Eisner votes for 2016

Yay, Eisner nominations are out! Like every year, I’m going to list my votes with commentary.

Best Short Story
  • “Killing and Dying,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #14 (Drawn & Quarterly)

Didn’t read any of the other nominees.

Best Single Issue/One-Shot 
  • Silver Surfer #11: “Never After,” by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel)

Pope Hats #4 is also a strong contender.

Best Continuing Series 
  • Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour (Image)

I wouldn’t have nominated any of these (my nominees would have been Saga, Lumberjanes, Sex Criminals, Ms. Marvel, and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl). Of the five nominees, Southern Bastards is my favorite. I love Giant Days but I don’t think it was an Eisner-level comic, given the amount of competition. Invincible was terrible this year and should not have been nominated at all.

Best Limited Series 
  • The Spire, by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely (BOOM! Studios)

Lady Killer is a distant second.

Best New Series 
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel)

I was going to vote for Monstress until I saw that USG was on the ballot. Paper Girls and Bitch Planet could each have won this award in many other years.

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
  • Little Robot, by Ben Hatke (First Second)

I haven’t read any of these, and I’m basing this entirely on Michelle Martin’s presentation at ICFA.

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
  • Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books)

This was an amazing book and a possible contender for Best Graphic Album.

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
  • March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)

It was a tough choice between this and Supermutant Magic Academy. I’m surprised Lumberjanes wasn’t nominated.

Best Humor Publication
  • Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection, by Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)

Not familiar with any of the others except Cyanide & Happiness.

Best Digital/Webcomic
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman, by Renae De Liz (DC Digital)

Bandette and Fresh Romance are also candidates, but I just heart Legend of Wonder Woman so much.

Best Anthology
  • Drawn & Quarterly, Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary, Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels,edited by Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)

This seems like an obvious choice, though I didn’t read any of the nominees.

Best Reality-Based Work
  • March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)

I’ve read four of the nominees. This was a really strong category, and I could easily change my mind and vote for The Story of My Tits instead.

Best Graphic Album—New
  • Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, by Dylan Horrocks (Fantagraphics)

This was the only nominee that I read. I’ve never heard of some of the nominees, and I think the ballot looks rather weak. I wonder why the judges decided not to nominate March or Roller Girl or The Story of My Tits for this category.

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
  • Nimona, by Nicole Stevenson (Harper Teen)

I really want to read Soldier’s Heart, but it’s so expensive.

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
  • Two Brothers, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

Didn’t read any of the others.

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • The Eternaut, by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lòpez (Fantagraphics)

I haven’t read any of the nominees, but The Eternaut is the obvious standout. This category seems very weak. Was Corto Maltese not eligible?

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • A Bride’s Story, by Kaoru Mori (Yen Press)

I have Sunny but have not read it.

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips 
  • The Eternaut, by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lòpez, edited by Gary Groth and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)

Again, I haven’t read any of the nominees and I’ve never heard of the Niso Ramponi book.

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books 
  • Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Don Rosa Library, vols. 3–4, edited by David Gerstein (Fantagraphics)

Seems like an obvious choice.

Best Writer
  • G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)

Jason Aaron had a bigger overall body of work, but I liked Ms. Marvel better than any of Jason Aaron’s individual titles. I might have voted for Matt Fraction or Brian K. Vaughan instead.

Best Writer/Artist
  • Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree, vol. 3 (Fantagraphics)

This is a surprising slate of nominees. They could have nominated Tomine or Horrocks or Jamieson. Of the actual nominees, Noah Van Sciver is the only other one who seems like a serious contender, though I haven’t read Fante Bukowski.

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Erica Henderson, Jughead (Archie), Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Marvel)

A good slate of nominees, though Fiona Staples and Christian Ward seem like unfortunate omissions.

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist 
  • Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)

Voting for Dustin Nguyen over Colleen Coover because of the impressive range  of his work.

Best Cover Artist 
  • Amanda Conner, Harley Quinn (DC)

It’s a tough choice between her and Ed Piskor.

Best Coloring
  • 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)

This category is often the toughest one to decide on.

Best Lettering
  • Lucy Knisley, Displacement (Fantagraphics)

I don’t think I’ve read anything by any of the other nominees. I have Trashed but haven’t read it yet.

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism 
  • Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows)

Didn’t read any of these. I’m surprised that only one website was nominated. What about The Comics Beat or The Comics Reporter?

Best Comics-Related Book
  • King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)

I didn’t read any of these, so I’m voting for this one, because it covers a topic which has not already been extensively written about.

Best Academic/Scholarly Work 
  • Unflattening, by Nick Sousanis (Harvard University Press)

Would have been a good candidate for Best Graphic Album – New and Best Reality-Based Work as well.

Best Publication Design
  • Eventually Everything Connects, designed by Loris Lora, Sam Arthur, Alex Spiro, and Camille Pichon (Nobrow)

Haven’t seen this, but it looks cool.

Overall, I feel like an even more informed Eisner voter this year compared to previous years. In most categories I’ve read at least one of the nominees, and in several categories I had a hard time choosing what to vote for.

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