This month, I thought I would take a look at some of the great works by women that are nominated for this year’s Eisner Award. The Eisner Awards, or more correctly, the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, recognize the best achievements in American comics on an annual basis. The award nominations are typically announced in April with the awards being presented at San Diego Comic Con in July. This year, some wonderful works by women are nominated and it seems like a great time to consider both those that I have previously written about and some new gems. This post won’t look at the work of all of the Eisner nominated women, but will instead focus on those that will appeal to teens and fans of young adult literature.
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona, Saga by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples, and Bandette by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover are three of only four titles to have received three or more nominations which doesn’t surprise me at all. Ms. Marvel has been extremely popular for the way that it has reimagined the Ms. Marvel character as a teen Pakistani-American named Kamala Khan who is a huge fan of Carol Danver and ultimately ends up stepping into her shoes as Ms. Marvel. The series received a lot of publicity for the fact that Kamala Khan is the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel series and the story has helped to keep it popular. It earned not only Eisner nominations in the categories of Best New Series, Best Writer (for G. Willow Wilson), Best Penciller/Inker (for Adrian Alphona), Best Cover Artist (for Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson), and Best Lettering (for Joe Caramagna), but also a Hugo nomination and a spot on YALSA’s 2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list.
Saga is another well-known and critically-acclaimed work and a big part of this is Fiona Staples’ artwork, which brings Brian K. Vaughn’s story to life. It is exciting to see the story recognized and to see Staples’ work recognized in the Best Penciller/Inker category. Bandette falls into a slightly different category as a webcomic, which earned it a nomination in the Best Digital/Web Comic category, but that didn’t keep it from also earning a nomination in the Best Continuing Series category as well as a separate nomination for Colleen Coover’s work in the Best Painter/Multimedia Artist category.
Emily Carroll, who wrote the creepy short story collection Through The Woods, is nominated for a web-based short story called When The Darkness Presses that manages to be extremely creepy while taking full advantage of the online form. The story is available for free, so if you are a fan of the horror genre, you should check it out right away!
El Deafo by Cece Bell, which was selected as both 2015 Newbery Honor Award book and a 2015 Great Graphic Novel for Teens, has been nominated in the category of Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12). This is a great book that definitely is one of my favorites within the last year and it is really exciting to see it recognized by the Eisners. While it is aimed at the 8 to 12 age group, it is a truly great read for graphic novel fans of any age.
The team of Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson & Brooke A. Allen are nominated for their work on Lumberjanes in both the Best New Series and Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17) categories, which is unlikely to surprise most comics fans. This series burst onto the scene this year and has left many comic fans anxiously waiting for each new issue to come out. Noelle Stevenson’s work has also been recognized in the category of Best Digital/Web Comic for her comic Nimona. If you haven’t already started reading her comics, I highly recommend checking them out.
These nominees are just some of the ones that I have read, but there are plenty of other great nominees this year. So, if you are looking for more of the best comics of the past year, check out the full list of nominations and pay attention in July to see what wins the big awards.