Hello!!!!! It's been a while - nearly six months in fact - but the Waffle is baaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!
It's December, so the year is ending and it's time to look back at the year that was as we vote for the Second Annual Saucer Awards! Nominations have closed, and these are the candidates vying for your votes - as nominated by YOU!
BEST ARTIST (PENCILS)
Greg Capullo (Batman: Last Knight On Earth)
Gregg Capullo's most prominent work this year was (is, issue #3 isn't out yet) on Batman: Last Knight on Earth, but that's far from the only thing you'll know him for. Here's a page:
Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise XXV / Five Years)
Terry Moore made a lot of nineties indie fans very, very happy in 2018 when he brought back Strangers in Paradise and happier still when he continued the saga in Five Years. He has such a solid,graceful, clean flowing line - as seen here:
Rachael Smith (Stand in your Power)
Full disclosure - Rachael is an old friend of the shop, but we will, of course, maintain professional impartiality.
This year Rachael published Stand in your Power, the follow-up to her excellent Wired up Wrong. Her style is the most "cartoony" of the finalists, but also perhaps the most expressive.
(We're telling Liv...)
Stjepan Sejic (Harleen)
Where do we even start? The delicacy and fragility of line here is nothing short of exquisite.
There were no nominations for the Category of "BEST ARTIST (INKS)". We feel that this might be because people don't understand the vital role an inker plays, and how much of a difference a good (and indeed bad) inker can make to the look of a book.
We feel that this is at least in part our fault, so look for a feature, or series of features in future Waffles so that when the awards come around next year people might feel better equipped to make a judgement.
Tom King (Batman)
King's run on Batman has not been uncontroversial - there are many who think he's done a terrible job. speaking personally however, as somebody who has read literally everything with Batman in it since 1989 and whose Batman collection reaches back into the seventies I will say that for me this (at time of typing) 84 issue run has been the best single Batman run I've read in thirty years. Clearly I'm not alone.
Kelly Thompson (West Coast Avengers)
One of 2019's most underrated series, West Coast Avengers was fast, furious and funny. Kelly Thompson's wicked sense of humour and talent for writing action was what made it good.
Matt Garvey (Pretty much everything really - if he hasn't written it yet he will...)
One of the most prolific writers on the UK self published scene, Matt had any number of books out this year - in pretty much every genre imaginable,, from the Kid Friendly horror of Camp Bleh to the SF comedy Untitled Generic Space Comedy.
Eve L. Ewing (Ironheart)
Ironheart has been one of the most consistent Marvel books of 2019, and Ewing has built Riri Williams into a young hero to be reckoned with. Supurb storytelling from beginning to end.
There were no nominations for this award, which makes us really sad. Lettering, like inking, is an underappreciated art form, and so as with inking you can expect a series about it here before next years awards.
BEST ONGOING SERIES
We had more than forty nominations in this category, which if nothing else tells us that there is some fantastic stuff available. Top five nominations, in no particular order, were:
Batman - DC Comics
Not an uncontroversial choice, but as previously noted, personally, I love it.
NPC Tea - Sarah Millman
The only independent self publisher to make the shortlist, Millman's tale of fae folk running a tea shop in Cardiff has become a firm favourite with Desties customers.
Immortal Hulk - Marvel Comics
Al Ewing and the team have done something remarkable with the Hulk. It's been a fascinating ride so far.
Gideon Falls - Image Comics
Some of the most enthralling horror I've read in a while, and a massive fan favourite.
Animosity - Aftershock
The sheer brilliance of this ingenious post-apocalyptic epic is hard to overstate. The concept that the thing that destroyed society wasn't war, or natural disaster, or a zombie plague, but animals suddenly being able to think and talk like humans. Animosity has been nearly three years of pure joy so far.
BEST LIMITED SERIES
Unnatural - Image Comics
Mirka Andolfo's weirdly erotic anthropomorphic tale of injustice and resistance was a definite hit with readers.
Stranger Things: Six - Dark Horse Comics
A skillfully crafted prequel telling the story of Six (who we met in season two...)
Second Coming - Ahoy Comics
Originally intended to be a Vertigo book, DC chickened out after some complaints and so this Jesus/Superhero flatshare comedy drama found a new home at Ahoy Comics.
It's not what I expected. It's certainly very funny, but it's also extremely thoughtful and respectful of Christian scripture (I mean it is, by definition still blasphemous, but it's not a hit job shocking for dhock's sake.)
There was no requirement for "Best Character" to be a lead character in a book, supporting characters were also allowed. We'll be splitting this category into sections for next year, because this year we had more than a hundred nominations. These were the top five, in no particular order:
Batman (Batman, Detective comics, Justice League etc...)
Because of course he's on this short list. He's on it every year.
Nadia Van-Dyne/The Unstoppable Wasp (Unstoppable Wasp)
One of the most positive characters ever to be committed to paper, her series was cancelled again this year and we need Marvel to stop doing that...
Katchoo (Strangers in Paradise XXV/Five Years)
Katrina Choovanski is one of the two leads in my favourite comic series ever. Funny, talented, all 'round badass.
Murder Falcon (Murder Falcon)
From the comic of the same name, this is the seven foot anthropomorphic falcon who defends the world against monsters using the power of METAL!
A viking, a warrior, and outcast, a young woman taking on the world and the power of her gods.
BEST UK COMICS EVENT
There were only two nominations in this category. Thought Bubble and The Lakes. We're biased, so we're saying nothing else.
So - get voting!
I've been trying for three days to embed an online voting form on this page and have totally failed to do so. So, please cast your vote in the comments on this page, in the comments on the Facebook post about the Saucer Awards, or tweet us, or email us at email@example.com
Voting closes at Midnight on Boxing Day, and the winners will be announced in a Wednesday Waffle on New Years Day. (Or January 2nd if I over-indulge on New Year's Eve...)