The 2016 Eisner Award Nominees

Comic-Con International released the list of Eisner Award nominations today. For those unfamiliar, the Eisners are akin to the comics industry’s Academy Awards, nominated by a panel of six judges. Last year, the panel included Friend of Fanboy Planet (and owner of Earth-2 Comics in Sherman Oaks and Northridge, California) Carr D’Angelo.

Categories for the Eisners reflect a variety of areas that can put the spotlight on how truly diverse and versatile the comics industry can be. This year’s list prove exactly that, with few titles that would fall under the mainstream, but many that will turn out to be interesting reading if you choose to pick them up.

With notes where I can personally vouch, and without further ado:

Best Short Story
  • “Black Death in America,” by Tom King and John Paul Leon, in Vertigo Quarterly: Black(Vertigo/DC)
  • “Hand Me Down,” by Kristyna Baczynski, in 24 x 7 (Fanfare Presents)
  • “It’s Going to Be Okay,” by Matthew Inman, in The Oatmeal, theoatmeal.com/comics/plane
  • “Killing and Dying,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #14 (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • “Lion and Mouse,” by R. Sikoryak, in Fable Comics (First Second)

Best Single Issue/One-Shot
  • A Blanket of Butterflies, by Richard Van Camp and Scott B. Henderson (HighWater Press)
  • I Love This Part, by Tillie Walden (Avery Hill)
  • Mowgli’s Mirror, by Olivier Schrauwen (Retrofit/Big Planet)
  • Pope Hats #4, by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse)
  • Silver Surfer #11: “Never After,” by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel) – editor’s note: Yes, some terrific work has been happening with this collaboration between Slott and Allred, a magical combination.

Best Continuing Series
  • Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
  • Giant Days, by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin (BOOM! Box)
  • Invincible, by Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, and Cliff Rathburn (Image/Skybound) – editor’s note: Podcast announcer Nate Costa agrees with this most vehemently.
  • Silver Surfer, by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel) – editor’s note: See above note.
  • Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour (Image)

Best Limited Series
  • Chrononauts, by Mark Millar and Sean Murphy (Image)
  • The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Lady Killer, by Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich (Dark Horse)
  • Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions, by Bob Fingerman (Image)
  • The Spire, by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely (BOOM! Studios) – editor’s note: This team created Six-Gun Gorilla two years ago, a terrific work that opened my eyes to how good they are. So this is more of the same, yet different.

Best New Series
  • Bitch Planet, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro (Image) – editor’s note: Kelly Sue De Connick is secretly taking over the comics industry one damned good book at a time.
  • Harrow County, by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook (Dark Horse)
  • Kaijumax, by Zander Cannon (Oni)
  • Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Paper Girls, by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (Image) – editor’s note: It’s currently on hiatus as Vaughan and Chiang create the next arc, but definitely a compelling, fun sci fi book.
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel) – editor’s note: Why do I love this book so much? It’s not meant for me, but it’s magnificent.

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

Best Humor Publication

Best Digital/Webcomic

Best Anthology

Best Reality-Based Work

Best Graphic Album—New

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

Best Adaptation from Another Medium

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • Assassination Classroom, vols. 2–7, by Yusei Matsui (VIZ)
  • A Bride’s Story, by Kaoru Mori (Yen Press)
  • Master Keaton, vols. 2–4, by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika, and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ)
  • Showa, 1953–1989: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • A Silent Voice, by Yoshitoki Oima (Kodansha)
  • Sunny, by Taiyo Matsumoto (VIZ)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
  • Beyond Mars, by Jack Williamson and Lee Elias, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
  • Cartoons for Victory, by Warren Bernard (Fantagraphics)
  • The Complete Funky Winkerbean, vol. 4, by Tom Batiuk, edited by Mary Young (Black Squirrel Books)
  • The Eternaut, by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lòpez, edited by Gary Groth and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
  • Kremos: The Lost Art of Niso Ramponi, vols. 1 and 2, edited by Joseph P. Procopio (Picture This/Lost Art Books)
  • White Boy in Skull Valley, by Garrett Price, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Frank Miller’s Ronin Gallery Edition, edited by Bob Chapman (Graphitti Designs/DC)
  • P. Craig Russell’s Murder Mystery and Other Stories Gallery Edition, edited by Daniel Chabon (Dark Horse)
  • The Puma Blues: The Complete Saga, by Stephen Murphy, Alan Moore, Michael Zulli, Stephen R. Bissette, and Dave Sim (Dover)
  • Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Don Rosa Library, vols. 3–4, edited by David Gerstein (Fantagraphics)
  • Walt Kelly’s Fairy Tales, edited by Craig Yoe (IDW)

Best Writer
  • Jason Aaron, Southern Bastards (Image), Men of Wrath (Marvel Icon), Doctor Strange, Star Wars, Thor (Marvel)
  • John Allison, Giant Days (BOOM Studios!)
  • Ed Brubaker, The Fade Out, Velvet, Criminal Special Edition (Image)
  • Marjorie Liu, Monstress (Image)
  • G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
  • Bill Griffith, Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist (Fantagraphics)
  • Nathan Hale, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor (Abrams)
  • Sydney Padua, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (Pantheon)
  • Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree, vol. 3 (Fantagraphics)
  • Noah Van Sciver, Fante Bukowski, Saint Cole (Fantagraphics)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Michael Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Art Ops (Vertigo/DC)
  • Cliff Chiang, Paper Girls (Image)
  • Erica Henderson, Jughead (Archie), Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Marvel)
  • Joëlle Jones, Lady Killer (Dark Horse), Brides of Helheim (Oni)
  • Nate Powell, March, Book Two (Top Shelf/IDW)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist
  • Federico Bertolucci, Love: The Tiger and Love: The Fox (Magnetic Press)
  • Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
  • Carita Lupattelli, Izuna (Humanoids)
  • Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)
  • Tony Sandoval, A Glance Backward (Magnetic Press)

Best Cover Artist
  • David Aja, Hawkeye, Karnak, Scarlet Witch (Marvel)
  • Rafael Albuquerque, Ei8ht (Dark Horse), Huck (Image)
  • Amanda Conner, Harley Quinn (DC)
  • Joëlle Jones, Lady Killer (Dark Horse), Brides of Helheim (Oni)
  • Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)

Best Coloring
  • Laura Allred, Lady Killer (Dark Horse); Silver Surfer (Marvel); Art OPS (Vertigo/DC)
  • Jordie Bellaire, The Autumnlands, Injection, Plutona, Pretty Deadly, The Surface, They’re Not Like Us, Zero (Image); The X-Files (IDW); The Massive (Dark Horse); Magneto, Vision (Marvel)
  • Elizabeth Breitwiser, The Fade Out, Criminal Magazine, Outcast, Velvet (Image)
  • John Rauch, The Beauty (Image); Batman: Arkham Knight, Earth 2: Society (DC); Runaways (Marvel)
  • Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, BPRD Hell on Earth, Fight Club 2, Frankenstein Underground, Hellboy in Hell, Hellboy and the BPRD, (Dark Horse); Sandman: Overture, Twilight Children (Vertigo/DC), Captain America: White (Marvel), Space Dumplins(Scholastic Graphix)

Best Lettering
  • Derf Backderf, Trashed (Abrams)
  • Steve Dutro, Blood-C, Midnight Society, Plants vs Zombies (Dark Horse)
  • Lucy Knisley, Displacement (Fantagraphics)
  • Troy Little, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Kevin McCloskey, We Dig Worms! (TOON Books)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
  • Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
  • Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows)
  • Comic Riffs blog by Michael Cavna, washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/
  • Hogan’s Alley, edited by Tom Heintjes (Hogan’s Alley)
  • Jack Kirby Collector, edited by John Morrow (TwoMorrows)

Best Comics-Related Book
  • Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America, by Bill Schelly (Fantagraphics)
  • King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
  • Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer, by Martha Fay (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel, by Paul Levitz (Abrams ComicArts)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work
  • The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art, edited by  Frances Gateward and John Jennings (Rutgers)
  • Boys Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture, and Community in Japan, edited by Mark McLelland et al. (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Graphic Medicine Manifesto, by M. K. Czerwiec et al. (Penn State University Press)
  • Superheroes on World Screens, edited by Rayna Denison and Rachel Mizsei-Ward (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Unflattening, by Nick Sousanis (Harvard University Press)

Best Publication Design
  • Beyond the Surface, designed by Nicolas André, Sam Arthur, Alex Spiro, and Camille Pichon (Nobrow)
  • The Eternaut, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
  • Eventually Everything Connects, designed by Loris Lora, Sam Arthur, Alex Spiro, and Camille Pichon (Nobrow)
  • King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate, designed by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
  • Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, designed by Chip Kidd (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Sandman Gallery Edition, designed by Graphitti Designs and Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti Designs/DC)
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About Derek McCaw
In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave). He performs with ComedySportz San Jose and ShakesBEERience, in addition to occasional screenwriting and acting jobs. If you ever played Eric's Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek's voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. You can buy his book "I Was Flesh Gordon" on the Amazon link at the right. Email him at editor@fanboyplanet.com.