That darn cat

April 6, 2006

My mind is reeling over the Eisner nominations for so many reasons, but the only one I can focus on at the moment is that wily feline, The Rabbi’s Cat.

When Chris Tamarri did his poll of comics bloggers, I remember wondering precisely which category would be most appropriate for this work (and lots of manga titles). It’s a collection of three installments that were published individually, and it’s an English translation, but, as NBC used to say during re-run season, “It’s new to you!”

Apparently the Eisner committee couldn’t decide either, as Sfar’s lovely book is nominated in both Best Graphic Album – New and Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material. I wouldn’t think that a book could be eligible for both of those, to be honest. I could certainly see how The Rabbi’s Cat might be eligible for, say, Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material and Best Publication Design, with an additional nomination for Sfar in the Best Writer/Artist or Best Writer/Artist – Humor categories, though.

But, as I said, the mind reels. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about the Sfar love. This just seems like something getting nominated for Best Play and Best Revival Tony Awards during the same season.

Oh, and I’ll just register myself as not being surprised at all that Cromartie High School got a nomination in the Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material category. It’s very entertaining in a sneakily low-brow way, but it’s also the kind of manga title that seems to have a special appeal for western comics aficionados. It has the cultural cachet of being manga without being either too conventional in style or structure or taking its subject matter at all seriously. It’s post-modern without being nouvelle, so it ultimately seems like a very safe choice.