I’ve always been fascinated about the very concept of a comic book awards ceremony. As a young El Santo, I remember watching Bob, a sitcom where Bob Newhart was a struggling comic book superhero artist. Heck, I even bought Marvel’s very short lived spin-off series, Mad-Dog, based on the comic character that Bob Newhart’s character created. Wish I’d held on to that comic, which had a retro-60’s version of Mad-Dog and his grittier, Wolverine-like reboot. According to some price guides, a near mint version can be worth as much as a whole $3.00! That’s more than double what I paid for it! I’d be living the high life…. ordering something from the McDonald’s dollar menu…. maybe scoring a sweet roll of Scotch tape…. but alas, it was not meant to be.
One of the episodes was about Bob going to a comic book awards show … with special guest stars Jim Lee and Jack FRIGGIN’ KIRBY. (This was long before Stan Lee would plant his mug in literally everything. Actually seeing comic book artists on TV was a super-rare occurence.) They depicted it as a fairly low-key affair, where everything was held in a small hall and family and friends were gathered around little round tables. Still, I remember thinking myself, “Boy, wouldn’t it be swell if that were to ever make it big time?”
Flash forward to 2011 and … well, we’re still taking baby steps getting there. I mean, can anyone, even comic fans, honestly say they remember an Eisner winner from last year? However, I think we’re probably in better shape than in 1992. At least the Eisners are held within the hustle and bustle of the San Diego Comic Con, where comics are at the forefront (theoretically) and the winners are announced to some sort of comic-loving public.
Besides, it’s fun to talk about, which is why I review the candidates for Best Digital Comic every year. Even if an Eisner win is, in the grand scheme of things, somewhat meaningless, at least a handful of webcomics got a little extra exposure than they typically do.
First up on the menu is something legume flavored: Travis Hanson’s fantasy comic, The Bean.
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