The nominees for the 2016 Harvey Awards have been announced, and they’re pretty surprising. The Harvey’s usually present a fair balance of Marvel, Image, eclectic, and a couple DC titles, but this year Valiant got 50 nominations. Fifty! I keep telling myself to read more Valiant comics, but there’s only so much time in the week and money in the wallet. As always, the winners will be crowned at Baltimore Comic Con on September 3.
Here’s the list of some the noms, with my thoughts.
Laura Allred, SILVER SURFER, Marvel Comics
Ulises Arreola, NINJAK, Valiant Entertainment
David Baron, DIVINITY, Valiant Entertainment
Jordie Bellaire, INJECTION, Image Comics
Laura Martin, RAGNAROK, IDW Publishing
Brian Reber, X-O MANOWAR, Valiant Entertainment
Comic book coloring isn’t something I paid a lot of attention to until recently, and it was Jordie’s work that helped get my attention. That said, I wasn’t a fan of Injection (despite it being a Warren Ellis joint), and Laura Allred’s work on Silver Surfer has been phenomenal. I’d give it to her—but I haven’t read the other nominees.
BEST SYNDICATED STRIP or PANEL
BIZARRO, Dan Piraro, King Features Syndicate
BLOOM COUNTY, Berkeley Breathed, Universal Uclick
DICK TRACY, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, Tribune Content Agency
MUTTS, Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, Stephan Pastis, Universal Uclick
PHOEBE AND HER UNICORN, Dana Simpson, Universal Uclick
ZIPPY THE PINHEAD, Bill Griffith, King Features Syndicate
Another category I don’t care much about, but any opportunity to sing Berk Breathed praises must be taken!
Klaus Janson, DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE, DC Comics
Seth Mann, NINJAK, Valiant Entertainment
Danny Miki, BATMAN, DC Comics
Tom Palmer, BLOODSHOT REBORN, Valiant Entertainment
Joe Rivera, THE VALIANT, Valiant Entertainment
Ryan Winn, DIVINITY, Valiant Entertainment
I love Klaus Janson, but Dark Knight III is just bad. It’s badly written, badly drawn, and, yes, badly inked. I haven’t read most of the Valiant books here, but I’m a big fan of Bloodshot Reborn (not necessarily for the inking, but whatever). Mostly, I wanted to show how much ass Valiant is kicking. They almost swept the category!
BEST NEW SERIES
ARCHIE, Archie Comics
BLOODSHOT REBORN, Valiant Entertainment
GIANT DAYS, BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios
PAPER GIRLS, Image Comics
THE VISION, Marvel Comics
All strong series here—very cool to not disagree with any of the nominiations. My favorite, though, is Vision. Hands down. It’s an amazing book, unlike anything Marvel has ever done, and needs recognition for that. Heck, it needs special recognition being that it comes from one of the big two but is decidedly thoughtful and un-corporate.
MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT
Raul Allen, WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR, Valiant Entertainment
Robert Gill, BOOK OF DEATH, Valiant Entertainment
Tom King, THE VISION, Marvel Comics
Dan Mora, KLAUS, BOOM! Studios
Lissa Treiman, GIANT DAYS, BOOM! Studios
Tom King. Not just for Vision, but for everything he’s doing. King is the most interesting writer in comics right now.
SPECIAL AWARD FOR HUMOR IN COMICS
James Asmus, QUANTUM AND WOODY MUST DIE!, Valiant Entertainment
Elliott Kalan, UNITY #25, Valiant Entertainment
Michael Kupperman, UNITY #25, Valiant Entertainment
Rafer Roberts, X-O MANOWAR #38, Valiant Entertainment
Fred Van Lente, IVAR, TIMEWALKER, Valiant Entertainment
Chip Zdarsky, HOWARD THE DUCK, Marvel Comics
I love Asmus’ Quantum and Woody, great stuff. I don’t know most of the others, but please not Zdarsky. Anyone but him. The new Howard is a mockery of the original, and probably has Steve Gerber spinning in his grave. Also, again, look at Valiant kicking everyone else’s asses!
SPECIAL AWARD for EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION
BLOODSHOT REBORN, Rian Hughes, Jeff Lemire, Warren Simons, and Kyle Andrukiewicz, Valiant Entertainment
BOOK OF DEATH, Tom Muller, Dylan Todd, Warren Simons, and Travis Escarfullery, Valiant Entertainment
DIVINITY, Tom Muller, Warren Simons, Dylan Todd, and Matt Kindt, Valiant Entertainment
NINJAK, Rian Hughes, Tom Muller, Matt Kindt, Warren Simons, and Tom Brennan, Valiant Entertainment
PEANUTS: A TRIBUTE TO CHARLES M. SCHULZ, Scott Newman, KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios
THE VALIANT, Rian Hughes, Paolo Rivera, Dylan Todd, Warren Simons, and Kyle Andrukiewicz, Valiant Entertainment
BEST COVER ARTIST
David Aja, HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
Raul Allen, IVAR, TIMEWALKER, Valiant Entertainment
Mike Del Mundo, ELEKTRA, Marvel Comics
Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic, DIVINITY, Valiant Entertainment
David Lafuente, WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR, Valiant Entertainment
Lewis LaRosa, NINJAK, Valiant Entertainment
Paolo Rivera, THE VALIANT, Valiant Entertainment
Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics
Matt Taylor, ARCADIA, BOOM! Studios
I don’t understand how Vision and Ant-Man didn’t get nominated because they had the best covers of the year. Elektra’s covers were excellent (but were fishwrap, really, because the interior stunk). But if Saga’s on the list, Saga wins. Every time. Every category. Oh, and how is Hawkeye STILL a nominee? It’s been over forever!
BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES
BITCH PLANET, Image Comics
BLOODSHOT REBORN, Valiant Entertainment
BOOK OF DEATH, Valiant Entertainment
DIVINITY, Valiant Entertainment
GIANT DAYS, BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box
NINJAK, Valiant Entertainment
SAGA, Image Comics
SOUTHERN BASTARDS, Image Comics
THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL, Marvel Comics
OK, this is just getting ridiculous. Is Valiant really better than Image? I have to vote for Bitch Planet here. Saga is clearly the better comic. Nothing is better than Saga. But Bitch Planet is excellent, and Saga wins all the awards every time. I wouldn’t be sad if Southern Bastards won either, even if last year wasn’t its best year. Bloodshot is terrific, but it’s not close to being the best of the year.
Jason Aaron, SOUTHERN BASTARDS, Image Comics
Jeff Lemire, BLOODSHOT REBORN, Valiant Entertainment
Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA, Image Comics
Mark Waid, ARCHIE, Archie Comics
Willow Wilson, MS. MARVEL, Marvel Comics
Both Bastards and Ms. Marvel had probably their worst years last year. Saga’s here, so of course Vaughan deserves to win. But how about some love to Mark Waid for revitalizing a book nobody thought could be brought back?
Greg Capullo, BATMAN, DC Comics
Jason Latour, SOUTHERN BASTARDS, Imag Comics
Chris Samnee, DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics
Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics
Mico Suayan, BLOODSHOT REBORN, Valiant Entertainment
Capullo’s work on Batman is terrific, as was Samnee’s Daredevil. All the nominees are good, but Staples is undefeatable.
Asaf Hanuka, THE REALIST
Matt Kindt, UNITY #25
Michael Kupperman, UNITY #25
Terry Moore, RACHEL RISING
Rafer Roberts, X-O MANOWAR #38
Stan Sakai, USAGI YOJIMBO
I still don’t understand what makes Terry Moore a cartoonist and not an artist, but it gives him the chance to not compete with Fiona Staples. Moore’s art is astoundingly good. He needs the award, and he needs the support as Rachel Rising is entirely self-funded and published. Great comic.
BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY
BLOODSHOT REBORN #1, Valiant Entertainment
BOOK OF DEATH #1, Valiant Entertainment
PEANUTS: A TRIBUTE TO CHARLES M. SCHULZ, BOOM! Studios
SILVER SURFER #11, Marvel Comics
THE VALIANT #4, Valiant Entertainment
WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR #1, Valiant Entertainment
I’m going to go with Bloodshot #1 here, although Surfer is a good competitor.
That’s it! See you when they’re announced!