By The Editor
August 9, 2009 - 07:34
The Comic Industry’s Best Shine at 2009 Eisner Awards
Dark Horse, Mignola Big Winners
The Comic Book industry acknowledged its best and brightest at the premier awards event for the industry, the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (the Eisner Awards), held at Comic-Con International (Comic-Con), which is the largest comic book and popular arts event in the United States.
Creator Mike Mignola and his publisher, Dark Horse, took home the most trophies at this year’s event, but overall the awards were spread among more than a dozen companies and more than three dozen creators.
At the gala ceremony held July 24 at Comic-Con in San Diego, Mignola received three awards, for Best Limited Series (Hellboy: The Crooked Man, with art by Richard Corben), Best Graphic Album–Reprint, and Best Publication Design (both for the deluxe Hellboy Library Editions). In addition to those three wins, Dark Horse was responsible for Best Penciller/Inker (Guy Davis, for BPRD), Best Humor Publication (Herbie Archives), Best Archival Project–Comic Books (Creepy Archives), and part of the Best Coloring award (Dave Stewart).
The only other publishers with multiple awards were DC (Best Publication for Kids: Teen Titans; Best Continuing Series: All Star Superman; Best Writer: Bill Willingham, for Fables) and HarperCollins (Best Publication for Teens/Tweens: Coraline by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell; Best Painter: Jill Thompson, for Magic Trixie). And the only other creator with multiple awards was Chris Ware (Best Writer/Artist, Best Lettering, for Acme Novelty Library #19).
The coveted Best Graphic Album–New award went to Nate Powell, for Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf). Writer Matt Fraction was on hand to pick up the trophy for Invincible Iron Man (Best New Series), published by Marvel.
The awards were presented at a new venue, the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, and moved along at a brisk pace. MC Bill Morrison highlighted this year’s theme, “Comics and All That Jazz,” by pointing out the historical parallels between the two American artforms. Assisting Bill on stage was his wife, actress Kayre Morrison. Presenters during the evening included comedian Patton Oswalt; author Neil Gaiman; writer/actors Tom Lennon and Ben Garant (Reno 911); G4’s Blair Butler; actors Phil LaMarr and Maurice LaMarche; actress/musician Jane Wiedlin; comics creators Jeff Smith and Seth; award nominees Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, Terry Moore, and Jason Lutes; and Comic-Con special guests Bill Mumy, Max Allan Collins, Steve Leialoha, and Chris Christensen (original members of the band Seduction of the Innocent).
Sergio Aragonés once again presented the Hall of Fame Awards. Russ Heath, known for his Silver Age western and war comics art, was present to accept. Also inducted in the Hall of Fame were Harold Gray and Graham Ingels (judges’ choice) plus Matt Baker, Reed Crandall, and Jerry Iger.
Among the other awards given out over the evening were the Comic-Con’s Clampett and Manning awards. The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, presented by Bob’s daughter Ruth, went to Denis Kitchen for founding the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and working for creators’ rights. The Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award went to Eleanor Davis and was accepted by Jeff Smith on her behalf.
The fifth annual Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing was presented by Mark Evanier and Jerry Robinson to Silver Age DC writer John Broome (accepted by Murphy Anderson) and to MAD writer Frank Jacobs, who was on hand to receive the award. Maggie Thompson once again handled the special In Memoriam salute.
The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, given to a store that has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large, went to Tate’s Comics of Lauderhill, Florida. Baby Tattoo, publishers of books for kids and adults, sponsored the retailer award.
THQ’s Darksiders was the Title Sponsor for this year’s Eisner Awards; principal sponsors for the included Gentle Giant, Isotope Comics of San Francisco, Lebonfon Printing, LongBox, and Uclick. Supporting sponsors were Alternate Reality Comics of Las Vegas, Atlantis Fantasyworld of Santa Cruz, CA, Century Guild, comicsunlimited.com, Diamond Comic Distributors, Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff of Concord, CA, Mel Thompson and Associates, and mycomicshop.com.
The Eisner Awards are part of, and underwritten by, Comic-Con International: San Diego, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture.
More information about the Eisner Awards can be found at http://www.comic-con.org
2009 Eisner Award Winners:
Best Publication for Kids: Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)
Presenter: Patton Oswalt Accepting: Art Baltzazar and Franco
Best Publication for Teens/Tweens: Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Presenter: Patton Oswalt Accepting: Neil Gaiman
Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien: The Drowning, BPRD, The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, The Unbrella Academy (Dark Horse); Body Bags (Image); Captain America: White (Marvel)
Presenter: Neil Gaiman Accepting: Scott Allie (editor, Dark Horse)
Best Lettering: Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)
Presenter: Neil Gaiman Accepting: Chris Oliveros (publisher, Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Webcomic: Finder, by Carla Speed McNeil
Presenter: Neil Gaiman Accepting: Charles “Zan” Christensen
Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team: Guy Davis, BPRD (Dark Horse)
Presenters: Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant Accepting: Scott Allie (editor, Dark Horse)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist: Jill Thompson, Magic Trixie, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Presenters: Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant Accepting (enthusiastically!): Jill Thompson
Best Cover Artist: James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)
Presenters: Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant Accepting: Bill Willingham
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland (www.comicbookresources.com)
Presenter: Blair Butler Accepting: Jonah Weiland
Best Comics-Related Book: Kirby: King of Comics, by Mark Evanier (Abrams)
Presenter: Blair Butler Accepting: Mark Evanier
Best Publication Design: Hellboy Library Editions, designed by Cary Grazzini and Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
Presenter: Blair Butler Accepting: Mike Mignola
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays, by Winsor McCay (Sunday Press Books)
Presenters: Jeff Smith and Terry Moore Accepting: Peter Maresca (publisher, Sunday Press Books)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: Creepy Archives, by various (Dark Horse)
Presenters: Jeff Smith and Terry Moore Accepting: Shawna Gore and Dan Braun (editors)
Best Humor Publication: Herbie Archives, by “Sean O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse)
Presenters: Jeff Smith and Terry Moore Accepting: Shawna Gore (editor)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material: The Last Musketeer, by Jason (Fantagraphics)
Presenters: Jason Lutes and Seth Accepting: Eric Reynolds (editor, Fantagraphics)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan: Dororo, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
Presenters: Jason Lutes and Seth Accepting: Ed Chavez (Vertical)
Hall of Fame:
Presenter: Sergio Aragonés
Harold Gray Leonard Starr
Graham Ingels Bernie Wrightson
Matt Baker Calvin Reid
Reed Crandall Gary Gianni
Jerry Iger Murphy Anderson
Russ Heath Russ Heath
Best Writer: Bill Willingham, Fables, House of Mystery (Vertigo/DC)
Presenters: Billy Mumy and Max Allan Collins Accepting: Bill Willingham
Best Writer/Artist: Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)
Presenters: Steve Leialoha and Chris Christensen Accepting: Chris Oliveros (publisher, Drawn & Quarterly)
Best New Series: Invincible Iron Man, by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca (Marvel)
Presenter: Phil LaMarr Accepting: Matt Fraction
Best Limited Series: Hellboy: The Crooked Man, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)
Presenter: Phil LaMarr Accepting: Mike Mignola
Best Continuing Series: All Star Superman. by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)
Presenter: Phil LaMarr Accepting: Karen Berger (editor, DC)
Best Short Story: “Murder He Wrote,” by Ian Boothby, Nina Matsumoto, and Andrew Pepoy, in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #14 (Bongo)
Presenters: Matt Wagner and Amy Reeder Hadley Accepting: Nino Matsumoto, Andrew Pepoy, Nathan Kane (Bongo)
Best Anthology: Comic Book Tattoo: Narrative Art Inspired by the Lyrics and Music of Tori Amos, edited by Rantz Hoseley (Image)
Presenters: Matt Wagner and Amy Reeder Hadley Accepting: Rantz Hoseley
Best Reality-Based Work: What It Is, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
Presenters: Jane Wiedlin and Maurice LaMarche Accepting: Chris Oliveros (publisher, Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint: Hellboy Library Edition, vols. 1 and 2, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
Presenters: Jane Wiedlin and Maurice LaMarche Accepting: Mike Mignola
Best Graphic Album—New: Swallow Me Whole, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
Presenters: Jane Wiedlin and Maurice LaMarche Accepting: Nate Powell
Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Eleanor Davis
Presenter: Mike Royer Accepting: Jeff Smith for Eleanor
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Denis Kitchen
Presenter: Ruth Clampett Accepting: Denis Kitchen
Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award: John Broome and Frank Jacobs
Presenters: Mark Evanier and Jerry Robinson Accepting: Frank Jacobs; Murphy Anderson for John Broome
Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Tate’s Comics
Presenter: Joe Ferrara Accepting: Tate and Amanda Ottati, and JoAnn