2010 Eisner Award Nominations Thoughts

The 2010 Eisner Award Nominations (Comic-Con.Org) have been released, and for what it’s worth, I wanted to just talk for a moment about a few of the standouts (in no particular order):

Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ Media) [Best Limited Series or Story Arc and Best U.S. Edition of International Material- Asia]

One of the best comic books I have read in years.  The irony is that for a comic about robots, it has more depth and insight into the human condition than stories about “real people.”

Incognito, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon) [Best Limited Series or Story Arc]

Brubaker/Phillips are a powerhouse tag team duo in the same vein as Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale.  Whenever Brubaker/Phillips are selling something, I’m buying.

Brubaker manages to wrestle the pulp novel roots of comic books to the ground and “mainline” it directly into the super hero genre and still maintain the noir roots.  It’s an impossible task that few writers could pull off and few artists could execute on.

Even more interesting is “The Marvel Project” work that Brubaker and Steve Epting are doing as I think that each project influenced the other.

Blackest Night, by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Oclair Albert (DC) [Best Limited Series or Story Arc]

This is really an excuse to talk about both Blackest Night and Marvel’s Siege mini-series.

Geoff Johns (DC) and Brian Michael Bendis (Marvel) are the Edison/Tesla of mainstream American comic books.  The Yankees/Red Sox.  The lincoln/Douglas.  Whatever you want to call them.  The reason why Blackest Night works is the reason that Siege works.  Each series is unique to their publisher’s universe and flavor and both books are being written by writers at the top of their game and putting out stellar material.

Pick your poison (either, or both) and go to town.

Wolverine #66–72 and Wolverine Giant-Size Special: “Old Man Logan,” by Mark Millar, Steve McNiven, and Dexter Vines (Marvel) [Best Limited Series or Story Arc and Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team]

There is a law somewhere that if you write about comic books and are promoting the medium, you have to mention Mark Millar (he wrote that law apparently).

And I’m cool with that.  He’s one of my favorite writers and this series was one of my favorite things he’s written.

Scott Pilgrim vol. 5: Scott Pilgrm vs. the Universe, by Brian Lee O’Malley (Oni) [Best Humor Publication]

Along with Pluto, this is one of the best comic books of the past ten years (if not ever).  There’s a brilliance to what Brian Lee O’Malley did with this book as he blended music, manga, gaming culture and classic comic book storytelling into something so fresh and new that there’s nothing like it on the shelves.  Seriously.  If you have not read this comic book then I really think you’re missing out.

J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC) [Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team]

Greg Rucka built an amazing character with the reimagining of Kathy Kane (Batwoman) and what Williams does on the page to translate her into comic books is nothing short of breathtaking.  Williams continues to push the visual aspects of the medium with regard to sequential storytelling and use of color.  I’m very excited that he will continue working on Kane’s character in the recently announced series (Newsarama).

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