Judge Kleefeld

By | Thursday, January 19, 2023 3 comments
Just over ten years ago, I got this customized badge that looks much like the one worn by Judge Dredd. In the past day or so, you may have seen official news that I am one of the judges for this year's Eisner Awards. The official announcement is here.

I was a teenager when the Eisner Awards were first created. I recall seeing the ballot list those first couple of years and was pleased I even recognized some of the creators and titles. As the years went on, I would recognize more and more, and I even found I was slowly becoming more and more familiar with the works. "Hey! I've actually read that!" It eventually got to the point where I was friends with people who were nominated. Or the judges.

Last year, I was asked about some of my the letters I had published in various comics and the No-Prize I had won back in the '80s, whether those were points of pride among my circle of friends and acquaintences. I had to answer, "No, not really." Those were effectively table stakes; my friends list includes people who've been nominated for and/or won Eisners and Harveys and Inkpots. I know several people who've been Eisner judges.

And that is insanely, insanely cool. But absolutely blows my mind. That I might one day be an Eisner judge or a nominee was never ever, ever something I thought I could even dare to dream about. I've said it in a variety of different places over the past decade, but I am so far beyond what my wildest hopes could have ever been that I really have no idea what to even strive for next. I figured I had done as much as I would be able to do in 1988 -- I had a letter printed, and I would be forever in comicsdom, even if it was basically just a footnote to a footnote. I certainly make no claims to be at the level of comic celebrity as Jack Kirby or Will Eisner, but... well, I'm pretty sure my teenage self would more likely believe we'd figured out time travel than I'm now permanently associated with a name like Eisner's.

For what should be obvious reasons, I won't be able to post a lot about what I'm doing with the Eisners until after the awards ceremony in July, but I'll share anything I can here as I'm able. Thank you, Jackie, for this opportunity, and thank you to everyone who's offered conrgatulations, well-wishes, and general support.
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Billy Hogan said...

Congratulations on the opportunity!

Thanks very much!

Diane Kleefeld said...