Sitting with the AMERICAN VAMPIRE team of Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Editor Mark Doyle along with, Vertigo’s Executive Editor, Karen Berger at the Eisner’s last Friday night, we were all anxiously waiting for the winner of Best New Series to be announced. Now, over to series writer and co-creator Scott Snyder to tell you what it means to him to win.
There was a moment I was worried my Eisner was going to be taken away. This was at the San Diego airport, at security, when the woman behind the scanner demanded to know what was inside it. I told her I didn't know.
"You don't know," she said, an eyebrow raised.
"No. I mean, nothing is in it. It's just a trophy."
"Why's it so heavy then?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know if something's in it, or you do?"
"Then what's in it? Why can't you just answer the question?"
At which point, I started to stammer and trip over my answer. What did she mean? I didn't know, but she had the Eisner in her hand and she didn't look like she was going to give it back and so I said something that sounded like a joke but wasn't, something that was the only thing I could think to say to her question of what's inside that ball-topped trophy: "What's in it is all of my nerd dreams, ma'am. All of them. Now can you please give it back?"
It was true, too, about my nerd dreams. Sitting in the ballroom at the awards ceremony, wearing my lucky Elvis shirt beneath my button down, I couldn't get over how nervous I was. I knew I'd be nervous, but not that nervous. I could barely eat anything, barely drink. And then when our name was called... In the end, all I want to say is that I can't thank you all enough. Everyone out there who reads AMERICAN VAMPIRE and AMERICAN VAMPIRE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. I've never had more fun or been more in love with a story than the one we're telling through this crazy series of ours. For one, I believe in the story we're telling whole-heartedly. It's about everything I love writing about, monsters, Americana, American history, early music, rock and roll... But more than this, it's a collaboration with guys I've come to call some of my best friends. Not just in comics, either. Rafa (my co-creator) and Mark Doyle (our editor) have become two of my best friends in the world. Nothing is more exciting than getting to tell stories with them. Not to mention other friends we've made along the way - the godfather of horror, Stephen King, whose contributions to the series are immeasurable. Dave McCaig, our amazing colorist, Sean Murphy artist on AV Survival of the Fittest, Dave Stewart... The legendary Karen Berger and Will Dennis of Vertigo for believing in vampires who will never ever sparkle... Again, AV is a labor of love, made among friends who enjoy working together. And I couldn't be more grateful to them, or you.
Which brings us back to the airport, really. Because like I said, my answer to that woman at security was true. The Eisner does hold all of my nerd dreams. But not dreams of some kind of recognition or acclaim; dreams of getting to tell a story you love more than anything, with a bunch of guys and girls you love working with. What could be better? And in the end, the people that make that possible - the biggest friends of Skinner (and us) - are you, the fans of the series. So again, a HUGE thanks to all of you. As a way of thanking you I can promise that the best of American Vampire is yet to come. The stuff we have planned, between the Indian Wars, the rockabilly 1950's, the revelations that are coming for Skinner and Pearl and Henry, too... The new characters, the new vampires (and new ancient ones). This series is our baby and we'll never stop giving it 100%.
As for the Eisner itself. It did eventually make it through security. Right now, it's on my son's shelf, among his toys. He's 4, and he likes using it as a trophy for the winner of our nightly sock-fight (he invariably defeats his father with some new, experimental move). And I like seeing it there, as I turn off his light, knowing that maybe it's beginning to collect his nerd dreams, too.
Thanks again to everyone.