Self-Reflection On The Harveys

By | Monday, June 04, 2007 Leave a Comment
The Harvey Award nominees were announced recently and, as I read through the list, I noted some of my own preferences as I expect most fans do. It got me to thinking about lists like this.

I've been aware of various comic book related awards for years. And I typically look through them with only a vague sense of their significance. I'm not generally the type of guy who gives much credence to an award. The work will either stand or not on its own merits, and shouldn't really need to be honored above that. But it's news in the comic world, and I try to keep up. :)

It used to be, though, that I'd look through a list like this and only recognize a couple of names. If I was asked who I'd prefer to win that year, I'd rattle off the one or two names I actually knew, oblivious to how good I felt the work actually was when put up against its competition. I had no real frame of reference to pass judgement, even if I was fully versed in what the judging criteria was.

As I grew older, and more widely read, I began to recognize more and more names that showed up on these lists. I didn't necessarily read the works that showed up, but I was at least familiar with the names there. If asked, I'd still argue in favor of the handful of names whose work I actively knew, still without really having a good frame of reference.

As I look through this year's Harvey nominees, I'm pleased to recognize ALL of the names and, more significantly, have read most of them. I feel somewhat qualified to actually make some reasonable judgements on whether one should win over another. The problem, of course, now is that there's sure a wide range of talent even within one category that comparisons are almost impossible. How do you rate Absolute New Frontier against Weird Science? How can you compare the work of John Cassaday against that of Don Rosa? Excellent stuff, to be sure, but we're talking about totally different ballparks here. Apples and oranges. Mixed metaphors. It just doesn't really add up.

Well, I suspect that, like in past years, I'll just scan through the winners once they're announced and will take some small pleasure in those few that I personally think are much better than the others and were awarded something. While I still don't really think it's necessary to have such awards, I'll nonetheless take some satisfaction in having been shown that my choices in comic book reading are of a particularly high caliber.
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