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On Friday, July 19th, the winners of the 2013 Eisner Awards were announced at a ceremony at San Diego Comic Con. The Eisner Awards were established in 1988 to honor achievement in the comic book and graphic novel field in the previous year. The big winner at this year's award was Building Stories, Chris Ware's enormous graphic novel set published by Pantheon, which won four awards (Best Graphic Album: New, Best Writer/Artist, Best Publication Design, and Best Lettering). The other winner was Saga, the ongoing series by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples. The series, which is published by Image Comics, won Eisners for Best New Series, Best Writer, and Best Continuing Series.
Other notable winners included Jeffrey Brown's Darth Vader and Son, which won Best Humor Publication; "Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch" by Michael Kupperman, which won Best Short Story; The Mire by Becky Cloonan, the winner of Best Single Issue or One-Shot; Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover's Bandette, which won Best Digital Comic; and Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, which won Best Comics-Related Book. The Hall of Fame inductees this year were Lee Falk, Al Jaffee, Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, and Joe Sinnott.
One of the best things about the Eisner (along with the Harveys, the other major comic book awards) is that they bring attention to a lot of different books. Both Building Stories and Saga already have received critical praise and good sales. It is deserved in the cases of these two fine titles. However, there are many books and series that have not received as much widespread attention. I was very happy to see The Mire recognized. It is a very entertaining story, coupled with Cloonan's always gorgeous artwork. Telling the tale of Aiden, an aid of Sir Owain sent to deliver a message on the eve of a crucial battle, The Mire has a cool twist at the end that makes it a memorable story. It's also easy to root for this book since it was self-published, which is a hard way to make your mark in the current comic landscape.