We’re back for the second part of our speculation on the 2011 Stan Lee Awards. Yesterday we covered the first six categories, but there are still six more to get through, so let’s get to it!
Best Comic Hero
Ok so this is a straight out fanboy race. It just depends on who is voting. I found myself casting my vote for Pilgrim because I felt bad about not plugging for him in the movie category and I have a feeling that I may not be alone in that thought process. If I had to pick an outsider I think I’d go for Green Lantern, he’s got a movie coming out and Blackest Night was a pretty big deal but seriously, who really likes Hal Jordan? Really? You’re lying.
The newcomer category paints a rather rosy picture about the future of comics and there is some quite wonderful work to be seen if you look up any of the names you see here. Obviously the big name power of Jonathan Ross gives him a bit of an edge when it comes to casual fans, but to be fair on the guy Turf is one hell of a first book and the fact that he’s willing to put his name on the line to support initiatives like Clint shows that he’s far more serious about comics than some might think.
Kieron Gillen’s work on the critically acclaimed SWORD gives him a pretty good shot but I think I’m going to have to go out on a limb and give it to Rob Guillory. Chew is one of my favorite new books and Guillory’s art is absolutely central to what makes it so good. His skill at combining the horrible and the hilarious have impressed me since the first page of that book and it’d be great to see him pull in a big award like this for his work.
Image has had a hell of year in so many regards. As the big two have struggled to keep hold of readers, Image has seen its readership go from strength to strength as it leads the pack of smaller publishers chasing up behind the big dogs. The decision to embrace day and date digital distribution with books like Walking Dead was, to my mind, a master stroke. It puts Image clearly at the front of the digital revolution of comics and makes DC and Marvel seem sluggish by comparison. Yes, the big two still have more fans and so in a public vote, a smaller publisher will always struggle to overcome them, but it’s far from the certainty it would have been a couple of years ago. This could well be the year that DC and Marvel get their rears handed to them by the Indys and in honesty it could be the best thing to happen to them in years. Nothing breeds creativity like competition and for that reason I really hope Image walks away with this one.
Best TV Show
The Walking Dead
I’m inclined to lean towards Dr Who on this one because it’s the only one that I’ve had a chance to really get into watching but I know how much Steve adores Misfits so I’ll place our official Bunker seal of approval with them. Realistically I think Dr Who probably has too big and too passionate a fan base to allow the other nominees a look in and, to be fair, Matt Smith is a bloody good Doctor. But it would be nice to see Misfits pull off the upset.
I have absolutely no idea why Boardwalk Empire is on this list. It looks amazing, sure. But why is it being nominated for an award at a comic book convention? I guess while it’s been a great year for geek movies, it’s been somewhat less of one for geek TV.
Best Game or Toy
Red Dead Redemption
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Gotta feel a bit sorry for NBA 2K11 in this category, I’m pretty sure that the people who frequent the Kapow website aren’t the sort of people who play a tonne of Basketball games. I don’t mean to question the game’s quality, it might be fantastic, but I wouldn’t know because I’m the sort of person that frequents the Kapow website.
Honestly I think Red Dead will probably take this one. It was hands down one of the best games of last year and was one of the only things to put any kind of dent in my near religious World of Warcraft schedule. Reach has a fantastic (if clichéd as hell) story but you can see pretty much everything that’s worth seeing in the game in about a day. Black Ops is the heavy hitter of the pack in terms of sales and it does have a hardcore base of fans, but Red Dead is just a better game with a more mainstream appeal.
Man or Woman of the Year
Mark Millar may feel awkward about being nominated in his own awards ceremony but it seems Stan Lee has no such qualms and why not, eh? In actuality, Stan the Man has actually had a pretty influential year and probably does warrant a place on this list beyond the usual “because he’s Stan Lee!” ones. His work with Boom Studios on the “Stan Lee Presents” line has produced some really good work and helped to highlight that while Stan’s writing style may seem a little dated nowadays, as a pure ideas man he really is still one of the best in the business. I have a feeling that he may well walk away with this one largely because of the aforementioned “because he’s Stan Lee!” reason, but if he does then it’ll be a relatively well deserved win.
Vaughn is the clear outsider here for me. Kick Ass was a major event and the fact that Kapow attendees are likely to be fans of that film will probably help his chances a bit, but he’s just not the comic book powerhouse that the others are. X-Men First Class hasn’t been receiving a warm reception from comics fans as of late and while he thoroughly deserves his spot in the nominees list, I just don’t see him pulling off a win.
Were it not a public poll then I’d put my money on Quesada. Whatever you may think of some of his editorial decisions there’s no denying that he made Marvel what it is today and since he’s stepping down this year, it’s probably a good time for an award of some kind to recognise that.
Kirkman would be a fantastic winner for me. 2010/11 really was the year of digital comics and next to Mark Millar himself, he’s probably about the biggest creator in that particular arena. Throw in the Walking Dead TV series and it’s been a pretty solid year. I’d hesitate to put money on him winning, but I’d go nuts if he did.
Well that’s the lot of them. We’re very curious to know what you dear bunkerites (do you want to be called bunkerites? I think you want to be called bunkerites) think of the list, so please do jump on the comments section and let us know your hot tips so that we can all be proved wrong together when Ant and Dec are announced as winners.