I'm pleased as can be to hear the best possible news out of Comic-Con this year: my friend Bruce Canwell and his partners at The Library of American Comics (I've tooted their horn here a time or two before) swept the Eisner Awards, winning in every category in which they were nominated. It is very much deserved, as anyone who has enjoyed any of their great books can attest. It's particularly gratifying that Genius, Illustrated, the second volume of their monumental biography of comics great Alex Toth, and possibly the deepest and personal project that BC has worked on, copped two awards. Kudos to them all -- but I'll let them take up the story from here, at their website.
It's even more pleasing to note that Bruce was able to get a nod of affection in to our mutual friend Howard, who died earlier this year as mentioned on this blog. I'll let Bruce tell it in his own words:
"Dean was in San Diego, and last week we had discussed what to say if we won in any given category. For the Alex Toth book in the 'Best Comics-Related Book' category, I suggested Dean could talk about the overall scope of the project (five years of work, almost one hundred thousand words in close to a thousand pages), but what I most wanted him to say was this …
"'We'd like to honor two persons who are now sadly no longer with us: Alex's third wife, Christina Hyde -- who charmed everyone with her kindness, generosity, and gentle humor -- and Howard Downs, who was a great fan of Alex's, and of good comics everywhere.'
"… Which is exactly what Dean said, while accepting the award.
"As I told Dean last week, it's folks like Howard who have kept the industry going year after year, making possible events like Comic-Con and awards like the Eisners. So last night a ballroom filled with comics creators/publishers — as well as talent from animation, TV, and movies — got to hear Howard's name as he represented all those folks. I was pleased to be able to give him that opportunity, because I was proud to call him my friend."
Well-done, Bruce, all the way around. And thanks. I'm still crying.