2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards: Nominees Announced

Comic-Con International (Comic-Con) is proud to announce the nominations for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2011. The nominees, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, reflect the wide range of material being published in comics and graphic novel form today, from heartfelt autobiographical works to books aimed at kids and teens to deluxe hardcover archival editions. Unlike in past years, superheroes are very much in the minority in this year's selections.

Read the full list of nominees at the Comic-Con website.
Topping the 2011 nominees with 5 nominations is Return of the Dapper Men, a fantasy hardcover by writer Jim McCann and artist Janet Lee, published by Archaia. It has nods for Best Publication for Teens, Best Graphic Album-New, Best Writer, Best Artist, and Best Publication Design. Two comics series have 4 nominations: Morning Glories by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (published by Shadowline/Image) and Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (published by IDW). A variety of titles have received 3 nominations, including the manga Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys (VIZ Media), John Layman and Rob Guillory's series Chew (Image), Daniel Clowes's graphic novel Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly), and Mike Mignola's Hellboy titles (Dark Horse).

The creator with the most nominations is Mignola with 5 (including cover artist), followed by Spencer and Hill, each with 4. Several creators have 3: McCann & Lee, Rodriquez, Urasawa, and Clowes, plus writer Ian Boothy (for Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book and other Bongo titles) and cartoonist Jimmy Gownley (for Best Publication for Kids plus coloring and lettering on his Amelia Rules! series). A record 15 creators have 2 nominations each.

DC Comics has the most nominations for a publisher, with its various imprints (DCU, Vertigo, WildStorm) garnering 14 nominations (plus 3 shared). The DC Universe has 5 of those nominations, while the Vertigo imprint has 9, all spread among multiple titles and creators. In addition, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking by Paul Levitz, published by TASCHEN, has two nominations. The publishers emerging with the second-most nominations this year with 12 each are Image (led by Chew and Morning Glories) and IDW, which in addition to Locke & Key has double nobs for four titles: Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer Artist's Edition, Polly & Her Pals Sundays, and Darwyn Cooke's Parker: The Outfit. Close behind with 11 nominations each are alt/indy comics publishers Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly. Fantagraphics dominates the U.S. Edition of International Material category with 3 nominees and has 2 nominations each for Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know: Collateral Damage and Jacques Tardi's It Was the War of the Trenches. Besides Wilson, D&Q is on the ballot with two nominations each for Lynda Barry's Picture This, James Sturm's Market Day, and Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library 20.

Other publishers with multiple nominations include Dark Horse (9, plus 2 shared), Archaia (9), VIZ Media (4), and Marvel (3, plus 2 shared); six publishers with 3 nominations: Abrams Comicarts, Bongo, Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, First Second, NBM, and Scholastic/Graphix; and five with 2 nominations: Abstract Studio (Terry Moore's Echo), Disney/Hyperion, McClelland & Stewart (Scott Chantler's Three Generals), TASCHEN, and Vertical. Another two dozen publishers had 1 nomination each. Notably, many of these publishers are mainstream publishing houses and not standard comics industry companies. In addition to the ones mentioned above, they include Amulet Books, Andrews McMeel, Bloomsbury, Crown, Fulcrum Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lee & Low, The Library of America, and Yale University Press.

Among this year's nontraditional "discoveries" by the judges are Seymour Chwast's adaptation of Dante's Divine Comedy (Bloomsbury), the "mocumentary" Finding Frank and His Friends by "Clarence 'Otis' Dooley" (Curio & Co.), the Native American anthology Trickster (Fulcrum), Lucidity Press's The Anthology Project, and cartoonist Dave Kellett's Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953.

Named for acclaimed comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards are in their 23rd year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2011 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of comics store rep John Berry (Metropolis Comics, Bellflower, California), Comic-Con board of director Ned Cato (geekroundtable.com), librarian Karen Green (Columbia University), comics writer/editor Andy Helfer (The Shadow; Paradox Press), publishing consultant Rich Johnson (previously with DC Comics and Yen Press), and retail manager Chris Powell (Lone Star Comics, Dallas, Texas).

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 22 at Comic-Con International.

Voting in one Eisner Awards category, the 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 24.

The Eisner Awards are presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular artforms, 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.org.

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This page contains a single entry by GaryC published on April 8, 2011 9:47 PM.

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