Countdown To The Eisners by Cameron Hatheway – Best Short Story

Cameron Hatheway writes;

As many of you know, the 2013 Eisner Nominees were announced last month. Last year I wrote a weekly column on the nominees and who I thought should win, could win, and should have been nominated, and did pretty well with my overall guesstimations. As usual with the Eisners, there were surprises all around, with the main one this year being the multiple indie nominees flooding the categories. With the winners being announced July 19th at Comic-Con International, this gives me enough time to share with you my picks of who I feel should win in each category in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. Today I'll be focusing on the Best Short Story category.

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.)
  • Fans

Before I get back to work on inking All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder #11 so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!


Best Short Story

"A Birdsong Shatters the Still," by Jeff Wilson and Ted May, in Injury #4 (Ted May/Alternative)

Based on a true story by writer Jeff Wilson, we follow five Iron Maiden fans as they make their way to detention. They decide to get high beforehand, causing each of them to trip-out in their own special way. They manage to still make too much noise while trying to remain quiet during detention, which leads to many comical situations. The black and white art does a lot of the storytelling, which is nice. Prepubescent mustaches, concert tees, and blue jeans; I think we've all been there at one point or another.

"Elmview" by Jon McNaught, in Dockwood (Nobrow)

We follow the day in the life of a young man who works at a nursing home in the town of Elmview. Mark's daily tasks include prepping the food, delivering the tea, and cleaning for  the elderly residents. The different perspectives from both nature and the residents make for some beautiful storytelling with such a limited use of colors.

"Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch," by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)

While the real story of what really happened during the moon launch was the main focus, the ads for Roman Pizza Garden Style Ranch Dressing stole the show, as well as my heart. I would definitely love to try a talking salad dressing that gave my partner and me syphilis. The whole story is just plain silly, with sight gags such as the press versus NASA being highly entertaining. The whole moon landing was just so a multi-millionaire could receive head from his wife (true story).

"Moving Forward," by drewscape, in Monsters, Miracles, & Mayonnaise (Epigram Books)

Another true story, this one revolving around the author drewscape who can't get his driver's license in Singapore. I found it extremely relatable to me, for it took me three tries until I finally got my license back in the day. Andrew feels like he's stuck in a rut, being single, unable to drive, and stuck in the same position at work. After two years of failing his driving tests, he changes instructors and finally passes. He ends up doing very well for himself after acquiring the license, and he even shows proof at the end of the comic. It feels like his old driving instructor Mr. Kok just wanted a friend to hang out with this whole time, and just didn't push him hard enough.

"Rainbow Moment," by Lilli Carré, in Heads or Tails (Fantagraphics)

A conversation between two friends slowly starts to dive into another story, and from there into another, and another before finally coming around full circle. It was like the movie Inception, only with memories of the various characters. Very quirky cubism-like art by Carré, and great use of colors in the flashbacks. In the end you get a very interesting description of a 'Rainbow Moment' is, which causes you to think back to a time where you may have had one yourself.


Who I think should win:
"Elmview" by Jon McNaught, in Dockwood (Nobrow)

From the opening pages I was completely in love with the beautiful use of colors, and the art style is very pleasant to look at as well. Every object was so simply illustrated, and the reflections out the various residents' windows were very unique. McNaught's style reminds me of a blend of Mazzuchelli's Asterios Polyp and Chris Ware.

I could definitely feel the early morning setting, and the way McNaught went about conveying the birds to the television commercials felt like something really special.

Who I think could win:
"Rainbow Moment," by Lilli Carré, in Heads or Tails (Fantagraphics)

The style of storytelling was very intriguing, and I enjoyed the constant journey further down the rabbit hole. Every character's memory had a different color, in the end made for a very nice rainbow of sorts.


Who I think should have been nominated:
"Ghost for Hire," by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire, in Ghosts (DC/Vertigo)

Two brothers, one living and one a ghost, scare people out of houses for cash. A very sweet and endearing story by Johns and Lemire, it's nice to see these two working together outside of the superhero stuff.

Who do you think should win / been nominated?

Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy's Comic Corner and Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Sonoma State STAR. You can illustrate your own short story starring him on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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