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Judges named for 2003 Eisner Awards, call for submissions announced

Official Press Release

Entries are now being accepted for the 15th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, to be given to the finest publications and creators of 2002.

Publishers can submit any comic, graphic novel, or comics-related periodical or book that was shipped to retailers between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2002. The deadline for submissions is March 14.

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:

  • Andrew D. Arnold, weekly comics columnist for Time magazine's website (www.time.com/comix). Beginning with Tintin and the Origins of Marvel Comics volumes, Arnold has been reading comics for the better part of 30 years. He began writing about comics in 1996, with a short-lived fanzine, The Comix Review. Since February 2001 he has been writing for Time.com.
  • Jennifer M. Contino, writer for the online comics news magazine, The Pulse (www.comicon.com/pulse). As a freelancer writer, Contino has been a regular contributor to several comics-related magazines. In addition to writing for The Pulse, she contributes to Sequential Tart (www.sequentialtart.com), Wizard magazine, ToyFare, Anime Invasion, Comics Spotlight, NewType USA, Game Traders magazine, and Comic Book Marketplace. In 2000, she authored a textbook for use in fourth through sixth grade classrooms titled The Japanese Americans.
  • Steve Leaf, product manager for Diamond Comic Distributors. As a teenager Leaf channeled his love of comics into drawing and working on local Atlanta fanzines. After obtaining a bachelor of visual arts degree from Georgia State University, he became the manager and buyer for the Book Nook, which expanded to multiple stores. He subsequently became the buyer for CIB & Associates, a regional distributor that Diamond took over in 1994. 1997 he joined Diamond's purchasing department, where he deals with a wide range of comics publishers. Leaf also co-created the Atlanta Comic & Fantasy Fair (in 1974)and later the Atlanta Comic Con.
  • Jeremy Shorr, owner and operator of Titan Comics in Dallas Texas. He has over 16 years of experience in comic book retailing, including having worked part-time for Houston area stories in the mid-1980s and co-owning Phoenix Comics (with wife Cecilia) in Houston prior to moving to Dallas and opening Titan in 1991. Schorr has been a retailer reviewer for Comics Buyer's Guide for the last year and is an active member of the online Comic Book Internet Alliance.

  • Charles Vess, writer/artist. Vess has been making a living by drawing comics since 1978, when his first sale was a four-page black-and-white strip for Heavy Metal magazine. Since then he's drawn thousands of panels, in full color and black and white for Marvel and DC as well as most of the other comic publishers, both the living and the dead. Vess has won two Eisner awards and two World Fantasy awards and has had his work translated around the world. Most recently he completed his first children's book for Viking, has produced illustrations for a series of novellas for Subterranean Press (both with writer Charles de Lint), and is writing a yearly column in the hardcover anthology The Years Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin's Press) covering comics in those two genres.

"These individuals were chosen for their 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 2002), best limited comic book series (at least half of the series must have been published in 2002), 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. (This year's judges have already chosen not to include a best comics-related item category.)

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 14. 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 18 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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