2012 Eisner Round-Up: Foxes, Seeds, Lieutenants, Protestors, and Battlepug: the Pug Who Battles

The Eisner Awards are coming around again, which means it’s time to fire up the Sugarshock-o-meter and make with the predictions! Lest you forget, the Sugarshock-o-meter was named in honor of Sugarshock!, winner of the Eisner’s Best Digital Comic Award and penned by Joss Whedon. Yes, that same Joss Whedon who’s likely swimming in a sea of licensed Marvel merch after the resounding box office take of his Avengers movie, which is currently at $1.4 Billion internationally (putting it at #3 of all time right behind the James Cameron 1-2 punch of Avatar and Titanic).

But remember… we recognized him first! Or, at least, previous to the Avengers.

Every year a five-member panel of judges makes the nominations: librarian Jesse Carp, comic shop owner Calum Johnston, legendary comic book creator Larry Marder, University of Oregon professor Ben Saunders, and probably the most webcomic-friendly member of the panel, fellow comic blogger Brigid Alverson. The nominees are then voted by comic-book professionals, with the results announced at San Diego Comic-Con (held this year between July 12-15).

A disclaimer here: the Sugarshock-o-meter only calculates the chances of whether or not a webcomic is going to win the Best Digital Comic award, not the actual quality of the comic itself. Such is the limitations of technology. Stupid, foolish logic. To get a sense of what I thought of each comic, I’ve included a link to the reviews next to each nominee.

So who does the Sugarshock-o-meter predict will run off with the award? Let’s run the machine and check out the results, shall we?

The webcomic: Outfoxed (reviewed here)

The skinny: A fox outfoxes hunter with the help of a foxy laundry woman. He in turn becomes a foxy guy. Laundress tell him to fox off.


The X-Factor: With shows like Grimm and Once Upon a Time dominating the airwaves and movies like Snow White and The Avenger Thor hitting the cineplexes, it’s safe to say that fairy tales are totes in. Also, the fox dude looks like Marvel’s Starfox, which may reel in unguarded comic book nerds into reading this story.

The Y-Factor: It’s kinda short, and short stories have been very Eisner friendly recently. Readers may also start wondering whether or not the laundress is being manipulated by the Infinity Gauntlet.

AFI Top 100 Film This Is Most Like: Fiddler on the Roof

Sugarshock-o-meter: 88/100

The webcomic: Sarah And The Seed (reviewed here)

The skinny: Elderly woman Sarah cradles an ominous seed in an allegory to the horrors of child-rearing. And gardening.

The X-Factor: It sorta sets itself up as a horror comic, but it isn’t. Which sorta makes it like a David Lynch production. Remember that scene in Twin Peaks were were see the shaking back of that little person, buzzing like a weird hummingbird, ready to scare your pants off the moment he reveals himself — but when he turns around he’s this funny dude in a leisure suit? This comic is sorta like that. And nerds worship David Lynch.

The Y-Factor: Like Outfoxed, it is a rather short story. They’re the big draws on Reddit, but not necessarily so at Eisner time.

AFI Top 100 Film This Is Most Like: Eraserhead

Sugarshock-o-meter: 90/100

The webcomic: Delilah Dirk And the Turkish Lieutenant (reviewed here)

The skinny: Indie rock band tours the country and deals with adventure, love, and greasy truck stop diners.

No, wait! It’s actually about Delilah Dirk and a Turkish lieutenant. But, man, that would be a great name for a band, wouldn’t it?

The X-Factor: This is the year for ladies wielding medieval weapons. Brave. The Hunger Games. And now, Delilah Dirk! I highly advice people to purchase stock in Ren faires, which are clearly the next big cultural trend.

The Y-Factor: People hung up that Istanbul’s called Constantinople. Why did Constantinople get the works? That’s nobody’s business but the Turks.

AFI Top 100 Film This Is Most Like: The Adventures of Robin Hood

Sugarshock-o-meter: 92/100

The webcomic: Bahrain (reviewed here)

The skinny: Arab Spring hits the tiny country of Bahrain, and cartoonists take sides. Battles are fought on the grounds and in the social media.

The X-Factor: Josh Neufeld has already been nominated for quite a few awards, including the Eisner, due to his previous work, AD: New Orleans After the Deluge. So he’s got some name recognition.

The Y-Factor: The initial enthusiasm about Arab Spring has been tempered lately with some cynicism and mistrust (which, too be fair, is actually reflected in this comic). The same anxieties may be reflected in the Eisner votes. The more daring but thematically similar Zahra’s Paradise, by the way, was up for an Eisner last year but didn’t snag the big award.

Future AFI Top 100 Film This Is Most Like: Exit Through The Gift Shop

Sugarshock-o-meter: 93/100

The webcomic: Battlepug (reviewed here)

The skinny: A straight take on the swords-and-sorcery genre pioneered by Robert Howard. A modern day take on a grim barbarian seeking vengeance for his slain family. And by “modern day,” I mean “pugs.”

The X-Factor: Creator Mike Norton has worked on several mainstream comics, and is probably one of the few who would have some sort of name recognition. Also, pugs. Who doesn’t like pugs?

The Y-Factor: People who believe the Japanese Chin is a far superior (and adorable) breed.

Future AFI Top 100 Film This Is Most Like: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Sugarshock-o-meter: 95/100

There you go, people. If you’re betting on the Eisners, the Webcomic Overlook advises you to make Battlepug your winning pick in the Best Digital Comic category. Also, The Webcomic Overlook would like to suggest putting your money on more profitable and cooler betting ventures, such as, say, dog racing.

As for the webcomic that The Webcomic Overlook would want to see win, I’ll have to throw in with Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant. Great art, great action, a fun story, and a beat you can dance to!

Incidentally, I typically try to avoid the San Diego area at this time. I’m not much of a convention goer, first of all, so comic conventions hold no appeal for me. Plus, I get nervous in crowds. Any crowds, not necessarily the ones that may or may not include Man Faye.

However, through a weird twist of fate, I actually will be in SoCal that weekend this year … but not because of ComiCon, instead because of a family reunion. I’ll be taking some time off from blogging in early July, but that doesn’t mean I get to slack off on predictions this year. I still plan on avoidance but … you never knowwwwwwwwwww….

(Hmmm… should I pack my Li’l Abner costume? Just in case?)


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on June 21, 2012, in webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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