The final day of the creator side of the SKTCHD AWRDS is here! Today, we’re going to be breaking down my final five creators of the year, giving our a quintet of additional awards to some of the most exciting and interesting writers, artists, cover artists, cartoonists and colorists of the year. It’s been a good week of highlighting people whose work I love, and it’s now coming to a close before I jump into my comics of the year next week.
You might be wondering how I put this list together. I’m a data driven guy. Maybe I had some sort of algorithm or formula to drive this. NOPE! It was just me thinking reallllly hard about all the comics I read this year, making a big list, checking it twice, and then reducing it to 25 award winners. That was it! From there, I put everyone in alphabetical order and whammo bammo, we got ourselves a week-long event of fictional awards for people. Fun, right? Let’s get to that, and don’t forget to come back next week for my favorite comics of 2019.
Have other favorites you think I missed? Get to the forums and let me know! I am CERTAIN I forgot someone I love because these efforts are impossible to get perfectly right.
The Shoot Your Shot Award: Tom Taylor (DCeased, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man)
Writer Shea Serrano is a huge proponent of the idea of “shooting your shot,” or, effectively, going for it even if you have no idea if it’s going to work for you. It’s basically a mantra of his “FOH Army,” a brigade of Twitter users who use those powers to…relentlessly do good things for people? It’s a fascinating thing, and an idea I love to see executed by storytellers. Who wants to read a story where someone doesn’t shoot their shot? It’s far more entertaining to engage with something where you’re like, “I can’t believe they’re trying this.”
The comic god of shooting your shot is writer Tom Taylor, a writer whose credits for 2019 included a comic I lovingly called “DC’s Marvel Zombies” and a Spider-Man story in which the wall-crawler adventures through a previously unknown secret city under New York literally called “Under York” with a geriatric superhero. In the wrong hands, those are deeply stupid ideas that fans either mock or rage about. Instead, Taylor turned them into absolute delights – or, whatever the equivalent of delight is for stories in which an entire world dies – that constantly surprise and entertain, finding a way to not just come up with brilliant ideas but deliver on them at the same time.
The premise of fan fiction about superheroes is a funny one to me, as in many ways, what are superhero comics but paid fan fiction that last forever? I don’t mean that as a way to degrade superhero comics, as I love them. But that’s what they are. Sometimes, because of the nature of IP management or perhaps the slightly less willful nature of other creators, that can lead to toothless works. But Taylor’s the king of that idea, delivering A+ fan fiction where you’re constantly astonished by what he’s doing. A zombified version of The Flash is transmitting an Anti-Life Equation at super speed?! Superman decides to fly through him and is infected by a finger that jammed through his skin?! Superman decides to kill the sun to more efficiently kill the Earth? GUY GARDNER SAVES EVERYONE?!
Taylor’s stories are constantly delivering beats with question marks attached to them, but crucially, there are also exclamation points there. That’s what you get when you’re the comic book master of shooting your shot, always going deeply outside the box but nailing it when you do. It’s why Taylor is one of my favorite writers of 2019.