2021 Eisner Awards: The Nominees and the Winners

SUPERMAN SMASHES THE KLAN (DC Graphic Novels for Young Adults, paper, $16.99)

The big news for the 2021 Eisner Awards at Comic-Con in San Diego is that cartoonist Gene Luen Yang was the big winner of the evening, taking home three Eisner Awards, including two for Superman Smashes the Klan (Best Publication for Kids, and Best Adaptation from Another Medium) and one for Dragon Hoops (Best Publication for Teens). That’s the big takeaway and quite a worthy one at that. Also, just as important is the news of Junji Ito‘s Remina (translated by Jocelyne Allen) manga winning this year’s Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia award. Junji Ito also won the Best Writer/Artist award for his Remina and Venus In The Blind Spot manga.

Panel excerpt from DRAGON HOOPS

While we inevitably focus on the winners–let’s also pay attention to the nominees. And then there are all the others who did not make it that far. I’ll tell you right now that these award lists are not the final word, but a great guide nonetheless. In a perfect world, for instance, Welcome to the New World, a graphic novel by Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan, would have been nominated for the 2020 book published by Henry Holt. It was nominated for an Eisner as a webcomic in 2018, so that’s a good thing. Among this year’s winners, I do think the Eisners got it spot on for Best Reality-Based book going to Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, by Derf Backderf. And it was great to give a shoutout to Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams byway of an award for Best Penciller/Inker to Michael Allred.

Anyway, I think it helps to make you dig around a little to see who won…you’ll see what I mean….

Best Short Story

  • “Garden Boys” by Henry McCausland, in Now #8 (Fantagraphics)
  • “I Needed the Discounts” by Connor Willumsen, in The New York Times(January 3, 2020)
  • “Parts of Us,” by Chan Chau, in Elements: Earth, A Comic Anthology by Creators of Color (Ascend Press)
  • “Rookie,” by Greg Rucka and Eduardo Risso, in Detective Comics #1027 (DC)
  • “Soft Lead,” by Chan Chau, https://chanchauart.com/comics#/soft-lead/
  • WINNER: “When the Menopausal Carnival Comes to Town,” by Mimi Pond, in Menopause: A Comic Treatment (Graphic Medicine/Pennsylvania State University Press)

Best Single Issue

  • The Burning Hotels, by Thomas Lampion (Birdcage Bottom Books)
  • Hedra, by Jesse Lonergan (Image)
  • The Other History of the DC Universe #1, by John Ridley and Giuseppe Camuncoli (DC)
  • WINNER: Sports Is Hell, by Ben Passmore (Koyama Press)
  • Stanley’s Ghost: A Halloween Adventure, by Jeff Balke, Paul Storrie, and Dave Alvarez (Storm Kids)

Best Continuing Series

  • Bitter Root, by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
  • Daredevil, by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto (Marvel)
  • The Department of Truth, by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds (Image)
  • Gideon Falls, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Image)
  • Stillwater, by Chip Zdarsky and Ramón K Pérez (Image/Skybound)
  • WINNER: Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (IDW)

Best Limited Series

  • Barbalien: Red Planet, by Jeff Lemire, Tate Brombal, and Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Dark Horse)
  • Decorum, by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Huddleston (Image)
  • Far Sector, by N. K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell (DC)
  • Strange Adventures, by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Evan “Doc” Shaner (DC Black Label)
  • WINNER: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber (DC)
  • We Live, by Inaki Miranda and Roy Miranda (AfterShock)

Best New Series

  • WINNER: Black Widow, by Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande (Marvel)
  • Crossover, by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw (Image)
  • The Department of Truth, by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds (Image)
  • Killadelphia, by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander (Image)
  • We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, by Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo (BOOM! Studios)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

  • Bear, by Ben Queen and Joe Todd-Stanton (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club, by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Donut Feed the Squirrels, by Mika Song (RH Graphic/RH Children’s Books)
  • Kodi, by Jared Cullum (Top Shelf)
  • Lift, by Minh Lê and Dan Santat (Little, Brown Young Readers)
  • WINNER: Our Little Kitchen, by Jillian Tamaki (Abrams Books for Young Readers)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

  • Doodleville, by Chad Sell (Knopf/BFYR/RH Children’s Books)
  • Go with the Flow, by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Mister Invincible: Local Hero, by Pascal Jousselin (Magnetic Press)
  • Snapdragon, by Kat Leyh (First Second/Macmillan)
  • WINNER: Superman Smashes the Klan, by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru (DC)
  • Twins, by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright (Scholastic Graphix)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

  • Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones, by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Displacement, by Kiku Hughes (First Second/Macmillan)
  • WINNER: Dragon Hoops, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence, by Joel Christian Gill (Oni Press)
  • A Map to the Sun, by Sloane Leong (First Second/Macmillan)
  • When Stars are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (Dial Books)

Best Humor Publication

  • The Complete Fante Bukowski, by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
  • Department of Mind-Blowing Theories, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • FANGS, by Sarah Andersen (Andrews McMeel)
  • Wendy, Master of Art, by Walter Scott (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • WINNER: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber (DC)
  • What If We Were . . ., by Axelle Lenoir (Top Shelf)

Best Anthology

  • Ex Mag, vols. 1–2, edited by Wren McDonald (PEOW)
  • Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison, edited by Sarah Mirk (Abrams)
  • Hey, Amateur! Go From Novice to Nailing It in 9 Panels, edited and curated by Shelly Bond (IDW Black Crown)
  • Los Angeles Times, edited by Sammy Harkham (NTWRK)
  • WINNER: Menopause: A Comic Treatment, edited by MK Czerwiec (Graphic Medicine/Pennsylvania State University Press)
  • Now, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)

Best Reality-Based Work

  • Big Black: Stand at Attica, by Frank “Big Black” Smith, Jared Reinmuth, and Améziane (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Dragon Hoops, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Invisible Differences: A Story of Asperger’s, Adulting, and Living a Life in Full Color, by Mme Caroline and Julie Dachez, translation by Edward Gauvin (Oni Press)
  • WINNER: Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, by Derf Backderf (Abrams)
  • Paying the Land, by Joe Sacco (Metropolitan/Henry Holt)
  • Year of the Rabbit, by Tian Veasna, translation by Helge Dascher (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Memoir

  • Banned Book Club, by Kim Hyun Sook, Ryan Estrada, and Ko Hyung-Ju (Iron Circus)
  • Dancing After TEN: A Graphic Memoir, by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber (Fantagraphics)
  • Ginseng Roots, by Craig Thompson (Uncivilized)
  • I Don’t Know How to Give Birth! by Ayami Kazama, translated by Julie Goniwich (Yen Press)
  • WINNER: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, by Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • When Stars Are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (Dial Books)

Best Graphic Album—New

  • The Book Tour, by Andi Watson (Top Shelf)
  • Dragman, by Steven Appleby (Metropolitan)
  • Flake, by Matthew Dooley (Jonathan Cape)
  • Labyrinth, by Ben Argon (Abrams)
  • Paul at Home, by Michel Rabagliati, translation by Helge Dascher and Rob Aspinall (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • WINNER: Pulp, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

  • Black Hammer Library Edition, vol. 2, by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormstom, Emi Lenox, and Rich Tommaso (Dark Horse)
  • Criminal Deluxe Edition, vol. 3, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Eight-Lane Runaways, by Henry McCausland (Fantagraphics)
  • Fante Bukowski: The Complete Works, by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
  • Herobear and the Kid: The Heritage, by Mike Kunkel (Astonish Factory)
  • WINNER: Seeds and Stems, by Simon Hanselmann (Fantagraphics)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium

  • Constitution Illustrated, by R. Sikoryak (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Parable of the Sower: The Graphic Novel Adaptation, by Octavia E. Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy and John Jennings (Abrams)
  • Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind, vol. 1, adapted by Yuval Noah Harari, David Vandermeulen and Daniel Casanave (Harper Perennial)
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, adapted by Ryan North and Albert Monteys (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • WINNER: Superman Smashes the Klan, adapted by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru (DC)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

  • Altitude, by Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette, translation by Edward Gauvin (SelfMadeHero)
  • Gamayun Tales I: An Anthology of Modern Russian Folk Tales, by Alexander Utkin, translation by Lada Morozova (Nobrow)
  • WINNER: Goblin Girl, by Moa Romanova, translation by Melissa Bowers (Fantagraphics)
  • Irena Books 2-3, by Jean-David Morvan, Severine Tréfouël, and David Evrard, translation by Dan Christensen (Magnetic Press)
  • When You Look Up, by Decur, translation by Chloe Garcia Roberts (Enchanted Lion Books)
  • The Winter of the Cartoonist, by Paco Roca, translation by Andrea Rosenberg (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia

  • I Had That Same Dream Again, by Yoru Sumino and Idumi Kirihara, translation by Beni Axia Conrad (Seven Seas)
  • I Wish I Could Say “Thank You,” by Yukari Takinami, translation by Yukari Takeuchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • A Journal Of My Father, by Jiro Taniguchi, translation by Kumar Sivasubramanian (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • Ping Pong, vols. 1–2, by Taiyo Matsumoto, translation by Michael Arias (VIZ Media)
  • WINNER: Remina, by Junji Ito, translation by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
  • Spy x Family, vols. 1–3, by Tatsuya Endo, translation by Casey Loe (VIZ Media)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips

  • WINNER: The Flapper Queens: Women Cartoonists of the Jazz Age, edited by Trina Robbins (Fantagraphics)
  • Gross Exaggerations: The Meshuga Comic Strips of Milt Gross, by Milt Gross, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press/IDW)
  • Krazy & Ignatz 1919-1921 by George Herriman, edited by RJ Casey(Fantagraphics)
  • Little Debbie and the Second Coming of Elmo: Daily Comic Strips, August 1960–September 1961, by Cecil Jensen, edited by Frank Young (Labor of Love)
  • Pogo The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Volume 7: Pockets Full of Pie, by Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books

  • Art Young’s Inferno, by Art Young, edited by Glenn Bray (Fantagraphics)
  • Atlas at War! edited by Michael J. Vassallo (Dead Reckoning)
  • WINNER: The Complete Hate, by Peter Bagge, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salty Sea, by Hugo Pratt, translation by Dean Mullaney and Simone Castaldi (EuroComics/IDW)
  • Little Lulu: The Fuzzythingus Poopi, by John Stanley, edited by Frank Young and Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Man and Superman and Other Stories, by Harvey Kurtzman, edited by J. Michael Catron (Fantagraphics)

Best Writer

  • Ed Brubaker, Pulp, Reckless (Image); Friday (Panel Syndicate)
  • Matt Fraction, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (DC); Adventureman, November vols. 2–3, Sex Criminals (Image)
  • Jonathan Hickman, Decorum (Image); Giant-Size X-Men, X-Men (Marvel)
  • Jeff Lemire, Barbalien, Black Hammer, Colonel Weird: Cosmagog (Dark Horse); The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage (DC Black Label); Family Tree, Gideon Falls (Image)
  • WINNER: James Tynion IV, Something Is Killing the Children, Wynd (BOOM! Studios); Batman (DC); The Department of Truth (Image); Razorblades (Tiny Onion)
  • Chip Zdarsky, Stillwater (Image/Skybound), Daredevil, Fantastic Four/X-Men (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist

  • WINNER: Junji Ito, Remina, Venus in the Blind Spot (VIZ Media)
  • Pascal Jousselin, Mister Invincible: Local Hero (Magnetic Press)
  • Trung Le Nguyen, The Magic Fish (RH Graphic/RH Children’s Books)
  • Craig Thompson, Ginseng Roots (Uncivilized)
  • Adrian Tomine, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Gene Luen Yang, Dragon Hoops (First Second/Macmillan)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

  • WINNER: Michael Allred, Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Editions)
  • Marco Chechetto, Daredevil (Marvel)
  • Jorge Corona, Middlewest (Image)
  • Bertrand Gatignol, Pistouvi (Magnetic Press)
  • Mitch Gerads/Evan “Doc” Shaner, Strange Adventures (DC Black Label)
  • Sanford Greene, Bitter Root (Image)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

  • Benjamin Adam, Soon (Europe Comics)
  • Alice Chemama, The Zolas (Europe Comics)
  • Jared Cullum, Kodi (Top Shelf)
  • Decur, When You Look Up (Enchanted Lion Books)
  • Antonio Lapone, Gentlemind (Europe Comics)
  • WINNER: Anand RK/John Pearson, Blue in Green (Image)

Best Cover Artist

  • Jamal Campbell, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (BOOM! Studios); Far Sector (DC)
  • Simone Di Meo, We Only Find Them When They’re Dead (BOOM! Studio)
  • Mike Huddleston, Decorum (Image)
  • Dave Johnson, Butcher of Paris (Dark Horse)
  • WINNER: Peach Momoko, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #19, Mighty Morphin #2, Something Is Killing the Children #12, Power Rangers #1 (BOOM! Studios); DIE!namite, Vampirella (Dynamite); The Crow: Lethe (IDW); Marvel Variants (Marvel
  • Ramón K. Pérez, Stillwater (Image/Skybound)

Best Coloring

  • WINNER: Laura Allred, X-Ray Robot (Dark Horse); Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Editions)
  • Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Middlewest (Image)
  • Gipi, One Story (Fantagraphics)
  • Marte Gracia, Empyre, X of Swords (Marvel)
  • Dave Stewart, Promethee 13:13 (comiXology); Black Hammer (Dark Horse); Gideon Falls (Image); Spider-Man #4-#5 (Marvel)
  • Matt Wilson, Undiscovered Country (Image); Fire Power (Image/Skybound); Thor (Marvel)

Best Lettering

  • Mike Allred, Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Editions)
  • Deron Bennett, Bear, The Sacrifice of Darkness (Archaia); King of Nowhere, Something Is Killing the Children, We Only Find Them When They’re Dead (BOOM! Studios); Far Sector, Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red, Martian Manhunter (DC); Excellence (Image/Skybound); A Dark Interlude, Dark One, Relics of Youth, Resonant, Shadow Service, Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth (Vault); Ping Pong (VIZ Media)
  • Aditya Bidikar, Barbalien: Red Planet, Grafity’s Wall Expanded Edition (Dark Horse); John Constantine, Hellblazer (DC); A Map to the Sun (First Second); The Department of Truth, Lost Soldiers (Image); Giga, The Picture of Everything Else (Vault)
  • Clayton Cowles, Aquaman, Batman, Batman and the Outsiders, Strange Adventures, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (DC); Adventureman, Bitter Root, Bog Bodies, Die (Image); Reaver (Image/Skybound); Morbius, X Of Swords (Marvel)
  • WINNER: Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (IDW)
  • Rus Wooton, Wonder Woman: Dead Earth (DC); Decorum, Monstress (Image); Die!Die!Die!, Fire Power, Oblivion Song, Outcast, Stillwater (Image/Skybound)

Best Comics-Related Journalism/Periodical


Best Comics-Related Book

  • American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason, by Brett Dakin (Comic House/Lev Gleason)
  • Ditko Shrugged: The Uncompromising Life of the Artist Behind Spider-Man and the Rise of Marvel Comics, by David Currie (Hermes Press)
  • Drawing Fire: The Editorial Cartoons of Bill Mauldin, edited by Todd DePastino (Pritzker Military Museum & Library)
  • The History of EC Comics, by Grant Geissman (TASCHEN)
  • WINNER: Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books, by Ken Quattro (Yoe Books/IDW)
  • Masters of British Comic Art, by David Roach (2000AD)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work

  • Comic Art in Museums, edited by Kim A. Munson (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Comic Studies: A Guidebook, edited by Charles Hatfield and Bart Beaty (Rutgers University Press)
  • WINNER: The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging, by Rebecca Wanzo (New York University Press)
  • Webcomics, by Sean Kleefeld (Bloomsbury)
  • Who Understands Comics: Questioning the Universality of Visual Language Comprehension, by Neil Cohn (Bloomsbury)

Best Publication Design

  • Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker in California deluxe edition, designed by David Chisholm and Tyler Boss (Z2 Comics)
  • Dbury@50: The Complete Digital Doonesbury, by G.B. Trudeau, designed by George Corsillo and Susan McCaslin(Andrews McMeel)
  • J & K, designed by John Pham (Fantagraphics)
  • WINNER: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, designed by Adrian Tomine and Tracy Huron (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Original Art: The Dan Clowes Studio Edition, designed by Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)

Best Digital Comic

  • WINNER: Friday, by Ed Brubaker and Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate)
  • Genius Animals? by Vali Chandrasekaran and Jun-Pierre Shiozawa, geniusanimals.net
  • Gentlemind, by Juan Díaz Canales, Teresa Valero, and Antonio Lapone, translation by Jeremy Melloul (Europe Comics)
  • Promethee 13:13, by Andy Diggle and Shawn Martinbrough (comiXology Originals/Delcourt)
  • Olive, by Véro Cazot and Lucy Mazel, translation by Jessie Aufiery (Europe Comics)
  • Soon, by Thomas Cadène and Benjamin Adam, translation by Margaret Besser (Europe Comics)

Best Webcomic

That’s it for the 2021 Eisners!

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5 Comments

Filed under Comic-Con, Comics, Comics News, Eisner Awards

5 responses to “2021 Eisner Awards: The Nominees and the Winners

  1. Nice to see Stan Sakai getting a win!

  2. Thanks for this post. It’ll give me plenty of titles to add to my TBR list!

    PS: Do you know what a “Graphic Album” is? I’ve never heard the term before. Thanks!!

  3. Pingback: 2021 Eisner Awards: The Nominees and the Winners – Cathy's Reading Bonanza

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