The most high-profile omission from this year’s Eisner Awards nominations was likely “Love is Love,” an acclaimed anthology co-produced by IDW Publishing and DC Comics. The book received major mainstream press, counted dozens of top creators among its contributors and, most importantly, served as a benefit to the victims and families affected by the June 2016 shootings at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub — leaving many to wonder why it didn’t rate an Eisner nod when nominations were announced on Tuesday, especially since the Best Anthology category only had four nominees.
That changed on Wednesday, with “Love is Love” now listed on Comic-Con International’s official list of nominees. It appears that the original omission was not a question of merit, but eligibility. Bleeding Cool has archived a Facebook conversation between Eisner Awards administrator Jackie Estrada and IDW Publishing PR Manager Steven Scott, with Estrada stating that “Love is Love” was actually eligible for the 2018 awards — due to the book’s listed publication date on Amazon of Jan. 10.
Yet the book actually arrived in comics stores on Dec. 28, squeaking right under the wire of the Eisner deadline. When that was pointed out by Scott to Estrada, she responded that the Amazon release date is what the Eisners use to determine eligibility — but evidently something budged, as “Love is Love” is now a nominee for this year’s awards.
“I’m incredibly happy and grateful that everything was sorted out with ‘Love is Love’s’ eligibility for the Eisner, and that we were nominated,” IDW Group Editor Sarah Gaydos, who edited “Love is Love” along with DC’s Jamie S. Rich, wrote on Twitter. “It is a big recognition for the hard work that all those writers, artists, colorists, production people, letterers donated.”
“Love is Love” was curated by comics writer Marc Andreyko, who told CBR last year that he was inspired to act after realizing the severity of the crime, which was the deadliest single-shooter mass shooting in United Stated history.
“The night it happened, I had seen a story online that there was a shooting in a club, and I was like, ‘That’s sad, but that happens,'” Andreyko told CBR. “Then I woke up Sunday morning — and it was gay pride weekend in LA — and it said, ’49 dead, 53 injured,’ and I literally got physically ill. I was nauseated. ‘How does this happen?’ I was just so shaken by it. I posted on Facebook, ‘We should do a comic book. We should do something to help these people.'”
The 144-page “Love is Love” includes contributions from Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, Jim Lee, Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel, Marguerite Bennett, Phil Jimenez, Scott Snyder and many more. In March, IDW announced that the book has raised more than $165,000 for Equality Florida. The Eisner Awards are scheduled to take place on July 21, as part of Comic-Con International in San Diego.