At the recent Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards, Little Nemo: Return To Slumberland (above) by Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez, an updated version of Winsor McCay's original comic strip Little Nemo, and Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream win big at the 2015 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards.
The recent 2015 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards ceremony, held during the San Diego Comic-Con, yielded some surprises when the winners were announced.
Despite having a big share of the nominations, Marvel, DC Comics and Image Comics failed to dominate the awards. In fact, DC and Marvel came up empty, while Image, last year’s big winners, managed to grab just two, thanks to the ever-reliable Saga.
Instead, it was Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo comic strip that was the big winner of the night, with several of its anthologies winning a total of four awards in various categories.
Little Nemo: Return To Slumberland (IDW) by Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez won Best Limited Series, Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo (Taschen) won Best Archival Collection/Project-Strips (At Least 20 Years Old), and last but not least, Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream (Locust Moon) won two awards – Best Anthology, and Best Publication Design by Jim Rugg.
Here are our thoughts on some of the major awards, as well as a selected list of winners:
Best New Series
Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Now THIS was a surprise. Lumberjanes is great, but just look at the other titles it beat: The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, Rocket Raccoon by Skottie Young, and The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. To beat not one or two, but FOUR heavyweight challengers ... those are some tough Lumberjanes. Heck, they even won another Eisner that night – Best Publication For Teens (Ages 13-17).
Best Continuing Series
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image)
While it wasn’t totally unexpected that the award went to Saga (for an amazing third year in a row!), Vaughan and Staples managed to beat some real heavyweights here, including Astro City, Bandette, Southern Bastards, The Walking Dead, and our personal, sentimental favourite (because it just ended), Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja.
Best Single Issue (or One Shot)
Beasts Of Burden: Hunters And Gatherers by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
We expected Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 or Astro City #16 to win, but Dorkin and Thompson’s heartwarming tale about a bunch of pet supernatural detectives won the day, deservedly. Doggy treats, all round!
Best Limited Series: Little Nemo: Return To Slumberland by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Best Graphic Album (New): This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki (First Second)
Best Writer: Gene Luen Yang for Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse) and The Shadow Hero (First Second)
Best Writer/Artist: Raina Telgemeier for Sisters (Graphix/Scholastic)
Best Penciller/Inker: Fiona Staples for Saga (Image)
Best Cover Artist: Darwyn Cooke for DC Comics Darwyn Cooke Month Variant Covers (DC)
Best Colouring: Dave Stewart for Hellboy In Hell, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, Shaolin Cowboy, Aliens: Fire And Stone, and Dark Horse Presents (all Dark Horse)
Best Lettering: Stan Sakai for Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art): J. H. Williams III for The Sandman: Overture (Vertigo/DC)