In the week leading up to the 2017 Will Eisner Awards voting deadline this Friday, the Comics Beat will feature a series of “For Your Consideration” posts highlighting a number of the nominees as a celebration of their well-deserved acknowledgement. We’ll feature some never-before-seen behind the scenes content and some of the books’ gorgeous interiors. We encourage all of our readers to check these titles out and all of the eligible comics industry members to vote for the titles they think best exemplify what make comics great.

When we think of superheroes, we think of gods. They are the best of us– better than us. We build them up that way because, as Paul Dini says, “when life is at its lowest, and when you need a hero, a hero swings down and helps you.” Or so the myth goes.

In real life though, things aren’t always so clean. There isn’t always a hero around to save the day. Dini, who is best known for his huge body of animated works and for creating Harley Quinn, found this truth out the hard way one night in LA. As the Hollywood Reporter writes, “two men approached [Dini] and mugged him. It was so bad that parts of his head were shattered – his zygomatic arch, for one — while parts of his skull ‘powdered on impact,’ according to the doctors. He needed surgery.”

That night shattered Dini’s belief in superheroes for a very long time. In his words, he had to do some heavy soul searching and become his “own hero.”

In Dark Night: a True Batman Story, Dini revisits the incident that changed the course of his life and the fallout from that fateful evening. Featuring gorgeous illustrations by Eduardo Risso, this book is one of the most unique and moving in DC’s lineup.

Dark Night is up for the Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work.

Check out of all of our 2017 Eisner coverage.