The 2015 Eisner Awards are less than two weeks away! On 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.
This time we are looking at all of the awards for comics published as series. This includes anything that falls into the standard publishing routine of American comics where floppies are sold as individual units of a larger whole. Some categories focus on single issues, while others look at the full expanse of what was published in 2014, but they all focus on series.
Best Single Issue
Astro City #16: “Wish I May” by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo/DC)
Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
Madman in Your Face 3D Special, by Mike Allred (Image)
Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1 (Marvel)
The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (DC)
Who We Think Will Win: The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1
When this issue was published last year it was all anyone could talk about, like nothing else had come out that week. On the day it came out, the headline of the ComicBook.Com review declared it to be the best single issue of 2015. It is a perfect issue where each panel is designed like clockwork to hold meaning by itself, within the page, and as part of the entire comic. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely are masters who have always elevated one another’s work, and this may be the best 40 pages they have ever created. Together with Nathan Fairbairn’s immensely complex colors, they reminded us just how much comics are capable of.
Who We Think Should Win: The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1
This isn’t even up for discussion. All other answers are wrong. The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 was the best single issue of 2014. ‘Nuff said.
Best Continuing Series
Astro City, by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo)
Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction, David Aja, & Annie Wu (Marvel)
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image)
Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour (Image)
The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, & Stefano Gaudiano (Image/Skybound)
Who We Think Will Win: Saga
Predicting that Saga will win the Eisner for Best Continuing Series is becoming a matter of math. It has won a total of three Eisner Awards each year of its run, including Best Continuing Series both years. The series quality has not been diminished in the least either. It’s every bit as good as when it debuted, so there’s little reason to doubt that it’s bound to win again.
Who We Think Should Win: Southern Bastards
This one hurts a little because I love Saga. I’m glad to have seen it won twice in a row, and would love to see it achieve the hat trick, but Southern Bastards is really, stupidly, incredibly good. I’ve looked at the series three times in the past year, and each time I was blown away. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour are producing the best work of their careers with a series that has a lot to say, and says it so very well. Southern Bastards is raw, powerful, and utterly enthralling, the best comic series continuing today.
Best Limited Series
Daredevil: Road Warrior, by Mark Waid & Peter Krause (Marvel Infinite Comics)
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
The Multiversity, by Grant Morrison et al. (DC)
The Private Eye, by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate)
The Sandman: Overture, by Neil Gaiman & J. H. Williams III (Vertigo/DC)
Who We Think Will Win: The Multiversity
There are only good issues in The Multiversity and they represent a diverse array of styles, both in art and tone. Pax Americana #1 was easily the best issue of 2014, but Thunderworld #1 was an incredibly fun and lovingly rendered issue, exceedingly good as well. Society of Super-Heroes #1 and The Just #1 are both nothing to scoff at. The Multiversity delivered a lot of great issues in 2014, and it’s easy to see why it will most likely win Best Limited Series.
Who We Think Should Win: Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland
Best Limited Series isn’t a category that focuses on the quality of individual issues though, it’s about the greatness of the complete series and no other limited series was as consistently great as Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland. Based on Windsor McKay’s groundbreaking newspaper strips, this series applied McKay’s sense of invention and imagination to the comic book and pamphlet and delivered incredible results. Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez did something special with every page they published, and crafted a magnificent series that both honors the past and pushes the comics medium forward.
Best New Series
The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Image)
Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona (Marvel)
Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel)
The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (Image)
Who We Think Will Win: Ms. Marvel
More than a year after Ms. Marvel debuted, the series is still experiencing an immense amount of love to absolutely no one’s surprise. G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona created THE breakout character of 2014, and her adventures have inspired a new generation of comics and superhero fans. It is a truly fantastic series and one that anyone with a heart is hoping will continue for a long time.
Who We Think Should Win: The Fade Out
It’s hard to beat one of the greatest pair of collaborators to ever make comics though. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips will one day be spoken of with the same reverence as Kirby and Lee. The Fade Out shows why that legacy is inevitable. It’s pulpy, character-driven, and loaded with subtext. Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colors have lit up Phillips’ version of Golden Age Hollywood making each issue something to behold. There were a lot of breakout series in 2014, but none hit quite the same highs as The Fade Out (except for Southern Bastards, which isn’t nominated in this category for some bizarre reason).
Best Digital/Web Comic
Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover, Monkeybrain/comiXology.com
Failing Sky by Dax Tran-Caffee, https://failingsky.com
The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies, https://lastmechanicalmonster.blogspot.com
Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson, https://gingerhaze.com/nimona/comic
The Private Eye by Brian Vaughan & Marcos Martin https://panelsyndicate.com/
Who We Think Will Win: The Private Eye
When The Private Eye wasn’t nominated at the 2014 Eisner Awards or even listed under Brian K. Vaughan’s writer nomination, there was a minor uproar. It appears that someone on the nomination committee got the memo though. The Private Eye is Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s beautiful, pick your price comic book. Designed for viewing on computer screens and tablets, it is structured in widescreen, horizontal pages, each of which is absolutely stunning. It’s a bold new model and design for digital comics presented by one of the best series of the past few years.
Who We Think Should Win: The Private Eye0comments
Remember that time when I dismissed the idea that anything was even close to being as good as The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, and it was obvious that it should win the Eisner? It was only about four sections back. Well, copy and paste that notion for The Private Eye. It’s an obvious and deserving winner.
So who do you think ought to win the Eisners for best collected editions? 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.