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Manga Doubles Its Nominations in 2010 Eisner Comic Industry Awards

By April 8, 2010

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Pluto Vol. 2It's that time of year again -- Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for the 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. Named for one of the legends of American comics, the Eisner Awards is essentially the equivalent of the Oscars, the Grammys and the Tonys for the North American comics biz, as the nominees are chosen by and voted on by industry professionals, including creators, editors and comic shop retailers.

While the primary focus of the Eisners has been and always will be titles created and published in North America, in recent years, the Eisners committee has been making an effort to recognize titles from Europe and Asia, including more manga from Japan and, for the first time, manhwa from Korea. This year, manga/manhwa titles received 14 Eisner Award nominations in eight categories - effectively doubling the seven nominations that manga titles received in 2009.

Eisner Awards logoWhile Japanese comics have been making in-roads in the Eisner Award nominations over the past three years, this year marks a quantum leap as far as recognition in categories beyond the dedicated "manga" category, Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia. Most notably, Pluto and 20th Century Boys (VIZ Media) have been nominated in the highly competitive Best Continuing Series, Best Limited Series and Best Writer/Artist categories. A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly) received three nominations while A Distant Neighborhood by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare-Ponent Mon) got two nominations.

With five Eisner nods to his name, Naoki Urasawa has the most nominations out of all comics creators chosen for the 2010 honors, beating out industry giants such as David Mazzuchelli (nominated four times for Asterios Polyp) and Robert Crumb (for The Book of Genesis). Little wonder too, with two of Urasawa's most critically-acclaimed seinen manga series making their North American debut in 2009, Pluto and 20th Century Boys.

A Drifting LifeAnother perennial Eisner favorite, manga legend Yoshihiro Tatsumi also received multiple nods for his mostly-autobiographical opus, A Drifting Life from Drawn and Quarterly. A Drifting Life is nominated in three categories, Best Reality-Based Work, Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia and Best Lettering for comics creator Adrian Tomine, who worked closely with Drawn and Quarterly and Tatsumi-sensei on all of his North American releases.

In earlier voting, Tatsumi-sensei was also one of 13 nominees up for four open slots in the 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Hall of Fame awards.

Broken down by publisher, Fanfare - Ponent Mon received seven nominations, including two for A Distant Neighborhood and three for My Mommy Went to America and Met Buffalo Bill by French creators Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo and two for Years of the Elephant by Belgian comics creator Willy Linthout.

The Color of EarthVIZ Media got six nominations for all the Urasawa love and everyone's favorite gourmet graphic novels, Oishinbo Ala Carte by Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasaki. Drawn and Quarterly got four nominations, of which three are for A Drifting Life. Abrams Comic Arts' two manga-related art book releases, The Art of Osamu Tezuka by Helen McCarthy and Manga Kamishibai by Eric Nash were both nominated in the Best Comics-Related Book category.

Some of the categories for the Eisners were re-named for 2010. "Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Japan" has been rechristened as "Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia," presumably to allow inclusion of the Color Trilogy, Kim Dong Hwa's manhwa series from First Second, which is also the first Korean comics title ever nominated for an Eisner Award. The "Best Limited Series" category has been changed to "Best Limited Series or Story Arc."

Here are the notable manga nominees for the 2010 Eisner Awards:

20th Century Boys Vol. 3Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

  • Best Continuing Series
  • Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia
  • Best Writer/Artist

Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ Media)

  • Best Limited Series or Story Arc
  • Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia
  • Best Writer/Artist

A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Best Reality-Based Work
  • Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia
  • Best Lettering (Adrian Tomine)

A Distant Neighborhood Vol. 1A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.), by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

  • Best Graphic Album - New
  • Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia

The Color Trilogy (The Color of Earth, The Color of Water, The Color of Heaven), by Kim Dong Hwa (First Second)

  • Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia

Oishinbo a la Carte, written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by Akira Hanasaki (VIZ Media)

  • Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia

Art of Osamu TezukaThe Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga, by Helen McCarthy (Abrams ComicArts)

  • Best Comics-Related Book

Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater, by Eric P. Nash (Abrams ComicArts)

  • Best Comics-Related Book

This year's Eisner nominations were selected by a diverse group of comics professionals. The five pros who read an awful lot of comics and graphic novels to generate the Eisners shortlists are:

  • Craig Fischer (associate professor of English, Appalachian State University)
  • Francisca Goldsmith (librarian and staff development instructor/consultant, Infopeople)
  • John Hogan (reviewer, GraphicNovelReporter.com)
  • James Hudnall (writer, Harsh Realm, The Psycho)
  • Wayne Winsett (retailer, Time Warp Comics, Boulder, Colorado)

Voting for the Eisner Awards begins in mid-April, and is open only to eligible comics professionals, including creators, editors, publishers, and retailers.

The Eisner Awards will be announced at a reception held on Friday, July 26, 2010, during San Diego Comic-Con International.

Now that the 2010 Eisner Award nominations have been announced, what do you think? Were your favorites recognized, or are there titles you wish got a little more love?

Last year, I pulled together a list of 36 Manga Missed by the Eisner Awards based on recommendations and comments from across the Twittersphere. Do you have manga picks that, in your humble opinion, deserved to be nominated this year? Add your comments below, or shoot 'em at me via Twitter! When I get a good amount of suggestions, I'll post this year's list of noteworthy manga that the Eisners missed. Remember, the titles you suggest must have had at least one new volume released in 2009, and bonus points if you also include the Eisner category you would have nominated it for.

Image credits: PLUTO Naoki URASAWA/Studio Nuts, Takashi NAGASAKI and Tezuka Productions, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Kim Dong Haw, 20 SEIKI SHONEN Naoki URASAWA/Studio Nuts. With the cooperation of Takashi NAGASAKI, Jiro Taniguchi, Tezuka Productions, Comic-Con International

Comments

April 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm
(1) William Flanagan says:

James Hudnall is probably the reason for the good showing for manga. He used to be a manga rewriter (adapter) for many years.

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