Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
ComicsAlliance, edited by Laura Hudson
Comics Comics, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel
The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon
I am biased here, since I’m a regular contributor to ComicsAlliance. There are a couple of other very strong candidates, though–Comics Comics has some of my favorite writers on comics, and The Comics Reporter has been so strong and consistent for so long that it’s as easy to take for granted as, say, Doonesbury.
Best Continuing Series
Fables, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Andrew Pepoy et al. (Vertigo/DC)
Irredeemable, by Mark Waid and Peter Krause (BOOM!)
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
The Unwritten, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)
The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard (Image)
20th Century Boys is technically a limited series, but never mind that. Fables is a longstanding favorite of the Eisner-voting community, with well over a dozen trophies to its name so far. But Comic-Con week this year belongs to The Walking Dead, which has a pretty good chance of taking the prize.
Best Cover Artist
John Cassaday, Irredeemable (BOOM!); Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
Salvador Larocca, Invincible Iron Man (Marvel)
Sean Phillips, Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon); 28 Days Later (BOOM!)
Alex Ross, Astro City: The Dark Age (WildStorm/DC); Project Superpowers (Dynamite)
J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC)
James Jean has won this category for the last six straight years, but he’s not nominated this year. So perhaps Ross, who won four times between 1996 and 2000, will return for his crown.
Best Digital Comic
Abominable Charles Christopher, by Karl Kerschl,
Bayou, by Jeremy Love, http://zudacomics.com/bayou
The Guns of Shadow Valley, by David Wachter and James Andrew Clark, http://www.gunsofshadowvalley.com
Power Out, by Nathan Schreiber, http://www.act-i-vate.com/67.comic
Sin Titulo, by Cameron Stewart, http://www.sintitulocomic.com/
I’m guessing Sin Titulo takes this one–it’s a nifty comic, and Stewart probably has broader name recognition in the voting community than the other nominees.
(More on Techland: Comic-Con International: What to Get in Line for Early)
Best Graphic Album-New
Asterios Polyp, by David Mazzucchelli (Pantheon)
A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.), by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
The Book of Genesis Illustrated, by R. Crumb (Norton)
My mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill, by Jean Regnaud and Émile Bravo (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, and Frédéric Lemerier (First Second)
Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
This one’s tricky, because it’s an incredibly strong slate. If the Eisner voters were “people who don’t read comics much,” it’d go to Crumb’s Genesis, a really nicely executed project that’s basically a victory lap for a great artist. If they were “the art-comics scene,” it’d go to Mazzucchelli’s widely acclaimed Asterios Polyp. But I bet the prize goes to Parker: The Unter… unless voters go for Parker in the “Adaptation” category, and Asterios here.
Best Graphic Album-Reprint
Absolute Justice, by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Doug Braithwaite (DC)
A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, by Josh Neufeld (Pantheon)
Alec: The Years Have Pants, by Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf)
Essex County Collected, by Jeff Lemire (Top Shelf)
Map of My Heart: The Best of King-Cat Comics & Stories, 1996-2002, by John Porcellino (Drawn & Quarterly)
No contest here: this is four decent-to-good books and one great one, Eddie Campbell’s massive, intoxicating omnibus of his semiautobiographical Alec comics.
Best Humor Publication
Drinky Crow’s Maakies Treasury, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)
Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me, And Other Astute Observations, by Peter Bagge (Fantagraphics)
Little Lulu, vols. 19-21, by John Stanley and Irving Tripp (Dark Horse Books)
The Muppet Show Comic Book: Meet the Muppets, by Roger Langridge (BOOM Kids!)
Scott Pilgrim vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe, by Brian Lee O’Malley (Oni)
The sole nomination for Scott Pilgrim on this year’s Eisner ballot? It’s a shoe-in. Langridge’s Muppet Show series is really good as licensed-property tie-in comics go, though.
Brian Fies, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? (Abrams ComicArts)
David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)
Tom Orzechowski, Savage Dragon (Image); X-Men Forever (Marvel)
Richard Sala, Cat Burglar Black (First Second); Delphine (Fantagraphics)
Adrian Tomine, A Drifting Life (Drawn & Quarterly)
The running joke is that this is the “Todd Klein Award,” since Klein’s won it 15 of the last 17 years. Klein’s not nominated this time, though–and these days comics that are actually hand-lettered are pretty thin on the ground. By far the most inventive comics lettering of last year, though, was in Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp.