By Cameron Hatheway
I wasn't fortunate enough to grow up during the Golden Age of comics, much less the other elemental ages that came after. I was the kid who had to track down old single issues of legendary comic runs that hadn't been collected at the time, and it was sometimes grueling work. When I first heard of Alan Moore's Marvelman/Miracleman, that soon became my white whale. However, the older issues could sometimes be harder to find, and unfortunately I don't have the time or resources like I once did to complete the run. It would be marvelous to have the Moore stuff reprinted for new fans to enjoy, but sadly the rights to who owns what will remain in the courtroom for several decades to come. In the meantime, let's focus on some reprinted works that are readily available, and quite stellar in their own rights. Today I'll be focusing on the Best Graphic Album-Reprint category. If you need a reminder of what's been nominated, you can find the entire list right here, and see what I chose last time right here.
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.)
Before I get back to pitching DC to reprint All-Star Batman & Robin so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!
Best Graphic Album-Reprint
Cruisin' with the Hound, by Spain (Fantagraphics)
Spain Rodriguez has had quite the wild life! In this collection of reprinted tales, we follow Spain as he grew up in Buffalo, New York. He was a part of the Road Vultures motorcycle club, and several stories revolving around the gang and their activities made for great reads. Also included is an interview with Spain that was originally published in The Comics Journal back in 1998. Be sure to enjoy this graphic novel while eating a Watt's famous Bar-B-Que pork sandwich.
Ed the Happy Clown, by Chester Brown (Drawn & Quarterly)
Review copy unavailable.
Everything Together: Collected Stories, by Sammy Harkham (PictureBox)
Review copy unavailable.
Heads or Tails, by Lilli Carré (Fantagraphics)
A wonderful collection of Lilli Carré's delightfully quaint stories and quirky stylings from over the years. One of the stories included is 'Rainbow Moment' which was also nominated for an Eisner this year. While the stories range from black and white to color, I found myself really enjoying the latter because Carré definitely knows her way around a color wheel.
King City, by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)
Following Joe, aka the Cat Master, and his multi-tooled furry friend Earthling J.J. Catsworth III, the two of them take on jobs in the shady underground world that is King City. Before Prophet and Nuclear Warheads, Graham did King City and it's a treat to see where his gargantuan imagination first sprouted. The characters, like the city itself, are quite the interesting individuals.
Originally a webcomic, Sailor Twain follows Captain Twain as he gets mixed-up in mermaids, lore, and mystery while sailing the Hudson River. The ship's owner Lafayette is also involved in some way, and is on a mission to find the possible connection to his missing brother. A great read with beautiful art.
Who I think should win:
Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel (First Second)
Mark Siegel may have started his story in the online format, but I'm afraid pixels and iPads don't do it justice; collecting his beautiful charcoal illustrations in the graphic novel format was the only way to go, and the final product from First Second is absolutely amazing. The romance between a mermaid and the ship's captain without him hearing her song was spellbinding, and the mystery surrounding her and the ship owner's missing brother kept me guessing up until the end.
Sailor Twain was one of the most enchanting graphic novels I've read all year, and is definitely worthy of the Eisner win.
It's been quite the year for Brandon Graham; the raging success of Prophet, the praise for Multiple Warheads, and the Eisner nomination for the recently reprinted King City trade paperback. With King City in particular, it's great to see an earlier look at the worlds he built from his imagination, and how every illustration and story is like nothing we've ever seen before.
Graham's storytelling reminds me a lot of Moebius, and that's the highest compliment I could ever offer.
Who I think should have been nominated:
Creepy Presents: Richard Corben, by Richard Corben (Dark Horse).
Richard Corben's classic stories in one book should be a must-own for both Creepy fans and comic lovers in general.
Who do you think should win / been nominated?