The Harvey Awards
So the 2012 Harvey Award nominees were announced this week. It's a pretty damn solid list, I'd say. I like my award nominee lists to acknowledge lots of worthy people, but only pick one per category who I'm truly rooting for, and the Harveys have mostly accomplished that this year. Pretty tough call between Bettie Breitweiser and Francesco Francavilla for Best Colorist, but otherwise I've got my personal choices set. I doubt if I've picked all winners (is this a world where something as small and understated as Rachel Rising can take "Best New Series"?) but my fingers are crossed nonetheless. My biggest takeaway from the list, though, is that I need to read Page by Paige. It got like five nods and I've never even heard of it, so that one's on me.
When they say "NOW!" the mean October
The biggest comic-related hullabaloo this week was the announcement of Marvel NOW! It's Marvel's revamp (not "reboot") of their line through the introduction of some new titles, as well as new #1 issues with new creative teams for several of their old titles. There's been, of course, a lot of chatter about the project, good, bad, and in between. Personally, I'm having a hard time landing on a firm reaction, which I think has a lot to do with the way in which Marvel has chosen to roll this revamp out. They've announced only a handful of the titles so far, and they're going to be releasing only one or two new #1's each week for five months, October-February. So without knowing what's ahead or what the whole of the Marvel line is going to look like come February, it's difficult for me to settle on a single opinion. Mostly what I feel is apprehensive. I'm nervous that it'll bring in no new readers while simultaneously alienating old ones. I'm afraid the five-month plan will be detrimental, because if the series that start in October don't generate the buzz Marvel wants, by the time February rolls around no one will even be paying attention anymore. And I'm mostly afraid that this isn't really going to change anything. We'll get artist, writer, and cast shake-ups for a while, and then it'll settle and we'll move into the next ridiculous line-wide blockbuster event involving 90% of the characters in the Marvel U, effectively undoing whatever was established in the revamp. I hope I'm wrong on all counts, but I suspect I won't be, and in March 2013 we'll all be looking back at Marvel NOW! as a weak, half-hearted failure of a response to the New 52. Which was only a marginal success to begin with.
There's an awesome new charity organization called Critical Care Comics whose mission is to deliver donated comicbooks to children who are in the hospital. I mean...it's one of the best ideas for old comicbooks I've ever heard. Last weekend they held a fundraiser for the project, and evidently it was a success. So perhaps the modern world isn't a dismal, hopeless place after all. Seriously, support the Critical Care Comics project in any way you can. They more than deserve it.