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Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2014 Nominees

Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards

Comic-Con International is proud to announce the nominations for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2014. The nominees, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, reflect the wide range of material being published in comics and graphic novel form today, from history (real and imagined) to science fiction to autobiography.

Three titles lead the list with more than 3 nominations each: Marvel’s Hawkeye, Image’s Saga, and DC/Vertigo’s The Wake. Hawkeye is nominated for Best Continuing Series, Best Writer (Matt Fraction), and Best Penciller/Inker and Best Cover Artist (David Aja). Saga has received nods for Best Continuing Series (which won the category in 2013), Best Writer (Brian K. Vaughan), and Best Painter and Cover Artist (Fiona Staples). And The Wake is nominated for Best Limited Series, Best Writer (Scott Snyder), Best Penciller/Inker (Sean Murphy), and Best Cover Artist (Sean Murphy/Jordie Bellaire). Bellaire is also nominated in the Best Coloring category, for her work on The Wake and on numerous titles for other companies.

Titles garnering 3 nominations include Fantagraphics’s Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Best Short Story, Single Issue, Writer/Artist for Jaime Hernandez), Top Shelf’s March: Book One, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Best Publication for Teens, Reality-Based Work, and Penciller/Inker), and Candlewick’s Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Best Publication for Teens, Graphic Album–New, and Writer/Artist).

Other titles with multiple nominations are East of West (Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta, Image), Nowhere Men (Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde, Image), Pretty Deadly (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos, Image), Sex Criminals (Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, Image), Hip Hop Family Tree (Ed Piskor, Fantagraphics), Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life (Ulli Lust, Fantagraphics), The Adventures of Superhero Girl (Faith Erin Hicks, Dark Horse), The Fifth Beatle (Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker, Dark Horse), Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (Darwyn Cooke, IDW), Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth (Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell, LOAC/IDW), Rachel Rising (Terry Moore, Abstract Studio), The Art of Rube Goldberg (Abrams ComicArts), The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (Isabel Greenberg, Little, Brown), Watson and Holmes (New Paradigm), The Complete Don Quixote (Rob Davis, SelfMadeHero), When David Lost His Voice (Judith Vanistendael, SelfMadeHero), Hilda and the Bird Parade (Luke Pearson, Nobrow), and High Crimes (Monkeybrain).

Among publishers, Image and Fantagraphics top the list with the most nominations. Image has 17 plus 3 shared. In addition to the nods for Saga, East of West, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, and Sex Criminals, nominated Image titles include Lazarus (Rucka and Lark) and Rat Queens (Wiebe and Upchurch). Fantagraphics’s 18 nominations—besides Love and Rockets, Hip Hop Family Tree, and Today Is the Last Day)—are spread among such titles as Good Dog (Graham Chaffee), Julio’s Day (Gilbert Hernandez), Goddam This War (Tardi and Verney), The Heart of Thomas (Moto Hagio), and several archival collections.

Dark Horse ranks third with 12 nominations (plus 1 shared), including 2 for publisher Mike Richardson (Best Anthology for Dark Horse Presents and Best Limited Series for 47 Ronin with Stan Sakai). IDW’s 9 nominations include 5 in the archival categories, with 3 of Scott Dunbier’s Artist’s Editions up for Best Archival Collection–Comic Books and 2 of Dean Mullaney’s Library of American Comics collections up for Best Archival Collection–Comic Strips. Mullaney has 4 nominations in all.

DC and its Vertigo imprint are next with 8 nominations plus 2 shared, the majority going to The Wake. Ranking next is SelfMadeHero with 7 nods (including 3 for When David Lost His Voice and 2 for The Complete Don Quixote), followed by Marvel’s 6 (plus 4 shared), led by Hawkeye. Drawn & Quarterly’s 6 nominations include books by Peter Bagge, Tom Gauld, Rutu Modan, and Art Spiegelman.

Other publishers with multiple nominations include First Second, Nobrow, and Top Shelf (4 each) and Abstract Studio, BOOM!, Candlewick, and TOON Books (3 each). Eleven publishers have 2 nominations each, and another 31 companies or individuals have 1 nomination each.

Individual creators with the most nominations are David Aja, Matt Fraction, Gilbert Hernandez, Sean Murphy, Matt Phelan, Nate Powell, and Fiona Staples, all with 3. Nineteen creators can boast of 2 nominations.

Named for acclaimed comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards are celebrating their 26th year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2014 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of comics retailer Kathy Bottarini (Comic Book Box, Rhonert Park, CA), author/educator William H. Foster (Untold Stories of Black Comics), reviewer Christian Lipski (Portland, OR Examiner), Comic-Con International board member Lee Oeth, library curator Jenny Robb (Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum), and Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist/critic James Romberger (Post York, 7 Miles a Second).

Voting for the awards is held online, and the ballot will be available soon at www.eisnervote.com. All professionals in the comic book industry are eligible to vote. The deadline for voting is June 13. The results of the voting will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 25 at Comic-Con International.

The voting in one Eisner Awards category, the Hall of Fame (see below), is already completed. The judges chose the nominees earlier this year, and voting was conducted online.

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture. Jackie Estrada has been administrator of the Awards since 1990. She can be reached at jackie@comic-con.org.


Hasen, Moldoff, Evans Chosen for Eisner Hall of Fame

Eisner Hall of Fame 2014 I Judges' Choices

Wildcat and Batman TM & © DC Comics

Comic-Con International, the largest comic book and popular arts event of its kind in the world, has announced that the Eisner Awards judges have selected three individuals to automatically be inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame for 2014. These inductees are Golden Age artists Irwin Hasen (The Flash, Wildcat, Green Lantern for DC; Dondi syndicated strip), Sheldon Moldoff (Batman artist), and African American comics pioneer Orrin C. Evans (All-Negro Comics). In the past, the judges have chosen two automatic inductees, both deceased. This year’s judges decided to add one more inductee, a deserving still-living comics creator.

The judges have also chosen 14 nominees from which voters will select 4 to be inducted in the Hall of Fame this summer. These nominees are Gus Arriola, Howard Cruse, Philippe Druillet, Rube Goldberg, Fred Kida, Hayao Miyazaki, Tarpé Mills, Alan Moore, Francoise Mouly, Dennis O’Neil, Antonio Prohias, Rumiko Takahashi, George Tuska, and Bernie Wrightson.


Judges Named for 2014 Eisner Awards

Comic-Con International (Comic-Con) is proud to announce that the judging panel has been named for the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. This blue-ribbon committee will select the nominations to appear on the Eisner Awards ballot. This year's judges are:

Kathy Bottarini
Kathy Bottarini
Owner of Comic Book Box, in Rohnert Park, CA

Kathy graduated from Sonoma State University with degrees in English, art history, and art studies in 1988. She began her comic retailing adventure as an employee of the Comic Book Box in August 1986 when she was concurrently employed as the slide librarian for Santa Rosa Junior College. She remained at her librarian job for only a year and stayed with the Comic Book Box before buying the store in 1994. Her goal is to continue introducing new generations to comics. 

William H. Foster III
William H. Foster III
Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College, Connecticut

Professor Foster has been an expert commentator on comics for both CNN News and National Public Radio. His exhibit “The Changing Image of Blacks in Comics” has been displayed at a number of venues across the country, including the 1998 Comic-Con International Comic Arts Conference. He has traveled worldwide to speak on the topic of comic books, including Germany, England, China, Costa Rica, and Sweden. He is the author of two collections of essay on blacks in comics:  Looking for a Face Like Mine (2005) and Dreaming of a Face Like Ours (2010). He is currently at work on the third book in the series.

Christian Lipski

Photo by Brandi Ediss

Christian Lipski
Comics reviewer and journalist

Christian has written hundreds of pieces about comic book news in Portland, Oregon and nationally. He has also moderated comics panels for Portland-area conventions, including Stumptown Comics Fest, Rose City Comic Con, and Orycon. In his spare time, he is in two bands and moonlights as a pirate.

Lee Oeth
Lee Oeth
Member of the Board of Directors, Comic-Con International: San Diego

Lee is a longtime comics fan who has been involved with Comic-Con since 1985, when he started as a volunteer in the anime department. He has been on the Board of Directors since 2008 and an assistant to Comic-Con President John Rogers for the past two years. He was also a judge for the 2013 Russ Manning Promising Newcomer award. His comics collecting days go back to the 1980s, when he shopped at Comic Kingdom, the San Diego store started by Richard Alf, one of the co-founders of Comic-Con.

Jenny Robb
Jenny Robb
Curator and associate professor, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at the Ohio State University, the largest academic research institution dedicated to cartoons and comics

Before coming to Ohio State in 2005, Jenny served as curator of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco for 5 years. She holds masters degrees in history and museum studies from Syracuse University. She is the author of several comics-related articles, including “Bill Blackbeard: the Collector Who Rescued the Comics” in the Journal of American Culture and “From the Periodical Archives: Winsor McCay, George Randolph Chester and the Tale of the Jungle Imps” published in American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, & Bibliography.  

James Romberger
James Romberger
Fine artist and cartoonist who lives and works in Manhattan’s Lower East Side

In the mid-1980s, he was co-founder of the seminal East Village installation gallery Ground Zero. Romberger’s pastel drawings are in many private and public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Post York, his multimedia comic book/flexidisc collaboration with his son Crosby for Uncivilized Books, was nominated for an Eisner award in 2013, a year that also saw a revised edition of the critically acclaimed graphic novel Seven Miles a Second, Romberger’s collaboration with Marguerite Van Cook and the late David Wojnarowicz (published by Fantagraphics). For DC/Vertigo, Romberger collaborated with MacArthur fellow Jay Cantor on Aaron and Ahmed, with Peter Milligan on Bronx Kill, and with Jamie Delano on the “Renegade” arc of 2020 Visions. He is a longtime contributor to the activist comics magazine World War 3 Illustrated. Romberger also writes critically for Publisher’s Weekly and the pop culture websites Hooded Utilitarian, The Beat, and Comics Journal.

The Eisner Awards are presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San Diego, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture.


2013 Eisner Award Recipients
Building Stories and Saga Big Winners at 2013 Eisner Awards

Celebrity Presenters a Hit with Attendees

The big winners at the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, sponsored by Syfy, were Chris Ware’s Building Stories (published by Pantheon) and Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’s Saga (published by Image). Building Stories was awarded Best Graphic Album–New and Best Publication Design, and Ware was chosen Best Writer/Artist and Best Letterer. Saga received the awards for Best Continuing Series, Best New Series, and Best Writer. The only other titles with multiple wins were Marvel’s Hawkeye (Best Penciler/Inker and Best Cover Artist for David Aja) and Dark Horse’s Blacksad: Silent Hell (Best U.S. Edition of International Material and Best Painter for Juanjo Guarnido).

The publisher taking away the most awards was Image, with five total, while Pantheon had four. Dark Horse scored three awards plus one shared, while IDW and Marvel both had three and Fantagraphics received two. Other publishers taking home trophies included Abrams, BOOM!, Disney/Hyperion, FSG, HarperCollins, Monkeybrain, Random House, the University Press of Mississippi, and VIZ Media. DC Comics shared in Dave Stewart’s award for Best Coloring.

The awards, considered the “Oscars” of comics, were presented in a gala ceremony at the Indigo Ballroom of the San Diego Hilton Bayfront on Friday July 19. The audience was entertained by such celebrity presenters as Oscar-nominated actor Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica), bestselling author Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Ocean at the End of the Lane), British talk show host Jonathan Ross, actor John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow), TV host Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist, Talking Dead), actor James Marsters (Buffy, Angel, Torchwood), and voice actors Maurice LaMarche (Pinky and the Brain, Futurama), Lauren Tom (Futurama, King of the Hil), and David Herman (Office Space, Futurama).

Sergio Aragonés presented the Hall of Fame Awards. The six inductees were comic strip creator Lee Falk (The Phantom, Mandrake), cartoonist Al Jaffee (MAD magazine), Golden Age artist Mort Meskin (Vigilante, Starman, Johnny Quick), underground comix legend  Spain Rodriguez (Zap, Trashman), Marvel inker Joe Sinnott (Fantastic Four, Thor), and cartoonist and “herstorian” Trina Robbins, who was on hand to accept her award.

Among the other awards given out over the evening were the Comic-Con’s Clampett and Manning awards. The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, presented by Bob’s daughter Ruth, went to Chris Sparks and Team Cul de Sac for producing an anthology to raise funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award (co-sponsored by the West Coast Comics Club) went to Russel Roehling (artist of Wasteland, published by Oni) and was presented by past Manning Award winner David Petersen.

The ninth annual Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing was presented by Mark Evanier to Don Rosa (The Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck) and to the late Steve Gerber (Howard the Duck), whose daughter accepted the award on his behalf. Maggie Thompson (editor of Comics Buyers Guide) introduced the special In Memoriam video salute.

The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, given to a store that has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large, went to Challengers Comics + Conversation of Chicago, Illinois.

The title sponsor for this year’s Eisner Awards was Syfy, and the major sponsor was mycomicshop.com. The principal sponsors were comiXology, Gentle Giant, and Lebonfon Printing. Supporting sponsors were Alternate Reality Comics of Las Vegas, Atlantis Fantasyworld of Santa Cruz, CA, Diamond Comics/Geppi Entertainment Museum, Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff of Concord, CA, Strange Adventures of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Tate’s Comics+Toys+Videos+More of Lauderhill, FL, Warp 1 of  Edmonton, Alberta, and Mel Thompson and Associates. DC Comics was the major sponsor of the Finger Award, with Heritage Auctions and Maggie Thompson as supporting sponsors. Baby Tattoo, publishers of books for kids and adults, sponsored the retailer award.

Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Winners 2013

The winners of the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were announced at a gala ceremony held during Comic-Con International: San Diego, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, on Friday, July 19.

Best Short Story: “Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): The Mire, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)

Best Continuing Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best New Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12): Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17): A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

Best Humor Publication: Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)

Best Digital Comic: Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)

Best Anthology: Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)

Best Reality-Based Work (tie): Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion); The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)

Best Graphic Album—New: Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint: King City, by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Pogo, vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW

Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia: Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

Best Writer/Artist: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Penciler/Inker (tie): David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel), Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel); Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)

Best Cover Artist: David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)

Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Batwoman (DC); Fatale (Image); BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive (Dark Horse)

Best Lettering: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: The Comics Reporter, edited by Tom Spurgeon, www.comicsreporter.com

Best Comics-Related Book: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe (HarperCollins)

Best Educational/Academic Work: Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass, by Susan E. Kirtley (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Publication Design: Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Hall of Fame: Lee Falk, Al Jaffee, Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sinnott

Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Russel Roehling

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Chris Sparks and Team Cul deSac

Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award: Steve Gerber, Don Rosa

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Challengers Comics + Conversation, Chicago, IL