<i>By <a href=http://www.twitter.com/graemem>Graeme McMillan, Newsarama Contributor</a></i> <p>The <a href="http://www.newsarama.com/comics/2012-eisner-award-nominees.html">2012 Eisner Awards nominee list</a> is out, celebrating the best and brightest of 2011's comic output with nominations for the likes of Marvel's <em>Daredevil</em> series, DC/Vertigo's soon-to-finish <em>iZombie</em> and some under appreciated gems like <em>Vera's Ghost</em> and the Crossgen revival <em>Mystic</em>. <p>But, as with every year, there are some seeming omissions including the entire category of "Best New Series." Many of these have already caused the appropriate and inevitable uproar around the internet here are 10 of the most obvious. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>
It's got to hurt, let's face it. Despite all the attention from inside and outside the comic industry, DC managed to net just one nomination connected to its September line-wide relaunch, and that one (Jeff Lemire up for Best Writer) is in recognition for his work on Vertigo's <em>Sweet Tooth</em> as well as his <em>Animal Man</em> or <em>Frankenstein</em> monthlies. Still, the sales bump probably lessens the sting more than a little bit.
With 2011 seeing the release of <em>Celluloid</em>, the erotic graphic novel that not only marked the return of the much-loved multimedia creator (still remembered for his <em>Sandman</em> covers more than 20 years after their release) to comics but also his first full-length graphic novel ever, you would've been forgiven for thinking he would've been given some kind of nomination nod, whether it was Best Writer/Artist, Best Artist or Best Graphic Album - New, perhaps. <p>Instead, silence. Maybe he would've had more luck had <em>Celluloid</em> not been an entirely silent, partially abstracted series of narrative images.
2011 finally saw Carla Speed McNeil's spectacular long-running science-fiction series get the spotlight it deserved in the form of not only new work appearing in both <em>Dark Horse Presents</em> and <em>Finder: Voice</em>, but also the launch of this series of collected editions of all <em>Finder</em> stories to date. <p>Imaginative, human and both funnier and sexier than you'd expect, McNeil is a truly underrated talent who seemed, finally, to be getting the recognition she deserved... which makes it just that little bit more sad that it missed out on a place on the Best Graphic Album - Reprint nomination list.
Time was, you couldn't go to an Eisner Awards ceremony without Klein winning the Best Lettering award (seriously, he had an unbroken streak from 1997 through 2008, and then won again last year). <p>Perhaps familiarity has bred, if not contempt (Just look at the man's work! How could you have contempt for that?), then at least apathy? How else to explain his absence from this year's nominations?
Oni Press had a good showing in the Best Graphic Album - New categories, with two of the six nominated titles (<em>One Soul</em> and <em>Ivy</em>, both of which are highly recommended), but it's a surprise to see that Philip Gelatt and Tyler Crook's amazing <em>Petrograd</em> didn't make an appearance in the Best Reality Based Work category. <p>This graphic novel about a plot to murder Rasputin during the first World War may have slipped under many people's radars when it was released last summer, but it was a stunning piece of work and Crook also deserved a best artist nom, based on that alone even before you get into his work on Dark Horse's various <em>BRPD</em> titles.
Whether it was his ongoing work on <em>Scalped</em> and <i>PunisherMAX</i> or his <em>Wolverine and The X-Men</em> taking the X-Men franchise to heights (and a far less depressing tone) that it hasn't visited in years, 2011 was a great year for Aaron, who continued to rise in the Marvel ranks with even his own event book under his belt (hello, <em>Schism</em>). But no mention in Best Writer, surprisingly.
It's easy to lose track of what's happening in the world of webcomics; there isn't the same level of coverage to what's happening in the medium online (somewhat ironically), and without the scorecard of a Diamond Previews catalog, classics can come and go without you even knowing about them unless you've been sent a link by someone more tuned in than you are. <p>Nonetheless, it's a surprise to see Beaton's absence from the Best Digital Comic category, considering her rising star throughout 2011; in many ways, it seemed like the year where she became a mainstream face for all webcomics, making her absence on the list all the more noticeable.
Graham does, in fact, get a nomination (Best Short Story, for "The Speaker" in <em>Dark Horse Presents</em>), but considering the critical reaction to the long-awaited conclusion of his <em>King City</em> series from Tokyopop/Image, it's a surprise to see him miss out on a spot in the Best Writer/Artist category this time around. But not the biggest surprise, as we'll discover soon enough...
Like Jason Aaron, 2011 was the breakthrough year for Snyder as his critically-acclaimed <em>Detective Comics</em> brought him to pole position in the Batman franchise with the lead title even as he launched an Image Comics series (<em>Severed</em>), continued <em>American Vampire</em> and managed the impossible by taking on <em>Swamp Thing</em> and avoiding Alan Moore comparisons (well, too many Alan Moore comparisons, at least). <p>Again, though, no appearance in the Best Writer category. Perhaps the judges are afraid of bats, whether vampire or crime fighting.
Probably the most glaring omission on this year's list of nominees was the lack of any recognition for "The Love Bunglers" by Jaime Hernandez from <em>Love and Rockets: New Stories</em> #4. <p>A heartbreaking story that not only showed Jaime on top form after a 20+ year career in comics and definitely in a class of his own as modern-day storyteller "Love Bunglers" topped many year-end lists for 2011 and was the rare comic that, it seemed, was loved and appreciated by everyone that read it. While every omission listed on this list is, ultimately a matter of opinion, Jaime and "Love Bunglers" being passed over in every single category seems an oversight worth complaining about, and the kind of thing that write-in campaign upsets are made of.