Saga, IDW Publishing Are Top Winners at 2014 Eisner Awards
Shorter Ceremony a Big Hit with Attendees
The big winners at the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, held July 25 at the Bayfront San Diego Hilton and sponsored by SHOWTIME, were Image Comics’ Saga—which received the awards for Best Continuing Series, Best Painter (Fiona Staples), and Best Writer (Brian K. Vaughan)—and publisher IDW, which took home six awards, including three for editor/designer Dean Mullaney (Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips) and two for Darwyn Cooke’s Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground.
Other projects receiving multiple awards were DC/Vertigo’s The Wake (Best Limited Series, Best Penciler/Inker for Sean Murphy), Marvel’s Hawkeye (Best Single Issue, Best Cover Artist for David Aja), and Fantagraphics’ Love and Rockets New Stories #6, which brought home first-time wins for brothers Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. Matt Fraction was on the stage multiple to times to accept for Hawkeye as well as for Sex Criminals (with Chip Zdarsky) for Best New Series.
Besides IDW, other publishers with multiple wins included Dark Horse and Image with four, Fantagraphics with three, and both DC and Marvel with two. Many of these publishers also shared in the win for Jordie Bellaire as Best Colorist.
The coveted Best Graphic Album—New Award went to Rutu Modan’s The Property, published by Drawn & Quarterly, while Best Reality-Based Work was awarded to the five-years-in the-making The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (published by Dark Horse).
The audience at the awards was entertained by presenters who included actor/comedian Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow, MADtv), actress Kelly Hu ((Arrow, Warehouse 13), actor/screenwriter/comedian Thomas Lennon (Reno 911, Balls of Fury), nominee Reginald Hudlin (writer, Black Panther; producer, Django Unchained), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, Belgian graphic novelists Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten (Obscure Cities series), writer nominees Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals) and Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel), Hall of Fame cartoonist Sergio Aragonés (Groo, MAD), writer/artist nominee Terry Moore (Rachel Rising, Strangers in Paradise), writer/artist Bill Morrison (Bongo Comics), voice actors Phil LaMarr (Samurai Jack, Justice League Unlimited, MADtv) and Vanessa Marshall (Young Justice, Spectacular Spider-Man), and British talk show host/comics writer Jonathan Ross, who was assisted onstage by Comic-Con special guest Batton Lash (cartoonist of Supernatural Law).
Sergio Aragonés presented the Hall of Fame Awards. The seven inductees were black comics pioneer Orrin C. Evans (All-Negro Comics), cartoonist Irwin Hasen (Wild Cat, Green Lantern, Dondi), Golden Age artist Sheldon Moldoff (Batman), manga giant Hayao Miyazaki (Nausicäa), writer Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), DC comics writer/editor Dennis O’Neil (Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow), and legendary comics artist Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein).
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 retailer Joe Field, for founding Free Comic Book Day. The Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award went to Aaron Conley (artist of Sabretooth Swordsman, published by Dark Horse) and was presented by past Russ Manning Award winner Jeff Smith.
The tenth annual Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing was presented by Mark Evanier and Bill Finger’s granddaughter, Athena, to three recipients: Jack Mendelsohn (Panic, Jacky’s Diary); Robert Kanigher (Sgt. Rock, Enemy Ace, Metal Men), accepted by Paul Levitz; and Bill Mantlo (Rocket Raccoon, Micronauts, Rom), accepted by Marv Wolfman. 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 Legends Comics & Coffee (Omaha, Nebraska), and All Star Comics (Melbourne, Australia).
The title sponsor for this year’s Eisner Awards was SHOWTIME. The principal sponsors were Gentle Giant and Lebonfon Printing. Supporting sponsors were Alternate Reality Comics of Las Vegas, Atlantis Fantasyworld of Santa Cruz, CA, Diamond Comic Distributors, Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff of Concord, CA, Strange Adventures of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Warp 1 of Edmonton, Alberta, and Mel Thompson and Associates.
The Eisner Awards are part of, and underwritten by, Comic-Con International: San Diego, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture.
2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Winners
2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Winners List
Best Short Story: “Untitled,” by Gilbert Hernandez, in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
Best Single Issue: Hawkeye #11: “Pizza Is My Business,” by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
Best Continuing Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
Best Limited Series: The Wake, by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)
Best New Series: Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): Itty Bitty Hellboy, by Art Baltazar and Franco (Dark Horse)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12): The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17): Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second)
Best Humor Publication: Vader’s Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
Best Anthology: Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
Best Digital/Webcomic: The Oatmeal by Matthew Inman, http://theoatmeal.com
Best Reality-Based Work: The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (M Press/Dark Horse)
Best Graphic Album—New: The Property, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint: RASL, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, vol. 1, edited by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: Will Eisner’s The Spirit Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Goddam This War! by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney (Fantagraphics)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia: The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)
Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)
Best Writer/Artist: Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team: Sean Murphy, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist: Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
Best Cover Artist: David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
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)
Best Lettering: Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (IDW)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland, www.comicbookresources.com
Best Comics-Related Book: Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell (LOAC/IDW)
Best Scholarly/Academic Work: Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, edited by Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II (Bloomsbury)
Best Publication Design: Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, designed by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
Hall of Fame:
Judges’ Choices: Orrin C. Evans, Irwin Hasen, Sheldon Moldoff
Recipients: Hayao Miyazaki, Alan Moore, Dennis O’Neil, Bernie Wrightson
Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Aaron Conley
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Joe Field
Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comics Writing: Robert Kanigher, Bill Mantlo, Jack Mendelsohn
Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Legend Comics & Coffee (Omaha, Nebraska), and All Star Comics (Melbourne, Australia)
SHOWTIME® Sponsors the 26th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards
Orlando Jones, Jonathan Ross Among Presenters
The 26th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony will be held Friday, July 25 in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. This year’s title sponsor is SHOWTIME. SHOWTIME, the network behind award-winning original series including Homeland, Dexter®, Ray Donovan, and Masters Of Sex, is presenting the drama series Penny Dreadful at Comic-Con.
Presenters at this year’s Eisners will include actor/comedian Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow, The MAD Show), British talk show host/comics writer Jonathan Ross, actor/screenwriter/comedian Thomas Lennon (Reno 911, Balls of Fury), nominee Reginald Hudlin (writer, Black Panther; producer, Django Unchained), actress Kelly Hu (Arrow, Warehouse 13), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, Belgian graphic novelists Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten (Obscure Cities series), writer nominees Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals) and Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel), Hall of Fame cartoonist Sergio Aragonés (Groo, MAD), writer/artist nominee Terry Moore (Rachel Rising, Strangers in Paradise), writer/artist Bill Morrison (Bongo Comics), and voice actors Phil LaMarr (Samurai Jack, Justice League Unlimited, MADtv) and Vanessa Marshall (Young Justice, Spectacular Spider-Man), plus some special surprises!
The Eisner Awards, considered the “Oscars” of the comic book industry, will be given out in 30 categories, for works published in 2013. The doors for the event will open at 7:45, and the ceremonies will get under way at 8:00. Attendance at the event is free to anyone with a Comic-Con badge. Advance seating for VIPs (nominees, sponsors, presenters) and those with pro badges will begin at 7:00. The ceremony is expected to run until about 10:30. All who attend the awards ceremony will receive a graphic novel from the Will Eisner Library, published by DC Comics.
In addition to SHOWTIME as the title sponsor, the principal sponsors are comiXology, Gentle Giant Studios, and Lebonfon. Supporting sponsors are Alternate Reality Comics (Las Vegas), Atlantis Fantasyworld (Santa Cruz, CA), Diamond Comics/Geppi Entertainment Museum, Flying Colors & Other Cool Stuff (Concord, CA), mycomicshop.com, Strange Adventures (Halifax, Nova Scotia), and Warp 1 Comics & Games (Edmonton, Alberta).
Other prestigious awards to be given out during the gala ceremony include the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award, and the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The major sponsor for the Finger Award is DC Comics; supporting sponsors are Heritage Auctions and Maggie Thompson.
The Eisner Awards are part of, and underwritten by, 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.
Will Eisner Comic Industry Award 2014 Nominees
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). Click here to read the judges' comments on their experiences judging the 2014 awards. 
For the Hall of Fame (see below), ithe 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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hasen, Moldoff, Evans Chosen for Eisner Hall of Fame
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.