Countdown To The Eisners 2015 – Best Publication Design

eisner_imageLooking at my own graphic novel library, some books definitely stand out because of the quality of their design. Size doesn't matter, despite what your girlfriend tells you, for you can produce the biggest Artist's Edition in the world, but if the design is unattractive, then no one wants to display it in their library (even if you manage to fit it somewhere). Catching the eye of potential buyers and readers can make or break a sale, just like when certain birds mate and create colorful dances, or finely upheld bachelor pads/nests. Bottom-line, hours upon hours of thought go into the design of a collected edition, and the following nominees of the Best Publication Design category are prime examples of this.

Keep in mind I cannot vote for who wins (nor can you, probably), as per the rules. Plus voting ended June 1st. However, that's not keeping me from being vocal regardless!

Who is eligible to vote?
Comic book/graphic novel/webcomic creators (writers, artists, cartoonists, pencillers, inkers, letterers, colorists
All nominees in any category
Comic book/graphic novel publishers and editors
Comics historians and educators
Graphic novel librarians
Owners and managers of comic book specialty retail stores

Who is not eligible to vote?
Comics press or reviewers (unless they are nominees)
Non-creative publisher staff members (PR, marketing, assistants, etc.)

Before I get back to designing The Complete Countdown to the Eisners 2015 book cover so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!

Best Publication Design

Batman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti/DC)

 Batman Kelly Jones Gallery Edition

The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)

Complete Zap Comix 

Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, designed by Jim Rugg (Locust Moon)

 Little Nemo Dream Another Dream

Street View, designed by Pascal Rabate (NBM/Comics Lit)

 Street View

Winsor McCay's Complete Little Nemo, designed by Anna Tina Kessler (TASCHEN)

Complete Little Nemo


pascal_rabate picWho I think should win:
Street View, designed by Pascal Rabate (NBM/Comics Lit)

If you can't tell by the picture, this book, like a jellyfish, has no spine. And I think it's such a unique book because of it! Two different stories sandwiched together by two hard covers, spread out like a painted accordion, definitely provides a different reading experience. While I can foresee complications if not handled properly, I think the design is superb, and Rabate knew what he was doing while presenting it as a "wordless play."

Who I think will win:
The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)

I remember seeing the first previews for this box set, and immediately thinking, "Yup, multiple Eisner winner right there." Sure enough, seeing this collection in person and being in awe of what Ong has produced, it's just glorious. Massive, yet meticulously designed to be eye-candy in any collection, it treats the material exactly how it should be: classic.

Who I think should have been nominated:
Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, designed by Tracy Hurren

Moomin Deluxe AnniversaryThis deluxe slipcase edition is just simply gorgeous, featuring bright, inviting colors to accompany Jansson's oversized artwork. The inner book has that classic texture and feel, with a lovely indent of Moomin front and center. As far as deluxe editions go, no matter the publisher, this one is definitely a must-have in your collection. It commands your attention when you see it, inviting you to worship it like a Finnish deity.

Who do you think should win / been nominated?

Cameron Hatheway is a reviewer and the host of Cammy's Comic Corner, an audio podcast. You can design him a better-looking face on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

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Cameron HathewayAbout Cameron Hatheway

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