Thursday, December 30, 2004

Nominate, don't fixate

it seems that i'm leaving all the hard ones till the end, and with one week to go before Ledger nominations close, I have a feeling i'll be spending the long weekend outside under a tree reading Australian Comics making sure I make the right decisions.

With Categories like Best Writer and artist, its tricky - the field is so wide and varied - its really hard to compare a Blumenstein to a Read; a Templesmith to a Soehardi; styles are so hard to quantify and taste is so subjective. Please fogive me if my opinion differs.


Ben Hutchings - You Stink and I Don't #8
I definetly know that "You stink and I Don't" came out this year and if you want to include the Trade of Issues 1-5 as a 2004 release then its even more proof that Ben is a great writer. The only way i can describe him in comic terms is imagine the absurdness and 8 page attention span of Dan Clowes mixed in with the laugh out loud jokes of Pete Bagge. Sometimes Ben gets a bit too weird but this makes his more realistic stories even funnier. What really makes Ben stand out is that he doesn't rely on autobiographical stuff (well not explicitly) so its not funny because "heh, i can relate to that" its more "hah, i had never thought of that, how clever".

David Kerr - World's Away, Days of Asha
i don't know what it is but there is something so magnetic about David's writing, its so charming and sweet. I'm a fan of stuff like Dawson's Creek and OC, I'm comforted by teen soap cliches but World's Away took those cliches and freshened them up. Imagine a pizza, something you've had once a fortnight since forever, now imagine it with an ingredient you've never considered being pizza topping before but trying it and thinking "wow how good is that!". That's how I'd describe Dave's work. And I think its one of those things that its up to people's taste - someone is bound to say "ew - cummin on pizza! Gross!".

Jason Rand -Small Gods
It was a hard decision if i was going to include creators involved in internationally released books but I think with writers being less visible in comics I think its Ok (I'm still making my mind up if I'll include international artists but that'll be next weeks problem).

Anyway, Jason made pyschics interesting, he has a great sense of plotting, he knows how to set up a cliff hanger and has a good ear for dialogue. Small Gods is not electrifyingly great (but very few comics are these days) but its a solid good entertainment.

Daniel Reed - Crumpleton Experiments
Daniel does employ weird ideas, which under the hand of other writers sometimes has a habit of swamping the narrative (endless backstory, pointless explanation, blah blah blah - i just want set up, crisis, and resolution). But Daniel keeps it simple, using a few main characters and letting the story unfold on its own.

Daniel Lawson - Azrath
I think Daniel's writing goes in the same boat as David Kerr, in that he presents an endearing and funny little story. The larger story is probably on a grander scale than World's Away; from experience fantasy comics are usually saddled with a massive backstory that usually bore me, but so far that's not an issue with Azrath, the story is progressing nicely (maybe a bit too slowly - but that might be building up tension -i dunno), humour is used at the right time as is tension. A good read.

So close
It pains me that i couldn't include David Tang but it was a bloody close call. If we don't include Jason Rand (as he works for an American Company) David would be in. Knee Pockets #2 wasn't as conisitent as #1 in terms of writing but the good stories (far away star, when we were friends, all the girls I loved/had crushes on before) are exceptionally good, while the rest were missfires (sakato, boy band, stealing panties from ODied girls is funny) (sorry for paraphrasing the titles - don't have the book in front of me) and that's what tilts it for David the wrong way.

I discovered that the Batrisha books were released this year (i thought it was so long ago that it must have been 2003) so consider Dillon Naylor's writing on the two books (if you haven't bought it I'm sure you can pick them up from Target or Kmart for 20% off - don't take my word for it but they are well worth it). Slippery Shadow is great, it even has a little moral to the story which is sweet. The other book Strange new visitor is actually very creepy in the realistaion that Batrisha's parents seem to be suggesting that she suck blood from her foster family. But for kids books they are kind of engrossing and fun to read.

And David Blumenstien for Naked Fella #8, an interesting book with some good bits (Jewfro, Culture Jamming), but i gotta admit I liked the Herman issue better since it was something different.

But its a tough field with lots of competition and picking 5 is hard, and God knows, i'll probably change my mind to the final 5 tomorrow.

No comments: