As many of you know, the 2009 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards will be announced at the end of July, during San Diego Comic Con. Known as the Oscars of comics awards (uh, at least by me), the Eisners are voted on by industry professionals and reward creative genius in American comics. Past winners have included such notable creators as Paul Chadwick, Alan Moore, Eric Powell, Alison Bechdel, and–oh yeah–Will Eisner himself!
So who’s going to win this year? There are a lot of first-time nominees, which will make the outcome very interesting. I’ve got my picks, but since there are a whopping 45 categories (not including the Hall of Fame), I’m just going to talk about a few of them–my picks are in red!.
Best Cover Artist
It’s incredible to realize that Jo Chen hasn’t been nominated before–her gorgeous, nuanced Buffy covers are works of art in themselves. Need to see more before you decide? Just check out her cover gallery here. James Jean has won this category for the past five years–for good reason, of course, but it’s time to give him a rest. Chen has taken the challenge of having to depict well-known (and loved) actors, and she always renders them in such a way that they’re instantly recognizable, and yet her own unique creations.
- Steve Hamaker, Bone: Ghost Circles, Bone: Treasure Hunters (Scholastic Graphix)
- Trish Mulvihill, Joker (DC), 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC)
- Val Staples, Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon)
- Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien: The Drowning, BPRD, The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse); Body Bags (Image); Captain America: White (Marvel)
- Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)
Full disclosure: I know Dave Stewart personally, but that’s not why I’m rooting for him. Just take a look at the various titles he’s worked on and compare the color palettes and techniques: while Hellboy has the look of a hand-tinted black-and-white photo, Solomon Kane looks like a series of watercolors. Contrast the retro primary colors of Captain America: White with the psychedelic explosion of Easter-egg shades in The Umbrella Academy. The only thing tying these coloring jobs together is that they’re all perfectly suited to the artwork and moods of the books. And yeah, I know he’s won this four of the past six years. He’s still showing us new things.
Best Publication for Kids
I love Tiny Titans so much it isn’t even funny. I picked it up on day “T” of our 28 Days of Comics Sale last February to blog about, and I was completely surprised by how much I loved it! The artwork is bright and colorful–simple, yet perfectly charming and expressive.
If you have any history with Teen Titans and their ilk, you’ll get the sly in-jokes, but even if you don’t, this is funny, smart, and entertaining–like Muppet Babies crossed with Peanuts, with a smidge of Top Shelf’s Super F*ckers thrown in for good measure.
So those are my off-the-top-of-my head picks, but there are 42 other categories to choose from–check out all of the nominees here. Who are you rooting for this Eisner season? Who was robbed of a nomination? Post your comments and opinions below!
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