The 28th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Oscars of the format, were announced on Friday during Comic-Con.
What is essentially the best book of the year award went to Ruins by Peter Kuper (Abrams/SelfMadeHero, Oct. 2015) for “Best Graphic Album—New. “The publisher describes it as exploring “the shadows and light of Mexico through its past and present as encountered by an array of characters. The real and surreal intermingle to paint an unforgettable portrait of life south of the Rio Grande.”
March: Book Two, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Diamond/Top Shelf, Jan. 2015) won “Best Reality-Based Work.” Book Three in the series is schedule for release on Aug 2. PW reports that a delighted Lewis “bounded from his seat and ran to the stage at the announcement.”
Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (HC/Harper Teen, May 2015) won the Eisner for “Best Graphic Novel Reprint.” Librarians will recall it was a National Book Award finalist for Young Peoples Literature last year.
Image Comics swept the series stakes, winning all three categories:
Paper Girls: Volume 1, Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chian (Diamond/Image Comics, Apr. 2016) won “Best New Series.” Paper Girls: Volume 2 is forthcoming in December.
“Best Continuing Series” went to Southern Bastards, Jason Aaron and Jason LaTour. Southern Bastards Volume 3: Homecoming is the most recent (Diamond/Image Comics, July 2016).
The Fade Out, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Diamond/Image Comics; OverDrive Sample) won for “Best Limited Series.” It was issued in three volumes starting in 2015 (vol 1, 2, 3) and will be released in a complete deluxe edition with added material this fall.
“Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)” went to Little Robot, Ben Hatke (Macmillan/First Second, Sept. 2015; OverDrive Sample).
“Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)” was snagged by Over the Garden Wall, Pat McHale, Amalia Levari, and Jim Campbell (S&S/Boom! Studios, Sept. 2016; OverDrive Sample). Volume 2 is forthcoming in Feb. 2017.
SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki (Macmillan/Drawn and Quarterly, Apr. 2015) won “Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17).”
In a year that was particularly notable for the number of women nominees, Kate Beaton’s Step Aside Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection (Macmillan/Drawn and Quarterly, Sept. 2015) won best humor publication, which The Hollywood Reporter points out, is “the first time in the Eisners’ long history that a woman has ever won that category solo.”
In addition, Lynda Barry and Matt Groening were voted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame. The full list of winners is available online.