Davis Welsh talks to all kinds of manga related folks to get the reaction to this year’s increased manga presence in the Eisner nominations. There are many good quotes and observations, but one that stoods out for us is the recognition for what might be called the “OGM/OEL Generation”:
This year’s slate also offers serious recognition for global manga. Becky Cloonan’s East Coast Rising (Tokyopop) earned a nod for Best New Series. Ross (The Abandoned – Tokyopop) Campbell and Svetlana (Dramacon – Tokyopop) Chmakova both were nominated in the Special Recognition category, formerly known as Talent Deserving Wider Recognition.
From Tokyopop editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl’s point of view, the Eisners are less a pioneering voice of support than a part of an already hearty chorus.
“If we’re looking for industry acceptance of OGM, I think we passed that point some time in late 2005,” Diaz-Przybyl said. “From blogs to [Publishers Weekly] to my editorial friends at Marvel and DC trying to poach my artists, the industry is clearly behind this new wave of talent, and for good reason. The artists nominated are all incredible, I’m sure have long and successful careers ahead of them, and they’re just a fraction of the new talent that is out there. The nominations just confirm what most of us already knew.”
Speaking of the Eisners, we understand there was much talk while we were away, much of it we haven’t had a chance to read. Of course we’re happy for our favorite books (BILLY HAZELNUTS) and old friends (STAGGER LEE) getting recognition, but the nominees seem increasingly more like a “Best of” list in a magazine, rather than a real award of merit. Juries now try to achieve some kind of “One from column A, one from column Z” parity so that everyone gets some attention. It’s nice that everyone can now call themselves an “Eisner nominee” but these kind of lists inevitably contain a howler or two. We won’t get snarky in public (catch us in the bar) but there are a couple of categories that show a lack of knowledge about how comics are produced…but, you know, that’s just us and it’s all subjective.