7 Former Book of the Year Winners Who Haven’t Aged Well

The Harvey Awards, named for CRAZY Magazine editor and writer Harvey Kurtzman, was not designed to be based on fan recognition. Rather, it was created in 1988 to allow those in the comics industry to honor their own. Since then, the Harvey Awards have rewarded dozens of titles and their creators.

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Most award-winning comics are still relevant to today’s readers. However, some have not aged well. This is due to the subject of a title or its target audience.

seven Watchmen deconstructs a bygone era of comics


Guardians Alan Moore Cast.

the original watchmen The miniseries from writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons deconstructed the Silver Age of comics. It featured a cast of flawed heroes. In fact, some of their flaws were borderline (The Comedian) or villainous (Ozymandius).

It was definitely worthy of the first Harvey Award for Best Continuing or Limited Series in 1988. Yet as the comic book industry changed, watchmen started to age. It took the appearance of some of these characters in DC’s Apocalyptic clock maxi-series and HBO watchmen to introduce them to a new generation of readers.

6 HATE speaks to an older generation


Critics believe "TO HATE" looks at Generation X and grunge culture.

Many comics have an evergreen feel. Although they may be decades old, readers still get into them without too much difficulty. However, when titles address topics related to a certain generation, they are not as accessible to future buyers. TO HATE is that type of comic.

Launched by Fantagraphics in 1990, it received the Harvey Award for Best Series in 1991. The alternate comic features the adventures of Buddy Bradley as he grows from adolescence to adulthood. Critics say TO HATE is an example of Generation X and grunge culture. Creator Peter Bagge said he was referring to real events from the early 1980s. In both cases he was depicting generational issues unknown to new readers.


5 Kurt Busiek’s Astro City Has Been Forgotten


Samaritan, Winged Victory and Confessor of Astro City

The astro city of Kurt Busiek has powerful creators. When the first volume was published by Image Comics in 1995, Busiek was coming off the huge success of wonders with AstroCity cover designer Alex Ross. Their perspective on superheroes and the people they protected was unique for the time, and thus the reason astro city was named best series of the Harvey Award in 1996.

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The title changed from Image to Wildstorm, which eventually became part of DC Comics. Throughout these moves, Busiek produced 100 astro city series, miniseries and specials with Ross and interior artist Brent Anderson. Unfortunately, not only did his story concept not age well, but the collected comics disappeared from the marketplace.


4 The Spirit: The New Adventures has great creators for an already old character


The New Spirit stories were created in the 1990s.

Creator Will Eisner is a pioneer of comics. He developed the Masked Crime Fighter The mind for a 16-page insert that came with Sunday newspapers from 1940 until the early 1950s. His artistry and ability to merge genres won him great recognition. The Eisner Awards were created in his honor the same year as the Harvey Awards.

In 1997, Eisner allowed other writers and artists to create an anthology of new Spirit stories. The Spirit: New Adventures eventually received a Harvey Award for Best New Series in 1999. Yet despite the release of a film written and directed by Frank Miller released in 1998 based on the character, The Spirit has not held up well over the years. . He’s been seen sporadically by different editors – mostly teamed up with another classic hero such as The Green Hornet.


3 Kyle Baker’s Plastic Man Was Old When It Came Out


When writer Grant Morrison and artist Howard Porter dated JLA in 1997, they were quick to expand the Justice League lineup. Among the inductees were the angel Zauriel and New Gods Big Barda & Orion. The biggest surprise among them was Plastic Man, who stayed with the team for several years.

Eventually, Plas received his own series written and drawn in cartoon style by Kyle Baker. Released in 2004, it received five Eisner Awards and a Harvey Award for Best New Series. Despite this, the series’ humorous bent aged upon its initial release. With his time in the JLA, Plastic Man has become less of a comedic foil and more of a hero. This was solidified with his stint in The Terrifics.


2 Southern Bastards poorly reflects today’s standards


avengers writer Jason Aaron and Spider-Gwen Artist Jason Latour wanted to write a series of comics about the American South. For most, it was a love letter to the region where they grew up. Yet there were imperfections that they also wanted to correct. The result is the 2014 version of Southern Bastards by Image Comics.

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The series about Craw County, Alabama, and a winning former football coach’s descent into crime, has won multiple awards. This includes a 2015 Harvey for Best New Series. While beliefs about the South have shifted amid shifting politics and reflections on racism, Southern Bastards started to feel overwhelmed.


1 Understanding Comics Isn’t About Today’s Comics


Scott McCloud's

There are several creativity-based works that still resonate today. by Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir of Craftsmanship, published in 2000, is considered required reading for authors. Other works, such as that of Scott McCloud Understanding comics: the invisible artdo not reflect current trends.

Released in 1993, it was named Best Chart Album or Original Work of 1994 by the Harvey Awards. In it, writer and artist McCloud explores the historical and formal aspects of comics. Although this is a good introduction to examine the development of the industry up to that time, Understanding comics shows its age for current readers and creators.

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About the Author

Angela C. Hale