Countdown To The Eisners by Cameron Hatheway – Digital Reality

Cameron Hatheway writes for Bleeding Cool;

It’s May already? Time certainly does fly when you’re discussing good comics, but passes by more slowly when talking about the horrible ones. This week we’ll be looking at Best Digital Comic and Best Reality-Based Work. 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 go back to cosplaying as Jackie Estradaso I can be eligible to vote next year, let us return to the nominees!

Best Digital Comic

Bahrain, by Josh Neufeld, http://www.cartoonmovement.com/comic/24
Battlepug, by Mike Norton, http://www.delilahdirk.com
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, by Tony Cliff, http://www.delilahdirk.com
Outfoxed, by Dylan Meconis, http://www.dylanmeconis.com/outfoxed
Sarah and the Seed, by Ryan Andrews, http://www.ryan-a.com/comics/sarahandtheseed01.htm

Who I think should win:

Battlepug, by Mike Norton, http://www.battlepug.com

While Mike Norton was a DC exclusive artist, he created an image for a t-shirt for the guys over at iFanboy. A few years later, and it evolved into one of the best ongoing webcomics on the internet right now. As the name suggests, the story of Battlepug has action, adventure, silliness, and pugs (which is kind of redundant, seeing how pugs are just silly to begin with). Entertaining through and through, the entire tale is being narrated by a tattooed naked woman known as Molly, giving her two dogs Colfax and Mingo quite the bedtime story.

We follow a Kinmundian warrior out for vengeance after his entire race was destroyed by a giant seal under the spell of some sort of dark magic. Very Conan the Barbarian-esque, our hero is sent into slavery for years to the King of the Northland Elves (Santa) before finally getting his revenge on the beast that slaughtered his family, and the King of the Northland Elves himself. Still craving revenge, the warrior continues on his journey though mystical lands, while meeting some interesting companions along the way.

I remember being very excited for this webcomic before it began, for Mike Norton is a magnificent artist who I’ve admired for years. With Battlepug, he proves that he’s more than just a pretty face; the dude has quite the imagination when it comes to epic storytelling as well. Although it only updates every Monday, it’s the perfect way to start out your work week with a glorious splash-page of giant pugs, bloodbaths, and the good old “Scribbly Scrabbly!” every now and then.

With such high quality art and story, it’s no wonder why Dark Horse will be collecting the first volume later this year.

Who could win: Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, by Tony Cliff, http://www.delilahdirk.com

Who I think should have been nominated: Bucko, by Jeff Parker and Erika Moen, http://www.buckocomic.com

Best Reality-Based Work

Around the World, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
Green River Killer: A True Detective Story, by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse Books)
Marzi: A Memoir, by Marzena Sowa and Sylvain Savoia (Vertigo/DC)
Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Vietnamerica, by GB Tran (Villard)

Who I think should win:

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story, by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse Books)

While I think Green River Killer is a fantastic piece of work, at the same time I find it very unsettling that the things in this graphic novel actually happened. That some human beings are able to commit such atrocities, and almost get away with it. Writer Jeff Jensen tells the story of Gary Leon Ridgeway, one of the most prolific serial killers in American history, and his father Detective Tom Jensen’s quest to nab him for the murders of almost a hundred women throughout the 1980s, a majority of them prostitutes.

After arresting Ridgeway twenty years later thanks to new DNA evidence, they kept him in a temporary holding cell in their investigation center as they try working with him to remember where he buried all the bodies. Weaving between present day and flashbacks, it’s a chilling and suspenseful story; one that reminded me of movies like Dahmer and Zodiac, or graphic novels like From Hell.

True Crime fans will definitely get a kick out of this book, and fans of great art will as well. Jonathan Case does a great job with bringing the setting of Seattle in the 1980s to life, and all the characters are still recognizable no matter what decade the story is taking place in. If this is only Jeff Jensen’s first original graphic novel and it gets an Eisner nod, I can’t wait to see what the follow-up one will be!

Who could win: Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)

Who I think should have been nominated: Paying For It, by Chester Brown (Drawn & Quarterly)

Who do you think should win / been nominated?

Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner, a weekly audio podcast. You can shower him with e-candy on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

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