2009 Eisner Award Nominees Announced

by Jeff

Media Release — The Will Comic Industry Awards 2009 slate of nominees is filled with many newcomers to the ballot, from Canadian cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (writer and artist of the teen angst graphic novel Skim, published by Groundwood Books) to French biographer Emmanuel Guibert (Alan’s War, published by First Second) to graphic novelist Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole, published by Top Shelf).

Both Skim (Best Publication for Teens/Tweens, Graphic Album–New, Writer, Penciller/Inker) and Alan’s War (Graphic Album-New, Reality-Based Work, U.S. Edition of International Material, Writer/Artist) garnered 4 nominations. Also on the ballot in 4 spots is Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s The Umbrella Academy (Penciller/Inker, Cover Artist, Coloring, and Graphic Album–Reprint), Vertigo/DC’s Fables (Continuing Series, Writer for Bill Willingham, Penciller/Inker team for Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, and Cover Artist for James Jean), and Vertigo/DC’s Madame Xanadu (New Series, Writer for Matt Wagner, Penciller/Inker for Amy Reeder Hadley/Richard Friend, and Cover Artist for newcomer Hadley). Powell’s Swallow Me Whole has three nominations (Graphic Album–New, Writer/Artist, Lettering), as do Lynda Barry’s What It Is (published by Drawn & Quarterly, nominated for Reality-Based Work, Painter/Multimedia Artist, and Design) and Marvel’s Thor (Continuing Series, Writer for J. Michael Straczynski, and penciller/inker for Olivier Coipel/Mark Morales),

The creators with the most nominations are Guibert, Barry (the 3 for What It Is plus 1 as editor of Anthology nominee Best American Comics: 2008, published by Houghton Mifflin), and Chris Ware (Short Story for “Actual Size” in Kramers Ergo, and Writer/Artist, Coloring, and Lettering for Acme Novelty Library #19). Creators with 3 nominations include Amy Reeder Hadley, J. Michael Straczynski, Mariko and Jill Tamaki, Nate Powell, and Mike Mignola (Limited Series for Hellboy: The Crooked Man, plus Graphic Album–Reprint and Design for Hellboy Library Editions, published by Dark Horse).

The publisher emerging with the most nominations this year is Dark Horse, with 13 individual nods and 5 shared. In addition to Umbrella Academy and Hellboy, popular DH titles Usagi Yojimbo (Continuing Series) and Groo (Limited Series) made the ballot, while the company’s Herbie Archives is nominated for both Humor Publication and Archival Project. Past front-runner DC came in second for publisher nominations, with 10 plus 2 shared. Besides Fables and Madame Xanadu, other DC titles on the ballot include Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All Star Superman (Continuing Series), G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker’s Air (New Series), and Art Baltazar and Franco’s Tiny Titans (Publication for Kids). Marvel is right behind DC with 9 nominations plus 2 shared. Joining Thor on the ballot are Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple’s Omega the Unknown (Limited Series), Straczynski and Chris Weston’s The Twelve (Limited Series), Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca’s Invincible Iron Man (New Series), and Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Elektra: Assassin (Archival Project). Other comics publishers with 3 or more nominations include IDW (5), Viz (5, including 3 of the 5 nominees in the U.S. Edition of International Material–Japan category), and Image (3, plus 2 shared).

Literary and graphic novel publishing houses made a strong showing: Drawn & Quarterly has 10 nominations, First Second has 9, and Fantagraphics has 7. Other such publishers with 3 or more nominations include AdHouse (5), Pantheon (4) Houghton Mifflin (3), Scholastic Graphix (3), and Top Shelf (5). In all 38 publishers are represented on the ballot.

In the Digital Comics category, nominees range from Dash Shaw’s long work-in-progress Bodyworld and Carla Speed McNeil’s ongoing Finder series (published on the shadowline.com website) to three complete short stories: Eliza Frye’s “The Lady’s Murder,” Elan Trinidad’s “Speak No Evil: Melancholy of a Space Mexican,” and Joe Infurnari and Alexis Sottile’s “Vs.”

Named for acclaimed comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards are in their 21st year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges. The 2009 judging panel consists of Amanda Emmert (owner of Muse Comics & Games in Missoula, MT), Mike Pawuk (teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga, Ohio County Public Library), John Shableski (Diamond Book Distributors sales manager), Ben Towle (graphic novelist and comics arts educator), and Andrew Wheeler (comics and manga reviewer at ComixMix.com).

This year’s judges made a few changes to the ballot, resulting in a reduction in the number of categories from 29 to 26. They eliminated the Single Issue category, combined the Writer/Artist and Wrtier/Artist–Humor categories, and dropped the Special Recognition category. They also changed Best Publication for Teens to Best Publication for Teens/Tweens. Voting in one Eisner Awards category, Hall of Fame, is already completed. The judges chose the nominees earlier this year, and voting was conducted solely online, with voting ending on March 26.

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. The results in all categories will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 24 at Comic-Con International.

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 art forms. 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 jackie@comic-con.com.

More information about the Eisner Awards can be found at http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_main.shtml.

2009 Eisner Awards Nominees

Best Short Story

“Actual Size” by Chris Ware, in Kramers Ergot 7 (Buenaventura Press)

“Chechen War, Chechen Women,” by Joe Sacco, in I Live Here (Pantheon)

“Freaks,” by Laura Park, in Superior Showcase #3 (AdHouse)

“Glenn Ganges in ‘Pulverize,’” by Kevin Huizenga, in Ganges #2 (Fantagraphics)

“Murder He Wrote,” by Ian Boothby, Nina Matsumoto, and Andrew Pepoy, in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #14 (Bongo)

Best Continuing Series

All Star Superman. by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)

Fables, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Niko Henrichon, Andrew Pepoy, and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)

Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)

Thor, by J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, and various (Marvel)

Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)

Best Limited Series

Groo: Hell on Earth, by Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier (Dark Horse)

Hellboy: The Crooked Man, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)

Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)

Omega the Unknown, by Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak, and Farel Dalrymple (Marvel)

The Twelve, by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston (Marvel)

Best New Series

Air, by. G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker (Vertigo/DC)

Echo, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)

Invincible Iron Man, by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca (Marvel)

Madame Xanadu, by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Richard Friend (Vertigo/DC)

Unknown Soldier, by Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli (Vertigo/DC)

Best Publication for Kids

Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kabuishi (Scholastic Graphix)

Cowa! by Akira Toriyama (Viz)

Princess at Midnight, by Andi Watson (Image)

Stinky, by Eleanor Davis (RAW Junior)

Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)

Best Publication for Teens/Tweens

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Crogan’s Vengeance, by Chris Schweizer (Oni)

The Good Neighbors, Book 1: Kin, by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Scholastic Graphix)

Rapunzel’s Revenge, by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

Best Humor Publication

Arsenic Lullaby Pulp Edition No. Zero, by Douglas Paszkiewicz (Arsenic Lullaby)

Chumble Spuzz, by Ethan Nicolle (SLG)

Herbie Archives, by “Sean O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse)

Petey and Pussy, by John Kerschbaum (Fantagraphics)

Wondermark: Beards of Our Forefathers, by David Malki (Dark Horse)

Best Anthology

An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories, vol. 2, edited by Ivan Brunetti (Yale University Press)

Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry (Houghton Mifflin)

Comic Book Tattoo: Narrative Art Inspired by the Lyrics and Music of Tori Amos, edited by Rantz Hoseley (Image)

Kramers Ergot 7, edited by Sammy Harkham (Buenaventura Press)

MySpace Dark Horse Presents, edited by Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn (Dark Horse)

Best Digital Comic

Bodyworld, by Dash Shaw, www.dashshaw.com

Finder, by Carla Speed McNeil, www.shadowlinecomics.com/webcomics/#/finder/

The Lady’s Murder, by Eliza Frye, http://theladysmurder.elizafrye.com

Speak No Evil: Melancholy of a Space Mexican, by Elan Trinidad, www.theoryofeverythingcomics.com/SNE/

Vs., by Alexis Sottile & Joe Infurnari, www.smithmag.net/nextdoorneighbor/2008/12/08/story-18/

Best Reality-Based Work

Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)

Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story, by Frederik Peeters (Houghton Mifflin)

Fishtown, by Kevin Colden (IDW)

A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child, by Rick Geary (NBM)

What It Is, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album—New

Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)

Paul Goes Fishing, by Michel Rabagliati (Drawn & Quarterly)

Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

Swallow Me Whole, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf)

Three Shadows, by Cyril Pedrosa (First Second)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

Berlin Book 2: City of Smoke, by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)

Hellboy Library Edition, vols. 1 and 2, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)

Sam & Max Surfin’ the Highway anniversary edition HC, by Steve Purcell (Telltale Games)

Skyscrapers of the Midwest, by Joshua W. Cotter (AdHouse)

The Umbrella Academy, vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite deluxe edition, by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips

The Complete Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray (IDW)

Explainers, by Jules Feiffer (Fantagraphics)

Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays, by Winsor McCay (Sunday Press Books)

Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles (IDW)

Willie & Joe, by Bill Mauldin (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books

Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)

Creepy Archives, by various (Dark Horse)

Elektra Omnibus, by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz (Marvel)

Good-Bye, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

Herbie Archives, by “Sean O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)

Gus and His Gang, by Chris Blain (First Second)

The Last Musketeer, by Jason (Fantagraphics)

The Rabbi’s Cat 2, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)

Tamara Drewe, by Posy Simmonds (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan

Cat Eyed Boy, by Kazuo Umezu (Viz)

Dororo, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)

Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)

The Quest for the Missing Girl, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

Solanin, by Inio Asano (Viz)

Best Writer

Joe Hill, Lock & Key (IDW)

J. Michael Straczynski, Thor, The Twelve (Marvel)

Mariko Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)

Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)

Bill Willingham, Fables, House of Mystery (Vertigo/DC)

Best Writer/Artist

Ricky Geary, A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child (NBM); J. Edgar Hoover (Hill & Wang)

Emmanuel Guibert, Alan’s War (First Second)

Jason Lutes, Berlin (Drawn & Quarterly)

Cyril Pedrosa, Three Shadows (First Second)

Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)

Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library (Acme)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)

Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, Fables (Vertigo/DC)

Olivier Coipel/Mark Morales, Thor (Marvel)

Guy Davis, BPRD (Dark Horse)

Amy Reeder Hadley/Richard Friend, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)

Jillian Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist

Lynda Barry, What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly)

Eddie Campbell, The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (First Second)

Enrico Casarosa, The Venice Chronicles (Ateliér Fio/AdHouse)

Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window)

Jill Thompson, Magic Trixie, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Best Cover Artist

Gabrial Bá, Casanova (Image); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)

Jo Chen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity (Dark Horse); Runaways (Marvel)

Amy Reeder Hadley, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)

James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)

Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Grendel: Behold the Devil (Dark Horse)

Best Coloring

Steve Hamaker, Bone: Ghost Circles, Bone: Treasure Hunters (Scholastic Graphix)

Trish Mulvihill, Joker (DC), 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC)

Val Staples, Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon)

Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien: The Drowning, BPRD, The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, The Unbrella Academy (Dark Horse); Body Bags (Image); Captain America: White (Marvel)

Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)

Best Lettering

Faryl Dalrymple, Omega: The Unknown (Marvel)

Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules! (Renaissance)

Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window)

Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)

Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland (www.comicbookresources.com)

The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)

The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon and Jordan Raphael (www.comicsreporter.com)

Comics Comics, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel (www.comicscomicsmag.com) (PictureBox)

Best Comics-Related Book

Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front, by Todd DePastino (Norton)

Brush with Passion: The Art and Life of Dave Stevens, edited by Arnie and Cathy Fenner (Underwood)

Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second)

Kirby: King of Comics, by Mark Evanier (Abrams)

The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, by David Hajdu (Picador/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Best Publication Design

Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! designed by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)

Comic Book Tattoo, designed by Tom Muller, art direction by Rantz Hoseley (Image)

Hellboy Library Editions, designed by Cary Grazzini and Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)

What It Is, designed by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)

Willie and Joe, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)

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