The 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, director of pop culture markets for Bookazine Company, a longtime wholesaler to the bookstore market. 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, 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, co-owner of Brave New World Comics in Santa Clarita, California. 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, 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, 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.
Read the full profiles here.