‘Saga,’ Sonny Liew, Jill Thompson take home 2017 Eisner Awards

Ceremony honors legends, including Jack Kirby, George Perez, Jim Starlin, Walt Simonson and Los Bros Hernandez.

Sonny Liew, Jill Thompson and the team behind Saga all took home multiple awards last night at the 28th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Saga took home four awards, including Best Continuing Series and Best Writer for Brian K. Vaughan, while artist Fiona Staples won Best Cover Artist and Best Penciller/Inker. Liew ‘s awards for his graphic novel, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, included Best Writer/Artist, Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia, and Best Publication Design. And Jill Thompson was recognized three times: for Best Single Issue/One-Shot for her work on Beast of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In, Best Graphic Album—New for Wonder Woman: The True Amazon and Best Painter/Multimedia Artist.

Several comics legends were also honored at the ceremony. Jack Kirby and William Messner-Loebs both received the Bill Finger Excellence in Comics Writing Award, while Walt Simonson, Jim Starlin, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, George Perez, Milt Gross, H.G. Peter, Antonio Prohias and Dori Seda were all inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, created to honor those people in comics and the popular arts who have worked to help others, went to Joe Ferrara, for his work in prostate cancer awareness, and Mark Andreyko for curating the Love Is Love anthology after the Pulse nightclub shooting. Love is Love also won for best anthology.

Other awards presented at the ceremony include the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailer Award, which went to Comicazi in Somerville, Massachusetts, and the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, which wnet to Anne Szabla, writer/artist of Bird-Boy.

Here’s the complete list of all nominees, with the winners bolded:

Continue reading “‘Saga,’ Sonny Liew, Jill Thompson take home 2017 Eisner Awards”

Comics Lowdown: Graphic novel sales are up, floppies are flat

The comics market is growing, but monthly comics are not. Also: A week of great comics articles from NPR!

By the Numbers: The comics market increased by 5% to a total of $1.085 billion in 2016, according to an estimate by Milton Griepp of ICv2 and John Jackson Miller of Comichron. Graphic novels sold in bookstores accounted for almost all the growth, however; they were up 16%, while sales of monthly comics in comic shops, on newsstands, and in digital format remained flat. Griepp saw the graphic novel growth as evidence that the market is expanding, as more women and children find graphic novels, while Miller credited Marvel’s Star Wars comics and DC’s Rebirth event.

Whatever Happened to comiXology? Three years after the largest digital comics service was purchased by Amazon, they still have plenty going on, says comics-biz maven Rob Salkowitz, including using Amazon’s “affinity marketing” (if you liked this, you’ll like that) tools, expanding to foreign audiences, and bringing in new readers via the ComiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited, and Prime Reading programs.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Graphic novel sales are up, floppies are flat”

Comics Lowdown: More Manga, Scary Stories and an Inside Look at North Korea

A North Korean cartoonist looks at the lighter side of defection, an American cartoonist turns down an Iranian award, and Humanoids announces an all-ages horror graphic novel.

Struggles and Smiles: Former North Korean animator Choi Seong-guk was surprised at how different the comics were when he defected to South Korea: “When I first saw South Korean cartoons, I just didn’t get them,” he says. “There were no stories about patriotism or catching spies or war. They just seemed useless to me.” There were a lot of other differences too, including some idioms that he misunderstood. Now he has turned his experiences into an online comic that depicts both the funny and the serious side of the lives of North Koreans at home and in South Korea.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: More Manga, Scary Stories and an Inside Look at North Korea”

Frank Miller’s ‘300’ prequel due next year

Check out new preview art for ‘Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander.’

Entertainment Weekly reports that Frank Miller’s 300 prequel will arrive next year from Dark Horse Comics.

With quite the mouthful for a title, Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander will “focus on the Persian emperor Xerxes, the so-called ‘King of Kings’ who raised a massive army to invade Greece in the fifth century B.C. to get revenge for his father’s death and become a god,” according to EW. “The title suggests the story will also look forward to the rise of Alexander the Great, who destroyed the Persian Empire a few centuries after Xerxes’ reign.”

Miller has talked about doing the comic for a while, at least as far back as 2009-2010.

Continue reading “Frank Miller’s ‘300’ prequel due next year”

Comics Lowdown: Comic-Con to Stay in San Diego

Plus: Udon to publish Daigo manga, another comics shop is robbed, a comics professor quits his job

It’s official: Comic-Con International will remain in San Diego for now, resisting the blandishments of other cities such as Los Angeles and Anaheim, which have been trying to woo it away. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced on June 30 that the city has signed a three-year deal with Comic-Con that will last through 2021; the current contract ends after next year’s show. Faulconer made a pitch for expanding the convention center, something that has been talked about for years now; the City Council recently refused his request to put a special tax on the November ballot to fund an expansion. Con-goers get a bit of a break in this new contract, though: The last contract held all hotel rooms to their 2016 prices for the duration, and the new one only allows a 4% increase over the 2018 price over the subsequent three years.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Comic-Con to Stay in San Diego”

Timm & Klein honor ‘The King’ on San Diego souvenir book

Comic-Con International’s annual publication will pay tribute to Jack Kirby, in honor of his 100th birthday.

Every year Comic-Con International in San Diego pays tribute to various anniversaries in their annual Souvenir Book, which features artists contributing pieces related to whatever comic or pop culture phenomenon is celebrating a milestone. With the upcoming 100th birthday of legendary comics creator Jack Kirby, this year’s edition will feature a cover by Bruce Timm of Batman: The Animated Series fame (which is also celebrating an anniversary) that honors the King in two ways.

Timm and award-winning letterer Todd Klein pay homage to Kirby’s cover to Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen #141:

Continue reading “Timm & Klein honor ‘The King’ on San Diego souvenir book”

Sonny Liew, ‘Kill or Be Killed,’ ‘Saga’ top this year’s Eisner nomination list

Fantagraphics and Image Comics receive 20 nominations each.

Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for the 2017 Eisner Awards, presented annually in San Diego at the convention.

Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye tops the list with six nominations, while Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga tied with Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Kill or Be Killed tied with four nominations each. On the publisher front, Fantagraphics and Image Comics both received 20 nominations each, the most of any publisher.

Continue reading “Sonny Liew, ‘Kill or Be Killed,’ ‘Saga’ top this year’s Eisner nomination list”

Believe the hype: These Public Enemy figures are awesome

Based on designs by Ed Piskor, the set includes Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff and Terminator X.

One of the coolest pieces of merch I saw coming out of San Diego this year (besides that Flex Mentallo towel) was this box set of Public Enemy action figures based on designs by Hip Hop Family Tree creator Ed Piskor. I was afraid they might be an SDCC exclusive, but they are available to the rest of the world as well.

Continue reading “Believe the hype: These Public Enemy figures are awesome”

Hear more than 20 comics-related panels from SDCC

Hear panels featuring Peter David, Daniel Clowes, Howard Chaykin and more.

If you missed Comic-Con International in San Diego last week, Jamie Coville has you covered. Like he’s done for the past several years, he attended and recorded several of the comic-related panels form the show. These include the spotlights on special guests Howard Chaykin and Peter David, some of the Comics Arts Conference sessions and “The Best and Woirst Manga of 2016” featuring our own Brigid Alverson.

You can find them all on Jamie’s website.