The Eisner Award finalists for best comics/graphic novels have been announced, in a dizzying array of categories. So many categories, in fact, that I'm just going to let Amazon readers peruse it all themselves, and say I'm happy to see such imaginative fare as Shaun Tan's The Arrival, Jeff Lemire's Essex County, Jason Shiga's Bookhunter, and Matt Kindt's Super Spy making the list. The 2008 Eisner Awards judging panel consisted of John Davis (director of pop culture markets, Bookazine), Paul DiFilippo (SF and comics author), Atom! Freeman (owner of Brave New World Comics in Santa Clarita, CA), Jeff Jensen (senior writer, Entertainment Weekly), and Eva Volin (supervising children's librarian for the Alameda Free Library in Alameda, CA).
Having been a judge last year, knowing how much effort goes into the process, it's mind-blowing that they survive the experience. In addition to their regular reading, the judges are flown to San Diego and basically locked in a room for an entire weekend to read anything they've missed and to thrash out the finalists.