2015 Eisner Awards: Which Collections Will Win?

The 2015 Eisner Awards are just a week away! Next Friday, June 10, many of the best creators in comics will gather at a gala in San Diego to celebrate the best works of the previous year. There are a LOT of categories and nominees to look through. That’s why we are bringing you some guides to the hottest categories and comics up for the biggest award at Comic-Con International next week.

We predicted the Series Winners and Creators Winners earlier this week, but this time we’re examining some of the nominated collections. These comics fall outside of the normal monthly publishing routine of floppies. Whether they’re called original graphic novels, anthologies, or albums, all of these comics are published as a complete whole rather than bite-sized chapters.

Best Anthology

In the Dark: A Horror Anthology, edited by Rachel Deering (Tiny Behemoth Press/IDW)

Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, edited by Josh O’Neill, Andrew Carl, & Chris Stevens (Locust Moon)

Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It, edited by Anne Ishii, Chip Kidd, & Graham Kolbeins (Fantagraphics)

Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World, edited by Monte Beauchamp (Simon & Schuster)

To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)

Who We Think Will Win: In the Dark: A Horror Anthology

This Kickstarted anthology of horror stories collected some of the biggest names in comics today to dish out campfire-sized horror stories. It’s a beautiful hardcover with a lot of artists and writers attached to it, including Scott Snyder, Declan Shalvey, Steve Niles, and Tradd Moore. It’s an excellent collection of talent and fun scares.

Who We Think Should Win: Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream

This tribute to Windsor McCay’s seminal Sunday comic strips is something truly wonderful to behold. The collected cartoonists found in this enormous 16” x 21” volume represent the absolute best comics have to offer. Each newspaper sized sheet of paper is a beautiful self-contained story revealing a who’s who of comics draftsman and cartoonists. With names like Michael Allred, Paul Pope, Nate Powell, and P. Craig Russell, it’s hard to know where to even begin. Without a doubt, there was no more beautiful or complex anthology in comics last year than Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream.

Best Reality-Based Work

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)

Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories, by MariNaomi (2d Cloud/Uncivilized Books)

El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)

Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 2, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood, by Nathan Hale (Abrams)

To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)

Who We Think Will Win: Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Roz Chast’s cartoon memoir deals with the delicate topic of aging as she watches her own parent’s decline. It’s equal parts funny and potent, reflecting a very personal experience and revealing larger truths that most readers can relate to. The result is a memoir that reads like someone else’s story, but also one that could possibly be your own.

Who We Think Should Win: Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 2

Ed Piskor has managed to seamlessly combine the history and mythology of hip hop in America into one of the most engaging comics in America today. Not only is this volume laden with fascinating anecdotes and valuable reference material, but it mood of the material it observes very well. The attitude and raw talent of the performers emanates from the pages. Their bigger-than-life personalities are reflected in Piskor’s heavinly-stylized panels. Hip Hop Family Tree is a historical read that manages to infuse the reader with an enthusiasm for the material and some knowledge.

Best Graphic Album - New

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, by Stephen Collins (Picador)

Here, by Richard McGuire (Pantheon)

Kill My Mother, by Jules Feiffer (Liveright)

The Motherless Oven, by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)

Seconds, by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Ballantine Books)

This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki (First Second)

Who We Think Will Win: Seconds

Bryan Lee O’Malley’s first work to follow Scott Pilgrim faced tremendous expectations, but Seconds still managed to blow away the comics community when it was released. O’Malley is a consummate cartoonist, structuring every page for maximum impact and infusing each panel with meaning. His characters come to life with only a few lines and their actions are precisely conveyed. Seconds is a masterful work, made all the more powerful by the deeply human story at its core. If Scott Pilgrim reflects the first years of adulthood, then Seconds moves onto the even more complicated time that lies after university and first jobs. Both the themes and craft of O’Malley’s work have matured and the result here is truly astounding.

Who We Think Should Win: Seconds

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The competition in this category is tough, specifically This One Summer, but there’s no doubt about what the best comic on here is because it’s just that good. It’s Seconds. There’s just no way that Bryan Lee O’Malley doesn’t walk away from San Diego with an Eisner; Seconds is perfect.

So who do you think ought to win the Eisners for best collections? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. And make sure to check out our presentation of other Eisner categories this week as well with looks at both Creators and Series nominated for awards.