The Harvey Awards 2011 Nominees Announced, and The Rarebit Fiend’s Dream Home Restoration Project

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The Harvey Awards Are Coming

The final ballot naming the 2011 Harvey Awards Nominees was released earlier today by the Awards’ Executive Committee and the Baltimore Comic-Con. Honoring both the name and legacy of Harvey Kurtzman, the celebrated original editor of Mad magazine, it is the only industry awards whose recipients are nominated and then selected solely by their fellow comic book professionals.

Baltimore Comic Con.pngFor the sixth year, the awards will be presented on August 20, 2011 in Baltimore, in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con. Scott Kurtz, the man behind the popular webcomic Player Vs. Player will mark his third year as the Harvey Awards’ Master of Ceremonies.

A full listing of the nominees, along with further details on the life and work of Harvey Kurtzman, the history of the Awards, and instructions governing the submission of final ballots via email, fax, and more traditional means can be found at Baltimore Comic-Con takes place over the August 20-21st weekend.

Ballots are due by Saturday, August 6th 2011.

The Flying House.jpgBill Plympton Restores The Rarebit Fiend’s Dream Home

Multiple award-winning animator, author and cartoonist Bill Plympton has announced plans to restore and reanimate Winsor McCay’s last animated short, Dreams of The Rarebit Fiend: The Flying House and present it to a new generation.

McCay is today probably best remembered by comics fans for his epic and surreal comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland, which enjoyed two separate runs in newspapers between 1905-1914 and 1924-1927.  He’s also considered the “father of animation” by many film buffs and critics alike, who cite his many artistic and technical innovations in the field, and his 1914 animated short film, Gertie the Dinosaur, as watershed moments in cinematic history.

Created by McCay in 1921, the original print of The Flying House suffered from 90 years of neglect and improper handling. Plympton is overseeing the restoration work, a painstaking process that requires cleaning the film frame by frame and then coloring it using McCay’s color comics as a guide. Later, the voices of Patricia Clarkson and Matthew Modine will be added, replacing the silent short’s original word balloons and intertitle text. The final step will involve adding an original soundtrack with the aid of a musician and sound editor.

While this is a labor of love for Plympton, whose own career mirrors that of McCay in many ways, as the above description indicates, this is a project that is both time- and labor-intensive… as well as costly. With that in mind, he’s established a Kickstarter page to help underwrite his efforts.

Supporters have already helped raise $10,000, the bare minimum needed to support the basic restoration work, and Plympton is now seeking an additional $6000 in pledges by July 16th towards completion of the new version of the short.

If all goes according to plan, Plympton hopes to complete the restoration and reanimation of The Flying House later this year, so that a whole new audience can gain a new appreciation for McCay’s singular vision.

Learn more about Bill Plympton’s career, his many films and books, including the recently released Independently Animated: Bill Plympton (Rizzoli Press) at

If you’d like more information on Winsor McCay, his career as an animator and cartoonist, or to contribute to the restoration and reanimation of this historic animated short, head over to

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A veteran journalist who has covered the comics medium since 1998, Bill Baker is also the author of Icons: The DC Comics and WildStorm Art of Jim Lee and seven previous books featuring his extended interviews with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and other notable creators. You can learn more about Bill’s work…

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