Aftermath Of The Eisners 2013 – Building Glories

building_stories_coverCameron Hatheway writes;

Last Friday the Eisner Awards happened, and quite a few lucky people went home with glory, praise, respect, and most importantly a shiny Eisner award. In the weeks and months leading up to the awards ceremony, I was writing articles and sharing my picks with you all, and now we're going to see not only how many I called, but who or what surprised me in particular (and there were definitely some surprises this year).

Best Short Story

Who Won: "Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch," by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)

Who I Picked: "Elmview" by Jon McNaught, in Dockwood (Nobrow)

It seems that the voters were swayed more by humor than they were by the beautiful and simple storytelling of "Elmview." I can see why "Moon: 1969" won; it's wacky and out there, plus it was available to read for free online, while "Elmview" was not. I only mention this because sometimes you just vote for whatever is available to you.

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

Who Won: The Mire, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)

Who I Picked: The Mire, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)

Becky Cloonan for the win! Nailed it!

Best Continuing Series

Who Won: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Who I Picked: The Manhattan Projects, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra (Image)

See, the nominees in both this category and the New Series category ticked me off; how can something be new and continuing at the same time, let alone win in both categories? I think the judges messed-up here in nominating Saga, for it should have been in only one category this year, and that was the New Series category.

Best New Series

Who Won: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Who I Picked: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Sagalicious! It totally deserved the win in this category.

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

Who Won: Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House)

Who I Picked: Kitty & Dino, by Sara Richard (Yen Press/Hachette)

I didn't get a review copy, so I can't comment on it. I'll still stand by Kitty & Dino though, because it was tremendous fun.

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

Who Won: Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)

Who I Picked: Hilda and the Midnight Giant, by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)

I can totally see why Adventure Time won; because it's totally mathematical for fans of the show and readers of all ages. It would have been nice to see Hilda win, but alas, the voters couldn't see the giant heart the story had.

Best Publication for Young Adults (Ages 12-17)

Who Won: A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

Who I Picked: Spera, vol. 1, by Josh Tierney et al. (Archaia)

I didn't get a review copy, so I can't comment on it. However, I still highly recommend Spera because it introduces you to a plethora of new artistic talent. Now I have to track down the second volume!

Best Humor Publication

Who Won: Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)

Who I Picked: Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)

The Force is strong with me in this category. Called it!

Best Digital Comic

Who Won: Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover

Who I Picked: Ant Comic, by Michael DeForge

I love Bandette, don't get me wrong, but I think they'll need to clarify in the future what classifies as a 'digital comic;' is it a webcomic, or a comic book exclusively for the digital format, or both? I am happy to see Bandette get an Eisner for something, though!

Best Anthology

Who Won: Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)

Who I Picked: 2000 AD, edited by Matt Smith (Rebellion)

Listen, I enjoyed DHP too, but frankly I don't think the quality was as great as it was back in 2011. The 2011 win I can see, but the 2012 win against the powerhouse that is 2000 AD? I personally don't see it. I hope this win doesn't scare away Matt Smith from submitting for next year.

Best Reality-Based Work

Who Won: Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion)
The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)

Who I Picked: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me, by Ellen Forney (Gotham Books)

The tie here definitely surprised me, and the hits kept coming when Marbles wasn't one of the winners. I do feel that Ellen Forney was robbed, but I know she'll continue amazing us for several years to come.

Best Graphic Album – New

Who Won: Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Who I Picked: Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

There goes Chris Ware, Building another shelf for all his Eisner awards! Called it!

Best Adaptation from Another Medium

Who Won: Richard Stark's Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Who I Picked: Richard Stark's Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Cooke's plan was fool-proof! Nailed it!

Best Graphic Album – Reprint

Who Won: King City, by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)

Who I Picked: Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel (First Second)

Yeah I can definitely see why Brandon Graham won, for the dude's been on fire. King City was a beautiful book, and a great introduction to the storytelling of Graham. Totally well deserved.

Best Archival Collection/Project – Comic Strips

Who Won: Pogo, vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)

Who I Picked: Roy Crane's Captain Easy: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips, vol. 3, edited by Rick Norwood (Fantagraphics)

I had Pogo in my Could Win category, and sure enough I was right. Sorry gut, but brain won that round.

Best Archival Collection/Project – Comic Books

Who Won: David Mazzucchelli's Daredevil Born Again: Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

Who I Picked: Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

I didn't get a review copy, so I can't really comment. However, take note; if your nominee doesn't have "Artist's Edition" anywhere on the cover, it's not going to win.

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Who Won: Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)

Who I Picked: Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)

This book always lands on its feet. Called it!

Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia

Who Won: Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

Who I Picked: Thermae Romae, by Mari Yamazaki (Yen Press/Hachette)

From what I've gathered, 20th Century Boys is the greatest manga series in the whole freakin' galaxy, so apparently everyone but me saw this coming from thousands of light-years away. Plus I didn't get a review copy, so I can't really comment. The only comment I can make is I'll pick it up, so don't bother telling me I should. Regular readers know I'm currently on a hentai kick.

Best Writer

Who Won: Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

Who I Picked: Jonathan Hickman, The Manhattan Projects (Image)

I knew Vaughan would win (and rightfully so), but I would have loved to have seen Hickman as the underdog sneak in and win it. Maybe next year.

Best Writer/Artist

Who Won: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Who I Picked: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

All aboard the Eisner train! Choo Choo!

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

Who Won: David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel); Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW)

Who I Picked: Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel); Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW)

Another tie! Two ties in one awards show? Cray cray!

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art)

Who Won: Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)

Who I Picked: Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)

When Blacksad is nominated in any category, you know it's going to win. Nailed it!

Best Cover Artist

Who Won: David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)

Who I Picked: Yuko Shimizu, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC)

I know I'll get flack for saying this, but I think this category was nothing more than a popularity contest. Yes, Aja has done some amazing covers for Hawkeye, but all of three covers were released in 2012. I believe the voters forgot about this fact, and focused on the Hawkeye covers that have been coming out in the past few months. Meanwhile, Shimizu was producing beautiful covers all year round. I personally believe Shimizu was robbed.

Best Coloring

Who Won: Dave Stewart, Batwoman (DC); Fatale  (Image); BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive (Dark Horse)

Who I Picked: Dave Stewart, Batwoman (DC); Fatale  (Image); BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive (Dark Horse)

Little known fact; Stewart does all his coloring while blindfolded. Called it!

Best Lettering

Who Won: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Who I Picked: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Ware is really ware-ing me out with all these Eisner wins! Nailed it!

Best Comics-Related Journalism

Who Won: The Comics Reporter, edited by Tom Spurgeon

Who I Picked:, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel (Fantagraphics)

Spurgeon has won this category two years in a row now. So I guess we know who the voters have bookmarked the most in their toolbars. Calling it now; he'll win it next year too.

Best Comics-Related Book

Who Won: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe (HarperCollins)

Who I Picked: Mastering Comics, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second)

I've heard nothing but great things about The Untold Story, but alas, I didn't receive a review copy.

Best Educational/Academic Work

Who Won: Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass, by Susan E. Kirtley (University Press of Mississippi)

Who I Picked: Autobiographical Comics: Life Writing in Pictures, by Elisabeth El Refaie (University Press of Mississippi)

I'd like to know how voters chose in this category, for reading an entire book (let alone all the nominees) is no easy task. Perhaps for some it's all about recognizing a name or subject.

Best Publication Design

Who Won: Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Who I Picked: Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Riots would have happened in San Diego if Ware didn't win in this category. I still marvel at the design and size of the thing when I walk past it.

So I think it's safe to say that Chris Ware and Building Stories was the ultimate winner this year at the Eisners, with Dark Horse, IDW and Image coming in a close second. I did feel that some creators were robbed, but guess what? Not only are there several other award shows (like all other mediums), but if anything it will make creators strive to produce better comics next year, just to stick-it to the competition. Whether it's in a serious way or a playful way is entirely up to them, because in the end, I think the fans remain the true winners.

Congratulations to all the winners, I'm fairly certain you all deserved it.

I got 12 out of the 29 I covered right. That's worse than I did last year! Perhaps I should just give it a rest next year, huh?

Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy's Comic Corner and Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Sonoma State STAR. You can mock his fanboy whining on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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