Countdown To The Eisners 2015 – Best Graphic Album – Reprint

eisner_imageIf I’m really a fan of something, I have no problem buying it twice (or “double-dipping”). This rarely happens nowadays, but take The Umbrella Academy for instance: I bought all the issues when they first came out, then the trades and hardcovers, then eventually the deluxe edition because how could I not?! Sometime we hold dear multiple copies of something that contains the same story, and other times we long for a complete collection of every story in different collections. It can be frustrating, but then every once in a while the stars align, and the perfect collection of someone’s works comes out. That’s the moment when money is no longer an object, and you can finally rest because your journey is now complete. Today I’ll be looking at the Best Graphic Album—Reprint category.

Keep in mind I cannot vote for who wins (nor can you, probably), as per the rules. Plus voting ended June 1st. However, that’s not keeping me from being vocal regardless!

Who is eligible to vote?
Comic book/graphic novel/webcomic creators (writers, artists, cartoonists, pencillers, inkers, letterers, colorists
All nominees in any category
Comic book/graphic novel publishers and editors
Comics historians and educators
Graphic novel librarians
Owners and managers of comic book specialty retail stores

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 pitching Holy Terror 2 so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands Omnibus (Magnetic Press)

Dave Dorman’s sci-fi epic western from the 90s gets a nice facelift with this omnibus, including action-packed motorcycle chases through a dystopian desert, shootouts, and tons of collected prose. With a style reminiscent of Moebius and Geof Darrow, Dorman’s art shines beautifully once again, collecting several exciting comics (including previously unreleased works and concept art) and a history of how each pies came to be.

How to Be Happy, by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics)

Despite the title, the graphic novel isn’t a self-help book, but rather a collection of observational comics from Eleanor Davis over the years. There is a slight theme of happiness/unhappiness throughout, but it’s more than that. Davis plays with different styles, while simultaneously mesmerizing the reader with the color choices. Her watercolors in particular are beyond gorgeous, and funny enough, the reader can feel a rush of happiness after reading the book in its entirety.

Jim, by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics)

Woodring’s art has captivated hundreds of thousands over the decades, and with good reason: his style is unique is every single way, and his acid-trippy stories are incredibly entertaining. In Jim, several of his comics are collected from over the years (as well as Jim #1 in its entirety), including new art and lots of prose. Seeing his fictional self stumble into situations or adventures is really enjoyable, and the collection as a whole reminds readers why he’s such a master of the craft.

Sock Monkey Treasury, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)

Containing more than ten years of Sock Monkey and Mr. Crow adventures, Millionaire’s Sock Monkey Treasury is a must-have for any fan. It’s a fantastic look at Millionaire’s style evolving over the years, with finely detailed art and coloring. The stories are entertaining as they are macabre, and Uncle Gabby and Mr. Crow are in top-form throughout. Not only are their mini-adventures included, but also the fully-colored graphic novella “Uncle Gabby” and “The Glass Doorknob.” It’s wonderful to see all these stories together in one graphic novel.

Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll (McElderry Books)

A haunting collection of different spooky stories revolving around the woods, Carroll is a modern day Edgar Allen Poe in how she crafts her stories, and the content. She does a fantastic job sending chills down your spine, taking the reader on a journey into the dark unknown. The imagery is just as creepy as the stories themselves, making this a book you don’t want to read at bedtime.

 

through_the_woods_coverWho I think should win:
Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll (McElderry Books)

Fans of Carroll’s website have known how great her work has been for years now, but for the rest of us late arrivals to the party, this is our first look at what Carroll is capable of, and has us swooning. I loved how the woods were always tied in with the story in some way or another, and the tales of horror weren’t of an explicitly gory or violent nature, but rather eerie and creepy instead. These are the types of stories you tell around the campfire, only Carroll’s art brings another dimension to the storytelling, making you want to quickly burrow under the covers mid-switch of the light.

Through the Woods is a staple of any horror collection, and makes one gravitate towards the works of Poe and H.P. Lovecraft soon after. I look forward to seeing what Carroll has in store for us next, and pray she isn’t lurking under my bed.

Who I think will win:
Sock Monkey Treasury, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)

Millionaire’s evolution of Uncle Gabby and Mr. Crow is such a delight to read, that soon after reading the Sock Monkey Treasury I looked up the Drinky Crow Show on DVD on Amazon. Sure enough, it was never released on DVD—and that’s a crime! In the meantime, I took delight in the misadventures of the odd couple, with Millionaire’s glorious intricate art to boot.

Millionaire’s creations are an industry favorite, and such a stunning collection is guaranteed Eisner-bait.

Who I think should have been nominated:
Ant Colony, by Michael DeForge (Drawn & Quarterly)

A thrilling, twisted adventure following several different species in the insect kingdom. The way the black ants were somewhat transparent and their insides could be seen helped differentiate which ant was which, and the way the other bugs and insects were illustrated were both wild and original. I especially loved the spiders and their dog heads.

Every ant had a story; infertile queen, homosexual, godlike child, policeman who lost a partner, etc. A fascinating look at a colony, who knew that nature could be so psychedelic?

Who do you think should win / been nominated?

Cameron Hatheway is a reviewer and the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner, an audio podcast. You can follow him through the woods on Twitter @CamComicCorner.