Tag Archives: Will Eisner

Sunday Review: Will Eisner’s The Contract With God Trilogy

Prior to 2000 I only knew two things about Will Eisner:
1. He created comics
2. He has an Award named after him at Comic Con International

I know it sounds sacrilegious, but I grew up on superhero comics from DC and Marvel and you really never saw his name on a regular basis in any of those comics. But something special happened in May 2000 – DC Comics started Will Eisner’s The Spirit Archives. 26 Volumes in nine years, it collected every single newspaper strip of the title character whether it be from Eisner’s pen or not. It even collected comics from other publishing houses. Dark Horse got into the action with a Volume 27 reprinting their 1998 comic book run. I bought every volume as it came out and in 2010 I finally sat down and read them all in one calender year. It was a challenging task to say the least – both in size and in my wallet, but it was worth every penny. Since I finished just a few months ago I’ve been itching to read more from this master of the craft. I was pleased to find out that W.W. Norton attained the rights to several of Eisner’s other works. Among the catalog are two deluxe hardcover omnibuses that I will talk about over the course of two consecutive Sunday’s.

The first is The Contract With God Trilogy. Put simply, it is a masterwork. It’s three parts are the title graphic novel, A Life Force and Dropsie Avenue. Let’s look at the book now:

A Contract With God (1978)
Here we are brought into the Bronx, NY during the Great Depression – 55 Dropsie Avenue to be exact. We are introduced to the people that live in this tenement building. It’s a hard time for all that live there. Ethnic tensions abound and poverty is ever present. Eisner pulls no punches as he sees it like it is (and was). This includes very uncommon topics that you wouldn’t normally find in other comics of the day like violence, rape, profanity, bigotry, failure, slumlords and above all religion. You name it and it is here in gritty black and white. But always ever present is love and hope; dreams of prosperity in the well of despair. At first we have no idea who the tenants are but Eisner is a gifted writer and artist and makes us root for them all. The four short stories here all take place in the building and although they don’t crossover you are always looking in the background for a familiar face.

A Life Force (1988)
More of a single graphic novel then it’s predecessor, Eisner let’s us wander the streets in and around Dropsie and we get to witness several intertwined tales. The main protagonist searches for lost love and work all the while dealing with corruption and what makes life special. It comes down to relationships and community and the lesson that we are all spokes in the wheel. That every action has a reaction. After a few years away, Eisner gives us a richer blend of situations and at times it can be tough to keep track of everything going on. About ¾ the way in, I felt I was watching a soap opera but had no idea who the characters were and it worked better for me after I read it twice. Looking back it resonated the most with me.

Dropsie Avenue: The Neighborhood (1995)
Serving as both an origin story and an epilogue to our journey into the life of a small slice of New York over a 100 year period. From a simple farm community to prosperity, depression and renewal. We see the people struggle for survival as they deal with just more then ethnicity and race. WWI, WWII and Vietnam play minor parts as life moves along and can never be stopped – even with a gun. The people of Dropsie must play with the cards they are dealt and sometimes they gamble too much.

As far as the extras go, there isn’t much, but they are important and significant. First we have a preface by Eisner, himself, from 2004 written shortly before his death the following year. In it he guides us through his history and his reasons behind the book. Next there are 12 new illustrations created just for this volume. Even in his last years Eisner was at the top of his game and it is well shown here.

Growing up in a big city like Detroit I can relate to some of what Eisner portrays even though I am not Jewish nor a New Yorker. And if you aren’t either don’t let that stop you from reading one the the most important works of comic book literature.

Next week I’ll be taking a look at Will Eisner’s other deluxe edition – New York: Life in the Big City. I expect no less then similar unfettered themes and the true token of greatness.

The Contract With God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue
By Will Eisner
$29.95, 498 pages, W.W. Norton, 2005
Collects A Contract With God, A Life Force and Dropsie Avenue: The Neighborhood

2011 Eisner Awards: What Should Win and What Will Win

The 2011 Eisner Award Nominations came out the other day and it seems eveyone is speculating as to who the winner will be. Well, here at the CCL  we have you covered! Let’s have a little fun and guess What Should Win and What Will Win (coupled with a bit of wit and wisdom of my own). Please keep in mind this is all purely for enjoyment and we congratulate all of the nominees and publishing houses, many of whom are friends of this blog and podcast. Let’s get to it:

Best Short Story
 “Bart on the Fourth of July,” by Peter Kuper, in Bart Simpson #54 (Bongo)
 “Batman, in Trick for the Scarecrow,” by Billy Tucci, in DCU Halloween Special 2010 (DC)
 “Cinderella,” by Nick Spencer and Rodin Esquejo, in Fractured Fables(Silverline Books/Image)
 “Hamburgers for One,” by Frank Stockton, in Popgun vol. 4 (Image)
 “Little Red Riding Hood,” by Bryan Talbot and Camilla d’Errico, in Fractured Fables (Silverline Books/Image)
 “Post Mortem,” by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, in I Am an Avenger #2 (Marvel)
So much comic in such a short amount of time. Time to go back issue hunting.
What Should Win: Trick or Treat
What Will Win: I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
 The Cape, by Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella, and Zack Howard (IDW)
 Fables #100, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and others (Vertigo/DC)
 Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)
 Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #1: “Sparrow,” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
 Unknown Soldier #21: “A Gun in Africa,” by Joshua Dysart and Rick Veitch (Vertigo/DC)
When it comes to find out what comic you should be reading, no other category can help you out as much as this one.
What Should Win: Cape and Cowl
What Will Win: 100 and counting

Best Continuing Series
 Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Image)
 Echo, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
 Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
 Morning Glories, by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (Shadowline/Image)
 Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
 Scalped, by Jason Aaron and R. M. Guéra (Vertigo/DC)
All of these series are available in collected edition form and are special in their own way. Chew won Best New Series last year and Walking Dead won this category. That said, it’s Joe Hill’s turn at TV fame.
What Should Win: Brian Savage
What Will Win: Locke the door

Best Limited Series
 Baltimore: The Plague Ships, by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, and Ben Stenbeck (Dark Horse)
 Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus (Vertigo/DC)
 Daytripper, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Vertigo/DC)
 Joe the Barbarian, by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)
 Stumptown, by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth (Oni)
Joe The Barbarian just made it under the wire as #8 was released just a few weeks ago. I’m very happy it did.
What Should Win: Yo, Joe!
What Will Win: Sunday driver, yeah!

Best New Series
 American Vampire, by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albuquerque (Vertigo/DC)
 iZombie, by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred (Vertigo/DC)
 Marineman, by Ian Churchill (Image)
 Morning Glories, by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (Shadowline/Image)
 Superboy, by Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo (DC)
I don’t envy the guys who have to pick the nominees for this category. So many good comics came our the past 12 months and some much better then listed here.
What Should Win: iWant Brains!
What Will Win: Oh what a glorious day!

Best Publication for Kids
 Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean, by Sara Stewart Taylor and Ben Towle (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney/Hyperion)
 Amelia Rules!: True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know), by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
 Binky to the Rescue, by Ashley Spires (Kids Can Press)
 Scratch9, by Rob M. Worley and Jason T. Kruse (Ape Entertainment)
 Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)
 The Unsinkable Walker Bean, by Aaron Renier (First Second)
Anyone else find it funny that there are two Amelia’s listed here?
What Should Win: Scratch that itch
What Will Win: Titans! What is your profession?!

Best Publication for Teens
 Ghostopolis, by Doug TenNapel (Scholastic Graphix)
 Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, by Barry Deutsch (Amulet Books)
 Return of the Dapper Men, by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Archaia)
 Smile, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)
 Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, by G. Neri and Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low)
I’d like to know just who are these teens that are buying comics. I though they only read Manga.
What Should Win: Here today. Gone tomorrow.
What Will Win: Dapper Dan

Best Humor Publication
 Afrodisiac, by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca (Adhouse)
 Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book, by Ian Boothby, John Delaney, and Dan Davis (Bongo)
 Drinking at the Movies, by Julia Wertz (Three Rivers Press/Crown)
 I Thought You Would Be Funnier, by Shannon Wheeler (BOOM!)
 Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953, by Dave Kellett (Small Fish Studios)
 Prime Baby, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
Great Christmas presents for people in your life that understand you, but don’t understand why you like comics.
What Should Win: Oscar Gamble
What Will Win: Funny business

Best Anthology
 The Anthology Project, edited by Joy Ang and Nick Thornborrow (Lucidity Press)
 Korea as Viewed by 12 Creators, edited by Nicolas Finet (Fanfare&midot;Ponent Mon)
 Liquid City, vol. 2, edited by Sonny Liew and Lim Cheng Tju (Image)
 Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, edited by Paul Morrissey and David Petersen (Archaia)
 Trickster: Native American Tales, edited by Matt Dembicki (Fulcrum Books)
Anthologies are important on a number of fronts. Besides being fun, when you read them you can show up your LCS friends every Wednesday.
What Should Win: Seoul survivor
What Will Win: On Guard!

Best Digital Comic
 Abominable Charles Christopher, by Karl Kerschl, www.abominable.cc
 The Bean, by Travis Hanson, www.beanleafpress.com
 Lackadaisy, by Tracy Butler, www.lackadaisycats.com
 Max Overacts, by Caanan Grall, occasionalcomics.com
 Zahra’s Paradise, by Amir and Khalil, www.zahrasparadise.com
You have to wonder when the Eisner’s will expand the Digital category, it’s growing by terabytes every year.
What Should Win: Pass the Bean dip
What Will Win: Abomination!

Best Reality-Based Work
 It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
 Picture This: The Nearsighted Monkey Book, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
 Special Exits: A Graphic Memoir, by Joyce Farmer (Fantagraphics)
 Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Terrible Axe Man of New Orleans, by Rick Geary (NBM)
 Two Generals, by Scott Chantler (McClelland & Stewart)
 You’ll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage, by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)
Reality in comics, usually means tragedy, so it may be a tough read for some of you. However , if you got through Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal #3, you’ll be OK.
What Should Win: Lumber Jack of the Bayou
What Will Win: Digging in the dirt

Best Graphic Album-New
 Elmer, by Gerry Alanguilan (SLG)
 Finding Frank and His Friend: Previously Unpublished Work by Clarence ‘Otis’ Dooley, by Melvin Goodge (Curio & Co.)
 Market Day, by James Sturm (Drawn & Quarterly)
 Return of the Dapper Men, by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Archaia)
 Wilson, by Daniel Clowes (Drawn & Quarterly)
I’ve heard nothing but good things about all these books, but especially the latter two.
What Should Win: Dapper Dandy, Baby!
What Will Win: Serve and Volley

Best Graphic Album-Reprint
 The Amazing Screw-on Head and Other Curious Objects, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
 Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites, by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
 Motel Art Improvement Service, by Jason Little (Dark Horse)
 The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis, by Ian Boothby, James Lloyd, and Steve Steere Jr. (Abrams Comicarts)
 Tumor, by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon (Archaia)
 Wednesday Comics, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)
Wednesday Comics was my #1 book of 2010 and with good reason. The original newspaper comics were an undertaking the likes we rarely see in comics these days and the collected edition was exceptional.
What Should Win: Bender and Barney
What Will Win: Day 4

Best Adaptation from Another Work
 Dante’s Divine Comedy, adapted by Seymour Chwast (Bloomsbury)
 The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, adapted by Joann Sfar (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
 The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)
 7 Billion Needles, vols. 1 and 2, adapted from Hal Clement’s Needle by Nobuaki Tadano (Vertical)
 Silverfin: A James Bond Adventure, adapted by Charlie Higson and Kev Walker (Disney/Hyperion Books)
Adaptations are always tricky as they are interpretations of other great works for a brand new audience. Add to that if you mess with it too much and the natives get restless.
What Should Win: Divine intervention
What Will Win: You look Marvelous!

Best Archival Collection/Project-Strips
 Archie: The Complete Daily Newspaper Strips, 1946–1948, by Bob Montana, edited by Greg Goldstein (IDW)
 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective, by G. B. Trudeau (Andrews McMeel)
 George Heriman’s Krazy Kat: A Celebration of Sundays, edited by Patrick McDonnell and Peter Maresca (Sunday Press Books)
 Polly and Her Pals Complete Sunday Comics, vol. 1, by Cliff Sterrett, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW)
 Roy Crane’s Captain Easy, vol. 1, edited by Rick Norwood (Fantagraphics)
IDW and Dean Mullaney could win this category every year, the craftsmanship and love for the medium shows up in every book that is published. Unfortunately for them they won last year with Bloom County.
What Should Win: Tie – Polly want a comic?
What Will Win: Zonkers!

Best Archival Collection/Project-Comic Books
 Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
 The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books the Government Didn’t Want You to Read!, edited by Jim Trombetta (Abrams Comicart)
 The Incal Classic Collection, by Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius (Humanoids)
 Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts, edited by Art Spiegelman (The Library of America)
 Thirteen “Going on Eighteen,” by John Stanley (Drawn & Quarterly)
This may seem like it’s a tough one to call, but it really isn’t. The Rocketeer won last year, so I have to take it out of the runing. As far as The Incal goes, I couldn’t find any info on the Classic Collection, just the Oversized Deluxe Hardcover with Slipcase that was limited to 750 copies – hard to vote on it if no one read it. Spiegelman’s book didn’t get a wide audience either. The Library of America is not the same as The Library of American Comics from IDW. So we have two left:
What Should Win: Wertham’s lament
What Will Win: Betty and Veronica in the Twilight Zone

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
 It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
 The Killer: Modus Vivendi, by Matz and Luc Jacamon (Archaia)
 King of the Flies, Book One: Hallorave, by Mezzo and Pirus (Fantagraphics)
 The Littlest Pirate King, by David B. and Pierre Mac Orlan (Fantagraphics)
 Salvatore, by Nicolas De Crécy (NBM)
The more I listen to the 11 O’Clock Comics podcast, the more I hear great things about Jacques Tardi. It’s not for everyone though. This is Fantagraphics category to lose.
What Should Win: War is Hell
What Will Win: Flies Me to the Moon

Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia
 Ayako, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
 Bunny Drop, by Yumi Unita (Yen Press)
 A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
 House of Five Leaves, by Natsume Ono (VIZ Media)
 Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
I’m going to guess this one. Feel free to call it on your own.
What Should Win: You say Ayako, I say Ayako
What Will Win: Century 21

Best Writer
 Ian Boothby, Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book; Futurama Comics #47–50;Simpsons Comics #162, 168; Simpsons Super Spectacular #11–12 (Bongo)
 Joe Hill, Locke & Key (IDW)
 John Layman, Chew (Image)
 Jim McCann, Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia)
 Nick Spencer, Morning Glories, Shuddertown, Forgetless, Existence 3.0(Image)
Archaia had a huge presence at C2E2 this year and everyone had their 2010-11 signature book.
What Should Win: Spencer For Hire
What Will Win: I McCann Read Comic Books

Best Writer/Artist
 Dan Clowes, Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly)
 Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit (IDW)
 Joe Kubert, Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 (DC)
 Terry Moore, Echo (Abstract Studio)
 James Sturm, Market Day (Drawn & Quarterly)
 Naoki Urasawa, Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys (VIZ Media)
Ah, The Best Of Both World’s. Very hard to call this one. So I’ll go with own own personal favorites.
What Should Win: Give me the Kuball, I’ll break.
What Will Win: What’s Cookeing?

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
 Richard Corben, Hellboy (Dark Horse)
 Stephen DeStefano, Lucky in Love Book One: A Poor Man’s Story(Fantagraphics)
 Rob Guillory, Chew (Image)
 Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key (IDW)
 Skottie Young, The Marvelous Land of Oz (Marvel)
I have such respect for the artist, if I had 1/10 the talent of these guys I’d be a happy man.
What Should Win: Angel Gabriel
What Will Win: Young Frankenstein

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
 Lynda Barry, Picture This: The Nearsighted Monkey Book (Drawn & Quarterly)
 Brecht Evens, The Wrong Place (Drawn & Quarterly)
 Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)
 Janet Lee, Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia)
 Eric Liberge, On the Odd Hours (NBM)
 Carol Tyler, You’ll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage (Fantagraphics)
I’m not sure how much work painting is compared to other forms of comic art, but I’m sure it isn’t easy.
What Should Win: Sad sack
What Will Win: Psycho!

Best Cover Artist
 Rodin Esquejo, Morning Glories (Shadowline/Image)
 Dave Johnson, Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain (Dark Horse); Unknown Soldier (Vertigo/DC); Punisher/Max, Deadpool (Marvel)
 Mike Mignola, Hellboy, Baltimore: The Plague Ships (Dark Horse)
 David Petersen, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard (Archaia)
 Yuko Shimizu, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC)
2011 had so many great covers. This is another category I wouldn’t want to choose.
What Should Win: Johnson & Johnson
What Will Win: Blank page

Best Coloring
 Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules!: True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know), Amelia Rules!: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular, by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
 Metaphrog (Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers), Louis: Night Salad(Metaphrog)
 Dave Stewart, Hellboy, BPRD, Baltimore, Let Me In (Dark Horse); Detective Comics (DC); Neil Young’s Greendale, Daytripper, Joe the Barbarian(Vertigo/DC)
 Hilary Sycamore, City of Spies, Resistance, Booth, Brain Camp, Solomon’s Thieves (First Second)
 Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library 20: Lint (Drawn & Quarterly)
Whenever I see the word Colorist, I’m always reminded how absurd it is that the Marvel Essentials and DC Showcase Presents credit the professional. FYI, Stewart won last year.
What Should Win: Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a Stew
What Will Win: Warehouse

Best Lettering
 Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit (IDW)
 Dan Clowes, Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly)
 Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules!: True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know), Amelia Rules!: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular, by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
 Todd Klein, Fables, The Unwritten, Joe the Barbarian, iZombie (Vertigo/DC);Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom (WildStorm/DC); SHIELD (Marvel);Driver for the Dead (Radical)
 Doug TenNapel, Ghostopolis (Scholastic Graphix)
 Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library 20: Lint (Drawn & Quarterly)
David Mazzuccheilli won this category last year for Asterios Polyp. I wonder if that level of lettering brilliance will ever be equaled? Probably not.
What Should Win: Darwynism
What Will Win: Klienfeld

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
 Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
 The Beat, produced by Heidi MacDonald (www.comicsbeat.com)
 ComicBookResources, produced by Jonah Weiland (www.comicbookresources.com )
 ComicsAlliance, produced by Laura Hudson (www.comicsalliance.com )
 The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon (www.comicsreporter.com )
 USA Today Comics Section, by Life Section Entertainment Editor Dennis Moore; Comics Section Lead, John Geddes (www.usatoday.com/life/comics/index )
I’m a bit biased since I work freelance with TwoMorrows. All listed here are a bit different and share from each other. And besides, what is comics journalism? Blogging, podcasting, The Comics Journal? Wait, why isn’t TCJ nominated? (BTW, Tom won last year.)
What Should Win: Avatar
What Will Win: Capital reserve

Best Comics-Related Book
 Doonesbury and the Art of G. B. Trudeau, by Brian Walker (Yale University Press)
 Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics, by Blake Bell (Fantagraphics)
 The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, by Denis Kitchen and Charles Brownstein, edited by John Lind and Diana Schutz (Dark Horse Books)
 Shazam! The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal, by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear (Abrams Comicarts)
 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, by Paul Levitz (TASCHEN)
I saw the 75 years book with my own eyes. I’m still looking at it.
What Should Win: Subby and Hot Head: A Timely Affair
What Will Win: You’ll be done with this book 75 years from now

Best Publication Design
 Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk (IDW)
 Polly and Her Pals Complete Sunday Comics, vol. 1, designed by Lorraine Turner and Dean Mullaney (IDW)
 Return of the Dapper Men, designed by Todd Klein (Archaia)
 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, designed by Josh Baker (TASCHEN)
 Two Generals, designed by Jennifer Lum (McClelland & Stewart)
75 Years probably deserves to win, but Absolute Justice won that last year, so it’s time to spread the wealth around.
What Should Win: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
What Will Win: Look’n good, my man

Check back after Comic-Con 2011 to see how we did.

CCL Podcast #267 – 2010 Eisner Awards (Collected Edition Categories)

Collected Comics Library Podcast #267
34,696Kb; 36m 54s

Every week here on the podcast I get to talk about and review all sorts of collected editions. Inevitably, some are better then others. But today, I get to rundown the best of the best. The Eisner Award nominees came out just a few weeks ago and there are three categories that pertain heavily on reprint material: Best Graphic Album-Reprint, Best Archival Collection/Project-Strips and Best Archival Collection/Project-Comic Books. I give a rundown of all the books and grant my thoughts and opinions on a few, including what I think will win. This will also become a new feature on the Podcast as I will eventually cover all the categories. Winners will be announced at Comic Con in July. I welcome your e-mails for your favorite categories so you can play along at home.

One book that I hope will be up for an Eisner next year in the Romita Legacy by Tom Spurgeon (comicsreporter.com) from Dynamic Forces and Dynamite Entertainment. Why is that? Because I conducted two interviews with John Romita Jr. for the book and it’s my very first professional writing assignment. I am so thankful to Joe Rybandt (Dynamite) for having faith and trusting me with the job. I’ll write up a more in depth blog post about the book itself and my experience at a later date. I don’t ask much from you, but please support Tom, Dynamite and all of us who were involved by purchasing a copy. And please send us you feedback. Thank you.

Also on the show I talk about the upcoming 4 Volume Softcover Library Editions of BPRD and a couple of errors in the Dick Tracy and King Aroo hardcovers.

All this and the New Releases of the Week.


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Blazing Combat SC

3 Books In 4 Days

I’m back from vacation. I had a great time in Northern Michigan. The weather was great and I even got to golf 9 holes with my son – Good Times!

I read three books in four days. The first was Batman Ego and Other Tales HC by Darwyn Cooke. So many people are talking about The Hunter (IDW), the first book in his Parker series but did you know that Cooke created the character of Stark after the original creator of Parker, Richard Stark? Stark appears in Selina’s Big Score and also a backup Batman story and can be viewed as a Parker prototype – at least that’s how I viewed him.

Next up was Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow by Brian Fies (Abrams ComicArts). It’s a look back at 20th Century technology and space exploration starting from the 1939 World’s Fair all the way through 1975 (when the Apollo missions ended) and a little bit beyond. I hope to interview Brain for an upcoming podcast and cover this book much more in depth.

Lastly was Will Eisner’s The Spirit Volume 12 (DC Comics). I now only have 15 volumes to go (including the Dark Horse book)! I said when I started this series, last December 12, 2008, that I would like to be finished by July 2009, but it’s been a tougher task then I had planned. I now have a new target date of December 31. What’s nice is that I’m in the heart of the series and that Eisner is back in full force, which makes for easier and a more straight forward read.

Speaking of interviews, if everything goes according to schedule, September will be a full month of them. I’m not one to jinx anything so I’ll keep it all under my hat for now, but I know you’ll be pleased.

Solicitations have come out from a host of companies this week, I should be able those sorted out for the Release Schedule by Monday morning.

Oh, and did you see that Nekron is indeed the bad guy in Blackest Night? Yeah, I’ll gloat. I called that one a few weeks ago (podcast 229).

CCL Podcast #202 – Adopt a Character for 2009

Collected Comics Library Podcast #202
25,217Kb; 26m 38s


It’s time once again for my annual Adopt a Character show. You are welcome to play along, it very easy and fun to do. Simply pick a character that you have always wanted to know more about and go out and do it! You have a full year to get acquainted with the character (or team) by reading as much you can. You may recall in 2007 I chose Thor and in 2008 I went with Luke Cage (with a bit of Iron Fist thrown in). For 2009 I’m going with Will Eisner’s The Spirit. I’ve been collecting the entire run of the Archive series from DC but I never really got around to reading it in its entirety; I now have a valid excuse to do so. I’m already through 4 volumes and I hope to read one book a week. Speaking of this series, there is news that Volume 26 (which was due December 31, 2008) has been delayed until June. This is problematic because Volume 27 (from Dark Horse) is due in April. You can rest assured that I dive head first in to that!

Also on the show, I give the lowdown on some great upcoming reference books and collected editions including Star Trek: A Comics History (Hermes Press), Humbug HC (Fantagraphics), Melvin Monster (John Stanley Library/Drawn and Quarterly), and a number of upcoming books from TwoMorrows Publishing one of which is I am proud to be a part of: The Comic Book Podcast Companion by: Eric Houston.

All this and the New Releases of the Week.


Links of Note:
Free 2009 TwoMorrows Publishing Catalog Update

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Monthly Special: Ted McKeever Library HC Vol 1: Transit
DC Universe Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1 HC
Showcase Presents: Strange Adventures Vol. 1 TPB
Tales Of The Batman: Tim Sale TPB
Green Lantern: Wanted – Hal Jordan TPB
Birds Of Prey Club Kids TPB
Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Premiere HC
Ultimate Origins Premiere HC
New Avengers Premiere HC Vol 9 Secret Invasion Book 2
Runaways: Pride and Joy Premiere HC
Universal War One Premiere HC Vol 1
Secret Invasion TPB
Infinity Crusade Vol. 2 TPB
Walking Dead TP Vol 9 Here We Remain, $14.99
Rasl by Jeff Smith TP Vol. 1: Drift
Latest special: Marvel Masterworks Warlock Vol 2 HC – 40% off until Friday January 9th
Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow
DC/Wildstorm Dreamwar
Green Lantern Chronicles Vol 1
Green Arrow Year One
Green Lantern Sinestro Corps War Vol 1
Avengers Disassembled Iron Man, Thor and Captain America HC
Avengers Hawkeye Premiere HC Cover A
Avengers Hawkeye Premiere HC Cover B
Mighty Avengers Vol 3 Secret Invasion Book 1
Wolverine Tales of Weapon X HC
Fallen Angel Omnibus
Wondermark Vol 2 Clever Tricks to Stave off Death HC
Drinky Crow’s Maakies Treasury HC
American Flagg! Vol 2