Eternal gratitude to Robert Scott
in San Diego, CA
for offering me a VIP
seat at the 2007 Eisner Awards
. Spending an evening literally in the front row, picking up some nice swag (love those poker chips!), free drinks, and being seated between the tables of Neil Gaiman, Jill Thompson, Brian Azzarello, Roy Thomas, Paul Pope
, and Steve Rude
isn't a bad way to spend an evening. I mean really, when Paul Pope won (both times) he strolled right by my table and looked at me on his way to the stage! Hehe!
This won't be an exhaustive list of all the nominees and winners (because I'm just too tired and busy) like we did last year, but will just note some of the highlights for me. For the most part, I think the awards were right on this year, many I agreed with and very few upsets for me personally.
For Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Books, I would have liked Abandon the Old in Tokyo to win. Yes, Absolute Sandman is beautiful, but even as Gaiman's co-presenter jabbed, how many awards are we going to keep giving this guy for the same work? Sandman is brilliant. Yes. Let's move on. It's been like 10 years, people. Besides, Adrian Tomine's text pieces and the design of the Drawn & Quarterly Yoshihiro Tatsumi books are breathtaking.
Very pleased to see Jason win Best US Edition of International Material for The Left Bank Gang. All of his projects are astounding, but this one seemed to have the right balance of literary gravitas and anthropomorphic charm that transcended his usually strong offerings right into the stratoshpere.
For Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team, I would have taken a risk and gone with Niko Henrichon for Pride of Baghdad or Sonny Liew for Wonderland, but alas, it was Fables that seemed to sweep this year, including this category with Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha.
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist could have easily gone to either Nicolas De Crecy for Glacial Period (a really underappreciated book from NBM) or Ben Templesmith for Fell alone. I didn't see anything that innovative with Jill Thompson's work in The Dark Horse Book of Monsters.
For Best Cover Artist, I agree with the selection committee that James Jean's stuff is beautiful on the Fables stable, but for my money John Cassaday is the winner, showing much more versatility with Astonishing X-Men, The Escapists, and The Lone Ranger.
"Absolutely" the right choice on Best Publication Design going to Darwyn Cooke for Absolute DC: The New Frontier.
Ed Brubaker/Criminal was cleaning up this year too, but for me, Grant Morrison would have edged him out for Best Writer on All-Star Superman.
Best Writer/Artist was dead bang on with Paul Pope winning for Batman: Year 100. This was the best Batman book in the last 5 years and the first Prestige Format to go back to press for multiple printings since Alan Moore's The Killing Joke.
Totally cool to see Best Writer/Artist - Humor go to Tony Millionaire for Billy Hazelnuts. This was a great book, probably my favorite Millionaire work.
By the time we reached the Best New Series category, I knew that Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips would win for Criminal, but I was secretly hoping for The Lone Ranger by Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello. More people need to buy this book!
As if the Eisner for Best Short Story last year (Teenage Sidekick) and the Best/Writer Artist win this year wasn't proof enough, we end the shadow of a reasonable doubt with Paul Pope pulling down another win for Best Limited Series (Batman: Year 100), which firmly cements his status as Comics God.
Grant Morrison deservedly wins Best Continuing Series for All Star Superman, but like the magically delicious Scot that he is, doesn't even make an appearance to say thanks when he really is at the Con.
Best Graphic Album - Reprint goes to Absolute DC: The New Frontier, another acknowledgment of Darywn Cooke's masterpiece.
Rounding out the night was a nice win for San Francisco Bay Area native Gene Luen Yang for American Born Chinese in the Best Graphic Album - New category. A nice way to end the night as Gene brings his son to the stage and thanks the Bay Area Comic Book Scene & Retailers for part of his success.
See you next year!