A look at the new Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2016 nominees..

An interesting mix of new and fresh work, covering a banner year for the industry..

Last week we got online, the official nominee list (below the article) for the 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, a most prestigious pickings on the best picked sequential work in 2015. Winners are due announced at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International.

For the most parts, I see this list as better covered than last year with a mix of diversity on mainstream and creative independant work. There are some favorites of late I enjoyed, most notably Paper Girls, Bandette, Invincible, The Spire. I love David Aja’s cover art, especially on the new Scarlet Witch mini series, so pleased to see that recognition. Silver Surfer #11 of the new series is some especially mind-blowing work deserving of notoriety. Some nominees I think I will have to give a fresh reading chance as I felt a bit resistant in checking out for whatever reasons, Southern Bastards, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Bitch Planet, Giant Days.

There are some surprises on the list. Most in particular, I noticed Matthew Inman’s “It’s Going to be Okay” from the popular Oatmeal comic. Much about this is interesting for multiple reasons. The first being that it’s a web-comic entry, and such (and Cyanide and Happiness for best humor publication)  is a sign that this medium is getting more respectful notice in other categories besides “best web-comic.” Another being the reason that Mathew Inman reinvented the concept of single-panel scrolling to tell the story, through his online work. The effectiveness makes me wish for more web-comics and digital comics to try this method. Lastly, it’s an interesting story that concluded with a message as being more important than the subject, being of its own importance.

There are some disappointments to the lack of comic work, which I wish had nominee love. Sadly overlooked is a new favorite; The Vision by Tom King is a magnificent new series that started in late 2015, and released at the same time as the nominated Monstress. Tom King’s work also in Omega Men and Grayson also I think earns him more credit somewhere as a best writer of 2015. I feel the He-man and the Masters of the Universe mini-comic collection was an incredible feat with incredible extras, but also overlooked. Missing this year is Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, perhaps for being consistent with award-winning work and having enough recognition from prior years.

And now, cheers to all the nominees below..

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)

Best Continuing Series
• Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
• Giant Days, by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box)
• Invincible, by Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, and Cliff Rathburn (Image/Skybound)
• Silver Surfer, by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel)
• 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)

Best New Series
• Bitch Planet, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro (Image)
• 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)
• The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
• Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion, by Dominque Roques and Alexis Dormal (First Second)
• Little Robot, by Ben Hatke (First Second)
• The Only Child, by Guojing (Schwartz & Wade)
• SheHeWe, by Lee Nordling and Meritxell Bosch (Lerner Graphic Universe)
• Written and Drawn by Henrietta, by Liniers (TOON Books)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
• Baba Yaga’s Assistant, by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll (Candlewick)
• Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War, by Jessica Dee Humphreys, Michel Chikwanine, and Claudia Devila (Kids Can Press)
• Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor, by Nathan Hale (Abrams Amulet)
• Over the Garden Wall, by Pat McHale, Amalia Levari, and Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!)
• Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books)
• Sunny Side Up, by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm (Scholastic Graphix)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
• Awkward, by Svetlana Chmakova (Yen Press)
• Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
• March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
• Moose, by Max de Radiguès (Conundrum)
• Oyster War, by Ben Towle (Oni)
• SuperMutant Magic Academy, by Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Humor Publication
• Cyanide & Happiness: Stab Factory, by Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, and Dave McElfatrick (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box)
• Deep Dark Fears, by Fran Krause (Ten Speed Press)
• Sexcastle, by Kyle Starks (Image)
• Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection, by Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
• UR, by Eric Haven (AdHouse)

Best Digital/Webcomic
• Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain/comiXology)
• Fresh Romance, edited by Janelle Asselin (Rosy Press/comiXology)
• The Legend of Wonder Woman, by Renae De Liz (DC Digital)
• Lighten Up, by Ronald Wimberly (The Nib), thenib.com/lighten-up-4f7f96ca8a7e#.u45ffr3l1
• These Memories Won’t Last, by Stu Campbell, memories.sutueatsflies.com/

Best Anthology
• Drawn & Quarterly, Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary, Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, edited by Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
• Eat More Comics: The Best of the Nib, edited by Matt Bors (The Nib)
• 24 x 7, edited by Dan Berry (Fanfare Presents)
• Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, vol. 3, edited by David Petersen (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
• Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz, edited by Shannon Watters (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!)

Best Reality-Based Work
• The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978–1984, by Riad Sattouf (Metropolitan Books)
• Displacement: A Travelogue, by Lucy Knisley (Fantagraphics)
• Hip Hop Family Tree, Book 3: 1983–1984, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
• Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist, by Bill Griffith (Fantagraphics)
• March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
• The Story of My Tits, by Jennifer Hayden (Top Shelf/IDW)

Best Graphic Album—New
• Long Walk to Valhalla, by Adam Smith and Matthew Fox (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
• Nanjing: The Burning City, by Ethan Young (Dark Horse)
• Ruins, by Peter Kuper (SelfMadeHero)
• Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, by Dylan Horrocks (Fantagraphics)
• The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, by Sydney Padua (Pantheon)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
• Angry Youth Comics, by Johnny Ryan (Fantagraphics)
• Roses in December: A Story of Love and Alzheimer’s, by Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers (Kent State University Press)
• The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal Omnibus, by E. K. Weaver (Iron Circus Comics)
• Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson (Harper Teen)
• Soldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father, by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
• Captive of Friendly Cove: Based on the Secret Journals of John Jewitt, by Rebecca Goldfield, Mike Short, and Matt Dembicki (Fulcrum)
• City of Clowns, by Daniel Alarcón and Sheila Alvarado (Riverhead Books)
• Ghetto Clown, by John Leguizamo, Christa Cassano, and Shamus Beyale (Abrams ComicArts)
• Lafcadio Hearn’s “The Faceless Ghost” and Other Macabre Tales from Japan, adapted by Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa (Shambhala)
• Two Brothers, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
• Alpha . . . Directions, by Jens Harder (Knockabout/Fanfare)
• The Eternaut, by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lòpez (Fantagraphics)
• A Glance Backward by Pierre Paquet and Tony Sandoval (Magnetic Press)
• The March of the Crabs, by Arthur de Pins (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
• The Realist, by Asaf Hanuka (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
• Assassination Classroom, vols. 2–7, by Yusei Matsui (VIZ)
• A Bride’s Story, vol. 7, 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, vol. 5, 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 V. Procopio (Picture This Press/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, edited by Drew Ford (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!/BOOM! Box)
• 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 Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti Designs/DC)

Orion T – captain of the Stranger Worlds exploratory vessel and comic book/storytelling enthusiast.

About Orion T (251 Articles)
Writer, photographer, editor, local traveler. Also, very engaged with the production and interactivity of creative work, especially in the realms of science fiction and fantasy. Follow my personal adventures at travelingorion.com, and reports of sci-fi/fantasy at strangerworlds.com.

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