In large part because there’s been such a kerfuffle about the nominations in the weeks since they were announced this year, I find myself still thinking about this year’s Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and the names nominated. Or, more particularly, the fact that my site wasn’t nominated.
On the one hand, I didn’t really expect us to be nominated, for a handful of reasons that go beyond my traditional self-consciousness. (I almost wrote “humility,” but I think “self-consciousness” might be more accurate, if I’m honest with myself.) We’re a new site that hadn’t even been around for a month when the nominations were submitted, lots of people don’t know who we are or what we do, and bluntly, maybe a lot of people don’t like what we do, even if they are familiar with us. There’s all manner of reasons for us to be left off the list.
Yet, it did sting when we didn’t make it, I can’t deny it. Partially because of who did make it on there — yes, there’s a couple of names on there that provoked a “What, are you serious?” response on first read; no, I won’t say who they are publicly — but more because, this felt like the closest I’d ever come to feeling as if I was going to be close to a nomination.
I couldn’t tell you what broken part of me wants to be nominated so much; I know, objectively and intellectually, that it’s a crap shoot in a lot of ways — I was a judge a few years back, I know all the pitfalls of the process — but there’s still part of me that longs to be recognized in some manner in that way. It’s not as if it would change anything in any real way in my life; it’s simply this dumb bucket list thing, like writing for certain outlets I loved as a kid even if I don’t even necessarily believe in the, anymore.
Perhaps that’s the way to think about such things when I don’t get nominated every year: the hangover of nostalgia for when the Eisners really meant something to me. That said, I know that if I do ever get a nomination, all of that will fall away in the flush of success and a feeling that, somehow, I’ve finally made it, whatever “it” might mean at that very minute. Perhaps we never quite outgrow the need for someone to tell us that we’ve done a good job, deep down.