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for Friday, May 22, 2009

Free Library of Philly

The Glyph Comics Awards ceremony was held Friday, May 15, at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The beauty and endurance of the historic structure, which has housed the Library since 1927, was an inspirational choice for the ceremony.

The Glyphs ceremony was part of the reception and kick-off of the 8th annual Black Age of Comics Convention. Following an informal "chat & chew," ECBACC President Yumy Odom called the more formal activities to order. The short version of ECBACC's purpose is this: it's a gathering for creators and readers who created and enjoy comics about and by people of color. As I would repeat many times while being interviewed during the convention itself, this is a large and important part of the comics readership and it deserves more attention from comicdom at large.

Rich Watson, founder of the Glyph Awards and an amazing fellow who labors tirelessly year round to organize, promote, and present the awards, spoke next. He then turned over the podium to GCA host Jamar Nicholas, a friendly, funny, and thoughtful MC who kept the evening interesting. A complete list of the Glyph Awards winners will run a little later in this column.

The first Glyph award was the Fan Award for Best Comic and I was asked to present it. While the other awards are chosen by a learned panel of judges, this one is voted on by the online fans. The winner was Vixen: Return of the Lion by G. Willow Wilson (writer) and Cafu (artist).

Watson and Nicholas alternated the presenting of awards with performances by rappers Vice Versa and TK, as well as Prof. William Foster's remembrances of actress/singer Eartha Kitt and football player-turned-artist Ernie Barnes. In addition, Alex Simmons, the founder of the Kids Comic Con, presented KCC awards to Odom and Maurice Waters for their help and involvement in shaping that series of conventions.

In the Glyph Awards themselves, writer/artist Jeremy Love and DC Comics were the evening's big winners, Love for Bayou and DC for sweeping all eight categories in which comics it published were nominated.

Here's the winners list...

Story of the Year: Bayou; Jeremy Love, writer and artist.

Best Writer: Jeremy Love, Bayou.

Best Artist: Jeremy Love Bayou.

Best Male Character: Black Lightning, Final Crisis: Submit; Grant Morrison, writer, Matthew Clark, Norm Rapmund, Rob Hunter & Don Ho, artists, Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, creators.

Best Female Character: Lee Wagstaff, Bayou; Jeremy Love, writer, artist, and creator.

Rising Star Award: Damian Duffy and John Jennings, The Hole: Consumer Culture.

Best Reprint Publication: Me and the Devil Blues Volume 1; Del Rey, David Ury, translator/adapter.

Best Cover: Unknown Soldier #1; Igor Kordey, illustrator.

Best Comic Strip: Bayou; Jeremy Love, writer and artist.

Tony Isabella accepting Glyph Award

Earlier in the week, Watson had asked if I would be willing to accept Grant Morrison and crew's award if Black Lightning won for his appearance in Final Crisis: Submit. It was my pleasure to do so that evening.

Filtered through my uncertain memory, and subject to more than a few "editorial" tweaks, here's what I said:
Thank you. While writing Black Lightning has been one of the great joys of my life, my relationship with DC Comics has not been an easy or a good one. I've often disliked what they've done with my proudest creation.

But, in Final Crisis: Submit, Grant Morrison did a fine job. He captured my character's courage, his generosity of spirit, his natural teaching ability, his love of family, and his sense of self-sacrifice for his fellow man. It amazes me that this Brit guy was able to do such a terrific job with my character...and I thank him for that.

I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Grant, Matthew, Norm, Rob, and Don. After I scan it and photoshop my name in his place, I'll send it directly to Grant. Because no one at DC Comics deserves to touch this award.
Okay, so Grant Morrison is actually Scottish. I promise I'll get that right if I ever accept another award for him.

And, in point of fact...

Glyph Award name does appear on this award as the creator of Black Lightning. So I feel justified in framing the copy I'll be making of the certificate.

After the ceremony, it was back to the hotel where, exhausted from the drive and the ceremony, I hit the bed snoring. Next time around, I'll tell you about the convention itself.

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. Have a happy and safe weekend.

I'll be back on Monday with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

<< 05/21/2009 | 05/22/2009 | 05/25/2009 >>

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Zero Tonys
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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