The 2008 Harvey Awards are now open for nominations. Anyone who has worked in comics (mainstream, small press, independent) can nominate and vote. There's been some discussion about the process, since it does lend itself to "ballot stuffing," i.e. over zealous comic book creators who petition fellow writer/artist friends to support them in the nomination process. I'll confess I've sent a mass email or two for previous Harvey Awards, all to no avail. Due to the absolute democracy of it, you also don't get much diversity among the winners (click here) year after year. There are certain industry favorites, so there are no hidden gems. In this regard, I like the Eisner Award process better where a committee selects the nominees. No industry award is perfect. (Recommended reading: Tom Spurgeon's If I Were The Emperor of Comics, look at #17 and #18)

Love it or hate it, I'm glad we have the opportunity to acknowledge excellence in the comic book field. And I appreciate the openness, that a lonely freelancer such as myself can have a vote.

Ballots are available online:
Download pdf nomination ballot
Download txt nomination ballot

Completed forms can be e-mailed to harveyballots@hotmail.com. Ballots are due for submission by Friday, March 27th.

If I can give any biased recommendations, KRISTIAN DONALDSON in DMZ #20 for best artist, JUSTIN STEWART in Mix Tape Vol. 1 for best colorist, COMIC BOOK COMICS from Evil Twin Comics for best new series, WASTELAND from Oni Press for best continuing or limited series, TIKI JOE MYSTERIES from SLG for best original graphic novel, SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST from AdHouse for best graphic novel of previously published material, and POPGUN VOL. 2 from Image Comics for best anthology. If you have any recommendations, please post them in the comments.

Since I didn't publish in 2008, there isn't anything I'd be eligible for, unless you consider SOUVENIR OF DALLAS from D Magazine in the humor category. Not likely.

The highlight of the Harvey press release? Scott Kurtz will be the Master of Ceremonies. Quote Marc Nathan, promoter of Baltimore Con: "Scott has been a part of the Harvey Awards since they have been in Baltimore. As both a nominee and presenter, Scott brought his unique sense of humor and fun to the ceremony. We are all looking forward to him bringing the same energy to the stage as the host of the show."