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One of the biggest nights in the comics industry comes at the Eisner Awards, arguably the biggest prize for those working in comics. This past Friday, the 2016 Eisners, which honor comic creators in 34 different categories, were held. Actor John Barrowman (Arrow, Torchwood) was the host. Image Comics had a big night at the Eisners, with many of the awards in the top categories going to Image series. The Best New Series went to Paper Girls (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang is something of a surprise. The award for Best Limited Series went to The Fade Out (Image) by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Southern Bastards (Image) from Jason Aaron and Jason LaTour won Best Continuing Series, which was deserving but also a bit surprising.
Aaron had a good night, too. In addition to winning for Southern Bastards, Aaron won the Best Writer Eisner Award for his work on Southern Bastards, Thor, Star Wars, Doctor Strange, and Men of Wrath. Cliff Chiang was another multiple-award winner, picking up the Eisner for Best Penciller for his work on Paper Girls. Jordie Bellaire won Best Colorist for her work on many titles, David Aja (Scarlet Witch) won Best Cover Artist, and Derf Backderf won Best Lettering for Trashed.
Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin won the Best Digital/Webcomic for Bandette. The Sandman Gallery Edition won for Best Publication Design. Two of the biggest names in indie comics also won Eisners on Friday. Adrian Tomine received Best Short Story for his “Killing and Dying” and Kate Beacon won for Best Humor Publication for Step Aside, Pops!. Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba won the Eisner Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium for Two Brothers. A full list of the Eisner Award winners can be found here.
I think the Eisners did a very nice job with their selections this year. In Entertainment Fuse’s “Best of 2015” selections, I had picked The Fade Out as Best Limited Series and I also picked Silver Surfer #11 as Best Moment of the Year. Silver Surfer #11 (an issue titled “Never After”) by Dan Slott and Michael Allred won the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue/One-Shot. Certainly, “best of” selections of creative works are pretty subjective, but it’s clear that there are some works that garner support as especially worthy. The Eisner Awards are now an annual fixture at San Diego Comic Con. The awards are named after legendary comic book creator Will Eisner.