TONY'S ONLINE TIPS The After-Poll Report (04/16/02)
We had an incredible twenty TONY POLLS questions for you last week as we asked you to vote on the 2002 Harvey Awards. And when I say incredible, I mean, "Whoa! This is way too much work for me. I'm sticking with just ten questions from here on in."
The Harveys are voted on by comics industry professionals, but I thought it might be fun to see how my readers judged the various nominees. Several of you wrote to apologize or complain that you hadn't read most of the stuff on the ballot.
Welcome to the world of awards; this is far more common than anyone admits. There are countless reasons why a voter might vote for this or that nominee, many of them having zilch to do with the quality of the work being nominated.
That said, let's check out the results.
WHO WOULD YOU PICK FOR BEST WRITER?
Alan Moore - Top 10, ABC.....97 votes (75.19%)
Brian Azzarello - 100 Bullets, DC Comics.....14 (10.85%)
Dan Clowes - Eightball, Fantagraphics.....6 (4.65%)
Ron Marz - Scion, CrossGen.....6 (4.65%)
Chris Ware - Acme Novelty Library, Fantagraphics.....6 (4.65%)
Chris Ware - Acme Novelty Library, Fantagraphics.....25 (20.66%)
Ed Risso - 100 Bullets, DC Comics.....12 (9.92%)
Jim Cheung - Scion, CrossGen.....7 (5.79%)
Dave Cooper - Weasel, Fantagraphics.....3 (2.48%)
I voted for ALAN MOORE and BUTCH GUICE in these categories, strictly on my appreciation of earlier work. Does that compromise the awards? Perhaps, but no more so (and likely far less so) than
block-voting so clearly in evidence.
Frank Cho.....53 votes (41.73%)
Jeff Smith.....45 (35.43%)
Dan Clowes.....13 (10.24%)
Chris Ware.....12 (9.45%)
Dave Cooper.....4 (3.15%)
I went back and forth on this one before casting my ballot for FRANK CHO. One more back-and-forth and my vote could have just as easily gone to the equally amazing Jeff Smith.
SPECIAL AWARD FOR HUMOR?
Evan Dorkin for Dork.....65 votes (69.15%)
Tony Millionaire for Sock Monkey.....21 (22.34%)
Sam Henderson for Magic Whistle.....5 (5.32%)
Ivan Brunetti for Haw!.....2 (2.13%)
Johnny Ryan for Angry Youth Comix.....1 (1.06%)
I think I abstained on this one because of my unfamiliarity with any of the nominated works. I have now read an issue of ANGRY YOUTH COMIX and am at a loss to fathom how it got even one vote, much less its nomination.
SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION?
Spirit Archives, DC Comics.....45 votes (39.13%)
Jack Cole and Plastic Man, Chronicle Books.....32 (27.83%)
Peanuts: Art of Charles Schulz, Pantheon Books.....24 (20.87%)
PEANUTS: ART OF CHARLES SCHULZ got my vote here. I haven't seen Acme Novelty Library or Drawn & Quarterly, but, if they were as well produced as the Jack Cole and Spirit volumes, then this was one of the toughest categories in the awards.
BEST NEW SERIES?
Ruse, CrossGen.....43 votes (37.07%)
Legion, DC Comics.....35 (30.17%)
Alias, Marvel....27 (23.28%)
La Perdida, Fantagraphics.....9 (7.76%)
Negation, CrossGen.....2 (1.72%)
ALIAS is the only one of these titles I've read. My first thought was to abstain in this category, but I decided to put aside my conviction that Marvel should drop the whole "this series takes place in the Marvel Universe" nonsense long enough to cast my vote for my talented pal Brian Michael Bendis.
I went with the Paul Dini and Alex Ross SPIRIT OF TRUTH, an outstanding story in this or any year.
BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM OF ORIGINAL WORK?
Name of the Game, DC Comics.....33 votes (45.21%)
Golem's Mighty Swing, Drawn and Quarterly.....20 (27.40%)
Mail Order Bride, Fantagraphics.....13 (17.815)
Soap Lady Top, Top Shelf.....4 (5.48%)
Pistolwhip, Top Shelf.....3 (4.11%)
I haven't read any of these, so I abstained from voting in this category. But I have them all and can't wait to sit down and enjoy them.
BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM OF PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED WORK?
Lone Wolf and Cub, Dark Horse Comics.....37 votes (40.22%)
Akira, Dark Horse Comics.....19 (20.65%)
Box Office Poison, Top Shelf.....14 (15.22%)
Alec: How to be an Artist, Eddie Campbell.....11 (11.96%)
Palestine, Fantagraphics.....9 (9.78%)
Berlin, Drawn and Quarterly.....2 (2.17%)
Of the two nominees I read, LONE WOLF AND CUB got my vote over Akira. I had read the first couple chapters of Berlin, but it didn't float my boat. However, I'm eagerly awaiting the chance to read the other nominees.
The Comics Journal Winter Special is one heck of a spiffy anthology; I've been reading it on and off for months. However, I don't think I got a bigger kick out of any comic than I did out of DC's BIZARRO. It was a hoot!
John Dell - Mystic.....27 votes (34.62%)
Charles Burns - Black Hole.....22 (28.21%)
Andrew Hennessey - Sigil.....16 (20.51%)
Digital Chameleon - Violent Messiahs.....8 (10.26%)
Dave Cooper - Weasel.....5 (6.41%)
I chose JOHN DELL by a nose over Charles Burns. Whenever I vote in this category, I tend to favor inkers working on another artist's pencils over an artist who does both.
Dave Sim - Cerebus.....32 votes (36.78%)
Dave Lamphear - Ruse.....27 (31.03%)
Chris Ware - Acme Novelty Library.....13 (14.54%)
Dan Clowes - Eightball.....9 (10.34%)
Digital Chameleon - Akira.....6 (6.90%)
While recognizing Dave Sim's mastery in this area, I went with DAVE LAMPHEAR.
Laura Depuy - Ruse.....48 votes (55.81%)
Lovern Kindzierski - Ring of the Nibelung.....16 (18.60%)
Chris Ware - Acme Novelty Library.....9 (10.47%)
Frank Ponsar - Scion.....7 (8.14%)
Dan Clowes - Eightball.....4 (4.65%)
Frank D'Armata - Crux.....2 (2.33%)
My vote was based on their past works, but it was still a tough call to make between LAURA DEPUY and Lovern Kindzierski. The former got my vote.
BEST SYNDICATED STRIP?
For Better or for Worse....58 votes (51.79%)
Liberty Meadows.....35 (31.25%)
Another tough decision, this time between For Better or For Worse and LIBERTY MEADOWS. I went with the latter in recognition of Frank Cho's "retirement," even as I hope he will someday return to that arena. Our daily papers need more artistry and talent and variety on their comics pages.
BEST BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL PRESENTATION?
Comic Book Artist.....32 votes (31.37%)
Jack Kirby Collection....22 (21.57%)
Peanuts: Art of Charles Schulz.....21 (20.59%)
Jack Cole and Plastic Man....18 (17.65%)
Comics Journal.....9 (8.82%)
This was one of the two toughest categories on the ballot this year. Every nominee was deserving of the award. I went with COMIC BOOK ARTIST because it illuminates so many hitherto-shadowy corners of comics history.
BEST PRESENTATION OF FOREIGN MATERIAL?
Lone Wolf and Cub, Dark Horse Comics....53 votes (60.92%)
Akira, Dark Horse Comics.....20 (22.99%)
Hey Wait, Fantagraphics.....5 (5.75%)
Super Manga Blast, Dark Horse Comics.....5 (5.75%)
Nimrod, Fantagraphics.....4 (4.60%)
I voted for LONE WOLF AND CUB, but it was a crime against the art form that Kaiji Kawaguchi's EAGLE: THE MAKING OF AN ASIAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT was not to be found among this ballot or that of the Eisner Awards.
BEST DOMESTIC REPRINT PROJECT?
Spirit Archives, DC Comics.....42 votes (39.25%)
Plastic Man Archives, DC Comics.....41 (38.32%)
Little Annie Fanny, Vol. 2, Dark Horse Comics.....11 (10.28%)
Complete Crumb, Fantagraphics.....8 (7.48%)
Grasshopper and the Ant, Denis Kitchen.....5 (4.67%)
This was the other "toughest" category. With the solitary exception of the Little Annie Fanny volume--I've always considered the feature to be vastly over-rated--every one of the nominees was worthy of the win. I voted for THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT because it was a work of lost art whose re-presentation in a form superior to its original publication is a thing of wonder.
BEST NEW TALENT?
Steve McNiven - Meridian.....26 votes (34.67%)
Karl Moline - Fray.....26 votes (34.67%)
Jason Hall - Pistolwhip.....14 (18.67%)
Jason - Hey Wait.....7 (9.33%)
Graham Annable - Grickle.....2 (2.67%)
I forgot who I voted for in this category. It was either Jason of PISTOLWHIP or Jason of HEY WAIT. This is yet another good reason I shouldn't post more than ten questions
BEST COVER ARTIST?
Adam Hughes - Wonder Woman.....53 votes (48.18%)
Phil Noto - Birds of Prey.....34 (30.91%)
Dave Johnson - 100 Bullets.....13 (11.82%)
Chris Ware - Acme Novelty Library.....7 (6.36%)
Charles Burns - Black Hole.....3 (2.73%)
These were all excellent choices. My favorite of them was
PHIL NOTO, whose BIRDS OF PREY covers make me think of the really cool spy movies of the 1960s.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTIONS
The Eisner Awards nominations have been announced, but I'll be splitting those questions up over the next several weeks. You get to vote on three categories this go-round.
The other questions are on comics team-ups, comics websites, rare old comics, and baseball. I hope you have enormous fun with them. I know I did.
From Athens (Greece, not Ohio), we have this poll questions-related note from DIMITRIS SAKARIDIS
My usual policy is to never send write-in votes for awards. I find it a tad bit...useless, since there's no way that the person (or project) I voted for will get enough write-in votes to actually make an impact. So, I prefer to vote for a choice which already on the ballot. However, there are exceptions to every rule. And this is one of them.
In the category of BEST SYNDICATED STRIP, I feel that all the candidate strips are really great. Mutts is phenomenal, Liberty Meadows is hilarious, For Better Or For Worse is a classic, and Maakies is another masterpiece from the twisted mind of Tony Millionaire. But, the strip which has been, IMO, the best-written for this year (and for approximately thirty years before that) is DOONESBURY and this is the one I'm voting for. I guess it takes an artist like Garry Trudeau to make you change your principles.
Had DOONESBURY been on the ballot, I would have voted for it as well. Trudeau is a funny and important voice for our time, and he's still at the top of his form.
That's all for now, my friends. I'll be holding down the fort at TONY'S ONLINE TIPS Wednesday and Friday. I'll be back here for Saturday's "Tony's Tips" representation and again on Sunday with a new batch of TONY POLL questions.
With a nod towards the PAYPAL link just south of this column, I bid you good day until next we meet.
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.
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