Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Those 2015 Hugo Awards...

[A couple of posts I recently made on Facebook. Cobbled together and reformatted because oh hey LiveJournal lets you do that sort of thing.)


"In any case, this slate of nominees has already launched a Twitter firestorm, and lots of people are planning to vote "No Award" in every category except "Best Novel." It's definitely a weird turn of events that, the year after Kameron Hurley's double win, we see list of nominees that includes someone published by "Patriarchy Press." " - Charlie Jane Anders on io9

I'm tempted to throw up my hands and say this is why we can't have nice things. Because sooner or later some group of asshats will stomp on through and ruin it for everyone else.

So, this year's Hugo Awards is already set to be a debacle, one way or another. (I can't begin to imagine how surreal the Awards ceremony at WorldCon will be, if in fact it turns out that the winner of multiple categories is "No Award", one after another after another.) The real question is whether this is something they can actually recover from, given that the nomination process allows terrible people to game the system like this so completely.


And yet, one of the odder parts about this year's Hugo Awards nominees that (in light of all the controversy) is going generally unremarked upon, is that the "Best Graphic Story" category is (A) strong as hell, and (B) surprisingly reflects the critical and popular reading tastes of actual comic shop goers! Ryvre and I first voted in the Hugo Awards in 2012, and were shocked that two of the five nominees, including the eventual winner, were titles that we - as people who work in the industry - HAD NEVER HEARD OF. (But who, even if they had never had a book distributed by Diamond Comics, were perhaps regular attendees at WorldCon and thus more known to the nominators than the various bestsellers bought by actual comics readers...?)

This year, on the other hand? Out of five nominees, three of them are Image books (ie, creator-owned, creator-financed), and the Marvel one makes me incredibly happy:

* Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, (Marvel Comics)
* Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery, written by Kurtis J. Weibe, art by Roc Upchurch (Image Comics)
* Saga Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics))
* Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick, written by Matt Fraction, art by Chip Zdarsky (Image Comics)
* [plus one *Puppies nominated book that WHAT A SURPRISE no one's ever heard of]

Back in 2012, the "Best Graphic Story" category was up for ratification: Would this category continue? Or was it not actually all that viable? And based on what we saw that year (plus the fact that the Foglios had won three years in a row, for the first three years of its existence), we could totally have seen it having gone away.

How strange that in 2015, this category actually seems the most valid, and the least-XXXXed up, of the entire ballot.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2015 12:06 am (UTC)
I primarily know about the Hugos because I read Girl Genius and follow the Foglio blogs. It has seemed a little odd that they haven't won since the year they sat out, but I was surprised to see that they weren't even nominated this year.
Apr. 12th, 2015 06:40 am (UTC)
I'm not surprised, honestly, for a few reasons:

1) The most pertinent is probably that, from what I can see, GG didn't actually get a published collection last year! Amazon gives Vol. 12 a release date of 2013, which Wikipedia tells me is the most recent collection. Granted, the rules might be kind of fuzzy for always-running webcomics...

2) Remember that the Hugo Shortlist doesn't represent all the books that were nominated, but just the top 5 finalists in each category. (And we had LoserPuppies snagging one of those slots, to boot.)

3) Yet in all seriousness, I'd be kind of surprised if GG were to make the finalists again. And it's not because I don't think it's great. I've dug the Foglios for over 20 years.

But the thing is, there are so many good comics coming out today. So many comics and graphic novels that are just impressing the heck out of readers and critics alike, which are telling new stories and breaking new ground. And as enjoyable as GG is, it's kind of ... not doing that. It's kind of like what I feel about superhero comics: If this is the kind of thing you like, this will scratch that itch pretty well. And for certain things, "lightly entertaining" really is good enough.

In fact, while I didn't go into it in great detail above, that's exactly why Ryvre & I were kind of aghast that it won during the category's first three years of existence. Because if you look at any of the "Top 10 Comics of the Year" on various comics sites, or other comics awards, for 2009-2011 ... well, I have to doubt Girl Genius even placed at all. To people who know the comics offerings as well as we do, GG's Hugo wins were clearly less about its merits stacked up against the other comics that came out that year, and more about the Hugo voters not being comics readers (at that point in time anyway) and just voting for the names that already had greater recognition in prose-reading SF fandom.

Essentially, I think the broader SF readership has become more comics-aware and comics-literate at the exact time that impressive new works from unique, artistic voices are debuting with stunning regularity. So I'm sure the comic is still being nominated by some, in the years it's eligible. Just, er, not by enough.

And again, I say that as someone who likes it.
Apr. 19th, 2015 08:12 pm (UTC)
Let me start by acknowledging my general ignorance of everything involved in this topic. :)

The funny thing is that, for me, "comics" means two different things to me. My view of the type of comics i see in comic stores (and formerly, anyplace that sold magazines) is stuck in the '80s, and has a nigh-complete skew towards superheros. My exposure in the '90s included an expansion in the tone and art, but the bulk of the content didn't change much. I'm aware that far more exists, but I don't really get it in any appreciable way. I don't really imagine this overlapping with the Hugos.

My other view of "comics" are various other things I read online these days. I imagine these as having some overlap with the Hugos. It's probably just a matter of associating what I read/saw, and how I was exposed to it, at different times of of life. There's 1980 - 1990, and 2010 - now.

Thanks for widening my perspective a bit.
Apr. 28th, 2015 01:32 am (UTC)
Is it normal for so many finalists to withdraw?
Apr. 28th, 2015 02:58 am (UTC)
Good Lord no! There's nothing typical about this year's Hugo ballot at all.

(There's a reason I called it a debacle, up above...)

However, a kind of awesome effect is that the number of people buying Sasquan supporting memberships, and thus gaining the power to vote, keeps going up and up. And while it's theoretically possible that some of those could be Sad Puppies / Rabid Puppies supporters, I think it's far more likely that the SF fan community doesn't like being bullied (who'd have thunk it?), and will put their dollars where they can to fight against it.
Aug. 5th, 2015 12:27 am (UTC)
From http://www.thehugoawards.org/
5,950 members of this year’s Worldcon voted in the 2015 Hugo Awards, according to Hugo Voting Participation Announcement. This breaks last year’s record of 3,587 ballots, and represents a 57% voter turnout, the highest participation level in the past decade. More people voted this year than attended all but eight of the 72 past Worldcons.
Aug. 5th, 2015 02:01 am (UTC)
That's pretty impressive!

Also, on an unrelated note - I'm seeing BJ tomorrow! I'm taking a train to Kansas, then we're heading to Big Bend, TX to hike and stargaze for a week. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

April 2019
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars