I apologize for the brevity of the article, as the Geek Say What? team prepares for WonderCon this weekend. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled articles, videos, and podcasts next week, along with some new content!
Ever since I could remember, I’ve considered myself a “writer”. I place this in quotations because I feel like anyone who says this and doesn’t have something published don’t realize the work ahead of them, and the only items I have right now are peer reviewed articles and some anthology work. But the first award that I had ever been proud of had to do with writing, and that moment in the second grade was able to motivate me all the way to this point. You know, the point that leads you to giving one’s nonsensical, half-tushied critiques to strangers while constantly being interrupted while hoping to speak profound thoughts. In short, living the dream.
I had written a masterful dissection of creation in the sequential art medium, a veritable tome that would have had Eisner and McCloud blush in its story crafting ability, aptly named “How To Make A Comic Book”. This gateway into the graphic novel world could and would not be refused by The Imagination Machine, who weeks later traveled to our school in the hopes that they could share my brilliance with the other grades. Of course, they chose to use their acting skills and their cursory knowledge of superheroes to butcher the process, and the avalanche of derisiveness and childhood bullying soon followed.
I think of this moment every time the “awards season” comes around for our medium, named after one of the most influential storytellers of all time. Are they happy they are nominated for receiving an award for a passion that they possess? Or is the art of storytelling through words and pictures a curse upon their houses? I will take those thoughts to heart as I try and parse who crayoned inside the lines the most and worded the goodest.
Best Writer & Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art)
I start this one because there is no way in Seven Hells that I’m touching this one. Did you see who’s on the list for this stuff? The sheer talent and ability of one of these people on the list makes my critique ability avert its eyes out of respect. Really, they should just place the award in the middle of the room and have them fight over the statue in a Battle Royale fashion. I mean, this is the only fair way to choose the most deserving; if we chose this way, then my money would be on Kelly Sue Deconnick taking both awards, because really, do you think Ive Svorcina could take her in a hand-to-hand fight?
Best Cover Artist
This choice is a little bit easier for me, but it’s still a toss-up between two: Fiona Staples for Saga or David Aja for Hawkeye. The former has really found her rhythm the past few years, and her covers are a great mix of brutal realism in a Romeo-and-Juliet-esque harcore science fiction backdrop. The latter though, helped revitalized a character that needed a good artist, and his pulpy and simple layouts work extremely well with the Street-Level Avenger. I’ve been a fan of Aja since his work in Immortal Iron Fist, and while I have a major soft spot for that series, Staples has made me fall in love with Saga every issue.
Best Continuing Series
East of West is a book that I constantly mention on the podcast, and Hickman and Dragotta have made something that really resonates with the readers. While its draw was a little shaky at first, I immediately fell into the story as I learned about its characters and its alternate-American histories. At an amazing price tag with a cast that has their histories speak more for them then their actions, East of West is an absolute steal. That being said, every book on this short list is definitely worth picking up, and I based this choice on what I would a reader if they wanted something challenging and engaging.
Best Limited Series
Trillium, because holy Essex County, I’ll buy anything that Jeff Lemire is on. His art style is definitely not for everyone; I don’t very much prefer it to the clean lines of Francis Manapul or the morphed realism of Gabriele Dell’Otto, but the way that he weaves a story with distortion and tight narrative is something that can’t be disputed. Lemire has had a great couple of years with Sweet Tooth and Animal Man meeting a great amount of critical acclaim, but this time-traveling love story is an emotional ride with some fitting tributes to Arthur C. Clarke and Jean Giraud.
For sake of brevity, I’ve only written of a few of my personal choices, but feel free to use the comments section below to inquire into my other picks. I don’t believe that people are very interested to hear my take on Best Scholarly/Academic work, but I’d be happy to answer any questions. At the very least, I will try and instill a sense of understanding in these subject, and try and not butcher the intents and purposes of these nominations. I mean, I’m not The Imagination Machine for Rao’s sake.
… God, I’m still so bitter about that.