Only a quick look at the winners list..
Best Short Story:
"Unfamiliar," by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, in The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft (Dark Horse Books)
Just the idea of these two working together should get an Eisner. Nice to see Dark Horse taking so many categories this year. If only the other non-Big-2 comics publishers were so lucky. Not to mention the other women.
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot):
Eightball #23: "The Death Ray," by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics)
Indisputable. Certainly the best superhero comic I read last year. Time will tell, but I think it's one of the best single issues I've ever read.
Best Serialized Story:
Fables #19-27: "March of the Wooden Soldiers," by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and Steve Leialoha (Vertigo/DC)
On my To-Read list for quite a while now but I've never quite picked it up.
Best Continuing Series:
The Goon, by Eric Powell (Dark Horse)
Even though it's not my pick, I'm happy with this. Very entertaining comic. Best Limited Series:
DC: The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)
Meh. I know people who flipped for this, and all, but how could it NOT be WE3?
Best New Series:
Ex Machina, by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Fesiter (WildStorm/DC)
Again not what I would have picked, but. Okay.
Every time I conclude that Vaughan's used every trick in his bag, he comes out with another good idea. Excellent mix of politics, police beats, and fantasy.
Best Publication for a Younger Audience:
Plastic Man, by Kyle Baker and Scott Morse (DC)
I'd like to see more competition in this category. But this would still win.
Best Humor Publication:
The Goon, by Eric Powell (Dark Horse)
Michael Chabon Presents The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, edited by Diana Schutz and David Land (Dark Horse)
Really? Chris Ware's cover comic alone on McSweeny's #13 should have won it for them.
Best Digital Comic:
Mom's Cancer, by Brian Fies
Not familiar with this.
Best Graphic Album-New:
The Originals, by Dave Gibbons (Vertigo/DC)
I enjoyed this more for the pleasure of seeing Gibbons' artwork again than for much else. It would make my top ten, maybe. I thought Suspended in Language was a deserving choice, but most of my favorites were not nominated.
Best Graphic Album-Reprint:
Bone One Volume Edition, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
We all expected Bone to get this, and it's right in the spirit of the Eisners. But for my money the book of the year was LOCAS.
Best Archival Collection/Project:
The Complete Peanuts, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
This should be true for a long time to come.
Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material:
Buddha, vols. 3-4 by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
Absolutely, and I hope this inspires more people to check this out.
I call Epileptic for this slot next year.
Brian K. Vaughan, Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC); Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC); Runaways (Marvel)
Vaughn has grown on me. I'm not really a fan of Y:The Last Man, to the constant consternation of the dozen or so people that have tried to pass it on to me. But Ex-Machina and Runaways are good, classic serials, and Vaughn has a good grasp of how to do a monthly. Not much heft to it, but fun reads.
Paul Chadwick, Concrete: The Human Dilemma (Dark Horse)
YESSSSSSS!!!! Now THAT'S what I'm talking about. This is a guy who knows how to make a great comic. Wonderfully skilled artist with great layouts, and a very thoughtful and heartfelt writer. I'm impressed that he has continued to stick with the Concrete project for so long and how it has continued to pay off in spades, story-wise. With a truly drastic plot development that will change the direction of the series for good, I am very excited for more CONCRETE.
Kyle Baker, Plastic Man (DC); Kyle Baker, Cartoonist (Kyle Baker Publishing)
Yes and yes. Baker continues to put out beautiful work seemingly effortlessly (which any conessiour of comedy will tell you is the secret to Making It Funny - lots of hard work made invisible). Interesting that they left off BIRTH OF A NATION and THE BAKERS from this list, both of which I like even better than the above comics. Very interesting indeed.
Expect to see Kyle Baker back at the Eisners next year for NAT TURNER, although not in this category.
Best Penciller/Inker (tie):
John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Planetary (WildStorm/DC); I Am Legion: The Dancing Faun (Humanoids/DC); Frank Quitely, WE3 (Vertigo/DC)
Hooray for both. I think they're both amazing, although I would give the edge to Quitely for WE3. He did some seriously innovative stuff for a book as mainstream as it was.
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art):
Teddy Kristiansen, It's a Bird... (Vertigo/DC)
Meh. It was attractive enough, but when I think Multimedia I still think David Mack.
Dave Stewart, Daredevil, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Six, Captain America (Marvel); Conan, BPRD (Dark Horse); DC: The New Frontier (DC)
Laura Martin (formerly DePuy) should always take this category. She's been head-and-shoulders above the rest for the last several years.
Todd Klein, Promethea; Tom Strong; Tom Strong's Terrific Tales (ABC); Wonder Woman (DC); Books of Magick: Life During Wartime; Fables; WE3 (Vertigo/DC); Creatures of the Night (Dark Horse)
Todd Klein is very deserving. One of the best and most distinctive in the business. Too bad this is all the ABC comics could take this year.
Best Cover Artist:
James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); Green Arrow, Batgirl (DC)
Hell yeah. Beautiful covers. Well deserved.
Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition: I don't understand giving this particular award to a guy writing a half dozen Marvel titles. I thought the point was to draw attention to an unknown, not to someone whose books automatically get the Marvel Shelfing Treatment. There are so many truly little-known writers and artists who could have benefited far more from this award. I'm not knocking Sean McKeever's work, I just think he's in the wrong category this year. A few years ago, when he was just doing The Waiting Place, maybe, but not now.
Sean McKeever (A Waiting Place; Mary Jane; Inhumans; Sentinels)
Last year Derek Kirk Kim took this award for his Same Difference collection. Other past winners include Dylan Horrocks, Jason Shiga, and Alex Robinson.
One of these things is not like the others...
Not much to say about the rest, except that Seth certainly deserves the design award for the Peanuts reissues . Congratulations to all the winners. They're all very talented. I can't very excited about such a mainstream list... But I'm sure the vast majority of people who read about the San Diego con for the lastest Infinite Crisis news are complaining about how UNmainstream it is, and so it has been and so it shall be. And I curl up in my bunker with all the comics for which there is no room in the Direct Market stores and think less and less about the so-called Comics Conversation.