[Outside the Frame] Indies at the Eisner Awards

Now in its 25th year, the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards have announced their nominations for 2013. Voting is still open to industry professionals, and the winners will be revealed at the June 19th gala held during Comic-Con International: San Diego. The nominees as selected by a panel of judges who have chosen from titles submitted during the January open reading period (whether work is printed or online, it needs to have first appeared between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year). This year’s judges are reviewer Michael Cavna (“Comic Riffs,” Washington Post), academic/author Charles Hatfield (Cal State Northridge), retailer Adam Healy (Cosmic Monkey, Portland, OR), author/educator Katie Monnin (Teaching Graphic Novels), cartoonist/critic Frank Santoro (Storeyville; TCJ), and Comic-Con International registrar John Smith.

A huge number of nominees are independent and small press companies, not affiliated with DC, Marvel, Vertigo, Dark Horse, or IDW. Though Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’s Fatale (published by Image) and Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye (published by Marvel) each garnered five nominations, they share that distinction with Chris Ware’s Building Stories, published by Pantheon.

Sharing the next spot on the list, with four nominations each, are all indies: Boom!/kaboom with Adventure Time, Monkeybrain with Bandette, and You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart (Carol Tyler’s memoir comic), published by Fantagraphics. Speaking of Fantagraphics, they lead the pack with a grand total of 24 nominations—seven more than Image, who came in second on that list.

The nominees you might be most interested in are:

BEST SINGLE ISSUE (OR ONE-SHOT)

  • Lose #4: “The Fashion Issue” by Michael DeForge (Koyama Press)
  • The Mire by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
  • Pope Hats #3 by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books)
  • Post York #1 by James Romberger and Crosby (Uncivilized Books)
  • Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 by Michael Kupperman (Fantagraphics)

BEST NEW SERIES

  • Adventure Time by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)
  • Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)

BEST PUBLICATION FOR TEENS (ages 13-17)

  • Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens by Meredith Gran (kaboom!)
  • Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion)
  • Ichiro by Ryan Inzana (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Spera, vol. 1 by Josh Tierney et al. (Archaia)
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

BEST HUMOR PUBLICATION

  • Adventure Time by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)
  • BBXX: Baby Blues Decades 1 & 2 by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman (Andrews McMeel)
  • Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
  • Naked Cartoonists edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

BEST DIGITAL COMIC

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics edited by Justin Hall (Fantagraphics)
  • Nobrow #7: Brave New World edited by Alex Spiro and Sam Arthur (Nobrow)
  • 2000 AD edited by Matt Smith (Rebellion)
  • Where Is Dead Zero? edited by Jeff Ranjo (Where Is Dead Zero?)

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM (New)

  • Building Stories by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
  • Goliath by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • The Hive by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
  • Unterzakhn by Leela Corman (Schocken)
  • You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart by C. Tyler (Fantagraphics)

BEST U.S. EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL

  • Abelard by Régis Hautiere and Renaud Dillies (NBM)
  • Athos in America by Jason (Fantagraphics)
  • The Making of by Brecht Evens (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Monsieur Jean: The Singles Theory by Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian (Humanoids)
  • New York Mon Amour by Benjamin LeGrand, Dominique Grange, and Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)

BEST U.S. EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL—ASIA

  • Barbara by Osamu Tezuka (Digital Manga)
  • A Chinese Life by Li Kunwu and P. Ôtié (Self Made Hero)
  • Nonnonba by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Thermae Romae by Mari Yamazaki (Yen Press/Hachette)

BEST WRITER

  • Frank M. Young, The Carter Family (Abrams ComicArts)

BEST WRITER/ARTIST

  • Charles Burns, The Hive (Pantheon)
  • Gilbert Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories, vol. 5 (Fantagraphics)
  • Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories, vol. 5 (Fantagraphics)
  • Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Midnight Giant, Everything We Miss (Nobrow)
  • C. Tyler, You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart (Fantagraphics)
  • Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

BEST PENCILLER/INKER

  • Becky Cloonan, The Mire (self-published); she also did Conan the Barbarian (Dark Horse) this year
  • Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)

BEST PAINTER/MULTIMEDIA ARTIST (interior art)

  • Brecht Evens, The Making Of (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Lorenzo Mattotti, The Crackle of the Frost (Fantagraphics)

BEST COLORING

  • Charles Burns, The Hive (Pantheon)
  • Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
  • Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

BEST LETTERING

  • C. Tyler, You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart (Fantagraphics)
  • Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

BEST PUBLICATION DESIGN

  • Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
  • Dal Tokyo, designed by Gary Panter and Family Sohn (Fantagraphics)
  • Mister Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)

I’d like to see Charles Burns win at a few of these; I love what he’s doing with this trilogy, starting with X’ed Out (The Hive is book two). The writing is weird, the art is bold, and I adore the coloring, which is all Burns’s work. Building Stories will probably win Best Publication Design, because it’s a beautifully assembled collection, with interconnecting stories running across several different mini books and posters, neatly boxed. I like Adventure Time for Best Humor, and Becky Cloonan’s doing some good work with The Mire. She’s got a good chance in Best Single Issue but I think the competition from the bigger names will be too strong in Best Penciller/Inker. I’m happy to see Fantagraphics, Pantheon, and Drawn & Quarterly get so many nominations–they’re my favorite indie companies, because I consistently like what they publish, and have for years.

Who do you think will win?

Here’s the complete list of nominees.

Want me to review your work? I’m primarily looking for comics with a speculative fiction element, in keeping with the theme of SF Signal, but if your comic is fantasy, science fiction, horror, weird, magic realism, or some other style of “strange”, let me know! You can reach me at carriecuinn@gmail.com, or leave a comment below.

One thought on “[Outside the Frame] Indies at the Eisner Awards”

  1. If you’re looking for the best of science fiction in comic books, you must read Jonathan Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four & FF. It’s awe inspiring, mind blowing SF on an epic scale.

Comments are closed.