Hey hey hey I’ve found some dwindling Wi-fi and we’ll be doing this for as long as we can.
The night begins with Jackie Estrada telling us interest in the Eisners has soared this year, buoyed by the strength of the nominees. We’re in for an interesting night with John Barrowman hosting. Barrowman bounds on stage, tells a story about dancing naked and we’re off! Bill Morrison is out to present the first awards along with Kaare Morrison and Anina Bennett. Everyone so far very fashionable. The Eisners are really cleaned up!
Best Lettering: Derf Backderf
Best Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Best Digital comic: Bandette
Colleen Coover thanks Paul Tobin for helping her do what she loves, and Tobin says the secret of comics is doing what you love.
Out comes Beau Smith surrounded by the cast of Wynonna Earp – Beau cracks some good one liners, as a real man does.
Best Penciller/Inker: Cliff Chiang for Paper Girls
Best Painter/MultiMedia; Dustin Nguyen (pronounced “gwen”)
Best Publication Design: Sandman: Gallery Edition, designed by Graphitti designs. Bob Chapman takes a long time to to reach the stage but it’s nice to see him up there with Beau Smith.
Mark Evanier comes out to talk about Richard Hughes. Marv Wolfman describes Hughes work. “Herbie was big and fat and did literally nothing, except everyone in the world knew he was a hero.” Wolfman shows a picture of him dressed as Herbie from an early convention.
Eliot S! Magan also wins a Bill Finger award, and is up to speak. Mentions the villain named Work for Hire. “I looked down the list of people who’ve gotten this award and tit occurs to me I should be far more impressed with myself than I Am. The thing to do is become worthy of it. I’m going to undermine the work for hire doctrine, to the benefit of all the people here and because of the energy we bring to this sleepy floating city once a year.” Pretty strong anti WHF speech by a visibly moved Maggin.
Ronald Wimberly and Jason LaTour are out to present some awards – the latter apologizes for bringing his drink with him.
They are up to present the Best Journalism Award. three nominations for Tomorrows but the winner is: Hogans Alley from Ton Heintjes
Best Comics-Related Book: Harvey Kurtzman: the man who created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America by Bill Shelly. Gary Groth pops up to accept.
Best Academic/Scholarly Work: The Blacker the Ink Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art edited by Frances Gateward and John Jennings.
Two cute actor lads come out and have a gruesome list of hard to pronounce names. One nails the Japanese list the second….well he has problems with the word “macabre.” The audience gasps.
Best US Edition of Intl. Material: The Realist by Asaf Hanuka
Best US Edition of Int’l Material Asia: Showa (1953-1989) by Shigeru Mizuki
Best Adaptation from Another Medium is Two Brothers by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba.
Fabio Moon: This is the book we worked on the longest. We really really love this story and feel tit was the incredible type of story that could be told in comics and could increase what comics are capable of. We are so happy.
Gabriel: We’re told our Eisners speeches are the best and that’s hard to live up to. They had little contact with author to trust their own vision.
Best Publication for Early Readers: Little Robot by Ben Hatke who SPRINTS to the stage from the back of the room Yeah, comics! He says “landing at First Second is the Best Thing that could have happened to me” and this means the world to him.
Barrowman comes out again in a skirt and owns it of course. A book called Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion leads to some humor, and the pros are called out to do this: Lydna Barry and Matt Groening!!!
Best Publication For Kids: Over the Garden Wall
Best Publication for Teens: Super Mutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
An excellent choice. Peggy Burns accepts and praises Tamaki’s seemingly effortless line.
Jennifer and Matthew Holm come out to present some awards. Dashing in Yellow.
Best Archival Collection/Project Strips: The Eternaut — excellent choice, one of the best and most beautiful books of the year.
Best Archival Collection/Project – Comic Books: Walt Kelly’s Fairy Tales edit by Craig Yoe who comes out and explains how he and his wife make babies and books_ three kids and over a hundred books.
Best Humor Publication: Kate Beaton for Step Aside Pops who notes that it’s nice to win when you still can open up a newspaper and read an article called “Art women funny” and it says “The jury’s still out we don’t know!” Beaton has great delivery as all who have seen her read know. “This is the real deal, this is an Eisner,” says Beaton.
Now Hall of Fame: Peggy Burns presents the award to the late Tove Jansson. “I’m read the strips a million times, I love them more with every reading,” said Moomin. “They are universal and feminist in their bones.” Peggy burn “We thank you for widening the comics canon beyond dudes and superheroes and north america” Go PEGGY!!!!!
And now the second HoF award to Carl Burgos, talk about the superhero canon. Nothing against him personally . His daughter is out to accept. Her first Comic-Con and “I will never forget it. HE thought he would be forgotten, and I have witted 50 years for this.” Awwwwwwww.
First winner from the voters is Rube Goldberg. His granddaughter Jennifer George accepts, another first time Con virgin. “I had hoped to find a according of Rube accepting one of the myriad awards he won, but after going through our archives I came up short,” she says. “If he was alive today I think my grandfather would be riffing on cel phones ,digital assistants and driverless cars for humor. The best description of his work came from Art Spiegelman who said he knew how to get from a to b while stopping at every letter of the alphabet.”
Gary Groth is up to induct the great Jacques Tardi into the Eisner Hall of Fame. They have more books coming from Tardi in 2017 and 2018.
Nest LYNDA BARRY YES! She races to the stage and says “I’m not even going to pretend this isn’t cool. I thank Brenda Starr and Dondi and most of all Bill Keane because I grew up in a house that was troubled and din’t have books. nothing for kids like me. But I would look in the little circle and see everyone looked pretty happen the circle and thought I want to get there and I got there by drawing a picture. This means more to me than I can say and I”m just super super rheumy. The End.”
Matt Groening follows of course. He talks about Lynda Barry. “I wrote down some of characters who really influenced me Dr Suess Jules Feiffer, Charles Schultz, Roland Emmett and Ronald Searle, the R. Dirks Harvey Kurtzman, the Mad can Kim Deitch, ….and more….”
Awesome to see these two enter the Hall together.
The Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award is up and I was one of the judges! Oops I’m on the screen. Yikes.
Anyway the winner is Orbital Comics, so deserving. An amazing store that looks incredible and has a lot of community outreach.
John Barrowman is out in his Unbeatable Squirrel Girl costume. He twerks. It works.
Ryan North and Erica Henderson also appear and present Best Writer to: JASON AARON who dedicates the award to his mother who encouraged him to read. His mother read Watchmen in 1986 just so then 13 year old Aaron could talk about it with her. Awesome story.
Best Writer Artist is: Bill Griffith. Gary Groth accepts and said Griffith gave him this speech in case he won “About time!”
Best Cover Artist: David Aja. Fraction accepts for him.
And now Maggie Thompson is out for the sad In Memorium section.
So sad. And the annual true to Jack and Roz. As is tradition.
And Now Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell and Rep; John Lewis are out and get a standing ovation. Best Short story is: “Killing and Dying” by Adrian Tomine. One of the best short comics ever, I think.
Best Single Issue/One Shot: Silver Surfer #11 by Dan Slott and Mike Allred — oh man Dan is going to be so pissed he didn’t come this year.
And best Anthology is D&Q 25, like there was any question. Peggy Burns brings up the whole D&Q table and gives a long impassioned speech. about “where an artist doesn’t have to choice between money and sales, or production values or an advance. Everyone comes up from D&Q including Lynda Barry Chester Brown, Kate Beaton. “WE believe in David over Goliath. NO one at D&Q takes the your faith in us to publish your beautiful work for granted.” She devotes the award to the late Genevieve Castree. Burns is crying and so touching.
AND NOW Russ Manning Best Newcomer is Dan Mora of Klaus and Hexed!
Now two charming actors are up to give out awards. Best Reality Based work is…MARCH Book Two. Rep. Dewis and crew are back. Lewis thanks Aydin for making him do a comic book and Powell for making the words sing with his art. Aiding says it took eight years and everyone said he was cray and “Who’s laughing now.”
and Best Graphic Album Reprint: the unstoppable Nimona. Noel Stevenson says her heart is beating so fast.
Best Graphic Novel is Ruins by Peter Kuper, wow a bit of a surprise, but a very deserving winner. Kuper “In the event that in some surreal horrible nightmare Donald Trump becomes president and builds that wall, I’m going to be on the other side.”
Barrowman as Harley Quinn and Phil Lamarr are out for the final three awards.
Barrowman: I write comics with my sister and it’s not the product of one person and I”ve learned it’s a team. It’s more than the writer and the penciller. “It’s the most collaborative and creative process.”
Best New Series: Paper Girls by BKV and Cliff Chiang. Chiang: At my first SDCC 20 years ago, Frank Miller said the best way to honor the award this man is named after is to make new stories I’d like to think we’re doing our part and making progress.”
Best Limited Series: The Fade Out by Brubaker and Phillips. “This book started with my fascination with my uncle a screenwriter who was blacklisted,” said Brubaker, and “MY publisher Image is as good as D&Q and I love them, and Image let me do a weird book about Hollywood in the 40s, I got to pick the paper and divide the money.”
WHOO IMAGE D&Q BEEF. Oh Brub!!!
Phil Lamarr; Ed thanks for taking Europe and D&Q down a peg! Good ad-lib.
AND THE FINAL AWARD GOES TO: Southern Bastards for Best Continuing Series. Latour: Thanks to my parents for allowing a weird redneck kid to keep drawing for far longer then they should allow.
Aaron: “Thanks for supporting the book that no one was clamoring for. But do the comics you want to read. IF you enjoy but someone else will and maybe you’l get one of these.”
Barrowman: Thanks for letting me have a good time.
A fun night! three hours but moved along pretty good and a lot of happy winners!!!!!
That’s it for 2016 Eisners! See you next year!!!!!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.