OUTSTANDING COMEDIC COMIC:
I find myself having a difficult time making a choice in this category, and not for the usual reasons. Usually the problem is having too many outstanding comics and having to choose just one. In this case, despite pretty much all of these comics being on my reading lists, and being among my favorite comics, none have really blown me out of my shoes this year.
The exception would be Sinfest, which had a fantastic year – though less due to its humor, and more due to the addition of full color sundays and some genuinely strong storylines. Still – it did so without losing its sense of humor, so I’d say that would be enough to put it at the top of the pack in my book.
OUTSTANDING DRAMATIC COMIC:
Something Positive. The death of Faye. Mike having a kid. Aubrey and Jason’s marriage. The fall of Kharisma. No way this doesn’t win.
OUTSTANDING LONG FORM COMIC:
I’m gonna go with Order of the Stick, which had a really good year – and one primarily built around long, well-developed storylines.
OUTSTANDING SHORT FORM COMIC:
Penny Arcade remains, in my opinion, the masters of the three panel strip.
OUTSTANDING SINGLE PANEL COMIC:
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is the only one of these that I read, so… yeah.
OUTSTANDING ANTHROPOMORPHIC COMIC:
This is a rather tricky category. Many of the comics that end up in this category have anthropomorphic characters, but don’t really put any emphasis on that in the story itself. Digger has always been a strong choice, due to actually having a great deal of background and detail on the wombat element itself (and the occasional psychic slug). Personally, I’d like to see Dan and Mab’s Furry Adventures win, as a comic that is pretty much defined by anthropomorphism at it’s core.
But my money’s on Digger taking it home again.
OUTSTANDING FANTASY COMIC:
This one is a genuinely difficult choice, with all the comics being top notch. I’m torn between Gunnerkrigg Court and No Rest for the Wicked, but I suspect GC will be the popular choice.
OUTSTANDING GAMING COMIC:
Toss-up between Order of the Stick and Penny Arcade. OotS had a stronger year in general, but is much more confined in its gaming roots. And Penny Arcade is, well… Penny Arcade.
OUTSTANDING SLICE-OF-LIFE COMIC:
I might like Questionable Content and Something Positive, but they don’t really fit the category in my mind. They might capture life well at times, but they have a lot of absurdities and unrealisms that should take them out of the running. Sadly, I suspect one of them will be the winner, though I’d take any of the others over them, as The Devil’s Panties was my pick last year, and Stuff Sucks one of my top discoveries of this year.
Smile, really, is the best of the lot – perhaps unsurprisingly so, given its autobiographical nature, but it really is much more true to life than any of the rest. It won’t win, I suspect, but it really deserves it the most.
I’ve heard good things about Red String, though I still haven’t managed to get around to reading it. Still, I’m rooting for Girly – some of the romantic plots going on this year have been years in building, and have been incredibly well done.
OUTSTANDING SCIENCE FICTION COMIC:
I think Schlock Mercenary really resonates as science fiction more than almost any other comic out there, and will win accordingly. I’m hoping for Girl Genius to win, myself, but with the other comics on there, it will be a tough run either way.
OUTSTANDING SUPERHERO / ACTION COMIC:
Given the plethora of superheroes in print comics, it remains a surprisingly small category online – though still solid enough to produce a lot of quality choices for this category. I think Dr. McNinja will take the cake, which I can’t really complain about. Nonetheless, I’m going to have to root for Magellan, which has really been on a roll this last year, and deserves the chance to finally win this one.
So there are my predictions – accuracy will be verified in some two and a half week’s time. I’m looking forward to it – if nothing else, the online ceremony has always been a clever and enjoyable production, and I suspect that is something that won’t be changing any time soon.