DC Comics Wins Big at Eisners

Eisner administrator Jackie Estrada issued the follow press release detailing the results from the annual Eisner Awards presentation held during Comic-Con International in San Diego last Friday night. The full PR is reprinted in full below.

It's DC's Night at the Eisner Awards

DC Comics dominated at the 16th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, with projects and creators from DC imprints involved in half of the award winners. The gala ceremony was held on Friday night July 23 in the Ballroom at the San Diego Convention Center.

A wide variety of DC publications came away with trophies, with no single title getting more than three. Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Endless Nights was mentioned most often, winning Best Anthology, Best Short Story (for "Death," with art by P. Craig Russell), and part of Best Lettering (Todd Klein, who won for numerous projects for various companies). Other DC winners included Best Continuing Series (100 Bullets, Vertigo imprint), Best New Series (Plastic Man), Best Serialized Story (Gotham Central: "Half a Life"), Best Graphic Album-Reprint (Paul Dini and Bruce Timm's Batman Adventures: Dangerous Dames and Demons), and Best Humor Publication (Formerly Known as the Justice League). DC creators who won their categories included Best Writer (Alan Moore, ABC titles), Best Cover Artist (James Jean, Fables, Vertigo imprint), and Best Coloring (Trish Mulvihill, 100 Bullets, Batman, Wonder Woman). Winners who did work for both DC and other companies are John Cassaday, Best Penciller/Inker (for WildStorm's Planetary and stories in Dark Horse's Hellboy Weird Tales) and Kyle Baker (Best Writer/Artist-Humor, for Plastic Man and his own The New Baker). Another DC-related winner was Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross (published by Pantheon), for which Chip Kidd won the Best Publication Design award.

Dark Horse can claim bragging rights to four Eisners (besides Cassaday's), including a tile between two Dark Horse projects for Best Single Issue: Conan the Legend #0 and Eric Powell's The Goon #1, plus Jill Thompson as Best Painter (for "Stray" in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings) and The Art of Hellboy as Best Comics-Related Book.

The only other publisher with multiple Eisners was Top Shelf: Craig Thompson received the Best Graphic Album-New award for Blankets and was named Best Writer/Artist, while Comic Book Artist was named Best Comics-Related Periodical. Marvel's Unstable Molecules (by indy creators James Sturm and Guy Davis) took Best Limited Series, and Derek Kirk Kim was named Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition. Fantagraphics' one award was for Krazy & Ignatz for Best Archival Collection/Project, and Gemstone's Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge took Best Title for a Younger Audience. The Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material award went to Osamu Tezuka's Buddha (published by Vertical).

Sergio Aragonés presented the Hall of Fame Awards. The judges' choice awards went to Otto Binder, John Stanley, Kazuo Koike, and Goseki Kojima. The four elected inductees were Al Capp, Jules Feiffer, Don Martin, and Jerry Robinson. Robinson was on hand to accept his award in person.

Besides Aragonés, Eisner presenters included Bill Plympton, Dave Gibbons, Walter and Louise Simonson, Bill Willingham, Eric Shanower, Eric Powell, Stan Sakai, and Bruce Jones and April Campbell. The MC for the evening was Eisner Adminsitrator Jackie Estrada, and Will Eisner was on hand to congratulate all the winners.

Pullitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay) kicked off the evening with a well-received keynote speech in which he issued a call to comics creators and publishers to do comics for kids that actually appeal to children and contain all the elements that excited today's creators about comics when they were kids.

Among the other awards given out over the evening were the Comic-Con's Clampett and Manning awards. The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, presented by Bob's daughter Ruth, went to Mimi Cruz Carroll, co-owner of Night Flight Comics in Salt Lake City, for her efforts in using comics for literacy and her involvement in children's advocacy. The Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award went to Eric Wight, artist on "The Passing of the Key," which appeared in Michael Chabon Presents: The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist #1.

The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award was presented by Joe Ferrara. This year's winner was Acme Comics (Iowa). The Retailer award was sponsored by DC Comics and Diamond Comic Distributors. Neil Gaiman presented the Fund's Defender of Freedom Award to Jim Lee, who spoke about the importance of protecting First Amendment rights and supporting the Fund.

The major sponsor for the 2004 Eisner Awards was mycomicshop.com. The principal sponsors were Diamond Comic Distributors, Isoptope (the Comic Book Lounge), and Quebecor Printing. Supporting sponsors include Alternate Reality Comics (Las Vegas), Atlantis Fantasyworld (Santa Cruz, CA), Cold Cut Distributors, Comic Relief-The Comic Bookstore (Berkeley, CA), Comicopia (Boston) comicsunlimted.com, Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff (Concord, CA), and Star*Reach. Ballots were tabulated by Mel Thompson and Associates. The trophies were designed by Gentle Giant Studios.

A complete list of this year's Eisner recipients follows.

2004 Eisner Award Recipients (for material published in 2003)

Best Short Story

"Death," by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell, in The Sandman: Endless Nights (Vertigo/DC)

Best Single Issue (tie!)

Conan The Legend #0, by Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord (Dark Horse)

The Goon #1, by Eric Powell (Dark Horse)

Best Serialized Story

Gotham Central #6-10: "Half a Life," by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (DC)

Best Continuing Series

100 Bullets, by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso (Vertigo/DC)

Best Limited Series

Unstable Molecules, by James Sturm and Guy Davis (Marvel)

Best New Series

Plastic Man, by Kyle Baker (DC)

Best Title for a Younger Audience

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge, by various (Gemstone)

Best Humor Publication

Formerly Known as the Justice League, by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire, and Joe Rubinstein (DC)

Best Anthology

The Sandman: Endless Nights, by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean, P. Craig Russell, Miguelanxo Prado, Barron Storey, Frank Quitely, Glenn Fabry, Milo Manara, and Bill Sienkiewicz; co-edited by Karen Berger and Shelly Bond (Vertigo/DC)

Best Graphic Album-New

Blankets, by Craig Thompson (Top Shelf)

Best Graphic Album-Reprint

Batman Adventures: Dangerous Dames and Demons, by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and others (DC)

Best Archival Collection/Project

Krazy and Ignatz, 1929-1930, by George Herriman, edited by Bill Blackbeard (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material

Buddha, vols. 1 and 2, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)

Best Writer

Alan Moore, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea, Smax, Tom Strong, Tom Strong's Terrific Tales (ABC)

Best Writer/Artist

Craig Thompson, Blankets (Top Shelf)

Best Writer/Artist-Humor

Kyle Baker, Plastic Man (DC); The New Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

John Cassaday, Planetary, Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth (WildStorm/DC); Hellboy Weird Tales (Dark Horse)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

Jill Thompson, "Stray," in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings (Dark Horse)

Best Coloring

Patricia Mulvihill, Batman, Wonder Woman (DC), 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC)

Best Lettering

Todd Klein, Detective Comics( DC); Fables, The Sandman: Endless Nights (Vertigo/DC); Tom Strong, Promethea (ABC); 1602 (Marvel)

Best Cover Artist

James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); Batgirl (DC)

Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition

Derek Kirk Kim (writer/artist, Same Difference and Other Stories)

Best Comics-Related Periodical

Comic Book Artist, edited by Jon B. Cooke (Top Shelf)

Best Comics-Related Book

The Art of Hellboy, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)

Best Publication Design

Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross, designed by Chip Kidd (Pantheon)

Hall of Fame

Judges' Choices: Otto Binder, John Stanley. Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima

Al Capp

Jules Feiffer

Don Martin

Jerry Robinson

Descendent #3

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