Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Eisner Nominations: Non-Kid Category Highlights

It's amazing how quickly the world of kid-friendly comics and graphic novels has grown! In addition to a Kids Comic-Con, we now have the Kids Comic-Con Awards (the winners of which will be announced at Kids' Day at the New York Comic-Con this Sunday) and a new cateogory in the Eisner awards. In addition to the Best Publication for Kids and Best Publication for Teens categories, there are nominations throughout the list for kid-friendly and all-ages creators and works.

First, let me congratulate Jimmy Gownley whose Amelia Rules! is not only nominated in the Best Publication for Kids category, but also for Best Coloring, Best Lettering, and Best Single Issue! James Sturm's Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow is also nominated in Best Writer and Best Reality-Based Work. I'm so happy to see "kid-friendly" creators being taken seriously. Way to go Jimmy, way to go James, and way to go Eisner judging panel!

Other notable kid-friendly nominations outside the Kids and Teens categories:

The Arrival, by Shaun Tan in Best Graphic Album—New and Best Writer/Artist. If this doesn't win, I'll be shocked -- at the moment I'd say it's the best graphic novel I've ever read. It's the first thing I would hand to someone who thinks that comics can't be art or literature because it is a shining example of both.

PX! By Manny Trembley and Eric A. Anderson, www.pandaxpress.com in Best Digital Comic. Also nominated in the Teen category, this is an odd and entertaining story. I love the evil goat.

Laika, by Nick Abadzis and Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, by James Sturm and Rich Tommaso in Best Reality Based Work. I haven't had a chance to read Sturm's book but Laika, also nominated in the Teen category, is a touching and meticulously written work. It made me bawl my eyes out.

Kyle Baker, The Bakers: Babies and Kittens in Best Writer/Artist—Humor. I balked a little at paying $20 for this slim volume, but it's Kyle Baker and I would give every last cent I have just to keep him working!

Steve Hamaker, Bone, vols. 5 and 6 and Shazam: Monster Society of Evil in Best Coloring. The color Bone volumes from Scholastic are probably the most popular books in our school library - the kids fight over them constantly.

James Vining, First in Space in Special Recognition. It's funny that this story about chimps in the American space program came out at about the same time as Abadzis' Laika, which is about dogs in the Russian space program. This is not as ambitious a work as Laika, and I hope it doesn't pale in comparison because it is quite good.

Tomorrow, I'll take a look at the Kids and Teens categories.


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