It's hard being the best at something. Some people struggle for years to be the best artist or writer, putting in countless hours of work for little or no results. But to be the best at writing and illustration? It's a balancing act making sure one doesn't outshine the other, while keeping things entertaining for the reader. It's a long way to the top if you want to write and illustrate, but the nominees in today's column are the best of the best, and don't back away from the challenge. The results are beautiful, and it's truly a win-win for the fans, professionals, and the industry. If you haven't figured it out by now, today I'll be looking at the Best Writer/Artist 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.)
Before I get back to starting a Kickstarter for my DC Animals series so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!
Sergio Aragonés, Sergio Aragonés Funnies (Bongo); Groo vs. Conan (Dark Horse)
Charles Burns, Sugar Skull (Pantheon)
Stephen Collins, The Giant Beard That Was Evil (Picador)
Richard McGuire, Here (Pantheon)
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)
Raina Telgemeier, Sisters (Graphix/Scholastic)
Always humorous and extremely talented, Aragonés never ceases to entertain with every project he's a part of. Aragonés illustrating himself running wild throughout the Groo vs. Conan series in just a hospital gown, delusional and spouting things only Conan would say is truly hilarious, and had me laughing out loud on several occasions. It's also filled with tons of self-deprecating humor because of the fact he's an illustrator at MAD Magazine (which makes it even better). Not only that, but his Sergio Aragonés Funnies series is a perfect example of what he's capable of when left to his own devices.
Who I think will win:
Richard McGuire, Here (Pantheon)
We all wonder who occupied our apartments and houses before us, while romanticizing the saying "if these walls could talk." With McGurie's Here, he brilliantly gives the history of a corner of a room, spanning back thousands of years, with different overlapping images of the different time periods. It's as if all of time is happening at the same time in that one spot, and who or what occupies it forces the reader to really step back and process the complexities that McGuire has put forth, while remaining in awe at his endless creativity and imagination. It took decades for McGuire to really expand on this idea, and just reading through it, the reader can definitely tell.
Who I think should have been nominated:
Bryan Lee O'Malley, Seconds (Ballantine Books)
After the monumental success of Scott Pilgrim, O'Malley had a lot of pressure to have his next project be equally loved. Sure enough, Seconds lived up to expectations and captured everything great about O'Malley's storytelling: unique story, beautiful art, and just the right amount of humor. Watching Katie make mistakes and go deeper down the rabbit hole with the revisions is entertaining, but at the same time harrowing knowing that the results will eventually come back to bite her. And yet, she's spunky, lovable, and definitely stubborn.
Who do you think should win / been nominated?