Countdown To The Eisners by Cameron Hatheway: Best Continuing Series And Best Limited Series

Cameron Hatheway writes for Bleeding Cool;

This week the two categories I’ll be taking a look at are Best Continuing Series and Best Limited Series. Right before the Eisner winners are announced July 13th at Comic-Con International, I’ll write-up my list of nominees for the phantom Best New Series category that was erased from the list of nominations. If you need a reminder of what’s been nominated, you can find the entire list right here, and see what I chose last week right here.

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 blackmailing Larry Marder so I can be eligible to vote next year, let us resume our trek!

Best Continuing Series

Daredevil, by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
Rachel Rising, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli (Marvel)
Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)

Who I think should win:

Daredevil, by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)

For years Daredevil felt like it was stuck in the same depressing loop, with no happy ending for Matt Murdock (or the readers) in sight. As soon as Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera took over, it was suddenly fun and enjoyable again. It wasn’t as if all continuity for the past five years was swept underneath the rug and the character started with a clean slate, but a new direction for the series was definitely needed.

Mark Waid does a superb job making Daredevil a lighthearted hero once again, even providing him with almost the same entertaining snappy one-liners Spider-Man is best known for. Underneath the costume, Matt is still the same all-star lawyer, only now it’s a little harder getting clients while the Daredevil rumors are still running wild in the media. Battles with Captain America, Klaw, and Bruiser are some of the highlights of this series, including the budding mystery of the Omegadrive.

Even the art conveys a more casual-yet-action-packed tone for the character, as Martin the Riveras (live this Friday at the House of Blues) go to town on what Matt’s world of sounds and vibrations look like.

Overall it’s the perfect package for new and old readers, easily accessible to all who decide to pick it up and enjoy.

Who could win: Rachel Rising, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)

Who I think should have been nominated: Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo)

Best Limited Series

Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X, by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener (Red 5)
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel/Icon)
Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance, by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso (DC)
The New York Five, by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly (Vertigo/DC)
Who Is Jake Ellis? by Nathan Edmondson & Tonci Zonjic (Image)

Who I think should win:

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel/Icon)

The Criminal series by Brubaker and Phillips has been going strong for six volumes now, and while it did win the Eisner for Best New Series back in 2007, I feel like they’re due for another one. This limited series in particular deserves all the attention it’s been getting due to the creative and quirky ways they incorporated different styles throughout the story. It begins with Phillips’ well-known gritty and intense style for the present day, and suddenly turns on a dime and reverts back to a simpler Archie Comics look and feel. So in a nutshell, Brubaker and Phillips are beautifully incorporating the Archie mythos into a new Criminal story.

Brubaker very craftily gives the reader winks and nudges with parallels between the classic Archie characters and a few new faces in the Criminal universe. Riley Richards (Archie) is unhappily married to Felicity (Veronica), and works for her multimillionaire father. Returning home to see his own dying father, he reconnects with his friends Lizzie (Betty) and Freakout (Jughead) and remembers how happy he once used to be. The only way he can ever go back to enjoying life again is if he was to suddenly find himself single, and that’s when the scheming begins.

The flashbacks to the simpler times with the blend of teenage innocence and adult situations catch you off-guard at first, but immediately you get used to the flow of the narration. Back to the present, it’s the perfect setting to the classical noir look and feel. The story takes you on twists and turns, and by the end you’re not entirely sure if it’s possible for Riley to get away with the perfect crime. While I won’t spoil the ending, I will say it’s incredibly satisfying.

Who could win: Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X, by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener (Red 5)

Who I think should have been nominated: American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest, by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (DC/Vertigo)

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 adventures in cooking in the nude on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

It's Comic Con week! Comics, Film, TV, and much more... Check out complete coverage on the Bleeding Cool San Diego Comic Con Hub.