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

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.

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