From the current issue of Bazooka Magazine.
It’s awards season, and there’s really no reason why people with informed opinions and credentials should have all the fun. Nominees for each category were selected by a panel of me and winners were decided by a vote of eligible members of the Manitoba Academy (also me). Where appropriate, I have provided commentary to further explain the award and/or decision.
Books & Comics
Literary Event of the Year: The release of Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 by Mark Twain
How often does a guy who’s been dead for a century release a new book?
Book of the Year: Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin and Tony Hendra
This books was actually released in November of 2009, but in the words of Carlin himself, “these are my rules, I make ‘em up.”
Best Short Story Collection: Who Fears The Devil?(Planet Stories) by Manley Wade Wellman, collected by Paizo Publishing
A collection of stories about John the Balladeer, an Appalachian troubadour who fights evil with his silver-stringed guitar. It’s like a Shack Shakers album in book form.
Most Inexplicable Literary Phenomenon: Steig Larsson’s The Girl Who Did Things series
I’ll admit I’ve only seen the movies, but I just don’t get it. I could see an argument that the girl of the title is a strong female character, but all her strength is rooted in victimhood, Swedish Hero Man ultimately saves her every time, and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that she may in fact just be spank material for some dude named Steig. Also, I hear the writing’s pretty bad.
Most Still Alive Author: Dave Barry
Because I just realized that with the exception of Hendra, every author I’ve mentioned so far is dead.
Best New Comic: The Sixth Gun by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt
Awarded to the creative team with the most double consonants in their names.
Most Disappointing Character Death: Rupert Giles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight
If you’re going to kill a character whose been around since the beginning of the TV series, you really should make it count (and get a better artist to draw it).
Comic Book Character With Too Fucking Many Titles: Batman
Seriously, I can’t afford all this shit.
Worst Mini-Series of the Year: The Rise of Arsenal by J.T. Krul
It’s very likely that The Rise of Arsenal is, in fact, the worst comic mini-series ever. After his daughter is killed in a super-villain-caused disaster, Roy Harper (formerly Green Arrow’s heroin addict sidekick, Speedy, who at different times has also been known as Arsenal and Red Arrow), understandably loses his shit and starts doing a new drug called “China cat.” Some authors would have turned this into a poignant story of loss and redemption, but not J.T. Krul. In no time, Krul has Roy remembering the good ol’ days of drug use and gang rape with the ghost of his former dealer, and by issue 3 (arguably the worst comic ever written), Roy has his ex (and dead kid’s mother) tied up and is trying to have sex with her, but can’t get it up. So he goes out and beats up some homeless guys in order to protect a dead cat (that he thinks is his daughter). Then Batman shows up and beats the shit out of him while telling him, After-School Special style, “I’m your friend!” I’m sure I read beyond that, but at this point I’ve blocked it out. This mini-series managed to take a character who for decades has been merely uninteresting and make him unlikable and creepy.
Worst Ongoing Comic Series of the Year: Green Arrow by J.T. Krul
Fucking J.T. Krul. After he made us hate Arsenal, he was allowed to take on the re-launch of Green Arrow. The premise: well, Green Arrow’s sort of like Robin Hood, so he should be an outlaw in a forest. So, since a huge chunk of Star City has just been destroyed (in the catastrophe that killed Roy Harper's daughter and/or cat), why not have a magical forest spring up there, banish Green Arrow from Star City, and have him live in the forest? I’ll tell you why not, J.T. Because it’s fucking retarded. Green Arrow is my favorite super-hero, but I secretly hope for this title to be canceled.
Politics & Journalism
Reporter of the Year: Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone)
For making Wall Street and banking schemes that were incomprehensible by design understandable to normal humans, and doing it in an entertaining way.
Best Political Blog: You Are Dumb (www.youaredumb.net)
For calling out stupid people for being stupid.
Best Kentucky Blogger: Joe Sonka of Barefoot & Progressive (http://barefootandprogressive.blogspot.com/)
For asking whether there will be dinosaurs on the ark.
Story of the Year: Jon Ronson’s interview with the Insane Clown Posse, in which they reveal that they are, and have always been, evangelical Christians.
Because a giraffe is a fucking miracle.
Stupidest Political Trend: The Left claiming that their rhetoric is just as hateful and violent as the Right’s.
Seriously. Quit it.
Funniest Political Story: Aqua Buddha
Remember, it’s funnier to the tune of Kool & The Gang’s “Jungle Boogie.”
Southern Hospitality Award: The City of Mayfield
For their acceptance of the Somali Muslims.
Gadsden Flag Award: Rand Paul
For protecting small business owners from the kind of government tyranny that would require them to serve black people.
Biggest Disappointment: The Mid-term Elections/The Obama Presidency (tie)
These are really two sides of the same coin, both proving that most Americans are stupid enough to believe that there’s a difference between the political parties. The truth is we’ve got one party: The Corporate Interest Party, which politically is somewhere to the right of nearly every single one of the first 39 Presidents. We need some variety. Next time around, lets elect some old school Democrats, old school Republicans, true Progressives, principled Libertarians, Environmental Nutjobs, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and METHODISTS!
Best Movie: True Grit
Best Use Of Gratuitous Violence In A Motion Picture: Machete
Triumph of the Year: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
Those of us who have experienced the heartbreak of watching Lost In La Mancha were sure that Heath Ledger’s death would make this another Gilliam movie that never saw the light of day.
Tragedy of the Year: News that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was once again on hold.
Seriously, why the hell won’t somebody just give Gilliam a big pile of money? Also, the film rights to Good Omens.
Worst Movie News: That they’re making a Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie without Joss Whedon.
Hudson Hawk Award: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Universe
The Hudson Hawk Award goes to the most awesome move of the year that most people just didn’t get.
What You See Is What You Get Award: Hot Tub Time Machine
Most Wasted Potential: The Expendables
Worst Casting Decision: Giving Ali Shawkat a role with almost no lines. (Runaways, which also totally dissed Lita Ford).
Most Gratuitously Ironic Ending In An Otherwise Very Good Movie: A Single Man
Worst Movie of the Year: Faster
Most Overdue Award: Jeff Bridges’ Oscar for Crazy Heart.
Album of the Year: AgriDustrial, The Legendary Shack Shakers
Song of the Year: “Hoboes Are My Heroes” by The Legendary Shack Shakers
While the song is, in fact, great, the real reason the Shack Shakers get this award is for their early recognition of the fact that 2011 will be the Year of the Hobo. Hobos are going to be the new zombies, folks. Get ready for it.
Local Band of the Year: Uncle Skunkle & The Scarecrow Family Band
Long-time title-holders The Union Suit were edged out this year by Skunkle, in part because these guys played so damn many shows--hall shows, house parties, bar mitzvahs--Hell, if you didn’t lock your door there was a good chance you’d come home to find them setting up instruments in your living room. Also, I’m pretty sure they stole some of Trent Summar’s Hank Flamingo-era outfits, which has to count for something.
Celebrity Who Turned Out To Be Just Who We Always Hoped He Was: Bill Murray
As revealed in Dan Fierman’s GQ interview. The Daniel Clowes art was also a nice touch.
Most Talked About Geek Television Event: AMC’s The Walking Dead
Meme of the Year: The “Bed Intruder Song” by Antoine Dodson & Autotune The News
T-Shirt of the Year: Topless Robot’s shirt featuring Dr. Doom riding a Unicorn
Role-Playing Game of the Year: American Artifacts (Hex Games)
There were a lot of worthy nominees in this category: Sex, Lies, & Ultraspies (Hex Games), Mars & Venus At War (Hex Games), Fratboys Vs. (Hex Games), and many others(mostly not Hex Games), but American Artifacts wins the prize.
Winner of ComicCon: Helen Miran, for her Harvey Pekar shirt.