The Eisner Awards were revealed once again last week, ahead of July’s San Diego Comic Con. For those unfamiliar, the Eisner Awards are the “Oscars” of comics, celebrating the best work of the medium. Their release always sparks rounds of congratulations and debate. In fact, they’ve already changed this year; Love is Love, the anthology supporting the victims of the Orlando shooting, was added post-release to the “Best Anthology” category.
However, there are always winner and losers, even before awards night. Without further ado, here is how the Eisner nominations played out for the biggest publishers in the industry.
It’s all about Image
Just like last year, Image took the lion’s share of nominations among the major comics publishers, claiming 21 total nods. But their real win came from category sweeps; Best Continuing Series, Writer, Cover Artist, and Coloring were all majority held by Image. On the top of their heap is Kill or Be Killed and Saga, each with four nominations (the most of any nominated title), and Monstress with three nominations.
This is all to say that Image had yet another phenomenal year. They continue to produce some of the highest quality writing and art of any in the medium. If you haven’t read any of their nominated titles, now is the time. Image is having a Comixology sale on all its Eisner nominees, including the ones listed above, as well as Criminal, Paper Girls, Descender, One Week in the Library, Outcast, and Plutona.
Feels like Vertigo
DC Comics had a total of 13 nominations, most of which were for standalone stories or their Vertigo imprint. Included in this is Astro City by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson, Clean Room by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt, Dark Knight: A True Batman Story by Paul Dini and Eduardo Risso, and Wonder Woman: The True Amazon by Jill Thompson.
Only three of the Rebirth titles garnered nominations: Batgirl from Hope Larson and Rafael Albuquerque (Best Publication for Teens), Deathstroke: Rebirth by Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan, et al. (Best New Series), and Wonder Woman, colored by Laura Martin (Best Coloring). However, all three of these nominations are great news for larger DC Entertainment, with the Wonder Woman film releasing in early June, Deathstroke set to appear in the upcoming Batman film, and the recently announced Joss Whedon-helmed Batgirl film. Hopefully they capitalize on this good press.
Marvel nabbed a total of 11 nominations across eight categories. What stood out in their lineup was the number of women-led books and creators nominated. The Mighty Thor, Mockingbird, and Black Widow all received two nominations, and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl picked up one. Creators nominated included Marjorie Liu, Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Erica Henderson, and Laura Martin.
Given the rough time Marvel has been having in the press lately, this should be welcome news. Highlighting their nominees could go a long way toward building back a good public image.
Speaking of Women…
Last year, the Eisner’s nominated 49 women for 61 awards. This year they came in at 47 women for 58 awards. For those keeping score at home, that’s less, which is bad. Hopefully next year they build forward momentum.
Focusing on the positives of this year, Jill Thompson, Fiona Staples, Erica Henderson, and Sana Takeda all took home three nominations each, for books like Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In, Wonder Woman: The True Amazon, Saga, Jughead, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and Monstress. If you’re not reading any of these titles, change that.
What Eisner nominated titles are you reading? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter and Facebook!