This was a tough one to decide on. Overall, I’d say it’s the weakest set of nominees except maybe “Dramatic Presentation, short form,” and I do get the idea that Hugo nominators as a whole aren’t too widely read in the world of comics. For both its two years, the category has been dominated by two specific webcomics and writers/properties from the wider sf world.
I’m going to contradict myself right off the bat. I’ve said several times that I like that the Hugos give more attention to webcomics than a lot of awards programs…but I’m going to immediately toss the two webcomics out of contention. Schlock Mercenary didn’t do it for me, and Phil Foglio is a sentimental favorite, but Girl Genius felt like it was in a holding pattern last year.
The three other collections are stronger entries, but each has its flaws. Captain Britain suffers from the minutiae of obscure continuity and inconsistencies in the art. Gaiman’s Batman has some beautiful moments, but again, not my favorite art, and not much of an overall story. Fables had beautiful art, but it’s in the awkward position of dealing with the aftermath of a truly epic story. All three are great, none is perfect.
In the end, I voted for Cornell’s Captain Britain, though Willingham and Gaiman were very close behind. I think sentimental reasons were the tie-breaker – I have more of a history with Captain Britain, and I really like Cornell.
Tomorrow, short fiction. Wednesday, novellas, Thursday, drama! Friday, novels.