Eisner Judges Named, Submissions Now Open

Eisner Administrator Jackie Estrada has announced that submissions are now open for product released in 2003 to be considered for an Eisner Award nomination. The full text of the press release follows as well as a brief bio of each participating Eisner judge.

Official Press Release

Entries are now being accepted for the 16th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, to be given to the finest publications and creators of 2003.

Publishers can submit any comic, graphic novel, or comics-related periodical or book that was shipped to retailers between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2003. The deadline for submissions is March 12.

The submitted items will be considered by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, who will select the final items to appear on the Eisner Awards ballot. This year's judges, who have been chosen by Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada, are:

o Greg Bennett, comics retailer. Greg has been in comics retailing for nearly 20 years. He is the co-owner of the Big Planet Comics shops in the Washington, DC area. He was also one of the main organizers of SPX, one of the nation's premier small press comics conventions, from 1996 to 2003.

o Marc Bernardin, magazine journalist. Marc has had a somewhat scattershot career that has included tours of duty as a private investigator, an award-winning screenwriter, a managing editor of Starlog magazine, and a consulting editor for Fangoria magazine, He is now a senior editor for Entertainment Weekly, where hecoordinates both the comics coverage and movie reviews.

o Meloney Crawford Chadwick, consultant. Meloney's early interest in comics lead her to contribute to fanzines, including Comics Feature and the seminal Omniverse. She began her professional involvement working at Eclipse Enterprises in the early 1980s. After completing law school and spending several years pursuing a legal career, she returned to comics in 1991 as editorial director of Harris Comics, where she relaunched the cult favorite Vampirella. She has also been director of editorial administration at Dark Horse Comics, has consulted with a number of small publishers, and has written trading cards for Inkworks based on pop culture favorites such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She currently works for the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program.

o Andrew Farago, museum curator. Andrew has been gallery manager for San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum since 2001. His responsibilities include installing exhibitions, handling public relations, teaching cartooning classes for children, and serving as the museum's volunteer coordinator. Along with his fiancee, Shaenon K. Garrity, Farago is the co-editor of Modern Tales Longplay, on www.moderntales.com, which publishes complete short-form comics online.

* Filip Sablik, comics distributor. Filip graduated from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 2000 with a BFA in Illustration (cum laude). While at MICA, Filip helped found the first Graphic Novel Club at the school and co-edited the first two annual comic anthologies, Admit One. In June 2000, Filip joined Diamond Comic Distributors as a customer service representative. Since 2001 he has been a purchasing brand manager, acting as the primary liaison between Diamond and a variety of large, mid-sized, and small publishers.

"These individuals were chosen for their love and knowledge of comics, their wide-ranging backgrounds, and their reputation for integrity," says Estrada. "I look forward to working with them in the judging process and really appreciate their volunteering all the time necessary to this important task."

Publishers wanting to submit entries for the judges to consider should send one copy each of the comics or books to be considered and include a cover letter indicating what is being submitted and in what categories. The tentative categories include best single issue, best short story, best serialized story, best continuing comic book series (at least two issues must have been published in 2003), best limited comic book series (at least half of the series must have been published in 2003), best new series, best title aimed at a younger audience, best anthology, best graphic album-new material, best graphic album-reprint, best archival collection, best humor publication, best U.S. edition of foreign material, best writer, best writer/artist, best penciler/inker (individual or team), best painter (interior art), best lettering, best coloring, best comics-related book, best comics-related periodical, and best publication design.

Publishers may submit a maximum of five items for any one category, and the same item or person can be submitted for more than one category. Each imprint, line, or subsidiary of a publisher may submit its own set of entries. There are no entry fees.

Creators can submit materials for consideration if: (a) their publisher is no longer in business; (b) their publisher is unlikely to have participated in the nomination process; or (c) they have severed connections with the publisher or have similar reasons for believing that their publisher is unlikely to consider nominating them or their work.

All submissions should be sent to Jackie Estrada, Eisner Awards Administrator, 4657 Cajon Way, San Diego, CA 92115, before the deadline of March 12. The nominees will be announced in April, and ballots will go out in May to some 5,000 creators, editors, publishers, distributors, and retailers. The results will be announced by celebrity presenters at the gala awards ceremony on the evening of July 22 at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The Eisner Awards are administered under the auspices of the San Diego Comic Convention, Inc., a nonprofit educational corporation. Anyone with questions about submitting entries for the awards can e-mail Ms. Estrada at jackiee@mindspring.com or call her at (619) 286-1591. Additional information on the Eisners and the complete Call for Entries can be found at www.comic-con.org.

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