Countdown To The Eisners by Cameron Hatheway

  Cameron Hatheway writes from Bleeding Cool;

As many of you know, the 2012 Eisner Nominees were announced earlier this week. As usual with the awards, there were some surprises and some snubs all around. Hell, an entire category was snubbed completely this year! With the winners being announced July 13th at Comic-Con International, this gives me enough time to share with you every week my picks of what I feel should win in each category.

Keep in mind I cannot vote for who wins (nor can you, probably), as per the rules. However, that’s not keeping me from being vocal regardless!

Who is not eligible to vote?

  • Comics press or reviewers (unless they are nominees)
  • Non-creative publisher staff members (PR, marketing, assistants, etc.)
  • Fans

Before I get back to work on my OGN so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!

Best Short Story Nominees

“A Brief History of the Art Form Known as Hortisculpture,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #12 (Drawn & Quarterly) “Harvest of Fear,” by Jim Woodring, in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #17 (Bongo)
“The Seventh,” by Darwyn Cooke, in Richard Stark’s Parker: The Martini Edition (IDW)
“The Speaker,” by Brandon Graham, in Dark Horse Presents #7 (Dark Horse)

Who I think should win:

“A Brief History of the Art Form Known as Hortisculpture,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #12 (Drawn & Quarterly)

Adrian Tomine does a superb job introducing us to a landscaper who pursues a new form of art that’s a combination of gardening and sculpture, only to have problems getting the product to become popular and profitable. For six years Harold tries convincing family and friends of his seemingly natural talent, only to finally become aware that his passion might be draining his family’s finances and damaging his reputation with the neighbors.

The Hortisculptures throughout the story are beautifully quirky, and only Harold can see it. The owner of the local nursery doesn’t see them selling at his store, he can’t give them away for free to his clients, and even Harold’s own daughter can’t easily defend her dad’s works of art to her friends. Hurt, Harold comes to the realization that perhaps he was just born in the wrong era, and society doesn’t see the true beauty of his craft.

The determination of Harold, the humor throughout, and the feeling of neglect are all things that we as the audience can relate to, and forms a special connection to the story. Both storytelling and art style of Tomine reminds me of Chris Ware in some regards, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Who could win: “The Speaker,” by Brandon Graham, in Dark Horse Presents #7 (Dark Horse)

Who I think should have been nominated: “Isolation” by Eric Powell, in Dark Horse Presents #5 (Dark Horse)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot) Nominees

Daredevil #7, by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)
Ganges #4, by Kevin Huizenga (Fantagraphics)
Locke & Key: Guide to the Known Keys, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Princeless #3, by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin (Action Lab)
The Unwritten #24: “Stairway to Heaven” by Mike Carey, Peter Gross, and Al Davison (Vertigo/DC)

Who I think should win:

Locke & Key: Guide to the Known Keys, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)

For longtime fans of this brilliant series, this one-shot was the story we’ve been asking for; a definitive list of the keys and their purposes. Not only that, but Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez treat us with a heartwarming story revolving around an earlier generation of Lockes, the true keepers of the keys. The key highlighted in this story is the Key to the Moon, allowing the user to open a door in reality, a space between this life and the next. The backstage of life, as it were.

Rodriguez’s crisp art flows beautifully through every page, illustrating everything from far-off lands of Poet-Kings, to the ‘wild and untamed west.’ Hill’s story choked me up a little at the end, giving us an ending similar to one of Stephen Moffat; everyone lives, and continues to gallivant off on never-ending adventurers.

Even if you’ve never read an issue of Locke & Key before (blasphemy), you would still have a magical time with this one-shot.

Who could win: Daredevil #7, by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)

Who I think should have been nominated:Detective Comics #881, by Scott Snyder, Francesco Francavilla, and Jock (DC)

Who do you think should win / been nominated?

Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner, a weekly audio podcast. You can follow his every move on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

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