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The soft cover editions of four Will Eisner graphic novels published by WW Norton (submitted as the 'Will Eisner Series') have won a design award in the category of 'Special Trade/Adult Graphic Novel' in the prestigious 2008 New York Book Show.

The WW Norton web site features more on the award-winning graphic novels, to be released in December 2007. Click the covers to visit each book's page at the publisher's web site.

Eisner Awards Judges Named for 2008

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Eisner AwardsThe judging panel has been named for the 2008 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. This blue-ribbon committee will be choosing the nominations to appear on the Eisner Awards ballot. This year's judges, selected by Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada, are:

John Davis
John Davis, director of pop culture markets for Bookazine Company, a longtime wholesaler to the bookstore market. Davis joined Bookazine in 2005, where he has spearheaded Popazine, their pop culture, graphic novels, and manga program for retailers. He is a 20-year veteran of the book industry, including stints at Central Park Media and Koen Book Distributors. Over the last decade Davis has especially enjoyed learning more about graphic novels and manga and offering retailers advice and encouragement to embrace the category. In that capacity he has served as a consultant and contributor to ForeWord magazine's Comique graphic novel supplement. He was also co-founder and co-organizer of the Firecracker Alternative Book Awards.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul Di Filippo, professional SF author with over 25 books to his credit. In comics he has written scripts for such characters as Marvel's Doc Samson and DC's Deadman. His major foray into scripting has been the Alan Moore-approved sequel Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct. In addition, Di Filippo is a long-time critic and reviewer whose work appears frequently in such venues as The Washington Post and The Barnes and Noble Review.

Atom! Freeman
Atom! Freeman, co-owner of Brave New World Comics in Santa Clarita, California. Atom! has worked as a comics shop sales clerk, a sales rep for Fantagraphics Books, and an organizer for comics events. He and his wife Portlyn have owned and operated Brave New World for eight years. The Freemans regularly participate in literacy and reading programs at libraries and schools, offer courses for children of all ages on how to draw their own books, and contribute frequently to the local Toy Library and programs run by their county's Child and Family Services bureau.

Jeff Jensen
Jeff Jensen, senior writer, Entertainment Weekly. A lifelong comic book fan and occasional comic book writer himself (X Factor, Teen Titans), Jensen has been reviewing graphic novels and monthly comics for EW since 2000. He has written EW cover stories on Sin City, Superman Returns, the Star Wars prequels, the Harry Potter franchise, Lost, Heroes, and many other movies and TV shows. But perhaps his favorite assignment was reporting and writing an oral history of the groundbreaking comic book series Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

Eva Volin
Eva Volin, supervising children's librarian for the Alameda Free Library in Alameda, CA. In addition to being a member of the American Library Association/Young Adult Library Services Association's Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee, Volin has helped create or develop graphic novel collections in several libraries. She also writes manga reviews for Library Journal's Xpress Reviews, ICv2 Guide to Manga, and Robin Brenner's NoFlyingNoTights.com (a graphic novel review website designed for teens and those who work with teens), and she has recently begun reviewing light novels for MangaCast.net.

The judges will meet in early April to select the nominees that will go on the Eisner Awards ballot. The nominees will then be voted on by professionals in the comic book industry, and the results will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on Friday, July 25, at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

For information on submitting works for the judges' consideration, e-mail Jackie Estrada: jackiee@mindspring.com.

Visit the Eisner Awards page at SDCC.

The Spirit #15 in February

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The Spirit #15

Written by Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier; Art by Mike Ploog; Cover by Paul Smith
Are diamonds really a girl's best friend? It sure seems that way when the Spirit tracks a diamond smuggling ring through a beauty pageant!

DC Universe | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US

On Sale February 20, 2008

Newsarama: Spirit movie features!

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The comics news site Newsarama has interviews with Miller, Macht and Del Prete about the feature film "Will Eisner's The Spirit":

Frank Miller on directing The Spirit
Gabriel Macht on being The Spirit
Deborah Del Prete on producing The Spirit

Bob Andelman: Spirit movie set report round-up

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Frank Miller on the set of 'Will Eisner's The Spirit'
Photo: Lionsgate/ Lewis Jacobs

Bob Andelman's excellent A Spirited Life blog has more reports from the set of "Will Eisner's The Spirit", including MTV and Comics2Film.

Andy Khouri writes for CBR's The Comic Reel on The Spirit movie set visit:

... Miller has used the opportunity of directing "Will Eisner's The Spirit" to assert one creative and philosophical victory over his former mentor, and that victory's name is Ebony White. The controversially depicted African-American sidekick who appears in many of Will Eisner's "The Spirit" comics does not appear in the film, and it was a remarkably easy decision for Miller to make.

"Simply this: Frank has just never felt [Ebony White] worked in the comic and this is chance to take him out!" laughed Del Prete. "Frank likes to say, 'everybody makes mistakes! Will made some, too!' I said they had an ongoing battle for years and from Day One, Frank said, 'That's not a character I want to deal with, personally.'"

Another decision made by Miller was to update the world of "The Spirit" from that of the 1940s to a more nebulous, contemporary-yet-classic take on the fictitious Central City that includes artifacts like mobile phones as well as decidedly retro fashions. It's an approach seemingly similar to "Batman: The Animated Series," which is, appropriately, one of the most famous and successful of Will Eisner's creative progeny, and was strongly influenced by the work of Frank Miller as well.

"Will Eisner's The Spirit" is not an origin story, and the decision to forego the traditional origin route was another one made early on in the film's development. "I would say that people will find there's quite a bit of origin in it," Del Prete said, "but it is certainly like no other origin story. The origin will be revealed in, I think, a unique and kind of refreshing way.

Read the full report here.

Paulington James Christensen III's report from the set visit of 'Will Eisner's The Spirit' feature film includes chats with Denny Colt himself, Gabriel Macht and writer/director Frank Miller.

How is this movie going to look like Will Eisner?

Frank Miller: Well, Will Eisner was always a little shorter than I was and balding. It is going to be quite faithful to Will's vision as an artist. I have often laid out storyboards my way. And Eisner's way. And I have always gone with Eisner's way.

There is a lot of humor in this film, right?

Frank Miller: It wouldn't be Will Eisner's Spirit if there wasn't.

What aspect of Will's work did you want to get perfect in translating this project to the screen?

Frank Miller: The passion that Will and I always shared for New York City. You will see some very familiar touches that come from Will Eisner, and that come from the city that we both love.

Read the full report here.

Eisner Retailer of the Year AwardBallot forms for the 2008 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award are now available for PDF download at the Comic-Con site.

The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San Diego, is given to an individual retailer who has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large.

Download the ballot here.

Edward Douglas has a behind-the-scenes peak at the Frank Miller helmed feature:

To some, Gabriel Macht might not seem like the best visual match for Denny Colt, being that he's known for his blonde hair, but it's been dyed jet black, and unlike Eisner's comics where the Spirit's coat is seemingly colored blue, Macht wears a solid black coat, pants and hat with a white shirt and a bright red tie, which really stands out against the black outfit. Later, we'd get to meet with him for a few minutes and up close, you can see that the costume is ripped in places, at least at the end of the movie after fighting with The Octopus, giving it even more of the look of Eisner's raggedy take on the character, who rarely looked as pristine as Macht. We could also see that his mask seemed to be painted on his face, although it was just wafer thin and attached to his face with spirit gum. Macht really looked great and any diehard Spirit fan should be happy with this unconventional choice. Macht considers the role one of the greatest opportunities as an actor and he felt that it was his "absurdity" that came across in his first meeting with Miller that got him the part since it lent itself to the character's sense of humor.
Read the full report here.

With Darwyn Cooke winding up his duties on the monthly Spirit comic, here's an interesting and in-depth interview with Cooke (that we missed) by Chris Mautner from earlier in the year.

Panels and Pixels: Graphic Lit: An interview with Darwyn Cooke

Comic Book Shelf: The Spirit Vol. 1

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The Spirit Vol. 1ComicBookShelf.com has listed the recently released hardcover collection of Darwyn Cooke's version of The Spirit. You can rate, review and purchase the book simply by registering (for free).

20% of every purchase goes to support worthy comics charities: The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Hero Initiative.

Write your own review here.

Also, the AVClub's Comics Panel takes a quick look at The Spirit Vol. 1 as a 'Comic of Note':

Will Eisner's weekly series The Spirit revolutionized comics storytelling in the '40s and '50s, pretty much ensuring that revivals by anyone but Eisner, who died in 2005, would look like a pale imitation. Well, almost anyone. Writer-artist Darwyn Cooke (The New Frontier) offers his own reverent-but-distinctive take on the masked crime-fighter in a new Spirit series; the first six issues and a one-shot Batman team-up are collected in The Spirit, Volume 1 (DC). Cooke's take is equally inspired by animation and film noir, and like Eisner, he uses each issue to deliver a story in a different tone than the one before. Sadly, this represents half of what will be Cooke's total output, as he's leaving the series with issue 12. But it still gets an... A-

ComicMix: Life, in Pictures (review)

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Life, in PicturesAndrew Wheeler over at the comics culture web site ComicMix.com has a review of the latest WW Norton hardcover by Will Eisner, Life, in Pictures:

The subtitle of Life, in Pictures is "Autobiographical Stories," and each word is equally important - all five pieces here are autobiographical, but they're also stories.
... and...
There's much worth reading in Eisner, but the reader has to know what he's in for: he's not much like anyone else, not the undergrounds or the art and autobio cartoonists who followed him. Eisner is Eisner; no one else in the field told stories the way he did, or told the kind of stories he did.
Read the full review (and comment) here.

The Spirit movie web site goes live...

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The Spirit movie web site

Liongate's web site for their "Will Eisner's The Spirit" movie, directed by Frank Miller, has launched at http://thespiritmovie.com.
Currently, you can register for updates, join the forums, read cast notes etc. with the site starting to be expanded over the coming months with news and features about the film now in production and Eisner's classic creation.

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