Following their win in the Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism category during the Eisner Awards presentation that was posted Friday night, the editors of Women Write About Comics questioned the legitimacy of the win, with one noting that they “can’t accept an award that isn’t cleanly and fairly won.”
Nola Fau, in a statement on Twitter, said that “given the situation with the Eisner voting procedures this year and given the shoddy way in which they were ‘resolved,’ I can’t personally accept this award.” Fau is one of the two editors listed on the nomination, along with Wendy Browne. You can read Fau’s full statement below.
Browne posted a response to the win on the WWAC site, saying that she would accept the award on behalf of the site and its contributors:
I know our value goes well beyond an award. Still, I know too that this award means a lot for many of us here at WWAC, people who have worked very hard and deserve acknowledgement. So I do accept it on behalf of all of our contributors this year, with hope for a future Eisner Awards process that is no longer discoloured by questionable voting practices. Or better yet, an award that better recognizes the value of comics journalism and critique. And the continued hope for an industry that is willing to face and stand up to the ugly truths about itself, clear out the trash, and remember that comics are for everyone.
The issues started in June during the voting process, when the voting site was closed down due to technical issues. Those issues actually turned out to be more concerning than first communicated, as some voters reported seeing other voters’ personal and voting information when they logged in.
The Beat’s Joe Grunenwald wrote: “It’s worth noting up top that, while a majority of Eisner voters who spoke to The Beat for this article did experience one issue or another with the voting, not all of them did, and even within those that did their experiences were all a little different. Some voters I corresponded with were able to view other people’s information after logging in; some didn’t have to log in at all to view that information; others weren’t even able to log in in the first place. “
While Comic-Con International said in a statement on their site that their “examination of the records leads us to believe the problem was limited in nature and have no evidence that any original votes were compromised or altered” and that a “comparison of the original results and those of the revote indicates no difference in the results,” the voters who THR and the Beat spoke to say different.
The Eisners are considered by many to be the top honor you can receive within the industry, and it’s disheartening to see these issues not getting properly addressed by the people who run the awards or Comic-Con International. In a year in which people are talking openly about abuse in comics and about racial injustice, that the Eisners saw that they had a big problem and decided to ignore it leaves a dark cloud over the results that were presented Friday night.