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Archive for April, 2011

Thinking about Edgar

So the Mystery Writers of America presented the 65th Edgar Awards in New York City last night. I am a member of the MWA, and have been – proudly – since Keeper was published, ohsomanyyearsagonow.

The MWA is a Good Thing, and its history is one of which I am proud, and I am – when I look at its list of members past and present – frankly dubious of my right to count myself amongst their company. But they let me in, and I’m not leaving until they pry my cold, dead grip from the doorframe, splinters and all coming with me. If I’m honest, I barely make it through the door – my skill at The Mystery is feeble at best, in my opinion; Suspense I’m pretty darn good at, and I know my stories well, I believe. But I have never mastered the intricacy and elegance of the well-plotted mystery, at least to my satisfaction.

But this is neither here nor there. This is not what brings me writing. What brings me writing is that, as I look over the list of categories for this year (and years past), I find an omission. The Edgars are “Awarded by the Mystery Writers of America, for distinguished work in the mystery genre: novels, television, and motion pictures.“ Best Novel (congratulation to Steve Hamilton for his terrific novel, The Lock Artist), Best First Novel by an American Author (kudos to Bruce DeSilva for Rogue Island, which I confess to having not yet read and will seek to immediately rectify the situation), and the list goes on and on. Best Fact Crime, Best Paperback Original, Best Critical-slash-Biographical Work, Best Juvenile, Best Young Adult, Best Stageplay, Best Television Episode, the naming of the new Grandmaster (pretty much the highest honor our community can confer, this year granted to the amazing and ground-breaking Sara Paretsky).

No comics.

I don’t know why it’s taken me so many years to really recognize this omission, but this year, I did. This year, I found myself thinking about Ed Brubaker and Brian Bendis and Jason Aaron and all the others out there who write mysteries and crime fiction and police-slash-investigative procedurals in the comics medium… and I’m wondering why we do not have a category for works like these. Works that are certainly just as legitimate and capable of the same elegance and power that novels and teleplays can achieve.

The mystery, as a genre, has suffered from much the same ghettoization, slight, and ridicule as comics. It’s been called anti-literary and – gasp! – popular, where “popular” means “read by many people and therefore cannot possibly have merit.” Mysteries have been accused of pandering, sensationalism, being overly lurid, of corrupting our youth. The mystery and the comic share a parent in the form of the pulps.

Sound familiar? Sound like any other medium? (Well, aside from that one… and that one… and yes, that one…)

So, an open question: why isn’t there an Edgar category for Best Comic Book Story/Graphic Novel?

And in lieu of a compelling answer to that question, I’m thinking maybe next year, maybe for the 66th Annual Edgar Awards, there ought to be one.

Just a thought.

Back to the novel….

Greg talks to Stumptown Trade Review

…And spills the beans about something called Lady Sabre & the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether. Give the interview a listen at the Stumptown Trade Review site.

A Little Dusty

But if you clear it away, it does, in fact, appear to be a blog.

I’ve not much to say. The Punisher news broke. The Eisner news broke, and came as much as a surprise to me as I’m sure it did to Matthew Southworth and Michael Lark. The pleasure of comics is the collaboration, for me, and I continue to be blessed with outstanding collaborators. Other projects are developing that I Am Not Allowed To Talk About Yet.

In the spirit of attempting to put some utility to this blog, I’m posting the following – the complete script to the story “Post Mortem,” which appeared in I Am an Avenger, Issue #2. It’s in PDF, and I provide it mostly as a curiosity, so one can see – first of all – how I script, and – far more importantly – that in the realm of comics, I am one but cog in a much larger machine. The machine, in this instance, included not only myself and Michael Lark, but crucially Stefano Gaudiano, Matt Hollingsworth, Travis Lanham, Alejandro Arbona, and Steve Wacker, and those are just the credited names.

That’s what you can’t see in reading a script, and what is so often overlooked in reading a comic book. That is, to me, the magic of the medium; the alchemy that allows the creation of a story, of a piece of art, that can genuinely become more than the sum of its parts.

It goes without saying – but I’ll say it anyway – that the characters herein are copyright of Marvel Comics, etc, etc.

Make with the right-clicky-download-here-yada-yada if you want a copy of the Post_Mortem_script.

Greg nominated for Eisners

I Am An Avenger #2

I Am An Avenger #2

Greg has been nominated, along with artists Michael Lark and Matthew Southworth, in two categories of the Eisner Awards. Nominees were announced today:

Best Short Story: “Post Mortem,” by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, in I Am an Avenger #2 (Marvel)

Best Limited Series: Stumptown, by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth (Oni)

The announcement also explained the voting process, and set a date for the ceremony:

Ballots with this year’s nominees will be going out in mid-April to comics creators, editors, publishers, and retailers. A downloadable pdf of the ballot will also be available online, and a special website has been set up for online voting. The results in all categories will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 22 at Comic-Con International.

The Eisner Awards are presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture.

Greg at WonderCon this weekend

Wondercon Logo

Other websites will be awash with April Fool’s gags today, but this is no prank: Greg will be at Wondercon in San Francisco this weekend.

For more information, see our appearances page!