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Saturday, 26 May 2012

Last ever Eagle Awards? Let's hope not

Marred by behind-the-scenes issued hinted at on other comic news web sites such as Bleeding Cool, this year's Eagle Awards were announced as part of this weekend's MCM Expo last night -- and the awards co-owners MCM announced as the ceremony ended that they would be the last.

Introduced in 1976, the Eagle Comic Awards are the British comic industry’s longest established awards, acknowledged as the pre-eminent international accolades, so here at DownTheTubes, we're a little taken aback by the news. The Eagles have been featured on the covers of leading US and UK titles across the last 30 years.

Over the past few weeks, there have been murmurings of rising acrimony between the co-owners of the Awards - the MCM Expo and Cassandra Conroy, daughter of Mike Conroy, the latter an integral part of the Eagles since they began.

If the Eagles are truly over - and we hope this is not the case - neither co-owner has made a public statement on whatever issues have arisen to lead to this sad day. MCM Expo owner Brian Cooney did however take it upon himself to announce their own awards will begin next year and that the Eagles are "over" as a parting shot at last night's ceremony.

The winners, reflecting for the most part the success of DC Comics '52' revamp of its line, were:

- Best Newcomer (writer): Jeff Lemire
- Best Newcomer (artist): Francesco Francavilla
- Best Writer: Scott Snyder
- Best Artist (pencils): J.H. Williams III
- Best Artist (inks): Scott Williams
- Best Writer/Artist: Frank Miller
- Best Fully-Painted Artwork: Alex Ross
- Best Colourist: Dave Stewart
- Best Letterer: Richard Starkings
- Best Editor: Karen Berger
- Best Publisher: DC/Vertigo
- Best Full-Colour US Comic: Batman
- Best Black/White US Comic: The Walking Dead
- Best Full-Colour British Comic: Doctor Who Magazine
- Best Black/White British Comic: Viz
- Best New Comic: Batman (um, what?)
- Best Manga: 20th Century Boys
- Best European Comic Book: Dylan Dog
- Best Web-Based Comic: Freakangels
- Best Single Story: Doctor Who #12
- Best Story Arc: ‘No Way Out’, The Walking Dead
- Best Cover: Batwoman #1 by JH Williams III
- Best Original Graphic Novel: Batman: Noel
- Best Reprint Compilation: Thor by Walt Simonson
- Best Comics-Related Book: Supergods by Grant Morrison
- Best Comics Movie/TV Show: The Big Bang Theory
- Best Comic Book Website: Bleeding Cool
- Best Comics-Related Magazine: DC Comics Superhero Collection
- Roll of Honour: Frank Quitely

- Huntsman Challenge Award: The Time of Reflection (Note that this Award, created as a comic strip challenge, seems to have been tacked on to the usual categories and we're not sure this is actually an 'Eagle')

Our congratulations to all the winners.

While we have no desire here to be drawn into whatever quagmire of controversy that has arisen behind the scenes over the Awards it was telling, we think, that Mike Conroy, the man who has helped run the Awards for many years, announced on Twitter that he was in the pub opposite the awards venue and would not be attending the ceremony.

Co-owner of the Eagle Awards (MCM Expo owns 50 per cent of them as part of a business deal) Cassandra Conroy also did not attend.

Here at DownTheTubes, we're surprised to hear the Eagle Awards have been summarily 'finished', and given the lack of attendance by their co-owners, we do wonder if there will be further announcements in due course.

We certainly hope so - while some have been dismissive of them in recent years, they are one of Britain's major comic awards, even though voting is open worldwide.

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