The 2015 Eisner Award Winners

Phillip Morgan ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Image Source: io9
Image Source: io9
While most of the known universe is losing their mind over the latest Batman v Superman trailer, DC’s ultimate cinematic hype piece promising an epic showdown between Jesse Eisenberg’s smug grin and the collective frowning of every other major character, on July 11th the Secret Illuminati Comics Club announced the winners of the 2015 Eisner Awards. Essentially the Oscars for comics, we made our own predictions about the nominees back in April with mixed results, and here we are again. You can check out the full list of winners below, but if you’re not busy hunting for the leaked trailers for Deadpool and Suicide Squad (featuring Jared Leto’s forehead tattoo), we first present our predictions along with our reactions to the actual results of the 2015 Eisner Awards.
 

Best Continuing Series

Who We Expected: Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
Who Actually Won: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
Our Thoughts: You know, considering Saga won this award last year and the year before that, you’d think the judges would at least read the other comics up for nomination. Don’t misunderstand, Saga is an incredible series, but it’s not like it’s so many lightyears ahead of the other nominees that there’s no question it would win. The competition is actually quite stiff in this category, especially this year with the likes of Hawkeye and the newly revived Astro City in the running, so that the same series has now won three years in a row is reason for concern. (Not that calling this the Oscars for comics is a terribly high standard for quality control among the judges.)
 

Best New Series

Who We Expected: Lumberjanes by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke A. Allen (BOOM!)
Who Actually Won: Lumberjanes by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke A. Allen (BOOM!)
Our Thoughts: Holy Mae Jemison! Lumberjanes won! Take note, WicDiv. This is how you craft interesting and diverse cast of characters without shock-murdering the protagonist whose character you forgot to develop because you were busy admiring your popstar gods.
 

Best Limited Series

Who We Expected: The Multiversity by Grant Morrison and Hootie and the Blowfish (DC)
Who Actually Won: Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland by Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Our Thoughts: While we are sincerely happy for Little Nemo and the fact that a lesser-known series with no high-profile names attached to it won, we suggest the judges prepare for the inevitable attacks on them and their loved ones by Grant Morrison’s fanbase/literary cult.
 

Best Single Issue/One-Shot

Who We Expected: The Multiversity: “Pax Americana #1” by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)
Who Actually Won: Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
Our Thoughts: Refer to our previous comment and expect visits from the likes of Captain Carrot, Vampire Ultraman, Leo Quintum, and The Brotherhood of Dada in the very near future.
 

Best Writer

Who We Expected: Jason Aaron – Thor (Marvel); Southern Bastards (Image)
Who Actually Won: Gene Luen Yang – Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse);
Our Thoughts: We have no snarky commentary here. Both are talented writers working on amazing series right now, and while both the all-new Thor and Southern Bastards have both blown us away, we have to admit it’s hard to beat somebody with Avatar: The Last Airbender on his resume. Keep a lookout for Jason Aaron’s ongoing Doctor Strange title with artist Chris Bachalo as part of Marvel’s big relaunch. And hold onto your butts DC fans, because Gene Luen Yang and artist John Romita Jr. just got tapped to dig the main Superman title out of the New 52 abyss.
 

Best Artist (Penciller/Inker):

Who We Expected: Fiona Staples – Saga (Image)
Who Actually Won: Fiona Staples – Saga (Image)
Our Thoughts: We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. As fantastic a writer as Brian K. Vaughan is, Saga would never have achieved the following it has without Fiona Staples’ art, and yet while the series keeps winning awards left and right she has rarely been recognized for her own massive contribution to its success. Sure, Babs Tarr and Mike Allred revitalized their titles on an unprecedented level with their visual overhauls of Batgirl and Silver Surfer respectively, but it’s refreshing to see Staples finally get the recognition she deserves. Expect to hear about her a lot more in the near future, as she’s teaming up with Daredevil guru and new Avengers scribe Mark Waid to relaunch Archie for the first time in decades.
 

2015 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Winners

Best Short Story: “When the Darkness Presses,” by Emily Carroll
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
Best Continuing Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image)
Best Limited Series: Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Best New Series: Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): The Zoo Box, by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke (First Second)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12): El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17): Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Best Humor Publication: The Complete Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson (Andrews McMeel)
Best Digital/Web Comic: The Private Eye by Brian Vaughan & Marcos Martin
Best Anthology: Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, edited by Josh O’Neill, Andrew Carl, & Chris Stevens (Locust Moon)
Best Reality-Based Work: Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 2, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
Best Graphic Album—New: This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki (First Second)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint: Through the Woods , by Emily Carroll (McElderry Books)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips (at least 20 years old): Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo, edited by Alexander Braun (TASCHEN)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old): Steranko Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Blacksad: Amarillo, by Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia: Showa 1939–1944 and Showa 1944–1953: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Writer: Gene Luen Yang, Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse); The Shadow Hero (First Second)
Best Writer/Artist: Raina Telgemeier, Sisters (Graphix/Scholastic)
Best Penciller/Inker: Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): J. H. Williams III, The Sandman: Overture (Vertigo/DC)
Best Cover Artist: Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics Darwyn Cooke Month Variant Covers (DC)
Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Hellboy in Hell, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, Shaolin Cowboy, Aliens: Fire and Stone, DHP (Dark Horse)
Best Lettering: Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: Comics Alliance, edited by Andy Khouri, Caleb Goellner, Andrew Wheeler, & Joe Hughes, www.comicsalliance.com
Best Comics-Related Book: Genius Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, vol. 3, by Dean Mullaney & Bruce Canwell (IDW/LOAC)
Best Scholarly/Academic Work: Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews, edited by Sarah Lightman (McFarland)
Best Publication Design: Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, designed by Jim Rugg (Locust Moon)
Hall of Fame: Judges’ Choices: Marge (Marjorie Henderson Buell), Bill Woggon • Elected: John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Denis Kitchen, Frank Miller
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Bill & Kayre Morrison
Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: (TIE) Jorge Corona and Greg Smallwood
Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comics Writing: Don McGregor, John Stanley
Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Packrat Comics, Hilliard, Ohio, owned by Jamie Colegrove and Teresa Colegrove

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