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April 16, 2014


Your 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominations

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The Eisner Awards released their 2014 nominees list yesterday.

imageInitial reaction on-line seemed reasonably positive, with no major omissions or jaw-dropping inclusions becoming the immediate focus of commentary. There was certainly a number of entry points for discussion. The titles Hawkeye, Saga and The Wake drove the most nominations. Writers Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick, who are married, were both nominated in the Best Writer category for their respective work. DeConnick's presence in the male-dominated Best Writer category also drove attention to what seemed like a significant number of women in art-related categories. The late Kim Thompson was recognized by name for his work on Prince Valiant; he also worked on the Ulli Lust book nominated. (I would have loved to have seen him nominated for the excellent The Adventures Of Jodelle.) In terms of the alternative old guard, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez both received nominations and shared in a nomination, building on recent reconsideration for and appreciation of those alt-comics legends. Their peer Jim Woodring, however, whose Fran was a strong contender on a lot of best-of lists and was the the best stand-alone book I read last year, was not nominated. Graham Chaffee was nominated; he returned to comics with Good Dog after two well-received books in the 1990s, but made what seemed like little in the way of a critical impression. Naoki Urasawa, a recent Eisners favorite, wasn't nominated. A Josh Simmons work from (mostly) mini-comics publisher and distributor Oily Comics was nominated. Two self-published comics made the single-issue category. Two distinct Jeffrey Brown works received nominations, which I imagine without knowing for sure is also a relative rarity. Except for Batman feeding into a nomination for writer Scott Snyder, the core DC superhero books went without a nomination -- although the reprint line and the Vertigo imprint were represented. TCJ.com and the print Comics Journal released this year were both nominated. Other frequent recent nominees like ComicsAlliance and Alter Ego were not on that list, nor was one-time Eisner darling Jon B. Cooke. This site was also not on the list. Editor Scott Dunbier maintained a strong presence. I would have to imagine that up to half of the stand-alone original graphic novel category was not seen by many of those writing about comics through traditional outlets. Isabel Greenberg's The Encyclopedia Of Early Earth, which came out too late in the year to make many best-of lists, particularly those with an apparent Christmas shopping imperative, drove a pair of nominations. The Oatmeal was nominated a couple of times; that's a feature with vocal fans and passionate detractors as one might expect of something that monstrously popular. Perennial design favorite Drawn And Quarterly was shut out of that category. Image took four of five continuing series nods.

I could do another paragraph about that size. Matt Phelan, for instance. Or Watson and Holmes. Just as the industry and art form feel bigger and more of a sprawl than ever before, so is at least this one snapshot of the art form.

I asked Eisner Awards Admininstrator Jackie Estrada about two of the nominations that featured individuals with close personal ties to members of the nominating committee: Steve Hamaker for Best Colorist on a variety of works (Hamaker is married to Jenny Robb), Margeurite Van Cook for painting/multimedia interiors on 7 Miles A Second (Van Cook is married to James Romberger). In addition to that personal relationship with Van Cook, Romberger was a co-author on the work for which the artist was nominated. Estrada told CR that in both cases the nominations came from the publishers involved rather than the judges, and that both were generally accliamed works of the type the awards program routinely considers. "There are often potential conflicts of interest in the Eisners because we are in all small industry and anyone who is a judge unavoidably has friends and colleagues who are eligible for nomination." Estrada also stated that Robb and Romberger recused themselves from voting for the categories in question.

This site congratulates all of the nominess, and specifically the nominees in the category for which this site was eligible. We wish everyone the best of luck, and urge all eligible to vote.

On a personal note, it was extra-nice to see the vastly under-appreciated Kristy Valenti share in two nominations -- one for The Comics Journal #302 (with Gary Groth) and one for The Love And Rockets Companion (with Marc Sobel). The comics industry runs on people like Valenti.

The nominating committee was Kathy Bottarini, William H. Foster III, Christian Lipski, Lee Oeth, Robb and Romberger. The awards will go to their winners the Friday evening of Comic-Con International weekend. That ceremony will include a hall of fame component and the winners of a smattering of outside awards traditionally given out during that ceremony.

*****

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Best Short Story

* Go Owls, by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #13 (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Mars to Stay, by Brett Lewis and Cliff Chiang, in Witching Hour (DC)
* Seaside Home, by Josh Simmons, in Habit #1 (Oily)
* Untitled, by Gilbert Hernandez, in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
* When Your House Is Burning Down, You Should Brush Your Teeth, by Matthew Inman

*****

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Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

* Demeter, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
* Hawkeye #11: Pizza Is My Business, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
* Love and Rockets: New Stories #6, by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
* Viewotron #2, by Sam Sharpe (self-published)
* Watson And Holmes #6, by Brandon Easton, and N. Steven Harris (New Paradigm Studios)

*****

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Best Continuing Series

* East of West, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta (Image)
* Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
* Nowhere Men, by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde (Image)
* Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
* Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)

*****

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Best Limited Series

* The Black Beetle: No Way Out, by Francesco Francavilla (Dark Horse)
* Colder, by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra (Dark Horse)
* 47 Ronin, by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)
* Trillium, by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo/DC)
* The Wake, by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)

*****

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Best New Series

* High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain)
* Lazarus, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (Image)
* Rat Queens, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch (Image/Shadowline)
* Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)
* Watson and Holmes, by Karl Bollers, Rick Leonardi, Paul Mendoza et al. (New Paradigm Studios)

*****

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Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

* Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas, by Philippe Coudray (TOON Books)
* The Big Wet Balloon, by Liniers (TOON Books)
* Itty Bitty Hellboy, by Art Baltazar and Franco (Dark Horse)
* Odd Duck, by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon (First Second)
* Otto's Backwards Day, by Frank Cammuso (with Jay Lynch) (TOON Books)

*****

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Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

* Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
* Hilda and the Bird Parade, by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)
* Jane, the Fox, and Me, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood)
* The Lost Boy, by Greg Ruth (Graphix/Scholastic)
* Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2, edited by David Petersen, Paul Morrissey, and Rebecca Taylor (Archaia/BOOM!)
* Star Wars: Jedi Academy, by Jeffrey Brown (Scholastic)

*****

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Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

* Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second)
* Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
* Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
* Dogs of War, by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox (Graphix/Scholastic)
* March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
* Templar, by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puviland (First Second)

*****

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Best Humor Publication

* Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
* The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes and Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
* The (True!) History of Art, by Sylvain Coissard and Alexis Lemoine (SelfMadeHero)
* Vader's Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
* You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

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Best Anthology

* Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
* Nobrow #8: Hysteria, edited by Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro (Nobrow)
* Outlaw Territory, edited by Michael Woods (Image)
* Smoke Signal, edited by Gabe Fowler (Desert Island)
* The Thrilling Adventure Hour, by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker et al. (Archaia/BOOM!)

*****

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Best Digital/Webcomic

* As the Crow Flies, by Melanie Gillman
* Failing Sky, by Dax Tran-Caffee
* High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain)
* The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies
* The Oatmeal by Matthew Inman

*****

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Best Reality-Based Work

* A Bag of Marbles, by Joseph Joffo, Kris, and Vincent Bailly (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
* The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (M Press/Dark Horse)
* Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
* March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
* Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
* Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, by Peter Bagge (Drawn & Quarterly)

*****

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Best Graphic Album -- New

* Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
* The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, by Isabel Greenberg (Little, Brown)
* Good Dog, by Graham Chaffee (Fantagraphics)
* Homesick, by Jason Walz (Tinto Press)
* The Property, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)
* War Brothers, by Sharon McKay and Daniel LaFrance (Annick Press)

*****

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Best Adaptation from Another Medium

* The Castle, by Franz Kafka, adapted by David Zane Mairowitz and Jaromír 99 (SelfMadeHero)
* The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, adapted by by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
* Django Unchained, adapted by Quentin Tarantino, Reginald Hudlin, R. M. Guéra et al. (DC/Vertigo)
* Richard Stark's Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
* The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, by Edogawa Rampo, adapted by Suehiro Maruo (Last Gasp)

*****

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Best Graphic Album -- Reprint

* The Creep, by John Arcudi and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse)
* Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, by Ben Katchor (Pantheon)
* Heck, by Zander Cannon (Top Shelf)
* Julio's Day, by Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
* RASL, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
* Solo: The Deluxe Edition, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)

*****

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Best Archival Collection/Project -- Strips

* Barnaby Vol. 1, by Crockett Johnson, edited by Philip Nel and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
* Percy Crosby's Skippy Daily Comics Volume Two: 1928–1930, edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
* Prince Valiant Vols. 6-7, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
* Society Is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy at the Dawn of the American Comic Strip, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
* Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Vol. 1, edited by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
* VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch, edited by Jonathan Barli (Fantagraphics)

*****

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Best Archival Collection/Project -- Comic Books

* Best of EC Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* Canteen Kate, by Matt Baker (Canton Street Press)
* In the Days of the Mob, by Jack Kirby (DC)
* MAD Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* Will Eisner's The Spirit Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

*****

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Best U.S. Edition of International Material

* Adventures of a Japanese Businessman, by Jose Domingo (Nobrow)
* Goddamn This War! by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney (Fantagraphics)
* Incidents in the Night, Book One, by David B. (Uncivilized Books)
* Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
* When David Lost His Voice by Judith Vanistendael (SelfMadeHero)

*****

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Best U.S. Edition of International Material -- Asia

* The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
* The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)
* Showa: A History of Japan, 1926–1939, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Summit of the Gods Vol. 4, by Yemmakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist, by Asumiko Nakamura (Vertical)

*****

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Best Writer

* Kelly Sue DeConnick, Pretty Deadly (Image); Captain Marvel (Marvel)
* Matt Fraction, Sex Criminals (Image); Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, FF (Marvel)
* Jonathan Hickman, East of West, The Manhattan Projects (Image); Avengers, Infinity (Marvel)
* Scott Snyder, Batman (DC); American Vampire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
* Eric Stephenson, Nowhere Men (Image)
* Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

*****

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Best Writer/Artist

* Isabel Greenberg, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (Little, Brown)
* Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
* Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
* Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Bird Parade (Nobrow)
* Matt Phelan, Bluffton: My Summers with Buster (Candlewick)
* Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

*****

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Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

* Nate Bellegarde, Nowhere Men (Image)
* Nick Dragotta, East of West (Image)
* Sean Murphy, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
* Nate Powell, March (Book One) (Top Shelf)
* Emma Rios, Pretty Deadly (Image)
* Thomas Yeates, Law of the Desert Born: A Graphic Novel (Bantam)

*****

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Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

* Andrew C. Robinson, The Fifth Beatle (Dark Horse)
* Sonia Sanchéz, Here I Am (Capstone)
* Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
* Ive Svorcina, Thor (Marvel)
* Marguerite Van Cook, 7 Miles a Second (Fantagraphics)
* Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

*****

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Best Cover Artist

* David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
* Mike Del Mundo, X-Men Legacy (Marvel)
* Sean Murphy/Jordie Bellaire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
* Emma Rios, Pretty Deadly (Image)
* Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel)
* Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)

*****

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Best Coloring

* Jordie Bellaire, The Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, Zero (Image); The Massive (Dark Horse); Tom Strong (DC); X-Files Season 10 (IDW); Captain Marvel, Journey into Mystery (Marvel); Numbercruncher (Titan); Quantum and Woody (Valiant)
* Steve Hamaker, Mylo Xyloto (Bongo), Strangers in Paradise 20th Anniversary Issue #1 (Abstract Studio), RASL (Cartoon Books)
* Matt Hollingsworth, Hawkeye, Daredevil: End of Days (Marvel); The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
* Frank Martin, East of West (Image)
* Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, Baltimore: The Infernal Train, PRD: Hell on Earth, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, The Massive, The Shaolin Cowboy, Sledgehammer 44 (Dark Horse)

*****

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Best Lettering

* Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark's Parker: Slayground (IDW)
* Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse) ">Carla Speed McNeil, Bad Houses; "Finder" in Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse)
* Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
* Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)
* Britt Wilson, Adventure Time with Fiona and Cake (kaBOOM!)

*****

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Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

* Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland
* The Comics Journal #302, edited by Gary Groth and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
* Comics and Cola, by Zainab Akhtar
* Multiversity Comics, edited by Matthew Meylikhov
* tcj.com, edited by Dan Nadel and Timothy Hodler (Fantagrapahics)

*****

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Best Comics-Related Book

* Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary, by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen (Bloomsbury)
* The Art of Rube Goldberg, selected by Jennifer George (Abrams ComicArts)
* Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, by Art Spiegelman (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell (LOAC/IDW)
* The Love and Rockets Companion, edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)

*****

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Best Scholarly/Academic Work

* Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, 1920–1960, by Nathan Vernon Madison (McFarland)
* Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, edited by Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II (Bloomsbury)
* Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art, edited by Jane Tolmie (University Press of Mississippi)
* International Journal of Comic Art, edited by John A. Lent
* The Superhero Reader, edited by Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Kent Worcester (University Press of Mississippi)

*****

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Best Publication Design

* The Art of Rube Goldberg, designed by Chad W. Beckerman (Abrams ComicArts)
* Beta Testing the Apocalypse, designed by Tom Kaczynski (Fantagraphics)
* Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, designed by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
* The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme: A Panorama, by Joe Sacco, designed by Chin-Yee Lai (Norton)
* Little Tommy Lost Book One, designed by Cole Closser (Koyama)

*****

The bulk of images used are hopefully understandable according to their placement over individual categories. The image up top is from Hawkeye; the image below is from The Wake; the inset image in the second paragraph is from Bluffton: My Summers With Buster.

*****

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posted 2:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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