I am running a couple of weeks late, but I really wanted to get my two cents in on the Wizard Awards that are being featured in the January 2007 issue #183. To say the results were disturbing to me is putting it mildly.
The first award featured is “Man of the Year”. My first thought when seeing that Wizard has a man of the year is this: Where is the Woman of the Year? Did Wizard think no one was qualified in that category, or is Man of the Year supposed to cover both sexes??? My second thought was: Why Joe Quesada? Is it a way to pay for all the advertising Marvel did? Is it because longtime Wizard staffers are drinking buddies with Joey da Q? Maybe they see something I don’t see.
Quesada does his job, and I concede that he has been instrumental in reinvigorating the post-Bob Harras Marvel, but it ends there for me. Quesada has done a great job of networking through the years, and backs it up with hard work, but in my mind it still comes down to just that: Networking. Back in the day, Quesada and then-partner Jimmy Palmiotti came to Marvel and gave the fans Marvel Knights. That was a beautiful, blazing success. That is when Quesada AND Palmiotti should have been “Persons of the Year”.
To laud a guy for Civil War and being able to pick talent is like giving your kids an increase in allowance for getting all their chores done. It is his JOB. My other concern was Quesada’s choice of wardrobe for said pictures featured in the magazine. I wish he would have combed his hair and dressed up a bit, as most people being given awards and featured in magazines would do so. That is a minor quibble, but one none the less.
I can hear you now- ok Smarty, who would you have picked?? I have some choices as well. I would have considered Dark Horse Comics and Mike Richardson for one. What a year they have had, with a 10th anniversary celebration, an incredible run on Conan, the Star Wars line, Steve Niles books, upcoming Sin City 2, and new, interesting creator-owned titles.
There is also Ed Brubaker, Geoff Johns, and Dan Didio, not necessarily in that order. What about this for a radical idea: make a site like Newsarama or Comic Book Resources, or the bloggers on the internet “Person of the Year”? Just a thought.
The next award selected is “Event of the Year”, which went to Civil War. Since it’s no secret how I feel about Civil War, you know I disagreed with this one. In my mind, the event of the year has been 52. DC has done a great job of getting the book out on time, and the talent involved is topnotch, which leads me to “Editor of the Year”, which went to Tom Brevoort. No offense, but Stephen Wacker, who has just left DC for Marvel deserves that honor.
“Artist of the Year” went to Steve McNiven. I have nothing bad to say about McNiven, as I think he is an excellent artist and an all-around nice guy. I just wish that Wizard would have mixed it up a bit, and not focused so heavily on Civil War in so many categories. A lower profile person I would have liked to see honored is Eduardo Risso. His work on 100 Bullets astonishes me every issue. Another favorite of mine is Pia Guerra of Y The Last Man. I know that these artists are lower profile, but it would be nice to see more on and of them in future issues of Wizard. I did like Wizard’s choice of Shane Davis as up and comer. His work on Mystery In Space is amazing.
“Single Issue of The Year” went to New Avengers #22, the spotlight on Luke Cage. As a fan of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, I appreciate the sentiment, but am surprised to find this is Wizard’s pick. Yet another Civil War tie-in takes a prize! How about a “Born in the Battlefield” issue of Conan? Birds of Prey #100? Y The Last Man #50? All-Star Superman #2, 3, or 4? I’m just saying…
“Breakout Talent of the Year” went to Charlie Huston, whose excellent work on Moon Knight has attracted many fans. While I appreciate the sentiment, I think runner-up Matt Fraction was a better choice. His Casanova is superb, and Punisher War Journal #1 and Immortal Iron Fist #1 back up his skills.
52 won “Boldest Move of the Year” and that is a hard one to argue. Having a weekly title has spoiled me. I also agree that Brian K. Vaughan is a great choice for “Writer of the Year”, though my first thought would have been to Ed Brubaker. His takes on Daredevil and Captain America have me mesmerized, and I adore his new creator-owned book Criminal. That is why I was pleasantly surprised that Daredevil took the title “Book of the Year”. These three categories didn’t upset me, because they were such palate cleansers after the first several awards.
“Hero of the Year” went to Superman. Huh? As much as I loved Morrison and Quietly’s All Star title, I didn’t think his other appearances merited it. Let’s go for the long shot- Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man. He has had a crazy year, and his appearances in 52 continue to intrigue me. Throw Ralph a bone, already!
J.G. Jones won “Cover Artist of the Year”. While this felt right to me, my first thought wasn’t “Congratulations”! It was this: Thank God it wasn’t Michael Turner. Sad, huh?
“Villain of the Year” went to The Governor from The Walking Dead. Sad to say, I have no clue who this character is, or if he is indeed the baddest of the bad, so I can’t judge. I just know that my first thought for this award was the “Girls” of the Luna Brothers title of the same name.
B.P.R.D: The Universal Machine won “Mini-Series of the Year”. This is yet another one I am not qualified to respond to as I didn’t read the book. Hell, I just would have voted for “CSI: Dying In The Gutters” and left it at that. Smooth.
Rounding out the awards was “Movie of the Year”, “Television Series of the Year”, “Animated Series of the Year” and “Video Game of the Year”. Well, this is a problem for me, because I hadn’t seen most of the winners. In the movie category, The Descent was the winner. I didn’t see that particular flick, so my vote would have been for Clerks 2. As for television shows, I loved Blade on Spike, so that would be my easy pick. I don’t watch Lost or Battlestar Galactica, which I know is sacrilege. The only animated series I have seen is Justice League Unlimited, which won that category, so I would agree there. To add insult to injury, I don’t play video games, so I don’t feel qualified to speak on this category. Yikes.
My bottom line on the Wizard awards is mixed. I am pissed about a “Man of the Year” award. Where is the “Woman of the Year” award for my girl Gail Simone? The woman wrote Birds of Prey, Atom, and Secret Six without batting an eyelash. Quality and class equal an award for Simone. Either change the name of the award or pick a lady as well. God knows, I would volunteer to help out.
With the personnel changes at Wizard, maybe an influx of new blood is the best thing that can happen. God knows we need a fresh approach on an old school, played-out magazine. Ten years ago, Wizard was the first thing I read the minute it came out. Now I read it whenever I exhaust all other available reading materials. That is a sad but true reality.