And the nominees are…

Tom (The Comics Reporter) Spurgeon was first out of the gate to post this year’s Eisner Awards nominations, and I thought I’d pull out the manga- and manhwa-related nominees with a little commentary.

Best Continuing Series

  • Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
  • This delights me, as I like 20th Century Boys just slightly more than Pluto, so I’m glad to see it get a nomination in this very high-profile category.

    I was a bit disappointed by the absence of manga in the Best Publication for Teens category, but the slate seems crazy strong, at least based on reviews that I’ve seen of the chosen works.

    Best Reality-Based Work

  • A Drifting Life, Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • A nomination for this excellent book was never really in question. It was just a matter of wondering which category (or categories) would claim it.

    Best Graphic Album — New

  • A Distant Neighborhood Vols. 1-2, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • I’m a bit surprised that GoGo Monster didn’t snag a slot here (or anywhere). But Taniguchi does admirable work, and I’m very thrilled that Fanfare/Ponent Mon’s splendid My Mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill is keeping A Distant Neighborhood company.

    Again, I’ll express some mild disappointment that there was no nod for Black Jack in the Best Archival Collection/Project — Comic Books category. That’s an impressive effort on Vertical’s part, and they deserve plaudits for it.

    Best U.S. Edition of International Material — Asia

  • The Color Trilogy, Kim Dong Hwa (First Second)
  • A Distant Neighborhood Vols. 1-2, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • A Drifting Life, Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Oishinbo a la Carte, written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by Akira Hanasaki (VIZ Media)
  • Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka, Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ Media)
  • Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
  • On the one hand, this is a generally excellent slate, and I’m thrilled to see Oishinbo included. I think I’m the only person in the world who didn’t like The Color Trilogy, so I’ll keep my opinions to myself on that front. And I don’t think it’s wrong to suggest that there might have been room here for some of the excellent works created by women, like Junko Mizuno’s Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu, Kaoru Mori’s Emma, or Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, as they really were as good as just about any other comic published last year.

    Best Writer/Artist

  • Naoki Urasawa, Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka (VIZ Media)
  • Is there some kind of record for most nominations for a single creator?

    Best Lettering

  • Adrian Tomine, A Drifting Life (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Best Comics-Related Book

  • The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga, Helen McCarthy (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater, Eric P. Nash (Abrams ComicArts)
  • It wouldn’t be an Eisner slate if Tezuka wasn’t in there somewhere. As it should be.

    Here’s a link to my post of suggestions for the Eisner nominating committee, just in case anyone feels like looking back.

    16 Responses to And the nominees are…

    1. I’m not sure about awards in a single year, but in the past seventeen years, Todd Klein won fifteen Eisners for lettering. Chris Ware won one last year, I believe when Klein wasn’t nominated, and Stan Sakai won in 1996. If that isn’t a record, I don’t know what is.

    2. Make that two of us who didn’t like The Color Trilogy, David–I found it stilted and condescending to its female characters, especially the heroine’s promiscuous friend. On the whole, though, it’s a much better assortment of titles than in previous years, so I can’t complain too vociferously.

      A side note: I was delighted to see the Shanower/Young Wizard of Oz adaptation get so much love from the Eisner committee. I think that was my favorite kid-friendly title of 2009.

    3. LOL! I opted not to mention that I disliked Color to the point of not finishing it, something that almost never happens. So make that three of us.

      Shame on me for not saying anything about no Black Jack in the nominations.

      Re: Ooku–while it’s not my favorite, I have a feeling it will get a 2010 nod, when there’s more of the series out there to garner critical acclaim.

    4. davidpwelsh says:

      David: Wow, I had no idea Klein had won that many times. I thought maybe Laura Martin had scored a similar number of nominations for her coloring, but I see that she’s only won twice.

      Kate: It’s the condescension that really bothers me. The story puts women on an uncomfortable pedestal that keeps them from seeming fully human. They’re wondrous creatures because of their capacity to wait for men, which is an icky message to me.

      Rob: At least Yoshinaga has been nominated in the past, though I would love to see her win somewhere along the line. I think you’re right about her chances next year.

    5. Make it four! I thought the first one was okay, but the second one annoyed me and I haven’t summoned the will to read three, though I have it.

    6. What a list.

      Three years ago, I would have been completely happy about these Urasawa nominations.

    7. [...] | Deb Aoki, Lauren Davis, Tom Spurgeon and David Welsh provide commentary on the 2010 Eisner Award nominees. In case you missed it, I also offered my [...]

    8. Simon Jones says:

      I know I’m pulling for Oishinbo, precisely because it isn’t another Urasawa/Taniguchi/Tatsumi book. That may be unfair, but dang it, someone else needs to be in the spotlight!

    9. davidpwelsh says:

      Simon: I have to admit that I’m pulling for Oishinbo too for the same reason (and it’s very entertaining and a really interesting publishing effort). Someone used the phrase “share the wealth,” and I’m definitely on that bus. I would have loved to see Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu and Emma get slots in the Asia category.

    10. Robin B. says:

      Honestly, I’m pleased as punch about the nominations list in general, but as always, I’m gearing up to the disappointed when the votes finally come in. Pessimistic, I know.

      David, I was struck too by the lack of manga in the teen category — that’s been true for a couple of years, as I recall, and it always puzzles me, as they are in fact the biggest consumers of manga currently (I believe.)

    11. [...] The Eisner nominations are out today, and they are more manga-riffic than ever. [...]

    12. Eva says:

      I know, I know. I’m the only one who loves the Color Trilogy. I know it has big problems, but it still got me. Consider it my Twilight.

      Like Robin, I was puzzled but not surprised to see manga left off the teen list. Like Kate, I was pleased to see Wizard of Oz make the list. As happy as I was to see manga and European titles all over the place, I was just as happy to see a number of other kid-friendly titles scattered throughout the list and not just limited to the kids and teen categories. Overall, it’s a pretty well-rounded selection of titles. Nice.

    13. davidpwelsh says:

      Robin: Nothing wrong with a little healthy pessimism, I say. And I’ll freely admit that the absence of manga from the teen category bothers me mostly because it seemed like the last, best chance for a nomination for the wonderful Fruits Basket.

      Eva: It is always really exciting to see books move out of their boxes. I was totally delighted with the number and range of nominations received by My Mommy Is in America…, for example.

    14. [...] Eisners were announced this week, and manga made quite a showing, and not just in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia.  Best Continuing, [...]

    15. [...] One more thought exercise for the weekend, still linked to the Eisner Award nominations, but this time I’m thinking about the Best Publication for Teens category. There was some lively [...]

    16. [...] created outside of the traditional comics industry. David Welsh, manga blogger extraordinaire, contemplates the recognized manga titles and, being unable to resist the temptation, offers a few more he might have included. Already [...]

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