They Were Robbed! Missed Eisner Nominations

Last week, the nominations for the 2011 Eisner Awards were announced. They covered a lot of ground, and a bunch of fantastic comics and talented creators, but there was certainly something missing. A glance over the list of nominees left me with the feeling that, while many were deserving, there are plenty of others who got the shaft.

When the statues are handed out in San Diego this July, these are the folks who should have had their shot. I didn't cover every category, but I have tried to remedy some of the more glaring omissions.

Best Short Story – Wolverine by Rafael Grampa from Strange Tales II #1

This was, hands down, the best Wolverine story I've read in as long as I can remember. Grampa blew everything out of the water with this incredibly unique take on Logan, portraying him as a cage fighter a generation into the future. It gets into his head and explores what this little violent mutant might actually be like. On top of that, it looked better and different than anything out there.


Best Single Issue or One Shot – The Brave and the Bold #33

It was a Pick of the Week by a guy who is not a JMS fan. We named it out best single issue of 2010, and that the Eisners will be overlooking this Batgirl tale is a damned crime almost as bad as what happened in Killing Joke. It's a lovely little slice of life shoved in between the existing commentary, and for anyone who cares even a little bit about these characters, it was a knife to the guts, as rendered by Cliff Chiang whose work was, quite simply, perfect.


Best Continuing Series – The Sixth Gun

Alright, you know and I know that this wasn't going to win. It's a western, and in the last 30 years, a western is anathema to awards (Unforgiven not withstanding). Regardless, Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt are building a wonderful and imaginative world that's exciting and fun to read all at the same time. If you'd told me that a supernatural Western from Oni Press would be thriving after a year, I'd call you a liar, and you'd have to draw iron on me. They need a little recognition for that.

Best Limited Series – Mystery Society

Fun, wacky, and beautiful. This not-nearly-appreciated-enough mini-series from IDW, Steve Niles, and Fiona Staples ticked us in all the right places. It let imagination soar and threw insane concepts at us, like a steampowered Jules Verne brain, and the search for Edgar Allen Poe's skull. And that was just a subplot. The ony consolation is the hope that some day I'll be able to read more. I don't know how heavily we can recommend this series more than we have, but if you didn't try it out, you're quite simply blowing it. Just like the nominating commitee did.

Best New Series – Thor: The Mighty Avenger

Just because it was canceled doesn't mean it wasn't the best new series. In the movies, when a movie doesn't do so well, it still lhas a chance to walk away with the Oscar. This Thor series was Marvel just taking a different approach. The Chris Samnee art was elegant, and the Roger Langridge story was as charming as can be. An Eisner nomination would have been just the ticket for easing the sad loss of a great series.

Best Anthology – Outlaw Territory Vol II

The second volume of this western anthology from image Comics was a breath of dusty old air, but in a good way. The list of contributors for this volume reads like a who's who of the best guys in comics. Robert Kirkman, Tom Fowler, Sean Phillips, Rafael Albuquerque, Greg Pak, Francesco Francavilla, Josh Dysart, Stuart Immonen, and… I can't go on. It's too painful.

Best Digital Comic – Troop 142 by Mike Dawson

I know Mike Dawson, and I'm a fan of Mike Dawson, and none of that matters because Troop 142 is a great piece of comic booking. It won an Ignatz Award already, and the fact that it didn't even get a nomination is sort of ridiculous. This is the story of a bunch of boy scouts at just that age when their conversations get a little baudy. Mike doesn't shirk the reality of how things would be, and that honesty is something that should have been rewarded.


Best Adaptation from Another Work – The Outfit

Seriously? I have to explain why Darwyn Cooke's second adaptation of Richard Stark's Parker should have been nominated for an Eisner? What kind of world do we live in anyway? I have to assume this is a clerical error, because anything else would be too absurd to believe.


Best US Edition of International Material – Blacksad Vol. 1

I don't hear a lot of talk about foreign reprints that often, but I couldn't get away from the Blacksad recommendations last year. And do you know why? Because Blacksad was about the most beautiful book I've seen, maybe ever. I'm this close to calling up Dark Horse on a regular basis to ask when the next volume will be coming out, because I don't want to imagine a future without it. I wouldn't think I could imagine this Eisner category without Blacksad, but my darkest fears have become real. Nice one Eisners.

Best Writer – Jason Aaron

Stick one hand up in the air and start ticking off fantastic issues written by Jason Aaron this past year. Hey look, you ran out of fingers, and you did it fast. From Scalped to Astonishing Wolverine/Spider-Man to Punisher MAX to every damned thing he touched, Jason Aaron had a breakthrough banner year, and to not recognize someone firing on every cylindar, plus a turbo charger is a major oversight.

Best Penciller/Inker or Team – Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon

You don't give a nomination to a team of brothers who can make a grown man cry with a stroke of ink? These guys did some of the best art in 2010, and no one who read Daytripper could disagree. They created a realized world where a man could die over and over again, and they made us feel every single panel, wrenching and breaking hearts along the way.

Best Cover Artist – Jock

Did you see a Jock cover in the last year that wasn't drop dead gorgeous? I didn't. I didn't see a single thing he did that didn't make me gasp, just a little. It's a bigger crime than what's happening in Detective Comics is what it is.

Best Colorist – Matthew Wilson

He came up from out of nowhere, but he did it with exemplary work. Suddenly every time a look over a really well colored page, I turn back to see who it is, and more times than not, Matthew Wilson's name is looking back at me, with a beautifully relected light, because he colored the hell out of that title page.

Best Letterer – Chris Eliopoulos

When the leading comic book publisher has a really big book that needs to be lettered well, and lettered on time, regardless of the absurd amount of words one of those so-called Architects has tried to cram on to one page, they call one guy. They call Chris Eliopoulos, and they do that because he will do exactly the job they need him to. Todd Klein has enough of these by now. Big man needs some proper respect.

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

No comment.


  1. Not nominating that issue of Brave and the Bold was a cryin’ shame. Terrible.

  2. I don’t understand how Cooke can be nominated for parker as an artist, but parker doesn’t get nominated for best adaptation. You can tell an amazing story, but the story is just meh? isn’t that an oxymoron?

  3. @WeaklyRoll  He was also nominated for lettering.

  4. I agree with all of these assertions Josh.  Nice picks.

  5. @Josh: I agree whole-heartedly with every one of your non-nominations!  Thank you for giving credit where it was so definitely due!

    What do you think the deal was with the lack of cape and cowl nominations this year? 

  6. @Neb  @ctrosejr  Really? Every one? Really? 

  7. It’s one thing to say something is snubbed.  I think there should be an update to the article saying what should be taken out because it doesn’t deserve the nod.

    Keep in mind, articles like this are a slippery slope.

    the Tiki 

  8. @MadMartigan  Which one is wrong?

    @ctrosejr  I don’t think it was any more different this year than any other. Personally I think it’s a good sign that diversity in comics is noticed.

  9. @josh  Not wrong, but in my opinion best digital comic would go to PVP by Scott Kurtz.  Does “Digital” comic include Webcomic?

  10. I didn’t realize that Eliopoulos has not won the Eisner!! For some reason I assumed he’s got like 5 which is why they ommited him. Maybe that’s what happened … He SHOULD have won like tons!

    As far as Cooke and Parker, I have a feeling he got ommited because he won last year and the committe probably felt it would be like giving someone two nominations for the same book. He is deserving, but more deserving of the penciling. His work on the second was amazing.

    I’ve not read the Wolvering story, my Strange Tales II is in the mail for me, but the JMS Batgirl story was amazing. Eisner committee dropped the ball, totally agree.

  11. If you complain about Alan Moore you loose your arugment for Best Writer nomination Jason Aaron in my opinion.  As for Brave & Bold 33 I 100% agree it was a top notch issue by JMS & Cliff Chiang.  Thor TMA as a best new  series scratch that best cancelled series oh well maybe next time.


  12. good job josh you just did a better job then the eisner’s did

  13. I feel like Mystery Society is something that I would really enjoy but hadn’t heard of until now.  Since I’m on a Fiona Staples binge right now (after I read my first ever issue of Jonah Hex) I think I’m going to pick it up.  Great list Josh.  I especially agree with the Sixth Gun.  It was delightful.

  14. @mguy77  What does this mean? “If you complain about Alan Moore you loose your arugment for Best Writer nomination Jason Aaron in my opinion.”

  15. The JMS Brave and the Bold series was fantastic and #33 has to be one of the best single issues I’ve ever read.

    Ba and Moon really derseve any kind of recognition that can be given for Daytripper, that book was beautiful.

    And the Sixth Gun was robbed for sure! That book is so much fun.

  16. Cant we just create the iFanboy Awards? I second all of your nominations.

  17. Great piece, Josh. Not sure what the nominators were thinking. I say there should be a video show about the eisners and how they’re done in the first place.

  18. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – B&B #33 was robbed. Sixth Gun and Mystery Society also deserved noms.

  19. @MadMartigan: Ok, you caught me.  I didn’t read Outlaw Territory, Troop 143 and Blacksad.  However, I did read and AGREED with every other book mentioned by Josh, so I got a little carried away and said that I agreed with them all.  There.  Are you happy now?

  20. @ctrosejr  Dude. It’s cool. Tell me I’m right. It’s all good.

  21. @MadMartigan  See Josh post on negativity.  Learn it, know it, live it.

  22. @josh  I love your snub choices. Especially Rafael Grampa’s Strange Tales II tale, Thor The Mighty Avenger and The Sixth Gun snubs.

    The only snub I would add to the list would be Joe Kelly’s Amazing Spider-Man #617…the Rhino issue. I felt like this issue should have received a Best Single Issue nomination.

  23. I still ask everyone… What would you take out (and why) as a nominee to get the one want in?

    The Tiki

  24. @dgazzuolo  That was my second choice after Brave and Bold #33. I didn’t want to have to pick alternates for all of them.

  25. I completely didn’t realize Brave and the Bold got shut out for Best Single issue. Good catch!

    Jason Aaron as a Best Writer nominee? No….Sorry but, since I don’t read Scalped, his work doesn’t hold much ground for me. Punisher MAX is good, but not great. Plus that book, and Astonishing Wolverine/Spider-Man were delayed so much (not his fault but the artists) that I don’t think it would be fair to the other writers who continually produced amazing issues. Of course that means John Layman shouldn’t be nominated with what I said since Chew was delayed all the time…..Either way I don’t think Aaron deserves it. 

  26. It took me forever to track down an issue of Brave and Bold #33, but after reading it I totally agree with you guys and wish it had been nominated. Moon and Ba as well, but I didn’t really like Scalped so I’m not feeling the Aaron love.

  27. Who drew that matthew wilson colored panel?  real nice. 

  28. Chris Eliopoulos not being nominated is a crime!

  29. @dkbrain I’m not being negative I’m just not agreeing. You don’t have to agree with everything they say. It’s okay it’s just a discussion.

  30. @Gabe  Chris Samnee.
    @MadMartigan You weren’t being negative, just a bit of a smartass, and that’s not something I can point any fingers at. No harm, no foul, play ball! 

  31. @josh  haha Roger that

  32. Agree with all of the above needing more recognition (although I haven’t read the Outlaws one…will check it out!), but Chris Ware’s LINT got snubbed worse than anything. 

  33. @josh what’s it from?

  34. @Gabe  Thor TMA

  35. How are the Eisner Nominations decided?
    Cause Thor TMA should be in for best new series most definitely

  36. @aussie86  A panel of judges pick the nominees. It’s a different panel every year.

  37. @TheNextChampion
    I don’t see the logic in what you said at all.

  38. @TNC – Yeah, me neither. How does you not reading Aaron’s best book, and one of THE best and most consistent on the market, invalidate him as a writer? That’s just thick-headed and makes so sense other than if you’re trying to explain to us why you do not understand why he is good. It’s like someone saying that David Fincher isn’t worthy of a best director nom because they didn’t choose to see The Social Network. What’s your point? By that logic, everything any of us doesn’t read isn’t good????

  39. @TheNextChampion  Chew wasn’t delayed all the time. Chew was delayed once, because artist Rob Guillory and his wife had a baby. It’s come out very regularly, and we saw plenty of issues in 2010, which this award is for.

  40. @TheNextChampion  —how does scheduling or delays effect the quality of the writing or art? These are awards for content. Its NOT the Eisner Scheduling and Logistics Awards. 

  41. I don’t think Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine was ever delayed. I think it’s supposed to be coming out once every two months. Just to cover every base.

  42. @Jimski  It was certainly announced as every two months.  I remember being a little disappointed about that after I picked up the first issue.