7.24.2006

2006 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards

Earlier this year when the 2006 Eisner Nominees were announced, I jotted down my selections and will now share the results with you. I'll be including the list of nominees, the actual winner, my own personal selection, and some random comments. Keep in mind this is not who I think *would* win based on previous trends and this year's judges, but who *should* have won. There's a difference. For those of you new around here, the Eisner Awards are the comic book equivalent of the Academy Awards, named after industry "founding father" Will Eisner.

Best Short Story

* Blood Son, by Richard Matheson, in Doomed #1 (IDW)
* Monster Slayers, by Khang Le, in Flight Vol. 2 (Image)
* Nameless, by Eric Powell, in The Goon #14 (Dark Horse)
* Operation, by Zak Sally, in The Recidivist #3 (La Mano)
* Teenage Sidekick, by Paul Pope, in Solo #3 (DC)
* Eisner Winner: Teenage Sidekick, by Paul Pope, in Solo #3 (DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: "Teenage Sidekick," by Paul Pope, in Solo #3 (DC)
* Comments: Hands down the best piece from the nominee list, very happy that Paul Pope was recognized for perfectly capturing the brilliant, young, hopeful nature of Dick Grayson.

Best Single Issue (Or One-Shot)

* The Bakers, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Ex Machina #11, by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris (Wildstorm/DC)
* The Innocents, by Gipi (Fantagraphics)
* Promethea #32, by Alan Moore & JH Williams III (ABC)
* Solo #5, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)
* Eisner Winner: Solo #5, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Ex Machina #11, by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris (Wildstorm/DC)

Best Serialized Story

* Desolation Jones #1-5, by Warren Ellis & JH Williams III (Wildstorm/DC)
* Fables #36-38, 40-41, by Bill Willingham & Steve Leialoha (Vertigo/DC)
* Ex Machina #12-14, by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris (Wildstorm/DC)
* Y: The Last Man #37-39, by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra (Vertigo/DC)
* Eisner Winner: Fables #36-38, 40-41, by Bill Willingham & Steve Leialoha (Vertigo/DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Desolation Jones #1-5, by Warren Ellis & JH Williams III (Wildstorm/DC)
* Comments: Desolation Jones really needs to be recognized and since there's no way they could compete in the Best New Series category, I thought this would've been the place to do it.

Best Continuing Series

* Age of Bronze, by Eric Shanower (Image)
* Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon & John Cassaday (Marvel)
* Ex Machina, by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris (Wildstorm/DC)
* Fell, by Warren Ellis & Ben Templesmith (Image)
* Rocketo, by Frank Espinosa (Speakeasy)
* True Story, Swear To God, by Tom Beland, (Clib's Boy Comics)
* Eisner Winner: Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon & John Cassaday (Marvel)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Ex Machina, by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris (Wildstorm/DC)

Best Limited Series

* Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker, (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Ocean, by Warren Ellis & Chis Sprouse (Wildstorm/DC)
* Seven Soldiers, by Grant Morrison & Various Artists (DC)
* Smoke, by Alex de Campi & Igor Kordey (IDW)
* Eisner Winner: Seven Soldiers, by Grant Morrison & Various Artists (DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Ocean, by Warren Ellis & Chris Sprouse (Wildstorm/DC)
* Comments: I think that Seven Soldiers should be disqualified on a technicality. Technically speaking, it's not complete yet, so how can we say it was the best limited series?!

Best New Series

* All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (DC)
* Desolation Jones, by Warren Ellis & JH Williams III (Wildstorm/DC)
* Fell, by Warren Ellis & Ben Templesmith (Image)
* Rocketo, by Frank Espinosa (Speakeasy)
* Young Avengers, by Allan Heinberg & Jim Cheung (Marvel)
* Eisner Winner: All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (DC)
* Comments: Wow, tough category. All great books here. I was really close to proclaiming a tie between this title and Fell.

Best Publication For A Younger Audience

* Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley (Renaissance Press)
* The Clouds Above, by Jordan Crane (Fantagraphics)
* Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius, by Chris Eliopoulous & Mark Sumerak (Marvel)
* Owly: Flying Lessons, by Andy Runton (Top Shelf)
* Spiral-Bound, by Aaron Renier (Top Shelf)
* Eisner Winner: Owly: Flying Lessons, by Andy Runton (Top Shelf)
* 13 Minutes Pick: The Clouds Above, by Jordan Crane (Fantagraphics)
* Comments: This might be my biggest disappointment this year. Jordan Crane's work really deserves a wider audience and I'm not at all impressed by Owly.

Best Anthology

* The Dark Horse Book of the Dead, edited by Scott Allie (Dark Horse)
* Flight: Volume 2, edited by Kazu Kibuishi (Image)
* Mome, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
* Solo, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)
* 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2005, edited by Nat Gertler (About Comics)
* Eisner Winner: Solo, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Solo, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)
* Comments: Again, a tough category. Selfishly, I'd like to see the 24 Hour Comics Day Anthology here since I have a piece in it. ;-) But, for me it was really between Flight and Solo. Perhaps this will make DC reconsider the cancellation of Solo, or at the very least urge them to print a collected edition.

Best Digital Comic

* Copper, by Kazu Kibuishi
* Jellaby, by Kean Soo
* Ojingogo, by Matt Forsythe
* PVP, by Scott Kurtz
* Eisner Winner: PVP, by Scott Kurtz
* 13 Minutes Pick: Copper, by Kazu Kibuishi

Best Reality-Based Work

* Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)
* Epileptic, by David B. (Pantheon)
* Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* Pyongyang, by Guy Delisle (Drawn & Quarterly)
* True Story, Swear To God, by Tom Beland (Clib's Boy Comics)
* Eisner Winner: Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)

Best Graphic Album - New

* Acme Novelty Library #16, by Chris Ware (ACME Novelty)
* The Rabbi's Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
* Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, by Alan Moore & Gene Ha (ABC)
* Tricked, by Alex Robinson (Top Shelf)
* Wimbledon Green, by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Eisner Winner: Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, by Alan Moore & Gene Ha (ABC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Tricked, by Alex Robinson (Top Shelf)
* Comments: Seems like The Rabbi's Cat was misplaced in this category since it's not technically "new." Tricked was really undervalued and I put it up there with Academy Award winning film Crash... Top Ten? Really? Read it. Didn't care...

Best Graphic Album - Reprint

* Acme Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
* Black Hole, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
* Feast of the Seven Fishes, by Robert Tinnell (Allegheny Image Factory)
* Ice Haven, by Dan Clowes (Pantheon)
* War's End, by Joe Sacco (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Eisner Winner: Black Hole, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
* 13 Minutes Pick: War's End, by Joe Sacco (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Comments: When-oh-when will Joe Sacco win anything? They should be dissecting his work on college campuses everywhere.

Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Strips

* The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson (Andrews McMeel)
* The Complete Peanuts, 1955-1958, by Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)
* Krazy & Ignatz: The Komplete Kat Komics, by George Herriman (Fantagraphics)
* Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays, by Winsor McCay (Sunday Press Books)
* Walk & Skeezix, by Frank King (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Eisner Winner: The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson (Andrews McMeel)
* 13 Minutes Pick: The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson (Andrews McMeel)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Books

* Absolute Watchmen, by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons (DC)
* Buddha, Volumes 5-8, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
* The Contract With God Trilogy, by Will Eisner (Norton)
* DC Comics Rarities Archives, Volume 1 (DC)
* Fantastic Four Omnibus, by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (Marvel)
* Eisner Winner: Absolute Watchmen, by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons (DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Fantastic Four Omnibus, by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (Marvel)
* Comments: Dude, seriously. Watchmen was a brilliant post-modern analyzation of the superhero paradigm. We get it already. It was like 20 years ago too. Get over it. FF invented and defined the Silver/Atomic/Marvel age. I hope Marvel continues a *selective* offering of their Omnibus Editions.

Best US Edition of Foreign Material

* Cromartie High School, by Eiji Nonaka (ADV)
* Dungeon: The Early Years, by Joann Sfar & Lewis Trondheim (NBM)
* Ordinary Victories, by Manu Larcenet (NBM)
* The Rabbi's Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
* Six Hundred Seventy-Six Apparitions of Killoffer, by Killoffer (Typocrat)
* Eisner Winner: The Rabbi's Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
* 13 Minutes Pick: The Rabbi's Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
* Comments: Yes! Though I loved Ordinary Victories as well, The Rabbi's Cat is finally here winning in the correct category!

Best Writer

* Warren Ellis, Fell (Image); Down (Top Cow); Desolation Jones, Ocean, Planetary (Wildstorm/DC)
* Allan Heinberg , Young Avengers (Marvel)
* Alan Moore, Promethea, Top Ten (ABC)
* Grant Morrison, Seven Soldiers, All Star Superman (DC)
* Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina (Wildstorm/DC); Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC); Runaways (Marvel)
* Eisner Winner: Alan Moore, Promethea, Top Ten (ABC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Warren Ellis, Fell (Image); Down (Top Cow); Desolation Jones, Ocean, Planetary (Wildstorm/DC)

Best Writer/Artist

* Geoff Darrow, Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman Entertainment)
* Guy Delisle, Pyongyang (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Eric Shanower, Age of Bronze (Image)
* Adrian Tomine, Optic Nerve #10 (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)
* Eisner Winner: Geoff Darrow, Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman Entertainment)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Geoff Darrow, Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman Entertainment)

Best Writer/Artist - Humor

* Kyle Baker, Plastic Man (DC)
* Paige Braddock, Jane's World (Girl Twirl)
* Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Oni Press)
* Eric Powell, The Goon (Dark Horse)
* Seth, Wimbledon Green (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Eisner Winner: Kyle Baker, Plastic Man (DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Eric Powell, The Goon (Dark Horse)

Best Penciller/Inker

* John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Planetary (Wildstorm/DC)
* Gene Ha, Top Ten: The Forty-Niners (ABC)
* JG Jones, Wanted (Top Cow)
* Frank Quitely, All Star Superman (DC)
* JH Williams III, Promethea, Desolation Jones (Wildstorm/DC)
* Eisner Winner: John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Planetary (Wildstorm/DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Planetary (Wildstorm/DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art)

* Paul Guinan, Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate (IDW)
* Ladronn, Hip Flask: Mystery City (Active Images)
* Ben Templesmith, Fell (Image)
* Kent Williams, The Fountain (Vertigo/DC)
* Eisner Winner: Ladronn, Hip Flask: Mystery City (Active Images)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Ben Templesmith, Fell (Image)

Best Cover Artist

* Frank Espinosa, Rocketo (Speakeasy)
* Tony Harris, Ex Machina (Wildstorm/DC)
* James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC)
* Jock, The Losers (DC)
* Eric Powell, The Goon (Dark Horse)
* Eisner Winner: James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC)
* 13 Minutes Pick: James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC)

Best Coloring

* Jeremy Cox, Teen Titans (DC)
* Steven Griffin, Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort (Image)
* Steve Hamaker, Bone: The Great Cow Race (Scholastic Graphix)
* Jose Villarubia, Desolation Jones (Wildstorm/DC)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)
* Eisner Winner: Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Jose Villarubia, Desolation Jones (Wildstorm/DC)

Best Lettering

* Chris Eliopolis, Ultimate Iron Man, Astonishing X-Men, Franklin Richards (Marvel); Fell (Image)
* Todd Klein, Wonder Woman, Justice (DC); Desolation Jones (Wildstorm/DC); 1602: New World (Marvel)
* Richard Starkings, Conan, Revelations (Dark Horse); Godland (Image)
* Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)
* Eisner Winner: Todd Klein, Wonder Woman, Justice (DC); Desolation Jones (Wildstorm/DC); 1602: New World (Marvel)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Richard Starkings, Conan, Revelations (Dark Horse); Godland (Image)
* Comments: Come on, Starkings has become like the industry standard.

Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition

* Dawn Brown (Ravenous, Little Red Hot)
* Aaron Renier (Spiral-Bound)
* Zak Sally (Recidivist)
* Ursula Vernon (Digger)
* Eisner Winner: Aaron Renier (Spiral-Bound)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Aaron Renier (Spiral-Bound)

Best Comics Related Periodical

* Comic Art, edited by M. Todd Hignite (Comic Art)
* Comic Book Artist, edited by Jon Cooke (Top Shelf)
* The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
* Draw! edited by Michael Manley (TwoMorrows)
* Following Cerebus, edited by Craig Miller (Aardvark-Vanaheim)
* Eisner Winner: Comic Book Artist, edited by Jon Cooke (Top Shelf)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Comic Art, edited by M. Todd Hignite (Comic Art)

Best Comics Related Book

* The Comics Journal Library: Classic Comic Illustrators, edited by Tom Spurgeon (Fantagraphics)
* Eisner/Miller, edited by Diana Schutz (Dark Horse)
* Foul Play: The Art & Artists of the Notorious 1950's EC Comics, by Grant Geissman (Harper Design)
* Masters of American Comics, edited by John Carlin (Hammer Museum/MOCA Los Angeles/Yale University Press)
* RGK: Art of Roy G. Krenkel, edited by J. David Spurlock (Vanguard)
* Eisner Winner: Eisner/Miller, edited by Diana Schutz (Dark Horse)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Eisner/Miller, edited by Diana Schutz (Dark Horse)
* Comments: Where was Tom Spurgeon's other book, Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life? I would have voted for that.

Best Publication Design

* Acme Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
* Little Nemo in Slumberland, designed by Philippe Ghuilemetti (Sunday Press Books)
* Promethea #32, designed by JH Williams III (ABC)
* Walt & Skeezix, designed by Chris Ware (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Wimbledon Green, designed by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Eisner Winner: (Tie) Acme Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon) & Little Nemo in Slumberland, designed by Philippe Ghuilemetti (Sunday Press Books)
* 13 Minutes Pick: Acme Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

No major upsets here except maybe Jordan Crane's The Clouds Above (I did expect the panel to vote for Owly, but was secretly hoping this book would make a run). I would liked to have seen Fell get some more recognition, but there was tough competition in most categories. From a writing perspective, I think Ellis is much more consistent lately and would have picked him over Moore for Best Writer. In terms of painting, I would have given this one to Ben Templesmith. Ladronn's stuff is nice, but in terms of pure panel to panel storytelling I think Ben wins this hands down. Fell did get me thinking, wouldn't it be nice to have a Best Format category? I don't think that's necessarily covered in the last category of Best Publication Design. I'm thinking of more company driven formats like the Fell pricing structure, the Absolute Editions, some of the 25-cent issues that came out, etc.

Overall, I went 11/27 based solely on my personal tastes, again, not the way I thought the panel would vote, but the way I thought they *should* vote. I think that's right on. I tend to have a few "mainstream" titles I follow that receive critical praise, as well as some small press titles that are wildly divergent from what was even nominated, so a nice representative balance. I was also impressed with myself in that there were very, very, very few nominess that I had not read. Mostly the books under the Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition category, which makes sense. Well, that's it folks, be sure to check out reviews of many of these books here at 13 Minutes and pick from anything on the list for a good time! Thanks!

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