quarterly

“THE ROCKETEER: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES” by Dave Stevens, edited by Scott Dunbier, IDW

“SECRET IDENTITY: THE FETISH ART OF SUPERMAN’S CO-CREATOR JOE SHUSTER”, edited by Craig Yoe, Abrams ComicArts

“WEDNESDAY COMICS”, edited by Mark Chiarello, DC Comics

Good choices all, but another no-brainer for me.  I’m MAD for the KURTZMAN book!”

BEST BIOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL OR JOURNALISTIC PRESENTATION

“ALTER-EGO”, edited by Roy Thomas, TwoMorrows

“ART OF HARVEY KURTZMAN: THE MAD GENIUS OF COMICS’, by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle, Abrams ComicArts

“THE BEST OF SIMON AND KIRBY”, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby; edited by Steve Saffel, Titan Books

“THE COMICS JOURNAL”, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean and Kristy Valenti, Fantagraphic Books

“UNDERGROUND CLASSICS”, by James Danky and Denis Kitchen, Abrams ComicArts

C’mon now.  They’re called the HARVEY awards.  Give it to the KURTZMAN book.

BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY

“ALEC: THE YEARS HAVE PANTS”, by Eddie Campbell, Top Shelf

“ASTERIOS POLYP”, by David Mazucchelli, Pantheon

“GANGES #3”, by Kevin Huizenga, Fantagraphic Books

“GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975)”, by Seth, Drawn and Quarterly

“JONAH HEX #50”, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, artwork by Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics

“RICHARD STARK’S PARKER: THE HUNTER”, by Darwyn Cooke, IDW

“WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW?”, by Brian Fies, Abrams ComicArts

I’m sure there’s some great reading here which I’ll need to pursue.  The only work I read is ASTERIOS POLYP and I feel it will win.  It’s that good!

That completes the list of nominees.  Whew, are my hands tired!  Best of luck to all the nominees. May the best of the best be the winners.

Comments

  1. I'm pretty much torn between all of the books in the "Best New Series" category, but with much debate I'd probably give it to Sweet Tooth--just barely ahead of The Unwritten, only because I feel like Sweet Tooth has a touch more originality. With that said, The Unwritten is doing brilliant things with the Harry Potter idea, and I'd have no problem with...well, with any of the books winning, really.

    Strange Tales is absolutely worth a read, as some of the best indie talents lend their pens to Marvel characters. In a way, it's like an oddball Wednesday Comics.

    Book of Genesis is a gorgeous, but dense, read (obvious, given the nature of the book.) But Crumb can draw the heck out of a phone book--being given the Bible to go nuts with can only be a good thing. I should go back to it.

    I am astonished that you picked Mutts out of the syndicated options. That is, by far, one of my least favorite strips in the newspaper--and I'm one of the biggest animal people you'll meet. Different strokes, I suppose.

    As a general rule, anything by Naoki Urasawa is absolutely worth a read. Pluto is amazing, and 20th Century Boys is pretty freaking good too.

    High Moon should win the online category by far.

    The Muppet Show is great, but I'd hand the award to Scott Pilgrim or Beasts of Burden, personally.

    I haven't actually seen the Kurtzman book, but it would have to be something very special to beat the presentation of Wednesday Comics, be it in the individual issues or the collection. I can't imagine Wednesday Comics not winning.

    You are depriving yourself of something special by having not read Richard Stark's Parker: the Hunter, by Darwyn Cooke.

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  2. Professional cartoonists apparently think "Mutts" and "Get Fuzzy" are brilliant, but I've never liked either one. I don't know why "Foxtrot" is even nominated, since there's only one new strip a week now. I do like "Pearls Before Swine" a lot, but "Cul de Sac" is in a different league altogether. (I don't know if it's in any of the local papers, but it can be read daily at gocomics.com and there are a couple of collections available in bookstores.)

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