It’s award season!! Well, okay fine, its not a “season” like with some industries, but it’s time for The Eisner Awards and I’m so completely and totally excited! The past couple of years have been a boon and a blessing for comic fans and creators alike with so, so many amazing comics coming out – especially from creator-owned material and smaller presses.
Even this year, the nominations are very telling if you see the lack-luster presence of Marvel and the practically zilch presence of DC comics (outside of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely who are just extremely talented individuals who would likely be deserving of nominations for most anything they threw out!). My feelings about the current state of DC is no secret so I’m actually happy to see them get shunned because I hope (foolishly) that they’ll learn from it and do better in the year ahead.
For those not familiar with the awards, a quick blurb to inform, the rest of you skip ahead:
The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, commonly shortened to the Eisner Awards, are prizes given for creative achievement in American comic books, sometimes referred to as the Comics Industry’s equivalent of the Oscars. The Eisners were first conferred in 1988, created in response to the discontinuation of the Kirby Awards after 1987. They are named in honor of the pioneering writer and artist Will Eisner, who was a regular participant in the award ceremony until his death in 2005.
When I saw the list, as happens to anyone, I couldn’t help but scan it and be picking out my own preferences for the same. This year however, I feel excited and decided that I’d share it and maybe even see what others think of them – so without futher jabber from me, here’s my favourites in some of the categories for the awards! (For the full list, click HERE or the link at the end of the post)
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
- Astro City #16: “Wish I May” by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo/DC)
- Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
- Madman in Your Face 3D Special, by Mike Allred (Image)
- Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1(Marvel)
- The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (DC)
I’d like Beasts of Burden to get the nod as I think it’s both a very deserving series till now and this one was a great One-Shot. But I’d be fine with Pax Americana or Madman In Your Face getting the win too.
Personally I’ve never gotten into Astro City – it’s not bad, just never clicked with me, though people keep telling me how amazing it is and it gets so much acclaim. Maybe one day.
Best Continuing Series
- Astro City, by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo)
- Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
- Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction & David Aja (Marvel)
- Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image)
- Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour (Image)
- The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, & Stefano Gaudiano (Image/Skybound)
The favourite to win, going by some of the comic fans I know, would be Southern Bastards which has gotten a lot of love from readers. Myself, I would rather vote Hawkeye and Saga over that because I just enjoyed them so very much that I have no words.
…but Walking Dead doesn’t deserve to be on that list anymore, not they way it’s been recently, I’m actually starting to contemplate dropping it. Shocking for me, considering I’ve loved it pretty much since I read issue #1 years ago.
Best Limited Series
- Daredevil: Road Warrior, by Mark Waid & Peter Krause(Marvel Infinite Comics)
- Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Garbriel Rodriguez (IDW)
- The Multiversity, by Grant Morrison et al. (DC)
- The Private Eye, by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate)
- The Sandman: Overture, by Neil Gaiman & J. H. Williams III (Vertigo/DC)
Hmmm… this one’s a hard call. Mark Waid has been nailing it left and right with his work on Daredevil and this mini was no exception, though both The Private Eye and The Sandman: Overture are deservedly front-runners here – Little Nemo is the only one I haven’t read, though I have heard good things and it might just win out of nostalgia and love for what it is and the original it homages so lovingly.
Best New Series
- The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Image)
- Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
- Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona (Marvel)
- Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel)
- The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (Image)
I LOVE THEM ALL!! ALL! Honestly, I have no pick, no preference, I wouldn’t care one whit because they all deserve to win and be recognised and you should read them all. Period.
- Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover, Monkeybrain/comiXology.com
- Failing Sky by Dax Tran-Caffee, http://failingsky.com
- The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies, http://lastmechanicalmonster.blogspot.com
- Nimona, by Noelle Stephenson, http://gingerhaze.com/nimona/comic
- The Private Eye by Brian Vaughan & Marcos Martin http://panelsyndicate.com/
The Private Eye deserves this – I like Brian K. Vaughan as a writer but am not insanely fan-boy about his work. This webcomic though, I approached it with no expectations and have really, really enjoyed it from the start and eagerly look forward to more.
However, I’d also like Bandette to win, I read it just because and just couldn’t help but really like it!
- Jason Aaron, Original Sin, Thor, Men of Wrath (Marvel); Southern Bastards (Image)
- Kelly Sue DeConnick, Captain Marvel (Marvel); Pretty Deadly (Image)
- Grant Morrison, The Multiversity (DC); Annihilator (Legendary Comics)
- Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image); Private Eye (Panel Syndicate)
- G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
- Gene Luen Yang, Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse); The Shadow Hero (First Second)
Overall for best writer I’d be inclined to give it to Jason Aaron simply for the variety of awesome he’s written this year – or Wilson for her amazing work on Ms Marvel and Vaughan because he’s just been amazing on these two series.
Personally I’d actually be a bit inclined to give it to Gene Luen Yang for the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics which have been a fantastic continuation of an already huge and sprawling animated series – it’s no mean feat to keep a thing alive so long over multiple media and to not just be around but also still as good! …But sadly it’s comparitively so niche that I don’t think they’ll do it ever. 😥
- Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
- Mike Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)
- Frank Quitely, Multiversity (DC)
- François Schuiten, The Leaning Girl (Alaxis Press)
- Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
- Babs Tarr, Batgirl (DC)
For me in this category it’s easily expected that the win will got to either Frank Quitely or Fiona Staples (which I’m fine with!) but I’d rather it was given to Mike Allred or Adrian Alphona, their books have been such complete and unabashed fun visually and the art is just as big a reason that I keep buying them as the stories.
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
- Lauri & Jaakko Ahonen, Jaybird (Dark Horse)
- Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
- Mike Del Mundo, Elektra (Marvel)
- Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad: Amarillo (Dark Horse)
- J. H. Williams III, The Sandman: Overture (Vertigo/DC)
Painter has to be either Juanjo Guarnido for Blacksad: Amarillo or J.H. Williams for Sandman Overture. I’d go with Blacksad personally, but that’s just me.
Best Cover Artist
- Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics Darwyn Cooke Month Variant Covers (DC)
- Mike Del Mundo, Elektra, X-Men: Legacy, A+X, Dexter, Dexter Down Under (Marvel)
- Francesco Francavilla,Afterlife with Archie (Archie); Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight (Dark Horse); The Twilight Zone, Django/Zorro (Dynamite);X-Files (IDW)
- Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
- Phil Noto, Black Widow (Marvel)
- Alex Ross, Astro City (Vertigo/DC); Batman 66: The Lost Episode, Batman 66 Meets Green Hornet (DC/Dynamite)
For covers, hands frikkin down Phil Noto for Black Widow. Maybe I’d be happy with Francesco Francavilla as an alternate, for his work on Afterlife with Archie alone. The ones that are usually the favourites that even I was surprised I didn’t put up front are Darwyn Cooke and Alex Ross – major comic juggernauts – but I wasn’t particularly taken with the particular stuff they are nominated for here.
Well that’s it for me folks! There are a whole lot of other awards besides these as well – but those were all categories where I hadn’t read enough or most of the nominees (must rectify that soon…) and so didn’t feel it was fair to offer an opinion that was not fully informed.
Please feel free to check out the fuller list on the site I’ve linked and if you agree or disagree with any of my choices here, I’d love hear about it.
Who are you voting for?
(Full nominee list: http://comicbook.com/2015/04/22/2015-eisner-awards-nominees-announced/ )