Feature

Comics Daily Awards 2009: Other Awards

30th December 2009 | by | No Comments

Our “Best of 2009” awards continue with a post dedicated to assorted bits and bobs we felt worth spotlighting from the last year. So without further ado, here are the awards that would be shown on ITV2 after the main ceremony had finished…

Best Colourist: Dave Stewart
There have actually been some excellent colourists working at the top of their game this year – Matthew Wilson on Phonogram and assorted Marvel books, and Alex Sinclair working harmoniously with Frank Quitely on Batman & Robin – but Stewart gets this for superb work on not one but two gorgeous- and very different-looking books, Seaguy and Detective Comics; neither of which would have looked the same without him. [SP]

Best Cover: Batman & Robin #4, Frank Quitely
It’s a shame that this cover fronted the first disappointing issue of Batman & Robin, but it really is a delightful (not to say mischievous) image – it says everything about the storyarc contained within, contains a brilliant piece of design in the bonkers-yet-genius Red Hood costume, summons up the spirit of Silver Age covers by having a descriptive slogan yet working it into the image itself in a Modern Age manner, and employs Quitely’s trademark expert draftsmanship (as ever, he’s able to give superb precision and detail to the smaller image of Batman and Robin in the lower corner). [SP]

Best Cover Gag: Umbrella Academy #4, Gabriel Ba
… that said, while Quitely’s Batman and Robin pieces were my favourite bits of cover art this year, this effort from Gabriel Ba was clearly the best cover idea. [SP]

Best Melding of the Storytelling Vocabularies of Videogames and Comics: “Continue?”, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe
Yes, this is something that Pilgrim has always done brilliantly; and James will probably argue that the peak for this device of O’Malley’s came with the sword in book four. But the single page in book five, with Scott in the centre surrounded by the blankness of snow, with the simple word “CONTINUE?” in an 8-bit style font above, does an immense job of summing up his feelings and situation in a thoroughly original and modern way. [SP]

Best Movie Star Likeness: Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent, by Gary Frank
You’d think the somewhat bizarre casting of Tommy Lee Jones as Norman Osborn throughout Marvel’s titles since his elevation to God and Overlord of the Universe would get this, but sadly a number of artists have let the side down by straying off-message. Meanwhile, Gary Frank’s determination to draw Christopher Reeve (and Margot Kidder) wherever possible, even during the pre-pubescent stages of Superman: Secret Origin takes some beating. [SP]

Best Re-Imagining of a Classic Super-Villain: Ultimate Mysterio
Throughout its original run, Ultimate Spider-Man‘s strength tended to come in the way it reposited heroes and supporting characters, rather than the quality of its reimagined villains. But it turns out that Bendis was saving the best until now – because having finally got round to Ultimizing Mysterio, he’s done rather a splendid job of it. While not losing sight of the original character or stylings of the 616 version, he’s turned the villain of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man‘s first arc into a genuinely challenging prospect for Peter, while still relying on all the classic tropes to do so. USM managed to stay a great comic for ten years with some faintly naff versions of villains (Green Goblin, Venom, Carnage) – if that aspect’s starting to improve, then it might just get even better. [SP]

Best Comic that Turns Up Right When You Need It: Wolverine #73
Hot on the heels of the excerable Wolverine movie, which had me questioning whether Wolverine could ever be taken seriously again, Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert’s story from Wolverine #73 was so brilliant that it actually had the foresight to turn up early, before the release of Wolverine #72. (Ahem.) Not only did it give Kubert a chance to draw Wolverine in a variety of fantastic one-panel “stories” interacting with the entire Marvel Universe, Aaron also used it to make some sense of the character’s over-exposure. Paired up with a second story containing some fantastic Tommy Lee Edwards artwork, Wolverine #73 managed to show you every cool thing about the character, mere days after the release of a movie which forgot to show any of them. [JHu]

Best tie-in Computer Game: Batman – Arkham Asylum
As the member of Comics Daily who doesn’t really find Batman very entertaining – in any medium – this game was one of the few things that managed to actually realise the true appeal of the character for me, and it did so while exploiting every strength of its medium. Rather than casting Batman in a generic beat ’em up (hello, Wolverine: Origins) or a neutered RPG (cheers, Ultimate Alliance 2) or, indeed, missing the point entirely (what the shit were you thinking, Watchmen: The End is Nigh?!), Arkham Asylum allowed you the opportunity to not just view Batman’s adventures, but fully become Batman and experience them for yourself. Everything from frantic, multi-foe brawls to careful stealth to a rather large detective component, all wrapped around a psychological deconstruction of the character written by Paul Dini and featuring liberal use of Batman’s supporting characters and history. As a Marvel fan it hurts me to admit it, but there has never been a better computer game based on a comic than this. [JHu]

Best Movie Adaptation of a Comic: Watchmen
Worst Movie Adaptation of a Comic: Watchmen

Because, let’s face it, can anyone make up their minds about this film yet? By turns inspiring and frustrating, it’s either an astonishingly faithful work of sheer visual poetry, or a messy and muddled attempt to capture the comic while entirely missing the point of it. Or, quite possibly, it’s just both. [SP]