Every year, the Eisner Awards present a snapshot of the most significant comic books released in print and online. In 2013, the Oscars of Comics reflect a shift with the level of diversity possibly unprecedented in American comics.
As has been noted, Tuesday’s Eisner nominations have a remarkable number of nods to literary comics house Fantagraphics and creator-owned comics publisher Image, and a scarcity for Marvel and DC Comics, despite their majority hold on market share. The dominant genre of that same market has long been superheroes, but for the first time, there are hardly any superhero comics recognized by the Eisner judges. The notable exception is Marvel’s Hawkeye, which is tied with two other non-superhero books for most nominations. Despite Hawkeye‘s strong showing, the majority of nominated works are in the genres of drama, slice-of-life, humor and non-fiction, with a decent percentage of adventure, crime, fantasy and science fiction.
Hawkeye isn’t the only superhero title among the nominees: Chris Samnee’s work on Daredevil and The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom earned him a Best Penciler/Inker nod. J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart were nominated for Best Cover Artist and Coloring, respectively, for what they created in Batwoman, although Stewart’s is also for six other non-superhero books. Finally, Paul Grist was nominated for Best Lettering for Mudman, and IDW Publishing’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition was nominated for Best Archival Collection and Best Design. So all told, there are only about a half dozen superhero comics that are Eisner-worthy enough to stand out from the pack.
To celebrate the four Eisner Award nominations for Paul Tobin and Colleen Cover’s Bandette — Best New Series, Best Digital Comic, Best Penciler/Inker and Best Coloring — Monkeybrain Comics is offering the first issue for free on comiXology through the entire voting period.
The series, which debuted in July, follows a costumed thief who gleefully leads a group of urchins through the streets of Paris, serving on the side of justice, except when an old-fashioned heist proves too fun to resist. Bandette is every bit as entertaining as it sounds.
ROBOT 6 is honored to be nominated for the 2013 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Publication/Journalism. We’re in excellent company, alongside Alter Ego, ComicsAlliance, The Comics Reporter and TCJ.com. That’s stiff competition.
As anyone who visits the blog recognizes, it’s a group effort, the work of a dozen daily and weekly contributors: JK Parkin, Brigid Alverson, Chris Arrant, Corey Blake, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman, Mark Kardwell, Chris Mautner, Michael May, J. Caleb Mozzocco, Tim O’Shea and myself. It’s a good team whose varied tastes and opinions help keep our coverage diverse.
However, ROBOT 6 is also the product of a larger site, Comic Book Resources, and many more people whose bylines rarely, if ever, appear on the blog, yet who help shape its content by contributing story ideas, offering advice and lending a hand when needed: Executive Producer Jonah Weiland, Senior Editor Stephen Gerding, News Editor Kiel Phegley, Reviews Editor Steve Sunu, Assistant Editor Rob Levin, Assistant Editor Andy Liegl, Lead Designer Matt Brett and the writers of Comic Book Resources, Brian Cronin and the staff of Comics Should Be Good, and the staff of Spinoff Online.
Thanks to everyone who makes ROBOT 6 possible, and to the Eisner judges for the recognition, and to you, our readers.
The nominees were announced today for the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, Chris Ware’s Building Stories, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Fatale, and Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye, with five nods each. Fantagraphics led with publishers with 24 nominations, followed by Image Comics with 17, plus one shared. ROBOT 6 was nominated for Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism.
All comics industry professionals are eligible to vote. The winners will be announced July 19 during Comic-Con International. The full list of nominees are:
Best Short Story
- “A Birdsong Shatters the Still,” by Jeff Wilson and Ted May, in Injury #4 (Ted May/Alternative)
- “Elmview” by Jon McNaught, in Dockwood (Nobrow)
- “Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)
- “Moving Forward,” by drewscape, in Monsters, Miracles, & Mayonnaise (Epigram Books)
- “Rainbow Moment,” by Lilli Carré, in Heads or Tails (Fantagraphics)
Awards | A last-minute reminder: Today is the deadline for Eisner Awards submissions. [Eisner Awards]
Creators | Grant Morrison looks back on his run on Action Comics, which ends today with the release of Issue 18, and touches upon Multiversity and his long-discussed Wonder Woman project: “This is some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time, because it’s a completely different type of comic book. Usually I don’t do masses of research, but for Wonder Woman, I’ve actually been working my way through the entire history of feminism. I want this to be fucking serious, you know? I want this to be really, really good, to reflect not only what women think, but what men think of women. I’m trying to do something really different from what’s been done with the character before. That one’s been amazing fun, because it’s nothing like anything I’ve ever done before.” [Entertainment Weekly]
As online voting opens for the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame, the judges have selected late Golden Age artist Mort Meskin (Vigilante, Wildcat) and late underground cartoonist Spain Rodriguez (Trashman) for automatic induction.
In addition, they’ve named 13 nominees, from which voters will select four to be inducted in July during Comic-Con International. The nominees are:
- Marjorie Henderson Buell (aka Marge), late creator of Little Lulu
- Howard Cruse, creator of the acclaimed Stuck Rubber Baby
- Lee Falk, late creator of The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician
- Bud Fisher, late creator of the pioneering daily strip Mutt and Jeff
- Bill Griffth, creator of Zippy
- Al Jaffee, longtime Mad Magazine contributor famed for the “Mad Fold-in”
- Jesse Marsh,late Golden Age artist known for his work on the Tarzan and Gene Autry comic books
- Tarpé Mills (aka June Mills), late Golden Age artist best known for Miss Fury, the first female action hero created by a woman
- Thomas Nast, 19th-century caricaturist and editorial cartoonist known as “the Father of the American Cartoon”
- Gary Panter, acclaimed illustrator, painter and creator of Jimbo
- Trina Robbins, influential underground comics writer/artist and co-creator of Vampirella
- Joe Sinnott, veteran inker who worked on virtually every Marvel title during his 60 years working for the publisher
- Jacques Tardi, acclaimed writer and artist, and creator of Adèle Blanc-Sec
To vote, you must be a professional working gin the comics or related industries as a creator, a publisher, an editor, a comics store owner or manager, a graphic novels librarian, or a comics historian/educator. Eligible voters can visit EisnerVote.com to select up to four names for the Hall of Fame. The voting deadline is March 4.
Comic-Con International has announced the Will Eisner Hall of Fame is now online, with a browsable catalog of the more than 120 creators — from Neal Adams to Wally Wood — who have been inducted since 1987. Each entry, arranged in alphabetical order, includes a brief biography of the creator, the date of induction and, in many case, a photograph or illustration.
Being an Eisner Awards judge has to be one of the coolest gigs in comics—I know this because I was one last year. Comic-Con International has just announced the names of the 2013 judges, and as always, they represent a mix of the different sectors of the business — creation, criticism, retailing, journalism, and of course, Comic-Con itself. Here’s the lineup:
Michael Cavna, a writer, editor and artist for The Washington Post and the man behind the newspaper’s Comic Riffs blog, which is an important part of my daily reading.
Charles Hatfield, professor of English at California State University, Northridge and the author of Hand of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby, which won an Eisner Award last year, and Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature, as well as a contributor to The Comics Journal and a member of the Modern Language Association’s Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives.
Adam Healy, co-owner of Cosmic Monkey Comics in Portland, Oregon.
Comics | Auction prices for comics and original comics art have soared over the past few years, ever since a copy of Action Comics #1 broke the $1-million mark in 2010. Barry Sandoval of Heritage Auctions (admittedly, not a disinterested party) and Michael Zapcic of the comics shop Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash discuss why that happened—and why prices are likely to stay high. [Underwire]
Creators | Brian Michael Bendis looks back on his eight-year run on Marvel’s Avengers franchise. [Marvel.com]
Creators | Although he almost missed the anniversary, Mark Waid celebrates 25 years as a comics professional by recalling his first day of work at the DC Comics offices: “If you’re wondering what an Associate Editor does – or did in 1987 – I’ll list my job duties those first two days. Ready? Here we go: I erased Green Arrow pages. Eight hours a day for two days.” [MarkWaid.com]
Publishing | DC Comics’ Senior Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne and Vice President of Marketing John Cunningham are pretty upbeat about DC’s most recent graphic novels — with some justification, as a number have made The New York Times graphic books best-seller list. “Batman: Earth One has been a runaway bestseller for us, even better than Superman: Earth One,” Wayne said. “People are familiar with the Superman: Earth One title and we don’t have explain what the new book is about.” [Publishers Weekly]
Retailing | Heidi MacDonald reports on the retailer lunch at Comic-Con International, where spirits were running high after an exceptionally good year, with sales up 13 percent over 2011. Retailers shared success stories, Diamond Comic Distributors offered incentives for new businesses, and MacDonald pulled out an interestingly eclectic list of titles that are spurring sales, including The Walking Dead, Saga, and Jeffrey Brown’s cat cartoons and Vader and Son. [Publishers Weekly]
Publishing | ICv2 talks to the Viz Media executives about a range of topics, including the stabilization of the manga market, new interest from comics retailers, the shift to digital, and an uptick in the popularity of shoujo (girls’) manga. [ICv2]
With wins in three categories each, writer Mark Waid and Archaia Entertainment’s Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand led the 24th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, presented last night in San Diego as part of Comic-Con International.
Waid received awards for Best Writer, and Marvel’s Daredevil, by he and artists Paolo Rivera and Joe Rivera, earned nods for Best Single Issue and Best Continuing Series, while Tale of Sand won Best Graphic Album-New, Best Publication Design and Best Penciller/Inker for Ramón K. Pérez.
See the complete list of winners below:
Best Short Story
“The Seventh,” by Darwyn Cooke, in Richard Stark’s Parker: The Martini Edition (IDW)
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Daredevil #7, by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)
Best Continuing Series
Daredevil, by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)
Best Limited Series
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)
The nominations have been announced for the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Awards The award will go to “an individual retailer who has done an outstanding job of supporting the comic art medium both in the community and within the industry at large.” Here’s the list:
- Acme Comics, Greensboro, NC
- Akira Comics, Madrid, Spain
- Bosco’s, Anchorage, AK
- Bridge City Comics, Portland, OR
- Challengers Comics + Conversation, Chicago, IL
- Collectors Corner, Baltimore, MD
- The Comic Bug, Manhattan Beach, CA
- Comix Experience, San Francisco, CA
- The Dragon, Guleph, Ontario, Canada
- Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy, Austin, TX
- Drawn to Comics, Glendale, AZ
- Green Brain Comics, Dearborn, MI
- Happy Harbor, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Jesse James Comics, Glendale, AZ
- Legacy Comics, Laredo, TX
- Packrat Comics, Hillard, OH
- Pop Culture Paradise, Tempe, AZ
- Shazam! Comics, Santiago, Chile
- Things From Another World, Beaverton, OR
The timetable is tight: The judges meet on July 8 to pick the recipient, who will be honored at the Eisner Awards ceremony on July 13.
Like clockwork, Comic-Con International organizers have released the programming schedule for Friday, July 13, the second full day of the San Diego convention. It sees publishers kicking things into high gear, with Marrvel’s “Cup O’ Joe” and DC Comics panels on the New 52 and Justice League and Green Lantern groups, as well as presentations from IDW Publishing, Oni Press, BOOM! Studios, UDON, and Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly.
That’s only for starters, though, as AMC’s The Walking Dead, Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The CW’s Arrow make Comic-Con appearances, and creators as diverse as Joss Whedon, Kate Beaton, Larry Hama, Scott Snyder, Lynn Johnston, Dan Piraro, James Robinson and Jeff Lemire get the spotlight. There are also tributes to legendary creators Jerry Robinson and Joe Simon, as well as Comic-Con co-founder Richard Alf.
And to keep off the day, there’s the 24th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.
We’ve selected some of the comics-related highlights below; visit the Comic-Con website to see the complete schedule.
Conventions | Creative director Rico Renzi discusses HeroesCon, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend with a three-day event that’s experienced a spike in advance ticket sales: “Stan Lee’s attendance to this year’s show has definitely caused a spike in advance ticket sales from what I can tell. I honestly like the show at just the size it is; it’s just right. I used to hop on a bus from Baltimore to go the NYCC and I loved it for the first couple years. It just got too big for me too enjoy it, you couldn’t walk around without rubbing up against strangers. It’s a great alternative to San Diego now I guess. If you’re looking for a pure comic book show though, HeroesCon is where it’s at.” In addition to Lee, this year’s guests include Neal Adams, Mark Bagley, Cliff Chiang, Frank Cho, Becky Cloonan, Geof Darrow, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Evan Dorkin, Tommy Lee Edwards, Matt Fraction, Francesco Francavilla, Jaime Hernandez, Dave Johnson, Jeff Lemire, Paul Levitz, Mike Mignola, George Perez, Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson, Scott Snyder and Bernie Wrightson. [The Comics Reporter]