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]
Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for this year’s Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award. They are:
- Craig Cermak, artist of Voltron, Year One (published by Dynamite Entertainment)
- Martin Cóccolo, artist of Helldorado (published by APE Entertainment)
- Tyler Crook, artist of Petrograd (published by Oni Press) and B.P.R.D. (published by Dark Horse)
- Teagan Gavet, penciler of Norgard: Across Thin Ice (Published by Sofawolf)
- Dave Wachter, artist of Night of 1,000 Wolves and That Hellbound Train (published by IDW Publishing)
The award is named for Russ Manning, the prolific artist who worked on Tarzan and Star Wars, and created the classic comic series Magnus, Robot Fighter. Started in 1982 as a joint presentation of Comic-Con International and the West Coast Comics Club, this award honors a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. Previous winners of the award include Dave Stevens, the first winner in 1982, as well as Art Adams, Jeff Smith, Gene Ha, Jerome Opeña, Steve Rude, David Petersen, R. Kikuo Johnson, Marian Churchland and Nate Simpson, who won last year.
The winner will be announced July 13 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Awards | Frank Doyle, who wrote thousands of Archie Comics scripts, and Steve Skeates, who wrote for both Marvel and DC Comics, will be honored with this year’s Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. Both were chosen by a unanimous vote of a committee headed by Mark Evanier. The awards will be presented July 13 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International in San Diego. [Comic-Con International]
Legal | The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman’s war with Funnyjunk has heated up the Internets over the past few days, but Andrew Orlowski questions why Inman didn’t simply send FunnyJunk a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when he realized his comics were being posted without permission. “Without the DMCA, Inman found himself in a knife fight armed with just a stick of celery,” Orlwoski said, and he blames his failure to use it on “nerd web culture.” “Inman didn’t use the ammunition available to him at all — he simply decided to play the victim. Whether he did so through naivety, ignorance or cynicism, it is impossible to say.” [The Register]
Creators | Freelance artist Oliver Nome, who has worked for Wildstorm and Aspen but has no health insurance, is suffering from a brain tumor, and his dealer is selling off his art to help pay for the surgery. [Blog@Newsarama]
Publishing | John Jackson Miller looks at the shape of the comics market in 1995, before Diamond Comic Distributors had a virtual monopoly on distribution. [The Comichron]
Awards | The voting deadline for this year’s Eisner Awards is Monday. [Comic-Con International]
Being a judge in the Eisner Awards meant making hard choices. It’s like being an admissions officer at Harvard: You could make a top-notch set of picks, throw them away, and still have a strong field for the second set. With six judges each having a different voice, sometimes a book that one or two of us think is the greatest thing since sliced bread doesn’t make the final cut.
Here’s my short list of comics that, if it were up to me, would have gotten Eisner nominations.
Best Limited Series
One of my favorite series of 2011 was Spontaneous, by Brett Weldele and Joe Harris. It’s a great crypto-mystery about spontaneous human combustion, with a nerdy know-it-all played off against an aggressive reporter. The story has its flaws, but I couldn’t put it down.
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
Nina in That Makes Me Mad: We had an unusually strong field of children’s books, even after we split the category into two age groups, but this book was my first choice for a nomination. The writing is sharp and perceptive, and Hilary Knight’s illustrations are amazing. Even the page layouts are awesome. This is a book that speaks directly to children, in a voice they can understand, yet does it with an elegance that adults can appreciate as well.
As many of you know, I was an Eisner judge this year, and I can tell you that anytime someone was reading Dave Kellet’s Coffee: It’s What’s for Dinner, I heard giggling–even from the non-coffee drinkers. It’s a compilation of coffee-related strips from his daily webcomic Sheldon in which he affectionately mocks the extremes to which the caffeine habit drives people, and it’s full of his trademark deadpan humor.
Kellet is celebrating his second nomination in two years by making the book available for free download. It’s DRM-free, so you can read it anywhere, but I suggest you keep it to areas where you can laugh out loud without causing a disruption.
Creators | Legendary comic artist Tony DeZuniga, the co-creator of Jonah Hex, has been hospitalized in the Philippines after suffering from a stroke and pneumonia. The 70-year-old DeZuniga is reportedly in the intensive care unit as friends and family rally to help with his medical expenses. [GMA News]
Retailing | Diamond Comic Distributors announced that retailers have ordered more than 3.5 million comics for Free Comic Book Day, up 23 percent from last year. Diamond also confirmed a second event centered on Halloween. [ICv2]
Graphic novels | The Irish Education Minister, Ruairí Quinn, has given his blessing to a manga-style graphic novel intended to help teenagers develop “emotional intelligence.” [TheJournal.ie]
Legal | The New York Times ventures deep into the legal battle between Archie Comics Co-CEOs Nancy Silberkleit and Jonathan Goldwater, noting the two sides have gone into court-approved mediation. “Competing lawsuits filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan and State Supreme Court in Westchester County lay out a litany of bitter allegations. He punctured her car tires, destroyed her Web site and claimed that she sexually harassed employees. She ordered him to fire several longtime employees because they were too old, too fat or too buxom, and let her dog, Willow, roam the offices and defecate in the art department.” [The New York Times]
Conventions | Although no figures have been released for last weekend’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, organizer Lance Fensterman said attendance was “way up,” noting that, “the size of the show floor doubled and the aisles were much more full than last year. That tells you how much attendance jumped to keep pace with the floor growth.” [Publishers Weekly]
Legal | A proposed Arizona law that would make it a crime to annoy or offend anyone through electronic means has been held back for revision after a number of concerned parties, including the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, protested that it was too broad. The bill, which was passed by both houses of the Arizona legislature, basically took the language from the statute criminalizing harassing phone calls and applied it to all electronic devices, without limiting it to one-to-one communications. As a result, the language appears to make it a crime to post anything annoying or potentially offensive on the internet. [CBLDF]
Retailing | Brian Hibbs questions Mark Waid’s math, both with regard to comic shops and the cost of self-publishing, and brings up a number of arguments in favor of the Direct Market. He argues that having gatekeepers in the market is a good thing and that rather than refusing to take a risk on a new or different comic, retailers will go out of their way to stock comics they think their readers will like. [Savage Critics]
Awards | The Guy Davis short story “The Phototaker” has been removed from the 2012 Eisner Awards ballot after it was determined to be ineligible. “The ‘Phototaker’ Eisner nomination was a mix up,” Davis wrote on Twitter. ” Jackie Estrada messaged me after I posted asking about the original English version, which came out in Metal Hurlant #9 (2003). So it’s not eligible for the 2012 Eisner nomination and has been removed. Thanks for all the congratulations yesterday, but I’m happy to clear this up and have it removed from the running.” [Eisner Awards]
Publishing | DC Comics’ Senior Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne and Vice President of Marketing John Cunningham respond to March’s direct-market sales estimates, which saw Marvel claim three of the Top 10 spots after a February shutout. “We are pleased that we gained share, and we never expected that we would hold ten out of ten at the top of the chart for ever,” Wayne said. “I think it is better for the business if everybody is firing on all cylinders, that our competitors are doing interesting things, and we are doing interesting things. It keeps everybody on their toes and it keeps enthusiasm in the readership. The retailers remain involved wanting to make sure that they have enough of everything. I think it’s a good thing all around.” [ICv2.com]
The Eisner nominations are taking some criticism for leaving out the Best New Series category this year. The rationale for the decision is that the judges “didn’t find enough contenders that reached the level of quality they were looking for,” but folks like Ron Marz and Phil Hester think they weren’t looking very hard. On Twitter, Marz said, “We are comics; we do NEW better than anyone.” And as Kevin noted earlier today, Hester observed that “you could throw a rock through artists’ alley at SDCC and hit a full slate of worthy Best New Series nominees.”
Even as I’m agreeing with both of those statements, I also love Marz’ suggestion of something positive that we can do. “Nothing stopping the rest of us from recognizing New Series. If you like something, tell everybody about it!”
That’s a great idea and I’ll start by mentioning Daryl Gregory and Carlos Magno’s Planet of the Apes as my own nomination. But please oh please fill up the comments section with your own. What’s the Best New Series you read in 2011?
“Eisner committee: You could throw a rock through artists’ alley at SDCC and hit a full slate of worthy Best New Series nominees. In fact, I’m willing to turn the entire comics awards process over to throwing rocks through artists’ alleys.”
– Phil Hester, responding to a statement by Eisner Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada that this year’s judges decided to omit the Best New Series category “because they didn’t find enough contenders that reached the level of quality they were looking for.”
Daredevil and Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand lead the nominations for the 2012 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, which were announced today by Comic-Con International.
Topping the 2012 list with six nominations is Marvel’s Daredevil, with nods for Best Continuing Series, Best Single Issue, Best Writer (Mark Waid), Best Cover Artist (Marcos Martin), and Best Penciller/Inker Team (two nominations: Marcos Martin, and Paolo Rivera/Joe Rivera). Close behind with five nominations is Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, an original graphic novel of an unproduced, feature-length screenplay written by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl, adapted by artist Ramón K. Pérez, published by Archaia. The book is up for Best Graphic Album–New, Best Penciller/Inker, Best Coloring, Best Lettering, and Best Publication Design.
Three titles have 3 nominations: Vertigo/DC’s iZombie (Best Penciller/Inker and Best Cover Artist for Michael Allred, Best Coloring for Laura Allred) and The Unwritten (Best Single Issue, Best Writer for Mike Carey, Best Cover Artist for Yuko Shimizu), and IDW’s Richard Stark’s Parker: The Martini Edition, by Darwyn Cooke (Best Short Story, Best Graphic Album–Reprint, Best Publication Design). Sixteen titles had 2 nominations, and the remaining nominations were spread among nearly 100 books and comics in 27 categories.
DC and Marvel tied for the most nominations for a publisher, each having 11 nominations plus two shared. For DC, Vertigo had the lion’s share of nominations, led by iZombie and The Unwritten. In addition to the Daredevil nods, Marvel had two nominations for Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal: The Last of the Innocents under the Icon imprint. IDW also had 11 nominations, dominating the Best Archival Collection, Comics-Related Book, and Publication Design categories. Close behind with 10 nominations (plus 1 shared) is Dark Horse, including 2 each for Dark Horse Presents, Jeff Jensen’s Green River Killer, and Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo. Next, with nine (plus one shared) is Fantagraphics, including three nominations each in the Archival and International categories.
Other publishers with multiple nominations include First Second and NBM (6); Abrams ComicArts, Archaia, Drawn & Quarterly, and Oni (5); Image (4 plus 2 shared); Candlewick (4); and Pantheon (3). Eleven publishers had 2 nominations: Abstract Studio, Action Lab, Archie, Atheneum, Bongo, BOOM!, Chronicle, Top Shelf, the University of Mississippi Press, VIZ Media, and Yen Press. Another 15 publishers have 1 nomination each.
Named for acclaimed comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards are in their 24th year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2012 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of Comic Book Resources and Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson; retailer Calum Johnston of Strange Adventures in Halifax, Nova Scotia; New York librarian Jesse Karp; Beanworld creator Larry Marder; comics historian Benjamin Saunders from the University of Oregon; and Comic-Con board member Mary Sturhann.
This year’s judges added two new categories: Best Publication for Early Readers, and Best Educational/Academic Work. They also dropped four categories from the previous year: Best New Series, Best Adaptation from Another Medium, Best Writer/Artist–Nonfiction, and Best Painter/Multimedia Artist.
“The judges chose to not have the New Series and Painter categories this year because they didn’t find enough contenders that reached the level of quality they were looking for,” said Eisner Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada. “The extent and quality of the material submitted in the Kids and Teen categories was so high that the judges felt dividing these books into three categories was warranted.”
Ballots with this year’s nominees will be going out in mid-April to comics creators, editors publishers, and retailers. A downloadable pdf of the ballot will also be available online, and a special website has been set up for online voting: www.eisnervote.com. The results in all categories will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 13 at Comic-Con International.
The complete list of nominees can be found after the jump.