With the drama* of the previous year behind them, a room full of impressively talented comic professionals gathered at the Baltimore Comic Con last night to present the 2011 Harvey Awards.
For those not familiar, the Harveys (named after comics legend Harvey Kurtzman, founder of MAD Magazine) are the Tony Awards to the Eisner's Oscars. Given to comic creators and professionals, the Harvey Awards are important because winners are determined by peer ballot. It is a great honor to win a Harvey, as it is an honor to even be nominated – hell, it's an honor to be sent a ballot and asked to vote for the awards.
For those who haven't been to Baltimore Comic Con, what this con is about can be summed up in a very salient quote by Denis Kitchen, "[I'm not knocking San Diego, but it's become 'the' show for Hollywood], whereas Baltimore Comic Con has become 'the' show for comics in America."
Fittingly, last night in addition to presenting awards for the best work of the previous year, special awards were presented to Paul McSpadden (Harvey Awards organizer,) Mike Gold (Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award) and Stan Lee (Heroes Initiative Lifetime Achievement).
Highlights, of course, included PVP creator Scott Kurtz's comic hosting, another impressively short acceptance speech by Mark Morales and -without a doubt- the ever spry, wickedly wry remarks of one Mr. Stan "The Man" Lee.
(Oh let's face it, Stan blew everyone previous out of the water with his awesomeness and everyone who followed was somewhat ignored because the audience was still giggling about what Stan said. Excelsior, Stan!)
Combined with a very nice meal and a -frankly- comic nerd's wet dream of a swag bag (no you cannot have mine**) the 2011 Harvey Awards were a fine way to spend a Saturday night. Here is who won:
Best Letterer – John Workman, THOR (Marvel Comics)
Best Colorist – Jose Villarrubia, Cuba: My Revolution (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Best Syndicated Strip or Panel – Doonesbury, Gary Trudeau (Universal Press Syndicate)
Best Online Comics Work – Hark! A Vagrant, Kate Beaton
Best American Edition of Foreign Material – Blacksad, Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse Comics)
Best Inker – Mark Morales, THOR (Marvel Comics)
Best New Series – American Vampire Scott Snyder, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Most Promising New Talent – Chris Samnee, Thor: The Mighty Avenger (Marvel Comics)
Special Award for Humor in Comics – Roger Langridge, The Muppet Show (BOOM! Studios)
Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers – Tiny Titans, Art Baltazar and Franco (DC Comics)
Best Graphic Album Previously Published – Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites, Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse Comics)
Best Anthology – Popgun #4, edited by D.J. Kirkbride, Thony Wu & Adam P. Knave (Image Comics)
Best Domestic Reprint Project – Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer Artist's Edtion, designed by Randall Dahlk and edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)
Best Cover Artist – Mike Mignola, Hellboy (Dark Horse Comics)
Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation – The Art of Jamie Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death, Todd Hignite (Abrams ComicArts)
Special Award for Excellence in Presentation – Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer Artist's Edtion, designed by Randall Dahlk and edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)
Best Graphic Album Original – Scott Pilgrim Volume 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, Bryan Lee O'Malley (Oni Press)
Best Continuing or Limited Series – Love and Rockets: Volume 3, Jamie and Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
Best Writer – Roger Langridge, Thor: The Mighty Avenger (Marvel Comics)
Best Artist – Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark's Parker: The Outfit (IDW Publishing)
Best Cartoonist – Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark's Parker: The Outfit (IDW Publishing)
Best Single Issue or Story – Daytripper, Fabio Moon and Gabiel Ba (Vertigo/DC Comics)
*What with no throw down between Sergio and Mark Waid how could it be as dramatic as 2010's Harvey Awards?
**Check my Twitter feed later today when I post what's in the bag so you can be appropriately jealous. Oh yeah and I got to meet Stan Lee, too. Suck it, mere mortals! (Just kidding!!)