2020 Eisner Award Nominations Announced

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards cover 31 categories. Winners are chosen by online vote.

Comic-Con announced the nominations for the 2020 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. A panel of judges chose nominees in 31 categories. The work needed to be published between January 1 and December 31, 2019. Winners will be decide via online voting of comic industry professionals. Results will be announced in July. 

Here are the nominees in the children and teen categories—including Newbery winner New Kid by Jerry Craft—as well as the writer and penciller/inker categories that include kid lit creators.

Best Publication for Early Readers

  • Comics: Easy as ABC by Ivan Brunetti (TOON)
  • Kitten Construction Company: A Bridge Too Fur by John Patrick Green (First Second)
  • The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willems (Disney-Hyperion)
  • A Trip to the Top of the Volcano with Mouse by Frank Viva (TOON)
  • ¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market by Raúl the Third (HMH/Versify)
  • Who Wet My Pants? by Bob Shea and Zachariah Ohora (Little, Brown)

Best Publication for Kids

  • Akissi: More Tales of Mischief by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin (Flying Eye/Nobrow)
  • Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic/Graphix)
  • Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)
  • New Kid by Jerry Craft (HarperCollins/Quill Tree)
  • This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews (First Second)
  • The Wolf in Underpants by Wilfrid Lupano, Mayana Itoïz, & Paul Cauuet (Lerner/Graphic Universe)

Best Publication for Teens

  • Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh (DC Ink)
  • Hot Comb by Ebony Flowers (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable & Ellen T. Crenshaw (First Second)
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O'Connell (First Second)
  • Penny Nichols by MK Reed, Greg Means, & Matt Wiegle (Top Shelf)

Best Writer

  • Bobby Curnow, Ghost Tree (IDW)
  • MK Reed & Greg Means, Penny Nichols (Top Shelf)
  • Mariko Tamaki, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass (DC Ink); Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (First Second); Archie (Archie)
  • Lewis Trondheim, Stay (Magnetic Press); Maggy Garrisson (SelfMadeHero)
  • G. Willow Wilson, Invisible Kingdom (Berger Books/Dark Horse); Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
  • Chip Zdarsky, White Trees (Image); Daredevil, Spider-Man: Life Story (Marvel); Afterlift (comiXology Originals)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

  • Ian Bertram, Little Bird (Image)
  • Colleen Doran, Snow, Glass, Apples (Dark Horse)
  • Bilquis Evely, The Dreaming (DC)
  • Simon Gane, Ghost Tree (IDW)
  • Steve Pugh, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass (DC Ink)
  • Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (First Second)
READ: SLJ reviews of nominees.

Find all of the nominees here and see the full press release below.

Nominees Announced for 2020 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards

IDW and Image lead the pack with most nominations

Comic-Con is proud to announce the nominations for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2020. The nominees are for works published between January 1 and December 31, 2019 and were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges.

Once again, this year’s nominees in 31 categories reflect the wide range of material being published in the U.S. today in comics and graphic novel media, representing over 170 print and online titles from more than 60 publishers and produced by creators from all over the world.

IDW and Image received the most nominations: IDW with 13 (plus 1 shared) and Image with 11 (plus 6 shared). Leading the pack for IDW is Ghost Tree, up for Best Limited Series, Best Writer (Bobby Curnow), and Best Penciller/Inker (Simon Gane). IDW projects with 2 nominations include Diabolical Summer (Best International Publication, Best Painter for Alexandre Clarisse) and Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter Artist Select (Best Archival Collection, Best Publication Design). IDW’s Top Shelf imprint has two nominees: George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy (Best Reality-Based Work) and Penny Nichols (Best Publication for Teens, Best Writer for MK Reed & Greg Means). Image has 3 of the 6 nominees for the Best New Continuing Series category: Bitter Root, Criminal, and Crowded. The Image title with the most nominations is Little Bird (Best Limited Series, Best Penciller/Inker for Ian Bertram, and shared Best Coloring for Matt Hollingsworth).

Other publishers with multiple nominations include Fantagraphics (12), Dark Horse (10 plus 4 shared), First Second (9 plus 1 shared), Drawn & Quarterly (9), DC (7 plus 5 shared), Europe Comics (7), Shortbox (5), Scholastic (4), Marvel (4 plus 4 shared), and BOOM! (3 plus 1 shared). Five companies had 3 nominees: Beehive Books, Nobrow, VIZ Media, SelfMadeHero (2 + 1 shared), and Titan (2 + 1 shared). Twelve companies have 2 nominations each, and another 35 companies or individuals have 1 nomination each.

In addition to Ghost Tree and Little Bird, works with more than 2 nominations include Dark Horse’s Invisible Kingdom (Best New Series, Best Painter and Best Cover Artist for Christian Ward, Best Writer for G. Willow Wilson), Tillie Walden’s Are You Listening (Best Graphic Album–New, Best Writer/Artist, Best Lettering, from First Second), Drawn & Quarterly’s Grass (Best Reality-Based Work, Best International Publication­­–Asia, Best Writer/Artist for Keum Suk Gendry-Kim), DC’s Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass (Best Publication for Teens, Best Writer for Mariko Tamaki, Best Penciller/Inker for Steve Pugh), and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (Best Publication for Teens, Best Writer, Best Penciller/Inker, from First Second). Over 20 works have 2 nominations.

The creator with the most nominations is James Stokoe with 5: Along with being chosen for Best Writer/Artist, his Sobek (published by Shortbox) is nominated for Best Single Issue and Best Humor Publication, and a book devoted to him, Grunt: The Art and Unpublished Comics of James Stokoe (published by Dark Horse) is nominated for Best Comics-Related Book and Best Publication Design. Eight creators have 3 nominations each:Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (for Grass), David Mack (Best Painter, Best Cover Artist, and Best Graphic Album–Reprint for Cover), Stan Sakai (two for the Usagi Yojimbo Grasscutter book plus Best Lettering), Mariko Tamaki (Best Writer plus two in Best Publication for Teens—Harley Quinn and Laura Dean), Lewis Trondheim (Best International Publication for SelfMadeHero’s Maggy Garrisson and Magnetic Press’sStay, plus Best Writer), Tillie Walden (the 3 forAre You Listening?), Christian Ward (the 3 for Invisible Kingdom), and Chip Zdarsky (Best Continuing Series for Marvel’s Daredevil, Best Digital Comic for comiXology’s Afterlift, and Best Writer).

Twenty-five creators are nominated for 2 Eisners: Lynda Barry, Ian Bertram, Ed Brubaker, Nina Bunjevac, Didier Cassagrain, Alexandre Clarisse, Bobby Cornow, Collen Doran, Bilquis Evely, Ebony Flowers, Simon Gane, Mira Jacob, Léa Mazé, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Sean Phillips, Emilie Plateau, Steve Pugh, Julie Rocheleau, MK Reed & Greg Means, Lissa Treiman, Raina Telgemeier, David Walker, Chris Ware, and G. Willow Wilson.

Named for acclaimed comics creator Will Eisner, the awards are celebrating their 32nd year of bringing attention to and highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2020 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of graphic novel reviewer Martha Cornog ( Library Journal), comics journalist Jamie Coville (TheComicBooks.com), academic/author Michael Dooley (L.A. Art Center College of Design, Print magazine), comic writer/novelist Alec Grecian (Proof, Rasputin, The Yard), journalist/blogger/podcaster Simon Jimenez (longtome Comic-Con volunteer), and retailer Laura O’Meara (Casablanca Comics, Portland, ME).

“The judging process was very challenging this year,” says Eisner Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada. “Normally, the judges all meet in San Diego for four days in a room filled with all the submitted comics and books and they are able to interact with each other in person. With the country in lockdown, they all had to stay in their respective homes (as far away as Maine, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Kingston, Ontario) so had to communicate via email, a social media group, and Zoom. Packages of books went back and forth all over the country. Fortunately, we were able to work with the folks at comiXology and many of the publishers to have digital versions of hundreds of submissions available to the judges.” She adds, “The process took two months longer than usual, so the window for voting is significantly shorter than in previous years. We encourage professionals in comics to cast their votes as soon as they can.”

Voting for the awards is held online, and the ballot will be available at www.eisnervote.com. All professionals in the comic book industry are eligible to vote. The deadline for voting is June 18. The results of the voting will be announced in July (further details will be announced later).

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are presented by the San Diego Comic Convention (Comic-Con International), a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation organized for charitable purposes and dedicated to creating the general public’s awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular artforms, including participation in and support of public presentations, conventions, exhibits, museums, and other public outreach activities which celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.

Judges Select Nell Brinkley and E. Simms Campbell for Eisner Hall of Fame

Voters Will Select 4 More Inductees

Comic-Con International (Comic-Con) has announced that the Eisner Awards judges have selected two individuals to automatically be inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame for 2020. These inductees are pioneering newspaper cartoonist Nell Brinkley (creator of the Brinkley Girl) and African American cartoonist/illustrator E. Simms Campbell (Esquire, Life, Judge, Playboy, and many other magazines).

The judges have also chosen 14 nominees from which voters will select 4 to be inducted in the Hall of Fame this summer. These nominees are Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Moto Hagio, Don Heck, Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Francoise Mouly, Keiji Nakazawa, Thomas Nast, Lily Renée Peter Phillips, Stan Sakai, Louise Simonson, Don and Maggie Thompson, James Warren, and Bill Watterson.


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