Winners of the 2020 Will Eisner Awards – the Highest Honor in Excellence in Comic Book Creativity – Announced Over the Weekend

What if you held the most popular comic book convention awards show in the world and no one showed up? In another time and place we investigative reporters would attempt to ferret out the bungling which could cause such a calamitous and preventable act and then wring as much ink out of the debacle as we possibly could, running with a series of follow-up articles and interviews with the behind the scenes players who would shed some light on this blunder. In another time and place. In the year 2020, however? Consider a tapered down awards show par the course for the age which has brought us a worldwide pandemic and lockdown orders out the wazoo.

 Such was the case for this year’s 32nd annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards which, per every year at this time, were announced in conjunction with the Ben Grimm ever-lovin’ San Diego Comic Con, the indisputable reigning heavyweight champ of comic book conventions in the entire world. Of course, in light of the aforementioned pandemic and in the interest of public safety, this historic convention and its awards were announced as going virtual this year via the magical devices of computer technology (“praise be to UFO Godmother”). This basically means that one can forego the tuxedo usually reserved for awards ceremonies and stick to that cool mid-90s Tony Harris illustrated Starman tee-shirt stashed in the back of your overflowing closet. Who says that there are no perks to home quarantine?

 For those not in the know, the Eisner Awards are named after one of the founding fathers of the comic book industry, artist and writer Will Eisner who created one of the most memorable four colored characters of any era – Denny Colt, A.K.A. The Spirit. Each year the best and brightest in the comic book industry assemble to honor their own. Think of it as the comic’s industry answer to the Academy Awards. Let’s take a gander at who walked away with their very own Eisner this year and please, save all applause for the very end of this opus-like article.

  • ‘Best Short Story’: ‘Hot Comb,’ by Ebony Flowers, in Hot Comb (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • ‘Best Single Issue/One-Shot’: Our Favorite Thing Is My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
  • ‘Best Continuing Series’: Bitter Root, by David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
  • ‘Best Limited Series’: Little Bird by Darcy Van Poelgeest andIan Bertram (Image)
  • ‘Best New Series’: Invisible Kingdom, by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
  • ‘Best Publication for Early Readers’: Comics: Easy as ABC, by Ivan Brunetti (TOON)
  • ‘Best Publication for Kids’: Guts, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)
  • ‘Best Publication for Teens’: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (First Second/Macmillan)
  • ‘Best Humor Publication’: The Way of the Househusband, vol. 1, by Kousuke Oono, translation by Sheldon Drzka (VIZ Media)
  • ‘Best Anthology’: Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival, edited by Diane Noomin (Abrams)
  • ‘Best Reality-Based Work’: They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker (Top Shelf)
  • ‘Best Graphic Album—New’: Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden (First Second/Macmillan)
  • ‘Best Graphic Album—Reprint’: LaGuardia, by Nnedi Okorafor and Tana Ford (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
  • ‘Best Adaptation from Another Medium’: Snow, Glass, Apples, by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran (Dark Horse Books)
  • ‘Best U.S. Edition of International Material’: The House, by Paco Roca, translation by Andrea Rosenberg (Fantagraphics)
  • ‘Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia’: A tie with Cats of the Louvre, by Taiyo Matsumoto, translation by Michael Arias (Viz Media); and Witch Hat Atelier, by Kamome Shirahama, translation by Stephen Kohler (Kodansha)
  • ‘Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips’: Krazy Kat: The Complete Color Sundays, by George Herriman, edited by Alexander Braun (Taschen)
  • ‘Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books’: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter Artist Select, by Stan Sakai, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • ‘Best Writer’: Mariko Tamaki, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass (DC); Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (First Second/Macmillan); Archie (Archie)
  • ‘Best Writer/Artist’: Raina Telgemeier, Guts (Scholastic Graphix)
  • ‘Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team’: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (First Second/Macmillan)
  • ‘Best Painter/Digital Artist’: Christian Ward, Invisible Kingdom (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
  • ‘Best Cover Artist’: Emma Rios, Pretty Deadly (Image)
  • ‘Best Coloring’: Dave Stewart, Black Hammer, B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know, Hellboy and the BPRD (Dark Horse); Gideon Falls (Image); Silver Surfer Black, Spider-Man (Marvel)
  • ‘Best Lettering’: Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (IDW)
  • ‘Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism’: Women Write About Comics, edited by Nola Pfau and Wendy Browne, www.WomenWriteAboutComics.com
  • ‘Best Comics-Related Book’: Making Comics, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • ‘Best Academic/Scholarly Work’: EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest, by Qiana Whitted (Rutgers University Press)
  • ‘Best Publication Design’: Making Comics, designed by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • ‘Best Digital Comic’: Afterlift, by Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo (comiXology Originals)
  • ‘Best Webcomic’: Fried Rice, by Erica Eng

Some great choices and Vents would like to congratulate all of the winners of this year’s Eisner Awards. Keep producing great work, all of you!

About Ryan Vandergriff

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