Monday, July 02, 2007

Eisner Nominees -- Part 2

W00t! Back to back blog posts! Soon the crown and glittery scepter of the blog queen will be mine, all MINE!

Anyway, I want to talk some more about the Eisner award nominees -- this time, I think I'll tackle some of the other categories.

In the Best Reality Based Work category, we see some of the same books that showed up in the Best Graphic Album -- New caterogy. Since I've already talked about Fun Home and I Love Led Zeppelin, I won't talk about them here. Two of these books really surprised me -- and they're my favorites.

Brian Fries' mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking. The cancer had metastasized to her brain, leaving her with a less than 5% chance of survival. Brian started a web comic to document his mom's journey. What I liked about this book is how it's not at all what you think it's going to be about. Instead of a book about death and saying goodbye, it winds up being about life and hope. Fries has a slightly cartoony art style, which does a great job of documenting the changes, both physical and mental, in his mom and family.

Stagger Lee is a song, he's also a person, and a legend. In 1895, a man named Lee Sheldon shot his friend, Billy Lyons, in an argument that started with politics and ended in a fight over a Stetson hat. Both men were probably drunk. The fight got turned into a folk song that has been recorded by everybody from Muddy Waters to Pat Boone to Beck. Stagger Lee by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix imagines how the fight might have happened, and brings to life some of the personalities involved. The most interesting parts of this book, to me anyway, was when McCulloch and Hendrix illustrate different versions of the song, showing how it changes when it's sung by a man or a woman, an African-American or a Caucasian. Hendrix's illustrations are soft-edged, but realistic, and they really help to set the turn of the century mood. I usually don't like historical fiction, and historical fiction graphic novels are no exception, but this really held my attention.

I would love to tell you about Project X: Nissin Cup Noodle, the last nominee in this category -- but I haven't read it. I've had it on Inter-library Loan request for 3 months now, and still haven't gotten it in. Only 19 libraries own it, that I can find, so, it's not that popular. Maybe Kristin can enlighten us.

I was going to talk about the Best US Edition of Foreign Material -- Japan and Best Graphic Album—Reprint nominees, but this post is too long already, so those will have to wait for my next post.
And, so, I move one step closer to total blog dominance. Bwahhhhahhhhahahah-hahahahahahah!

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