Monday, July 6, 2015

Hugo Awards: a quick canter through the visual arts pt 2

The visual arts categories in the Hugo's don't seem to have been in the literary and political crossfire quite as much as the rest of the shortlist, so here is the second part of a quick look before heading back to the books.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form 

For all intents and purposes, read the above as Best Film. Three of five on the shortlist were on the voting slates, but as the end result was five Hollywood blockbusters of comparable quality, it's hard to tell what difference this year's controversy actually made to this category.

And so we have:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (at the top end of the okay-to-solid spectrum on which all the Avengers films seemingly rest) 
  • Edge Of Tomorrow (great premise, gets progressively more trad and less interesting the further it goes)
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy (great fun and a loving pastiche of space opera)
  • Interstellar (moments of greatness, let down by its overreaching third act)
  • The Lego Movie (sly, playful, comfortably the most meta film on the shortlist)

It's a finely-balanced choice between Guardians Of The Galaxy and The Lego Movie for me, and at the moment I'm currently leaning towards the latter. Whichever one I pick, both were on the voting slates, so there you go. No blanket rejection here. :)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Or as we call it on Earth, Best TV Episode. I've only seen one of the nominees - which was one of last season's okay but not world-shattering Dr Who episodes, so I'll pass, thanks.

Best Graphic Story

Thanks again to Geeky Library for nominee round-up with images here.

This category was barely touched by the slates, with only one nominee - Carter Reid's Zombie Nation webcomic - out of the five arriving on the shortlist via that route. As with it's inclusion in the professional art category, the problem with Zombie Nation is again that it's not really in the same league as its fellow contenders, and it seems most sensible to regard its presence as a category error and move on.

So that leaves us with three and a half high quality graphic novels to consider, of which I'd be happy to see either Ms Marvel or Saga win, relaxed about a victory for the flawed but interesting Sex Criminals and philosophical if the okay-but-slight Rat Queens brought it home.

Rather than writing about them at length here right now, what I'm going to do with all of these potential reviews is 'bank them'. So, if I do need to recover from reading or writing about nominees that are not quite so enjoyable - and having started on the short fiction I now know they are out there - I can return and celebrate them in more depth.

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