The Eisner Awards, considered by many to be "The Oscars" of comic book industry awards, unveiled their nominees for the 2010 ceremony today, honoring a number of key DCU titles and creators. The winners will be named at the San Diego Comic-Con International, the largest and oldest comic convention in the United States.
Let's check out the DCU nominees, shall we?
"Blackhawk and the Flash: Firing Line," by J. Michael Straczynski and artist Jesus Saiz presents the reader with a tale both classic and modern, reminding us of the best, off-the-wall superhero team-ups of the past with a modern twist.
LIMITED SERIES OR STORY ARC:
BLACKEST NIGHT, by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert. The epic, universe-spanning mini-series gets a much-deserved nod from the Eisner judges, capping off an epic year of compelling storytelling and jaw-droppingly beautiful art that dominated the comic book landscape.
Geoff Johns, ADVENTURE COMICS, BLACKEST NIGHT, THE FLASH: REBIRTH, SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN, GREEN LANTERN. What more can be said about Mr. Johns? He's had a stellar year, hasn't he? Whether he was bringing back the dead and spreading mutli-colored rings in the pages of BLACKEST NIGHT or reinventing one of modern folklore's greatest legends in the pages of SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN, Johns has blazed a trail through the DC Universe by making the supremely difficult look almost too easy: strong stories focused on strong characters with no frills.
James Robinson, JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE. One thing that can be said about James Robinson as a writer? He takes risks. Whether it's launching a Justice League series starring Congorilla, a blue-skinned Starman and Supergirl or having one of comic's most-beloved heroes shoot an arrow through Prometheus' skull, let it never said that Robinson plays it safe. And it's that daring and innate knowledge of these characters he so clearly loves that earned him the nod.
PENCILLER/INKER and COVER ARTIST:
J.H. Williams III, DETECTIVE COMICS. You read that correctly. That's TWO nominations for superstar artist J.H. Williams III, who clearly poured everything he had into his work on the Batwoman story in DETECTIVE COMICS. It was Williams' vivid and constantly evolving linework and almost innate ability to construct a page -- and do so in new, daring ways -- that helped literally paint a picture for the reader, and really made Kate Kane a real, breathing character for an entire generation of fans to embrace. Bravo!
Mauro Cascioli, JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE. Mauro Cascioli made tragedy real. With his realistic, painterly style, Cascioli brought a gritty, three-dimensional sensibility to a book that collected some of the most daring and imaginative characters in the DC Universe. Whether it was a battle of super-powered beings among the clouds or an archer's aching sense of loss, Cascioli has it covered, and he showed as much in the pages of CRY FOR JUSTICE.
Alex Sinclair, BLACKEST NIGHT. Seems like a no-brainer, huh? But not just anyone could bring to life the vivid spectrum of powers and emotions that form the crux of BLACKEST NIGHT -- from the raging reds of Atrocitus to the serene blues of Saint Walker and everything in between, Sinclair made the reader feel like they were on the sidelines watching a fantastical light battle that was as awe-inspiring as it was dangerous. Not an easy feat, folks.
GRAPHIC ALBUM (REPRINT) and PUBLICATION DESIGN
ABSOLUTE JUSTICE. Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Doug Braithwaite's all-star story of of heroes and villains got the spruced up Absolute treatment in 2009, and we finally got to see the book's amazing artwork presented as it should have been -- in an expanded and high-end format.
Congrats to all the nominees. 2009 was a major year for the DC Universe, and it's great to see the talent recognized by such an esteemed organization. Fingers crossed!