For many years the Eagle Awards were the pre-eminent comics awards in the UK, but in later years the organisation became a bit erratic and, to be honest, some of us on the UK scene questioned their relevance, given the irregular nature of the later awards and the fact that for the main British awards an awful lot of categories were filled with titles from US publishers. In the last few years the space left by the Eagles fading away has been filled to some extent with new awards such as the first Ninth Art Award at last year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival and of course we’ve had a couple of years of the British Comic Awards given out at Thought Bubble (and which had an unashamedly Brit-focused theme).
But now Mike and Cassandra Conroy drop us a line to say the Eagles are not dead, in fact they have regenerated into the Stan Lee Eagle Awards as the great comics godfather lends his name to the event. As with previous Eagles the nominations pages on their site are open to all to vote for – you can pick from the drop down menu in each category or select ‘other’ if you have someone else in mind who is not on the menu and nominate them, which is good. The 2014 Stan Lee Eagle Awards are open for nominations now, and you have until May 16th to get your nominations in, with the awards being announced at the London Film & Comic Con on July 12th.
I must admit to mixed feelings, personally, on this – as I said at the start the irregular nature of the awards organisation in latter years (to be fair though the folks trying to pull it together did so in their own free time), coupled with a sense that they weren’t really celebrating Brit comics despite being billed as the main British comics awards (there were some specific Brit categories but most categories, it seemed to me and others, often mirrored the US comics scene, not the UK) meant that I really wasn’t convinced the awards had much relevance to the much-changed British comics scene we’ve been reporting on for years (something I think the BCAs do). On the other hand I’m all for more ways of celebrating the medium and I like that, as before the new version of the awards is including any reader and allowing them a chance to nominate titles and creators. Let’s see how it turns out and reserve judgement till then, and meantime wish them the best with bringing back the Eagles.