We have our comic book controversy of the week! A "Before Watchmen blacklist" published by Eisner judge Frank Santoro is currently making its rounds on tumblr, which was published last February. Santoro is also a writer for The Comics Journal, which received its first Eisner Award nomination in three years.
In the post, Santoro lists every creator remotely involved with the controversial Before Watchmen project and declares that he refuses to buy or read anything associated with the creators. While Santoro later claimed that he actually supported some of these creators during the nomination process, one of Santoro's colleagues at TCJ, Sean Collins, pointed out that Santoro was probably singlehandedly responsible for the high-profile project not receiving a single nomination.
Santoro defended himself on ComicBook.com, where he claimed that he put his personal feelings aside and bothered to read material from hacks such as Chris Samnee, Jill Thompson, Joe Kubert, Michael Allred, Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope and Jock. He also noted that at least a couple of the artists on his black list earned Eisner nominations, despite him not reading any of their material during his non-Eisner judge period. Of course, it's Darwyn Cooke and Chris Samnee we're talking about, so they probably would have gotten Eisner nominations even if Santoro tried his hardest to block their nomination.
The real question here is whether the Eisners should have selected a judge that publicly bragged about how he'd never read comics from some of today's top creators ever again because they did a cover for some comic he didn't like. Of course, there's a large contingent of the industry that hates DC for the Before Watchmen scandal, so I suppose we should be grateful that at least Santoro has the balls to admit that he'd like to permanently censor creators for a project he didn't like.
Also, we'll just presume that TCJ magically upped their coverage quality in 2012 after they had missed out on getting an Eisner nomination in years. We all know Tom Spurgeon's going to win that Eisner, so it doesn't really matter.
We'll leave it to you to decide whether this controversy is just a couple of websites pissed that they didn't get an Eisner nomination or if it's something a little more sinister. In the meantime, we'll just root that Bandette takes home an Eisner.
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