Hooray we are here at the Eisners! It’s festive and glamourous here at the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton.
Bill Morisson comes out thanking everyone for coming out out joking that thry have 52 awards to give out, this year called “First issues.” Haha!
Awards administrator Jackie Estrada comes out to introduce the judges, explain the judging procedure and talk about new sponsor Advanced Micro Devices who are giving away either a shrink ray or a notebook computer. Alas we did not win.
Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon are out to host the next segment and begin a long bit involving keeping it classy and a table reading of a movie about the Eisners or something. Glad that the ceremony is going to be shorter this year! They urge us to use our imaginations and put on our imagination hats and make jokes about Ghost World. And U2, and water, and Green Lanterns and a balloons drop. Very tight schtik.
And next up is Joelle Jones to present a few awards!
First Award! Best publication for Kids!
It’s Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco. Art Baltazar goes on a very emotional speec, really thrilled thanking everyone past and present at DC.
NEXT Best publications for teens — Jones cannot pronounce Ghostopolis to great amusement. The winner is a popular one; SMILE by Raina Telgemeier. She thanks her dentist for giving her a happy ending and thinks that if if young Raina could see grown up Raina winning an award she would be very surprised and happy.
Humor award is next. Shannon Wheeler wins for I Thought YOU Would Be Funnier — which wasn’t even on the original ballot! Well done. He brings up Chip Mosher to celebrate and hug with a strong bromance.
The next presenter created “Hey Baby” it’s Garry Alanguillen. They show the the “Hey Baby” smile video — which is hilarious. Garry jokes that that video will haunt him for the rest of his life. Best Letterer is Todd Klein, who has won a few things before. “I didn’t think I would be up here again,” he says. “But I’m glad to be back.” Todd Klein is back, baby!
Best Colorist is the great Dave Stewart who is humbled by the win, he says.
Best Webcomic is Karl Kerschl for The Abominable Charles Christopher. He’s home in Montreal, so David Petersen comes out to collect it.
Mark Evanier, billed as a genius, is called out, and it’s Finger Time! Evanier talks about how Bob Finger’s role on creating Batman is the worst kept secret in comics. The first winner, deceased, is Bob Haney. Ramona Fradon is up to accept. And says she wishes she could see Haney’s face.
Evanier is up to introduce the living winner, Del Connell who never had his name on Super Goof or anything else he created which is a long including Space Family Robinson and the like.
His son is up to accept. His son is from the TV industry where they tend to over honor people of very little talent, and he says it’s nice to join an industry fro a night where someone so deserving. Connell is 93 and says “I hope no ones makes a fuss.” Nice moment. “He worked on Disney for many years, and worked at Western for 30 years. He says in 1962 Western asked all of their writers to come up with origianl ideas that Western could own and control. “My dad came up with an original thing, he was watching my brother and sister in West San Fernando Valley, and we were near Rocketdyne and he saw the kids playing by the pool and a rocket went up, and he thought about doing a booka botu the first family in space.” That turned into Space Family Robinson, which was named by Chase Craig. It ran for 9 or 10 years, one version was called Lost in Space. In those days the writers of comics weren’t credited and it was th eone that got away. “No one ever knew he created the Robinson family. Tehre are thousands and thousands of stories like that. I think it’s nice that is has transformed a bit.” Great speech.
Tom and Robert are out again and it seems that Jill Thompson beat up a pedicab driver and the Flash guy on a segway. “American Lazy Flash.” Jill comes out with glitter confetti! Now we are getting somewhere!
Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team goes to Skottie Young for The Marvelous Land of Oz. Hooray! A great talent. “This is amazing, I get to draw pictures all day and hang out with my family whenever I want.” Thoomson blows bubbles on the winner!
Best painter is Juanjo Guarnido, for the great Blacksad. Although not attending, he sent a note thanking Byron Preiss the first to believe in Blacksad, editor Katie Moody and unofficial ambassador Tim Sale.
Jill does a costume change by letting down her hair. Grrrrr! Best Cover Artist is Mike Mignola who is not attending because he’s taking his wife out for her birthday. Awwwww.
Next up — Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism! Oh crap! A phone goes off and the duo joeks it’s Jackie’s. “Remember with no one came to Comic-Con and it was great.” Big laughter. “YOu didn’t have Jango Fett farting in front of you then!”
Ian Boothby is out for the next award! And the winner is……..COMIC BOOK RESOURCES! Hoorah now the table. Jonah Weiland goes up and says he likes it when people say funny things, cry and swear. Jonah tghanks his many many many contributors. A great win for a great site.
Best Comics-Related Book is the immense 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking by Paul Levitz. Levitz says actor collecting many Eisner for other people over the year’s he’s really honored to be winning one himself. Luckily he is wearing his “lucky” denim jacker as he does every year. He thanks E.L. Doctorow for asking Jules Feiffer for doing “The Great Comic Book Heroes” which first introduced the idea of comics having history to many people.
The winner for Best Publication Design goes to Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk. Dahlk mentions that this was editor Scott Dunbier’s dream project which we can back up.
Okay now that I’m an Eisner LOSER, I can comment on the fact that the same little interstitial music is being played EVERY TIME anyone goes anywhere and it’s a big stage. So we are hearing it a lot. Dahlk is the first winner to thank the band. Please…DIFFERENT STINGS NEXT YEAR!
Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett are out as new segment hosts, and they say they are there to clas up the joint. Indeed they look classy and grown up.
Ruth Clampett comes out and presents the Clampett Humanitarian award to Patrick McDonnell who talks about loving animals and telling their story.
Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez are out next to present Best Anthologyu which goes to Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard. I did not realize that Joe Hills looks so much like his dad.
Best Achival Project is won by Archie: The Complete Daily Newspaper Strips, 1946–1948, by Bob Montana, edited by Greg Goldstein. And once again, the looooooooooooong interstitial music. Goldstein comes out and talks about wanting a machete — which sounds gruesome, but it’s just talk about chopping up the Award to give part of it to Scott Dunbier and Dean Mullaney. Goldstein talks about the painstakikng work by Mullaney to restore the art. He also mentions being a fan with Paul Levitz from back in the day and that both winning an Eisner the same night many years later is weird yet wonderful.
Goldstein also talks up IDW’s Ted Adams, who hears about a project and says “Why not?” Agreed — that’s a great quality to have.
Best archival Collection goes to Dave Stevens” The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition. A gorgeous book that was really created with love by Dunbier. Dunbier says it was a dream project for him. All of the Artist’s Edition books are. He thanks IDW for encouraging original thought. He calls out Dave Steven’s mom and sister who believed and encouraged them for the book. Sister Jennifer comes out and thanks them for the book and dedicates the win to Dave’s mom Carolynne, who, she reveals, died a month ago. I had no idea — I met Dave’s mom at last year’s con and she was an awesome lady. Very sad to hear that.
Greg Rucka is up for some foreign awards. Jacques Tardi’s It was the War of the Trenches wins for Best U.S. Edition of International Material. Editor Kim Thompson says he rigged the game by picking the greatest European cartoonist and his best known masterpiece — so it was an easy slide home. “About 26 years ago Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouley hired me to translate the beginning of this book for RAW and now I’m able to finish it.”
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia is next and WOOT it’s Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys. YES — the voters have great taste tonight except in one category! Joel Enos accept the award. This is Urasawa’s 14th nomination and first win. He will be thrilled to find out he won, says Enos.
Joe Ferrera is out to presentn Will Eisner Comics Retailing award to…Comics and Vegetables in Tel Aviv, Isreal! . They are not there as they have a small child and couldn’t travel. They do say Mazel Tov.
Sergio Aragones is out for the Hall of Fame! Ernie Bushmiller and Denis Kitchen comes out. “Ernie Bushmiller had no children and so they reached out to the Bushmiller Society, which I allegedly have ties to,” says Kitchen. “In his day Bushmiller was one of the msot popular cartoonists in American. By all account he was a self effacing and modest man He used to refer to himself as the Lawrence Welk of cartoonists.” He mentions a story that whenever a newspaper would drop Nancy it would get death threats!
Next up, Jack Jackson, which is accepted by his son. “One of the things I most respect about my dad was his modesty,” says son. “He would never talk about the great things he did in comics, starting his own press and working alongside Shelton, and helping to redefine the role of comics in America.
The Judges third choice is Marty Nodell, accepting is his son Spencer. His granddaughter also comes out and remembers her grandpapppy wanting to shush the kids and telling them to “keep it quiet, keep it simple and keep it authentic.”
The final Judges Choices goes to Lynd Ward, whose daughter accepts. We are hearing the sting music quite a bit as people slowly wend their way to the stage.
“He was 24 years old when God’s Man was published the week the stock market crashed in 1929,” sayd the daughter. “He would never interpret his work for anyone, including his family.”
Now the voted on Hall of Famers. The first winner is Mort Drucker, the legendary Mad artist. Sam Viviano comes out to accept. “I believ there is not a caricaturist alive who has not been influenced directly or indirectly by Mort.”
The next Hall of Fame winner is a bit of a surprise but richly deserved: Harvey Pekar! Joyce Brabner of course accepts. “I could give you the standard Harvey Pekar award speech which is ‘Hello Danielle, let’s go home.'” Brabrner mentions the project to erect a statue to Pekar in this native Cleveland. “The statue is part of the comics people wanting to make themselves feel good about comics. I finally found a way to live with it. If we do this, it’s going to be all about everyone in this room.” The project is going to Kickstarter in September.
The Third inductee is Roy Thomas! Who is in the room! Roy delivers a nice compact speech.
And the final winner..MARV WOLFMAN! Yay, Marv is one of my mentors and this is so well-deserved. Marv gives a great speech about realizing that you are doing exactly what you want to do and that he is still seven years old and doing what he wants, writing about heroes beating up monsters. “It’s the best job in the world.”
Fandom pioneer Maggie Thompson is out for the obituary segment. Such notables as Bill Blackbeard, Dwayne McDuffie, Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Gene Colan and so many others have left us. Maggie also delivers the yearly tribue to Will Eisner and Jack and Roz Kirby — the old ways.
Voice ator Phil LaMarr is now out as one of the cohosts. The music is also out again.
He introduces Patrick McDonnell and Glen David Gold, tonight’s odd couple.
Gold says he was invited not just because he was a writer but he’s a fan who has been coming since 1973. Impressive! “Since then I’ve been hearing stories about how it ws. I just want to thigns straight. 1973 it wasn’t so grand, it was in a rock quarry. A propped up card table was the dealer’s room, with Conan #3. Everybody loved each other there was no greed and the Eisner Awards were nine minutes long. Artist’s Alley was an alley where bearskin clad people traded slates. And Sergio Aragones was the guest of honor.”
Best Writer goes to Joe Hill for Locke and Key. New face on the scene. “Holy sh*t!” Hill exclaims. Man IDW is cleaning up tonight.
And speak of the devil! Best writer/artist goes to Darwyn Cooke for Parker. Dunbier is back again expokaiing that cooke is busy finishing up the Martni Edition. “I’m sure he would laugh and say how could I beat Joe Kubert?”
This music is driving me crazy.
Actor Lance Henrikson is randomly out to presennt some awards. It turns out he was a comic book reader way back in the day when Wertham was at large! Wow talk about authentic! Henrikson gets a pop for mentioning Tales from the Crypt.
Best Short Story goes to “Post Mortem,” by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, in I Am an Avenger #2.
AND Best Single Issue (or One-Shot) goes to Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben. Scott Ailie calls working with Richard Corben a career highlight and delivers s houtout to Henrikson’s Goon t-shirt.
Best Reality-Based Work goes to It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
Next up to present is animation director Chris Bailey, who says comics is his first love. He’s here to present the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award. How exciting! We’ve been spotlighting the nominees all week here on The Beat and they are all amazing.
The winner is…Nate Simpson! He says it all happened so fast. He thanks Joe Keatinge for showing his comic to Moebius. He promises to do a second issue, in fact “I am doing — AM DOING the second issue.”
Industry greats Walter and Louise Simonson are our next presenters! Though they are legends they get the same intro music!
Best New Series goes to American Vampire! Pleas epeople RUN up to the podium so we do not have to hear the MUSIC again. Someone sitting at my table suggests that the music is an earworm burrowing into his brain. Scott Snyder comes up and thanks Karen Berger for being a wonderfully creative den mother. He thanks everyone for accepting a comic book about vampires that doesn’t sparkle. Rafael Albuquerque says he’s super excited and uses the Brazillian word that sounds like “fada” that means I’m super excited.
Best Limited Series goes to Daytripper which gets the BIGGEST pop of the evening for the popular Brazillian crew. Gabriel and FAbio look dapper tonight — a lot of winners dressed up although a few wore shorts, Bendi style. “Okay we love comics, Says, Fabio I think. “They are the greatest thing which can go so deep and reach people on a personal level. it’s something you do on your own so you can feel everything so hard. And that’s what we tried to do with Daytripper. We tried to make people feel while they are reading and living. I hope people felt the way I’m feeling right now that live is worth living and anything is possible.”
That’s hard to top. Gabriel comes up and talks about wanting to write and draw. He thanks Bob Schreck who started the book and waited for years for the perfect opportunity. And Diana for introducing them to Bob. And also he thanks Pornsak Pichesotte who couldn’t have been a better editor. They start shouting out to comics and the awesomenes of comics and the crowd is into it! Gabriel talks about how his mother loves Wolverine and she’s in the house. Yay Mom!
And Best Continuing Series goes to Chew! Another popular win. Writer John Layman is blown away.
Final awards are presented by Dave Gibbons and Jonathan Ross! Will there be kissing? I don’t know but I’m getting out my camera.
Best Adaptation The Marvelous Landof oz by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young.
Best Graphic Album Reprint: Wednesday Comics, edited by Mark Chiarello. Too bad Chi wasn’t on hand to accept on his behalf.
Best graphic Album _- new a tie! GASP
Wilson by our medium’s genius Daniel Clowes, and Return of the Dapper Men by James McCann and Janet Lee. Watch for yourself. There was no boy on boy action but Jonathan Ross and Dave Gibbons were very funny.
Okay the Eisners are a wrap! Thanks for coming out and reading along.
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.