Today on the corner we discuss the nominations for the 2012 Eisners: Who got one?  Who didn’t (but should have)?  Who will win?  Who should win?

And they’ve started a “Best Publication for Early Readers” category, which can only be good: If we don’t get new folks reading comics then the art form will last only as long as this generation.

Hit the break for a discussion of the nominees for this year’s awards.

Let’s start by discussing the ones who did make it.

Marvel and DC led the nominations (11 each), which isn’t a bad thing: Although I don’t like most DC Comics, they did manage to push industry sales up—way up—this year with their “new 52” banner; and although Marvel ain’t indie and often ain’t pushing the boundaries, I have to say that, page for page, they have the best quality on the market.  Here’s what’s up in the major categories:

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

Daredevil #7, by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)
Ganges #4, by Kevin Huizenga (Fantagraphics)
Locke & Key: Guide to the Known Keys, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Princeless #3, by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin (Action Lab)
The Unwritten #24: “Stairway to Heaven” by Mike Carey, Peter Gross, and Al Davison (Vertigo/DC)

Who will/should win: Although I respect Locke and Unwritten, I find them impenetrable.  Daredevil, on the other hand, is tremendous.  DD should win, but probably won’t.  They’ll probably give it to Locke or Unwritten.

Best Continuing Series

Daredevil, by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
Rachel Rising, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli (Marvel)
Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)
Who will/should win: All worthy (though I’ve never read Boys or Rachel).  I’m gonna stick with a Daredevil theme here, and pick that one as my choice for winner and as my choice for the probable winner.  Why?  I’ll bet it won’t be Usagi or Ultimate.  Rachel and Boys may split the indie voters, and therefore DD might actually take it!

Best Limited Series

Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X, by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener (Red 5)
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)
Flashpoint: Batman—Knight of Vengeance, by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso (Vertigo/DC)
The New York Five, by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly (Vertigo/DC)
Who Is Jake Ellis? by Nathan Edmondson & Tonci Zonjic (Image)
Who will/should win:  An exceptionally strong category this year.  Jake Ellis was a creative whoisdoinit (the main character has some memory issues, so it’s not really a whodunit), Azzarello created the only thing worth reading out of Flashpoint, and Brubaker and Phillips turned in what, in my opinion, was the most literary of all their Criminal volumes.  Still, they’ve done Criminal before (and won awards for it as well) so I’m going to say this one should and will go to Jake Ellis.  Oh, and while we’re on the limited series topic: Why the Hell wasn’t Nick Spencer’s Infinite Vacation nominated?!?

Best Reality-Based Work

Around the World, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
Green River Killer: A True Detective Story, by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse Books)
Marzi: A Memoir, by Marzena Sowa and Sylvain Savoia (Vertigo/DC)
Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Vietnamerica, by GB Tran (Villard)
Who will/should win:  I haven’t read all the entrants.  I enjoyed Mizuki’s book and I absolutely loved Green River Killer.  That said, I don’t know enough to predict who will win.  But if GRK won, I’d say that a deserving book won the category.

Best Writer

Cullen Bunn, The Sixth Gun (Oni)
Mike Carey, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC)
Jeff Jensen, Green River Killer: A True Detective Story (Dark Horse Books)
Jeff Lemire, Animal Man, Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown, Frankenstein:
Agent of S.H.A.D.E. (DC); Sweet Tooth (Vertical/DC)
Mark Waid, Irredeemable, Incorruptible (BOOM!); Daredevil (Marvel)
Who will/should win:  What I said up top about not getting Unwritten goes for The Sixth Gun as well; it’s a fine book, but it’s quality is often overstated.  Lemire’s work on Animal Man and Sweet Tooth are both very good, but Sweet Tooth has already won, and his other cited works are just meh.  Jeff Jensen wrote a really good graphic novel, but if you’re looking at who is the best comic book writer it should go to Mark Waid.  That said, I predict it will go to Bunn or Lemire, both favorites of Eisner types.

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

Michael Allred, iZombie (Vertigo/DC); Madman All-New Giant-Size Super-Ginchy Special (Image)
Ramón K. Pérez, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand (Archaia)
Chris Samnee, Captain America and Bucky, Ultimate Spider-Man #155 (Marvel)
Marcos Martin, Daredevil (Marvel)
Paolo Rivera/Joe Rivera, Daredevil (Marvel)
Who will/should win:  This belongs to Martin or the Riveras.  They own this category.

Best Cover Artist

Michael Allred, iZombie (Vertigo/DC)
Francesco Francavilla, Black Panther (Marvel); Lone Ranger, Lone Ranger/Zorro, Dark Shadows, Warlord
of Mars (Dynamite); Archie Meets Kiss (Archie)
Victor Kalvachev, Blue Estate (Image)
Marcos Martin, Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel)
Sean Phillips, Criminal: The Last of the Innocent (Marvel Icon)
Yuko Shimizu, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC)
Who will/should win:  Another must-win for Marcos Martin.  His Daredevil work has been whimsical, beautiful, and radically different from anything else on the market.

Next: My diatribe/discourse on the Best New Series of 2012.

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