2019 Russ Manning Award nominees announced

Annual award for the ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ comic artist will be presented during the Eisner Awards in July at Comic-Con International.

The nominees have been announced for the 2019 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, named for the creator of Magnus, Robot Fighter and illustrator of the Tarzan and Star Wars comic strips.

Presented annually since 1982, the award recognizes an artist who, early in his or her career, “shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics.” Previous winners include Dave Stevens, Eleanor Davis, Jeff Smith, Marion Churchland, David Petersen, Tyler Crook, Dan Mora and Anne Szabla.

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2019 Eisner Award nominees announced

Image receives the most nominations of any publisher, and sweeps the Best New Series category.

The nominees for the 2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards have been announced by Comic-Con International. Image Comics received the most nominations with 19, while DC Comics received 17 nominations (not including the “shared” categories, like colorists who work for multiple companies).

On the creator end, Tom King received the most nominations with six, followed by Alex de Campi and Jeff Lemire with four. Also, if you’re of the betting persuasion, here’s a tip: put your money on an Image series walking away with the Best New Series Eisner.

The announcement follows the list of nominees for the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, which was released in January. The awards will be announced in July at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Check out the complete list of nominees below.

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2019 Eisner Hall of Fame nominees announced

Jim Aparo, Dave Stevens, June Tarpé Mills and Morrie Turner will be automatically inducted, while voters will choose four more from a field of 14.

Comic-Con International has announced this year’s nominees for the Eisner Hall of Fame. They include the four judges’ choices — who will be automatically inducted — and 14 other nominees, four of whom will be inducted based on voters’ choices.

The judges’ choices are Jim Aparo, who is probably best known for his work on various Batman titles, including Batman and the Outsiders; Dave Stevens, creator of the Rocketeer; June Tarpé Mills, the Golden Age creator of Miss Fury; and Morrie Turner, creator of the Wee Pals newspaper strip in the 1960s.

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Comics Lowdown: Tom King’s CIA service

Plus: ‘The Arrival’ selected for Hong Kong’s first ‘One City, One Book’ campaign, the obituary Marie Severin should have received, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Phoebe Gloeckner, Diamond Gem awards and more best-of-2018 lists!

Happy New Year from the Smash Pages staff! Coming back from the holiday break, let’s ring out the old and ring in the new with today’s collection of comic book news links.

Let’s start with a weird one: Last week Abhay Khosla, comics critic and past Superman writer, posted about his attempts to confirm with the CIA that Batman and Heroes in Crisis writer Tom King used to work for them. The topic of King’s former employer frequently comes up in interviews related to his Batman work (not to mention King’s Vertigo series The Sheriff of Babylon), and Khosla questioned whether any reporters who interviewed King about it had ever confirmed it. So Khosla sent the CIA a letter back in 2016 asking for confirmation, and the response he received from the agency was inconclusive.

This exchange occurred in 2016, and why Khosla decided to go public with it now isn’t clear. The point of Khosla’s post doesn’t seem to be to call out King as a liar (he starts his post by saying, “I don’t think this is really a story about Tom King”) but is more of a statement about entertainment journalism and fact-checking. He points out similar situations where a past DC writer, Micah Wright, lied about being in the armed services, as well as current Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski pretending to be Japanese early in his career.

The problem isn’t in asking the question — it’s posting about it without an answer or actually asking King about it. Like verifying facts, that’s also journalism 101. After the post went live, King was quick to respond on Twitter, showing proof that he was, indeed, in the CIA. Bleeding Cool, The Comics Reporter and Nick Hanover have more commentary on this.

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Monstress and Monsters rule the 2018 Eisner Awards

Diversity wins as ‘Monstress’ sweeps with 5 awards with Liu is the first woman to win Best Writer, and ‘My Favourite Thing is Monsters’ gets 3.

Last night at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel during Comic-Con International, the 2018 Eisner Awards were presented in a passionate and empowering three-hour ceremony.

It was the night for monsters as Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda won five Eisner Awards including best continuing series, best painter/multimedia artist, best cover artist and best publication for teens. Liu made history by becoming the first woman to ever win the best writer award in the 30-years of the Eisners being handed out. Liu was in attendance to receive all of the awards for Monstress, but used FaceTime so Sana Takeda, in Japan, can “be on stage” with her to receive the best continuing series award.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris won three including best graphic album, best coloring and best writer/artist. “You did it again. You made an old lady cry, ” declared Ferris as she accepted the best coloring award.

Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill, and the Akira 35th Anniversary Edition each received two of the coveted awards.

The award winners were noticeably diverse as a large number of people of colour, women, and LGBTQ+ creators all received awards.

Surprise celebrity guests graced the stage Nichelle Nichols, Phil Lamar, Cas Anvar, Benedict Wong, and Felicia Day were on hand to present awards.

Check out the complete list of winners and some reactions below.

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For the first time, two women comic writers will receive this year’s Bill Finger Award

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly and Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk, two comic book pioneers who kicked off their careers in the 1940s, will receive the award during the Eisners ceremony at Comic-Con International.

Comic-Con International has announced the recipients of this year’s Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Writing, which goes to writers who have not been given due recognition for their work.

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly and Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk, two comic book pioneers active in the 1940s, will be the first women to receive the award.

“We’re really excited about this one,” committee chair Mark Evanier said in a statement. “The comic book industry employed too few women in its early decades. Back when this year’s honorees were active, their gender was horribly unrepresented among the creative talents that made the comics—and what few there were went totally unrecognized. The work of these two extraordinary ladies deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.”

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Nominees for the 2018 Eisner Awards announced

‘Monstress’ and ‘My Favorite Thing Is Monsters’ receive multiple nominations.

Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for the 2018 Eisner Awards, presented annually in San Diego at the convention.

Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda and My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris each received five nominations across various categories; other comics with multiple nominations included Mister Miracle, Black Hammer, The Flintstones, Grass Kings, Eartha and Hawkeye.

Check out the complete list of nominees below.

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Kalish, Ormes announced for Eisner Hall of Fame class of 2018

Comic-Con International announces the 2018 judge’s picks and other nominees for this year’s Eisner Hall of Fame.

Direct market pioneer Carol Kalish and black female newspaper cartoonist Jackie Ormes will be inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in July at Comic-Con International, as announced by CCI on their official blog this week.

Kalish, who worked as direct sales manager and vice president of new product development at Marvel Comics from 1981 to 1991, is credited with pioneering the comics direct market when it was in its adolescence, in part through a program in which Marvel helped pay for comic book stores to acquire cash registers. Kalish also spearheaded the expansion of the Marvel’s distribution into major bookstores such as B. Daltons and Waldenbooks. Kalish passed away in 1991 from a brain aneurysm, at the age 36.

Ormes was the first, and for a long time only, black female newspaper cartoonist. In the 1930s she wrote and drew Dixie in Harlem comics featuring Torchy Brown. After returning to her roots in journalism, she published Candy, a single-panel cartoon about a witty housemaid in 1945. Then she created Patty-Jo ’n’ Ginger, another single-panel cartoon about a pair of sisters, which ran for 11 years through 1956. Finally, from 1950 to 1954, Ormes revamped Torchy Brown into Torchy in Heartbeats, an 8-page color comic insert that included paper dolls. Ormes passed away in 1985.

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Comics Lowdown: Legal woes for political cartoonists Ted Rall and Zunar

Plus: Hell’s Kitchen is trendy, fun and socially progressive comics, Alex Simmons and Erica Henderson celebrated, industry of immigrants

Legal: Political cartoonist Ted Rall has lost another round in his lawsuit against the Los Angeles Times. Rall, a former freelancer for the Times sued the paper for defamation and wrongful termination last year, after the editors determined a blog post he had written about his treatment by the Los Angeles Police Department was inaccurate. The Times dropped Rall as a freelancer and published an editor’s note stating that the blog post was incorrect. Last week, a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Kalin ruled that because Rall was a public figure, the editor’s note and any other articles about him are protected by the First Amendment. Consequently, Kalin granted the motion by the Times’s parent company, Tribune Media, to strike the complaint.

Legal: The Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar (pictured above) has filed a lawsuit against the government and the police, including 16 individual police officers, for seizing his books and T-shirts at a fund-raising event last December. Zunar had organized a “Tea with Zunar” event at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur on December 17, but before it began, police arrested the cartoonist and an assistant who was in charge of sales, and they confiscated 1,187 books and 103 T-shirts. Zunar and his assistant were released, but the merchandise was not returned. In the suit, Zunar alleges that the arrest and seizure were illegal and that some booksellers will no longer carry his books because of the fear they will be confiscated.

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