Eight years of Eisner Awards for Digital Comics
April 21, 2013 7:25 PM   Subscribe

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, commonly shortened to the Eisner Awards, are prizes given for creative achievement in American comic books since 1988. The digital comic category was added in 2005. Some say the category could be expanded, given the abundance of digital creations. Regardless, there are 42 different titles nominated in the past 8 years. The 2013 nominations have been made: Ant Comic, by Michael DeForge (previously, twice) | Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover | It Will All Hurt, by Farel Dalrymple (previously) | Our Bloodstained Roof, by Ryan Andrews (previously) | Oyster War, by Ben Towle. Nominations and winners from prior years inside.

2012:
2011:
2010:
2009:
2008:
2007:
2006:
2005:
* Winners for their respective years
posted by filthy light thief (31 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
While I can understand that its votes may have been diluted across categories, the absence of My Little Pony is a glaring one.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:32 PM on April 21, 2013


Go Ant Comic go! That thing changed the way I look at the world.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:36 PM on April 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've been looking for new comics for my Sunday morning reading. One problem with a lot of online comics is that they tend to disappear over time. Updates start taking longer, then stop altogether or the artist has to throw in the towel.

This list looks like I'll be able to stretch out my Sunday morning reads again. Thanks.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:43 PM on April 21, 2013


I tried to find the best source for these comics. The Eisner Awards lists are good in that they include URLs, and more recent titles are still available from their original source. The older ones are tricky, in that a number have become published in physical form, so you don't get complete runs online any more. In other cases, websites have died. There are no links to dead sites here (at the time of posting this), and there are a few links to Archives.org views of the sites. In those cases, I can't assure you that the complete run will be present.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:47 PM on April 21, 2013


Wooo, webcomics!

Of the ones on this list, I want to give an especial recommendation for Minus. One of my favorite things to ever appear on the internet. (And it's already concluded, so you don't have to worry about the update schedule -- which was, by all accounts, unbearable!)
posted by danb at 7:47 PM on April 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I checked out the first two issues of Bandette after seeing the Eisner list up on the AV Club's site, and it is beyond charming. I can't wait to share it with my kids.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:49 PM on April 21, 2013


danb, one reason I was looking forward to putting this together is that many of the titles here are available in a complete form. I was tempted to spend time in noting if these were one-offs, completed series, or ongoing works, and/or listing some notes on what to expect. I decided to share this list tonight, instead of slogging away on it for days.

Oh, and credit nudge towards making this post goes to Narrative Priorities, who mentioned the Eisner Digital Comics awards in the recent It Will All Hurt thread.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 PM on April 21, 2013


Nomnomnomnomics
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:02 PM on April 21, 2013


I was tempted to simply title this "MOAR COMIX" for you, Potomac Avenue.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:07 PM on April 21, 2013


Go Ant Comic go! That thing changed the way I look at the world.

Oh Jesus, for a second I thought Ant was up for an Eisner.
posted by cadge at 8:21 PM on April 21, 2013


The Eisners could do worse. The National Cartoonist Society (which gives out a "Reuben Award" to a single most-outstanding cartoonist and other awards in categories) started an "Online Comics" category last year. Now remember, the NCS prides itself as an organization for PROFESSIONAL cartoonists, so the first nominees were "Penny Arcade", "The Oatmeal" and Jon Rosenberg's "Scenes from a Multiverse" (he got considered 'professional' thanks to selling his previous comic "Goats" for book publication with a 'real' publisher). I was happy that "Multiverse" won.

This year, they expanded to two categories, for "Short Form" and "Long Form". In the Long Form category, the 6-year-running "Octopus Pie" is competing with two newcomers, "Untold Tales of Bigfoot", which is just getting good and "Muscles Diablo in Where Terror Lurks", which is already losing steam and not getting updated. But in the Short Form category, all three nominees are exclusively hosted at GoComics, the Universal syndicate site: "Ten Cats", "Mac" and "Rabbits Against Magic", and IMO, these aren't even the best webcomics on Gocomics. (They are also hosting Shaenon K. Garrity's "Skin Horse" and Dana Simpson's new "Heavenly Nostrils" and even rerunning "Starslip", so GoComics is not totally evil.) But seriously, the Short Form Digital Comics has become the "Webcomics That Most Resemble Second-Tier Newspaper Comics" category (and I'm not all that happy with the NCS Awards Newspaper Comics categories lately... no nod for "Cul De Sac" for its last year?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:26 PM on April 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh man Bee! I forgot about that one! I liked it!
posted by infinitewindow at 8:32 PM on April 21, 2013


Eisner Awards Nominations Fallout, 2013 edition

I know more about the print comics than the webcomics TBH, but it's a bloody great selection this year IMHO.
posted by Artw at 9:14 PM on April 21, 2013


◔_◔ o (When will I get the time to read all of these?)
posted by not_on_display at 9:26 PM on April 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and 2000AD got a nomination for the first time, which is nice.
posted by Artw at 9:30 PM on April 21, 2013


Michael Cavna on the Eisner Award nomination process and another judge, Charles Hatfield, doing the same.

Also, your obligatory nomination bias controversy as one of the judges, Frank Santoros, had said some harsh words about the whole Before Watchmen project and its creators (sic) and this might have influenced his judgment. DC coincidently has by far the fewest nominations on the list that it ever had.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:04 PM on April 21, 2013


Coincidentally they've also not made very good comics this year.
posted by Artw at 10:19 PM on April 21, 2013


So Achewood has never received a nomination?
posted by sleeping bear at 6:04 AM on April 22, 2013


Wait, so I read the judges' comments MartinWisse linked, and both talk about "the best that 2012 had to offer" and "the amazing year in comics that was 2012" but Our Bloodstained Roof was posted to MeFi in June of 2011. That's a little strange. I mean, I'm glad when definitions are loose, generally, but to hold up the awards as the best of a given year while ignoring annual boundaries in practice seems odd. It doesn't make me think the Eisner digital comic category is being implemented with any kind of rigor, which is kind of Lauren Davis' point in the third link.

That said, great post, filthy light thief. I'd never seen Ant Comic; it's really good - an early Raw feel with fresh ideas unfolding as you go.
posted by mediareport at 6:39 AM on April 22, 2013


Also, your obligatory nomination bias controversy as one of the judges, Frank Santoros, had said some harsh words about the whole Before Watchmen project and its creators (sic) and this might have influenced his judgment.

Would you trust any judge who didn't have strong words for the Before Watchman project and the people involved?
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:00 AM on April 22, 2013


I'm frankly amazed that Vertigo got exactly one nomination this year; this is the imprint that would regularly clean up at the Eisners. It's a sign of how much the industry has changed, and also a sign that Vertigo probably won't be around for much longer.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:33 AM on April 22, 2013


War Rocket Ajax Eisner roundtable

I'm frankly amazed that Vertigo got exactly one nomination this year

Image seems to have very much taken up that role, and seem to be sweeping up the corresponding Eisners.

TBH my biggest quibble with the list is Fiona Staples should have gotten a nomination for her art on Saga, which would have been one more Image nom.
posted by Artw at 9:51 AM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, I'll just admit it: I really don't get some of these (Ant Comic in particular is a no-go for me, and I can't follow It Will All Hurt, no matter how hard I try). I'm not a huge comic afficionado, web or otherwise, but does anyone know what sort of things they usually reward? Are they trying to highlight the most "edgy" and weird and out-there stuff on the market? The most innovative? Is art valued more highly than story for these, or vice-versa, or is it fairly equal? ... Or is the available field actually that small?

And I'm really kind of sad that Digger isn't anywhere to be seen, as that remains the best I've read to date. Though I don't know the selection criteria, so maybe it doesn't qualify.
posted by po at 5:20 AM on April 23, 2013


... That comment makes me sound cranky and unappreciative. It's honest curiosity, I promise! And some of these are quite good, though it'll take a while to get through the list.
posted by po at 5:26 AM on April 23, 2013


po, here is the Eisner Awards call-for-submissions write-up, which notes that
  1. Publishers and creators are invited to submit entries;
  2. Any comic, graphic novel/album, or comics-related periodical/book shipped to retailers or bookstores or first made available online between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 is eligible;
  3. An independent panel of judges will carefully consider all entries and will choose the items to be included on the final ballot, and the judges may add or drop categories at their discretion;
  4. In April the final ballot will be available online to the comics industry (publishers, creators, distributors, retailers);
  5. The winners will be announced in a ceremony at Comic-Con International: San Diego on the evening of July 19.
You called out two of the more abstract/weird comics. The other three are more straight-forward "comics," with less odd narrative and artistic styles. And from the years past, some are more of the standard three-panel comics, or at least straight-forward linear narratives and strip-like visual formatting.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:21 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, okay, self-submitted. Interesting! Especially in the case of long-running things - I'm curious as to how or whether they "separate" the current year's material out in the case of a single story-arc comic that runs over multiple years, because how can you judge a story without its beginning? But I'll just have to get to The Abominable Charles Christopher for that, I suppose, and see if it's actually a single story. Anyway, as I'm making my way through more of these, yeah, I'm seeing that it's not all oddness (Bandette is cute, but seems unfinished as yet? And I've just started on Minus...). I guess I just picked the wrong two to click first. Thanks, flt. :)
posted by po at 10:37 PM on April 24, 2013


Any comic, graphic novel/album, or comics-related periodical/book shipped to retailers or bookstores or first made available online between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 is eligible

Huh. Again, Our Bloodstained Roof was posted to MeFi in the summer of 2011. How on earth does it qualify to be nominated for this year's Eisner award?
posted by mediareport at 5:53 PM on April 25, 2013


Presumably because they continued to update it?
posted by Artw at 6:31 PM on April 25, 2013


Does look like a one-off though, so yeah, that's odd.
posted by Artw at 6:33 PM on April 25, 2013


Talking of Chris Ware, sort of, this amazing thing just happened as a double page spread in Young Avengers.
posted by Artw at 2:06 PM on April 26, 2013


Does look like a one-off though, so yeah, that's odd.

'Odd' is being kind. Seems pretty clear the Eisners are being weirdly inconsistent with regard to their own eligibility rules. Not really what you want in an industry award.
posted by mediareport at 7:34 PM on April 26, 2013


« Older Jun Togawa is sort of like what you'd get if you c...  |  The Origins Project at ASU pre... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments