Comic-Con News: As the profile of the comics industry has risen, the Eisner Awards, which are given out annually at San Diego Comic-Con, have become a much bigger deal, rating not only a key question on the Jeopardy quiz show, but for the first time, a series of high-profile Hollywood presenters that included actors Edward James Olmos, Orlando Jones, Katrina Law, J. Michael Trautman among others.
Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson was a big winner, nabbing Best New Series, and Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17), while Saga held on to its Best Continuing Series crown for an unprecedented third consecutive year. Saga artist Fiona Staples also won the prestigious Best Penciller trophy, while Saga writer Brian K. Vaughan won for Best Digital Web Comic for Private Eye, which features art by Marcos Martin.
Other key awards include Best Writer/Artist, which went to Raina Telegemeier for Sisters; and Best Writer, which went to Gene Luen Yang for his work on Dark Horse’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and First Second’s The Shadow Hero. The fact that these two awards went to creators working in kids comics, and the fact that there are now three different Eisner awards in the kids age bracket testifies to the growing importance and numbers of graphic novels for young readers, which is simply a great sign for the comics industry’s future.
Three other major awards should be noted. Darwyn Cooke won Best Cover Artist for his covers for DC Comics, while Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson won Best Single Issue (or One-Shot for Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers from Dark Horse, and Ed Piskor took home Best Reality-Based Work for his Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 2 from Fantagraphics.
The interesting coincidence of this year’s Eisners was the number of awards (4) that went to Winsor McKay’s Little Nemo and works inspired by his groundbreaking early 20th century comic strip. Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez won Best Limited Series for their updated Little Nemo comic from IDW, while Jim Rugg won Best Publication Design for his work on Locust Moon’s Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, which also won Best Anthology. Taschen Books snagged the award for Best Collection Project—Comic Strips (at least 20 years old) for its Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo, which collects McCay’s original newspaper comics.
Eisner voters elected John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Denis Kitchen, and Frank Miller to the Hall of Fame, while the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award went to Packrat Comics of Hilliard, Ohio owned by Jamie and Teresa Colegrove.
Check here to see all the fine publications that were nominated for the 2015 Eisner Awards.
Here is the complete list of the 2015 Eisner Award winners:
Best Short Story: “When the Darkness Presses, by Emily Carroll
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
Best Continuing Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image)
Best Limited Series: Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Best New Series: Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): The Zoo Box, by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke (First Second)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12): El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17): Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Best Humor Publication: The Complete Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson (Andrews McMeel)
Best Digital/Web Comic: The Private Eye by Brian Vaughan & Marcos Martin,
Best Anthology: Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, edited by Josh O’Neill, Andrew Carl, & Chris Stevens (Locust Moon)
Best Reality-Based Work: Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 2, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
Best Graphic Album—New: This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki (First Second)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint: Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll (McElderry Books)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips (at least 20 years old): Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo, edited by Alexander Braun (TASCHEN)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old): Steranko Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Blacksad: Amarillo, by Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia: Showa 1939–1944 and Showa 1944–1953: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Writer: Gene Luen Yang, Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse); The Shadow Hero (First Second)
Best Writer/Artist: Raina Telgemeier, Sisters (Graphix/Scholastic)
Best Penciller/Inker: Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): J. H. Williams III, The Sandman: Overture (Vertigo/DC)
Best Cover Artist: Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics Darwyn Cooke Month Variant Covers (DC)
Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Hellboy in Hell, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, Shaolin Cowboy, Aliens: Fire and Stone, DHP (Dark Horse)
Best Lettering: Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: Comics Alliance, edited by Andy Khouri, Caleb Goellner, Andrew Wheeler,
Best Comics-Related Book: Genius Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, vol. 3, by Dean Mullaney & Bruce Canwell (IDW/LOAC)
Best Scholarly/Academic Work: Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews, edited by Sarah Lightman (McFarland)
Best Publication Design: Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, designed by Jim Rugg (Locust Moon)
Hall of Fame: Judges’ Choices: Marge (Marjorie Henderson Buell), Bill Woggon • Elected: John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Denis Kitchen, Frank Miller
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Bill & Kayre Morrison
Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Greg Smallwood
Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comics Writing: Don McGregor, John Stanley
Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Packrat Comics, Hilliard, Ohio, owned by Jamie Colegrove and Teresa Colegrove