In a year where indie, art and literary comix dominated  Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillip’s Fatale led the pack with six Eisner nominations, followed by Chris Ware and Hawkeye with five each. Other notable multiple nominees: Monkeybrian, NoBrow, Carol Tyler, Adventure Time and Saga. What was that we were saying about it being a great time for comics? It’s a magnificent list from a great year.

Note, while the official PR that came with the list does not include colorist Dave Stewart on Fatale as an Image or Fatale nomination.  Personally I think people should be counted as people and not companies, so I’m disallowing the extra Image nom, but counting it for Fatale. That’s my final offer.

According to promo material supplied with the nominations here’s the publisher breakdown:

Fantagraphics – 24
Image – 17
IDW – 8
Pantheon – 8
Marvel – 7
Dark Horse –  6 plus one shared
D&Q – 5

Other publishers with multiple nominations include BOOM!, Monkeybrain, and Nobrow (4); Abrams ComicArts, Self Made Hero, Toon Books/Candlewick, Top Shelf, and the University Press of Mississippi (3); DC Comics with 2 nominations and 1 shared; and nine publishers with 2 nominations: Andrews McMeel, Archaia, Disney, First Second, FSG, Koyama, TwoMorrows, and Yen Press. Another 21 publishers have 1 nomination each.

Individual creators with the most nominations are Brandon Graham and Chris Ware with 5; David Aja, Colleen Coover, Sean Phillips, and Carol Tyler with 4; and Ed Brubaker, Charles Burns, Matt Fraction, Brian K. Vaughan, and the Adventure Time team (RyanNorth, Selli Paroline, and Braden Lamb) with 3. Nineteen creators can boast of 2 nominations.

This year’s judges: Michael Cavna (“Comic Riffs,” Washington Post), academic/author Charles Hatfield (Cal State Northridge), retailer Adam Healy (Cosmic Monkey, Portland, OR), author/educator Katie Monnin (Teaching Graphic Novels), cartoonist/critic Frank Santoro (Storeyville; TCJ), and Comic-Con International registrar John Smith.

This year’s judges restored three categories that had been dropped by last year’s judges: Best New Series, Best Adaptation from Another Medium, and Best Painter/Multimedia Artist. However, they dropped the Best Limited Series category.

More information about the Eisner Awards can be found at http://www.comic-con.org/awards/eisners-current-info


Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees 2013

Best Short Story
“A Birdsong Shatters the Still,” by Jeff Wilson and Ted May, in Injury #4 (Ted May/Alternative)
“Elmview” by Jon McNaught, in Dockwood (Nobrow)
“Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)
“Moving Forward,” by drewscape, in Monsters, Miracles, & Mayonnaise (Epigram Press)
“Rainbow Moment,” by Lilli Carré, in Heads or Tails (Fantagraphics)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Lose #4: “The Fashion Issue,” by Michael DeForge (Koyama Press)
The Mire, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
Pope Hats #3, by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books)
Post York #1, by James Romberger and Crosby (Uncivilized Books)
Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8, by Michael Kupperman (Fantagraphics)

Best Continuing Series
Fatale, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
The Manhattan Projects, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra (Image)
Prophet, by Brandon Graham and Simon Roy (Image)
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best New Series
Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)
Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
Fatale, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House)
Benny and Penny in Lights Out, by Geoffrey Hays (Toon Books/Candlewick)
Kitty & Dino, by Sara Richard (Yen Press/Hachette)
Maya Makes a Mess, by Rutu Modan (Toon Books/Candlewick)
Zig and Wikki in The Cow, by Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler (Toon Books/Candlewick)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)
Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)
Amulet Book 5: Prince of the Elves, by Kazu Kibuishi (Scholastic)
Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse, by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos (Archaia)
Crogan’s Loyalty, by Chris Schweizer (Oni)
Hilda and the Midnight Giant, by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)
Road to Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens, by Meredith Gran (kaboom!)
Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion)
Ichiro, by Ryan Inzana (Houghton Mifflin)
Spera, vol. 1, by Josh Tierney et al. (Archaia)
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

Best Humor Publication
Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)
BBXX: Baby Blues Decades 1 & 2, by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman (Andrews McMeel)
Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
Naked Cartoonists, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

Best Digital Comic
Ant Comic, by Michael DeForge, http://kingtrash.com/ants/index.html
Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, http://www.comixology.com/Bandette/comics-series/8519
It Will All Hurt, by Farel Dalrymple, http://studygroupcomics.com/main/it-will-all-hurt-by-farel-dalrymple/
Our Bloodstained Roof, by Ryan Andrews, http://www.ryan-a.com/comics/roof.htm
Oyster War, by Ben Towle, www.oysterwar.com

Best Anthology
Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, edited by Justin Hall (Fantagraphics)
Nobrow #7: Brave New World, edited by Alex Spiro and Sam Arthur (Nobrow)
2000 AD, edited by Matt Smith (Rebellion)
Where Is Dead Zero?, edited by Jeff Ranjo (Where Is Dead Zero?)

Best Reality-Based Work
Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion)
The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)
A Chinese Life, by Li Kunwu and P. Ôtié (Self Made Hero)
The Infinite Wait and Other Stories, by Julia Wertz (Koyama Press)
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me, by Ellen Forney (Gotham Books)
You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart, by C. Tyler (Fantagraphics)

Best Graphic Album—New
Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
Goliath, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
The Hive, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
Unterzakhn, by Leela Corman (Schocken)
You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart, by C. Tyler (Fantagraphics)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
Chico and Rita, by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal (Self Made Hero)
Homer’s Odyssey, adapted by Seymour Chwast (Bloomsbury)
Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
Road to Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
Cruisin’ with the Hound, by Spain (Fantagraphics)
Ed the Happy Clown, by Chester Brown (Drawn & Quarterly)
Everything Together: Collected Stories, by Sammy Harkham (PictureBox)
Heads or Tails, by Lilli Carré (Fantagraphics)
King City, by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)
Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel (First Second)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim, vol. 2, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/Library of American Comics)
Mister Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin, by Johnny Gruelle, edited by Rick Marschall (Fantagraphics)
Percy Crosby’s Skippy, vol. 1, edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney (IDW/Library of American Comics)
Pogo, vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
Roy Crane’s Captain Easy: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips, vol. 3, edited by Rick Norwood (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
Crime Does Not Pay Archives, edited by Philip Simon and Kitchen, Lind & Associates (Dark Horse)
David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics, edited by Michel Gagné (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
Abelard, by Régis Hautiere and Renaud Dillies (NBM)
Athos in America, by Jason (Fantagraphics)
Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)
The Making of, by Brecht Evens (Drawn & Quarterly)
Monsieur Jean: The Singles Theory, by Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian (Humanoids)
New York Mon Amour, by Benjamin LeGrand, Dominique Grange, and Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
Barbara, by Osamu Tezuka (Digital Manga)
A Chinese Life, by Li Kunwu and P. Ôtié (Self Made Hero)
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
Nonnonba, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Thermae Romae, by Mari Yamazaki (Yen Press/Hachette)

Best Writer
Ed Brubaker, Fatale (Image)
Matt Fraction, Hawkeye (Marvel); Casanova: Avaritia (Marvel Icon)
Brandon Graham, Multiple Warheads, Prophet (Image)
Jonathan Hickman, The Manhattan Projects (Image)
Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)
Frank M. Young, The Carter Family (Abrams ComicArts)

Best Writer/Artist
Charles Burns, The Hive (Pantheon)
Gilbert Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories, vol. 5 (Fantagraphics)
Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories, vol. 5 (Fantagraphics)
Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Midnight Giant, Everything We Miss (Nobrow)
C. Tyler, You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart (Fantagraphics)
Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Penciller/Inker
David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
Becky Cloonan, Conan the Barbarian (Dark Horse); The Muse (self-published)
Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
Sean Phillips, Fatale (Image)
Joseph Remnant, Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland (Zip Comics/Top Shelf)
Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel); Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Brecht Evens, The Making Of (Drawn & Quarterly)
Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)
Teddy Kristiansen, The Red Diary/The RE[a]D Diary (MAN OF ACTION/Image)
Lorenzo Mattotti, The Crackle of the Frost (Fantagraphics)
Katsuya Terada, The Monkey King vol. 2 (Dark Horse)

Best Cover Artist
David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
Brandon Graham, King City, Multiple Warheads, Elephantmen #43 (Image)
Sean Phillips, Fatale (Image)
Yuko Shimizu, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC)
J, H. Williams III, Batwoman (DC)

Best Coloring
Charles Burns, The Hive (Pantheon)
Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
Brandon Graham, Multiple Warheads (Image)
Dave Stewart, Batwoman (DC); Fatale (Image); BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive (Dark Horse)
Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Lettering
Paul Grist, Mudman (Image)
Troy Little, Angora Napkin 2: Harvest of Revenge (IDW)
Joseph Remnant, Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland (Zip Comics/Top Shelf)
C. Tyler, You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart (Fantagraphics)
Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
ComicsAlliance, edited by Joe Hughes, Caleb Goellner, and Andy Khouri, www.comicsalliance.com
The Comics Reporter, edited by Tom Spurgeon, www.comicsreporter.com
Robot Six, produced by Comic Book Resources, http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/
tcj.com, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel (Fantagraphics)

Best Comics-Related Book
The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist, edited by Alvin Buenaventura (Abrams ComicArts)
Marie Severin: The Mirthful Mistress of Comics, by Dewey Cassell (TwoMorrows)
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe (HarperCollins)
Mastering Comics, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second)
Team Cul De Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s, edited by Chris Sparks (Andrews McMeel)
Woodwork: Wallace Wood 1927–1981, edited by Frédéric Manzano (CasalSolleric/IDW)

Best Educational/Academic Work
Autobiographical Comics: Life Writing in Pictures, by Elisabeth El Refaie (University Press of Mississippi)
Comics Versus Art, by Bart Beaty (University of Toronto Press)
Crockett Johnson & Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature, by Philip Nel (University Press of Mississippi)
Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass, by Susan E. Kirtley (University Press of Mississippi)
The Poetics of Slumberland, by Scott Bukatman (University of California Press)

Best Publication Design

Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
Dal Tokyo, designed by Gary Panter and Family Sohn (Fantagraphics)
David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, designed by Randy Dahlk (IDW)
Mister Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
Wizzywig, designed by Ed Piskor and Chris Ross (Top Shelf)


  1. Wow…where’s Fiona Staples for art? She clearly propelled Saga into the stratosphere with all that work and craftsmanship. jeez, they’re beating DC & Marvel books an an independent title.. At least a nomination if not a win…Thought it was clearly her year. Now I know why Hitchcock and those type of guys never get Oscars. This is pretty lame.

    (Some good people there but she wins by a landslide in my book :-)

  2. Congrats to the nominees and to the judges! It’s an incredible challenge to read through everything leading up to the judging weekend and then there’s only a TON more to read when you arrive to sort out titles for consideration. Every year, there’s something missed and it’s hard to say why this happens. Maybe the judges just didnt get the book(s)? Maybe the competition for a particular category was just that intense…you only know if you are in the room with the judges. In any case, it’s(judging) one of my favorite experiences of my career in the publishing world.
    Again, congrats to the writers, pencilers, colorists, editors and publishers! Good luck with the votes!

  3. “. Every year, there’s something missed and it’s hard to say why this happens. Maybe the judges just didnt get the book(s)? ”

    Not really…its looks like there’s some weird need in academia, judges at large or human nature to omit someone who was outstanding in their field because there’s a potential for co-award somewhere else or just because they can. But really, this is pretty black & white. You should recognize excellence when its this obvious, not when you feel like it. Drawing, Inking, coloring , breaking new ground & giving Image Comics a new life. Not all the writer. That all looked pretty hard to me, Isn’t Saga the story of the year? Give credit where its due…The artist should have been nominated. It’s is a no brainer but little justice at these awards. But the public digging your stuff is the biggest prize of all so there’s consolation in that.

  4. Besides Fiona, think the Batman guy deserves to be in there too. Greg Capullo. How often does a great Batman artist come along and dominate the charts.? It look like they have that rare writer/artist team that makes comics exciting. Even the writer guy too since he seems to be delivering. I don’t really read the books so I’m no authority. DC style violence is too much for me but I always look for them in the free Comixology previews. Its been a long time since I’ve seen the art look that good and at such a high level. I would take it over some Dark Knight or Neal Adams era Batman to be honest. He does a great Batman an his art is spot on and exciting.

    Perhaps these kind of people should be nominated by their peers instead, not a dude who owns a comic shop or a random academic that likes Chris Ware and thats their starting point. Its hard to do this all over again another year and have these same random types of people nominating them..

  5. I’m just curious that’s all… Saga was nominated for other awards… Matt Fraction and Daniel Aja got nominated for Hawkeye for writer and art. And I think that is a great comic too. I just find it odd that Fiona was left out for art.

  6. I think this might be the strongest eisner nominations list I’ve ever seen.
    Odd not seeing Klein/Clowes/Sim get nominated for lettering, and great to see Los Bros Hernandez get nods after last year’s outcry.

    As for Staples….
    Her stuff looks like a damn fine rendition of various House Styles. Solid, clean, slightly boring (imo).
    I look forward to seeing her stuff now, but I can’t wait for her next creative leap forward.
    But I’m also of the opinion that these awards should celebrate innovation over craftsmanship.

  7. For everybody complaining about Staples being off the list, there are only so many slots available. Seriously, this is the strongest penciller/inker list I’ve seen in years. Who on that list deserves to be kicked off? Staples certainly draws some pretty pictures, but that whole list is full of excellent storytellers that I would defend to the end. Capullo doesn’t ink his own work, so I assume he’s not a candidate for this category.

  8. Congrats to the nominees — lots of great books/people there.

    Disappointed that Marc Tyler Nobleman’s Bill: The Boy Wonder book didn’t get in — literally re-wrote what we know about Bill Finger. Some irony there.

  9. Have to add I cannot believe Amanda did not get nominated for Silk Spectre and DAVE JOHNSON was again not nominated for a year worth of truly amazing covers.

  10. Completely agree with those saying Fiona Staples should be up there for art and covers. Especially since BKV grabbed a witter nom. If Saga’s best book of the year quality, well, that takes two to tango.

  11. I read HAWKEYE #1–thought it was so-so, didn’t buy the next issue. HAWKEYE #8 got some rave comments and reviews, so I got it, and found out that the story had a flimsy plot that fell apart at the end.

    I wonder how typical it is for people who read superhero comics to think that the plot in a story doesn’t matter–after all, the story’s about superheroes, and corporate-owned characters at that. Or were the expectations for HAWKEYE so low that people overreacted to stylistic flourishes?

    Or is HAWKEYE wonderful in ways that I didn’t see in those two issues?


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