Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Love and Rockets" Creators Finally Among Eisner Award Winners; Image and IDW Also Win Big

[Yeah, I'm late.  Forgot to post this after losing track of time... - Editor/Leroy]

Saga, IDW Publishing Are Top Winners at 2014 Eisner Awards

Shorter Ceremony a Big Hit with Attendees

The big winners at the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, held Friday, July 25, 2014 at the Bayfront San Diego Hilton and sponsored by SHOWTIME, were Image Comics’ Saga—which received the awards for Best Continuing Series, Best Painter (Fiona Staples), and Best Writer (Brian K. Vaughan)—and publisher IDW, which took home six awards, including three for editor/designer Dean Mullaney (Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips) and two for Darwyn Cooke’s Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground.

Other projects receiving multiple awards were DC/Vertigo’s The Wake (Best Limited Series, Best Penciler/Inker for Sean Murphy), Marvel’s Hawkeye (Best Single Issue, Best Cover Artist for David Aja), and FantagraphicsLove and Rockets New Stories #6, which brought home first-time wins for brothers Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. Matt Fraction was on the stage multiple to times to accept for Hawkeye as well as for Sex Criminals (with Chip Zdarsky) for Best New Series.

Besides IDW, other publishers with multiple wins included Dark Horse and Image with four, Fantagraphics with three, and both DC and Marvel with two. Many of these publishers also shared in the win for Jordie Bellaire as Best Colorist.

The coveted Best Graphic Album—New Award went to Rutu Modan’s The Property, published by Drawn & Quarterly, while Best Reality-Based Work was awarded to the five-years-in the-making The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (published by Dark Horse).

The audience at the awards was entertained by presenters who included actor/comedian Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow, MADtv), actress Kelly Hu ((Arrow, Warehouse 13), actor/screenwriter/comedian Thomas Lennon (Reno 911, Balls of Fury), nominee Reginald Hudlin (writer, Black Panther; producer, Django Unchained), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, Belgian graphic novelists Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten (Obscure Cities series), writer nominees Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals) and Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel), Hall of Fame cartoonist Sergio Aragonés (Groo, MAD), writer/artist nominee Terry Moore (Rachel Rising, Strangers in Paradise), writer/artist Bill Morrison (Bongo Comics), voice actors Phil LaMarr (Samurai Jack, Justice League Unlimited, MADtv) and Vanessa Marshall (Young Justice, Spectacular Spider-Man), and British talk show host/comics writer Jonathan Ross, who was assisted onstage by Comic-Con special guest Batton Lash (cartoonist of Supernatural Law).

Sergio Aragonés presented the Hall of Fame Awards. The seven inductees were black comics pioneer Orrin C. Evans (All-Negro Comics), cartoonist Irwin Hasen (Wild Cat, Green Lantern, Dondi), Golden Age artist Sheldon Moldoff (Batman), manga giant Hayao Miyazaki (Nausicäa), writer Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), DC comics writer/editor Dennis O’Neil (Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow), and legendary comics artist Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein).

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 retailer Joe Field, for founding Free Comic Book Day. The Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award went to Aaron Conley (artist of Sabretooth Swordsman, published by Dark Horse) and was presented by past Russ Manning Award winner Jeff Smith.

The tenth annual Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing was presented by Mark Evanier and Bill Finger’s granddaughter, Athena, to three recipients: Jack Mendelsohn (Panic, Jacky’s Diary); Robert Kanigher (Sgt. Rock, Enemy Ace, Metal Men), accepted by Paul Levitz; and Bill Mantlo (Rocket Raccoon, Micronauts, Rom), accepted by Marv Wolfman. Maggie Thompson (editor of Comics Buyers Guide) introduced the special In Memoriam video 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 Legends Comics & Coffee (Omaha, Nebraska), and All Star Comics (Melbourne, Australia).

The title sponsor for this year’s Eisner Awards was SHOWTIME. The principal sponsors were Gentle Giant and Lebonfon Printing. Supporting sponsors were Alternate Reality Comics of Las Vegas, Atlantis Fantasyworld of Santa Cruz, CA, Diamond Comic Distributors, Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff of Concord, CA, Strange Adventures of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Warp 1 of  Edmonton, Alberta, and Mel Thompson and Associates.

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.

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