The good, the bad and the Eisner reactions

The comics Internet has, of course, been humming since the nominees were announced yesterday for the 2009 Eisner Awards.

There's the usual armchair-quarterbacking questioning how X was nominated but not Y, and suggestions of elitism or bias (the phrase "hoitie-toitie" has been spotted). But the consensus, I think, is that it's a fairly well-rounded list -- even if some favorites didn't receive nods this year.

"holy crap, so many nice eisner nods," Viking writer Ivan Brandon posted yesterday on Twitter.

Brian Michael Bendis jokingly responded: "to be fair there are some blindingly terrible ones as well."

Don MacPherson has some thoughts on the nominations, most notably the inclusion of finite series All-Star Superman in the Best Limited Series category, and the relaunched Invincible Iron Man in Best New Series.

Brigid Alverson, meanwhile, notes that "Manga is pretty sparse among this year’s nominations, and weirdly, none of the titles in the Best Publications for Teens/Tweens is manga."

Evan Dorkin has a nice mix of congratulations and critique, but reserves the best for the subsequent comments thread.

In response to a question about the comics industry naming awards for creators while those creators were still alive, Dorkin writes:

As I'm sure you realize, this is an entertainment/art industry unlike any other. Everything "nice" or "for comics" has been done on the cheap, on the fly, for nothing or for a pittance, usually just for the sake of doing it. Our awards programs are much like some of our comics, initially done -- and perhaps still done -- out of love, out of need, perhaps a desire to be part of something, to give back, to socialize and recognize. No one gets any calls from their agent after winning an Eisner of Harvey or whatever the heck telling them they have received a slew of offers for projects, that they've lined up thirty interviews with the media, that their page rate has gone up and their award-winning book has shot up in sales. This is the small-time, welcome to it. They did what they did to honor Eisner and Kirby and Kurtzman, who was dead, iirc, when that honor was bestowed. And after the Kirby Awards was dismantled by in-fighting and horseshit. Welcome to it. There used to be something called the Shazam awards, and some other ones that died on the vine. We didn't have awards, for good or bad, for much of the medium's existence. What can you do?

But the big question seems to be: Where's the name of 13-time Best Lettering winner Todd Klein?

"I’ve already gotten a few emails expressing surprise," Klein wrote on his blog, "but I’ve actually been expecting it for years. I’ve had a good run, lots of nominations, lots of wins. I’m fine with giving others a chance, and look forward to applauding the winner at this year’s ceremony. And cheering on my friends who are nominated, while calmly enjoying myself, and without the usual nervous stomach for a potential trip to the podium."

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