Today, I found out that the husband has had two honourable mentions in the Publisher’s Weekly Graphic Novel Critic’s List. He was mentioned for his work on "Kingdom: Call of the Wild" for 200AD and for "New Deadwardians" with I.N.J. Culbard for Vertigo.
It might not sound like much to you, but, trust me, it’s a pretty big deal.
Publisher’s Weekly is a prestigious magazine. People take it seriously. Graphic novels are not taken terribly seriously. Comics are a business, for the most part, and not an art form. Comics are for kids and geeks. They’re for fun. They’re throw-away culture, not high culture.
There are, of course, obvious exceptions to this rule. Certain comics have been taken seriously over the years, and very good some of them have been, too. I’m suspicious that the term ‘graphic novel’ was coined for the purposes of separating all kinds of stories told using serial art from people’s expectations of comics, which generally mean the sort of superhero books produced by DC, Marvel and others.
There’s a lot of snobbery about comics, and about tie-in fiction, which is the husband’s other speciality, but he isn’t a snob. He’s a damned fine writer. He’s clever and funny, and he’s conscientious, and he does what he does about as well as anyone else doing what he does, right now.
He’s prolific, too, and he writes in a number of arenas. The husband doesn’t just write comic books, he writes novels, too, and computer games and audio-dramas; in fact, he’s been a New York Times bestseller in four different categories.
It seems to me, though, that all the real accolades go to people who can only do one thing, and who can only do the thing that they want to do. It seems to me that while the husband works hard to produce stuff that an audience will love others simply produce the stuff they love in the hope that it might find an audience.
I’m not making any kind of judgement call. I’m not saying for a moment that the husband doesn’t love what he does, because I know that he does love it. I’ve also never heard him complain, not once, that he hasn’t been recognised for what he does, because let’s not pretend that he isn’t paid, and even paid well for his work, and let’s not pretend that his fans don’t show their appreciation in spades.
It is work, though, and some of it’s damned good, even Publisher’s Weekly is prepared to admit that, and, even though he’s happy to do a job and enjoy it, and be paid for it and move on to the next job, I’d like to see a little more recognition.
I’d like to see the husband raise a trophy or open an envelope, or win an industry prize, once in a while, and not just him, but others like him, who work hard to give the fans what they want, who deliver, year-in and year-out, who maintain a standard that is rarely recognised.
I’m proud of the husband every bloody day, and I hope that he knows it, but I also admire what he does more than I can tell, because I’ve done it too, and, trust me, it’s no where near as easy as writers like the husband make it look!