The first Eisner Award to label penciller or inker in a category came in 1991 when Al Williamson won for Best Inker. Williamson also won another Eisner for Best Inker (Spider-Man, Untold Tales of Spider-Man) in 1997 and was later inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame in 2000. As seen today, the Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team Award was first introduced in 1994. Although this specific category isn’t always listed each year since its inception, with awards being given under penciller/inker only without “team” (1996, 2015), there has never been a back-to-back winner. Mitch Gerads has that opportunity this year being last year’s award winner.
Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Cover Artist category:
Matías Bergara, Coda (BOOM! Studios)
Matías Bergara’s works include, but are not limited to, titles from different publishers, including Humanoids (Dengue), Image Comics (Cannibal), DC Comics (Supergirl), and BOOM! Studios (Coda).
Chris C. Hernandez of Comicosity reviews the art of Coda: “Bergara has done an excellent job at designing a world that was once magical but is now decaying like a tooth from too much sugar… Bergara’s style backs that levity up with creature caricatures that will bring a smile to the reader’s face.”
Click here to purchase. (Coda)
Mitch Gerads, Mister Miracle (DC)
Mitch Gerads is an Eisner Award winning artist who won the Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team category (Mister Miracle) in 2018. Along with two other Eisner nominations last year, Gerads is also known for his work on Batman, The Sheriff of Babylon, and The Punisher.
Brandon Zachary from CBR notes how “Artist Mitch Gerads not only meets his typically impressive standard of quality and skill throughout the series, he exceeds it. Gerads manages to draw the action of the battle sequences with the same level of attention that he brings to smaller character moments.”
Click here to purchase. (Mister Miracle)
Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
Karl Kerschl has previously earned an Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic (Abominable Charles Christopher) in 2011. In addition to this year’s nomination for his work (Isola), Kerschl is also known for Gotham Academy, Teen Titans, and the Adventures of Superman.
ComicBookWire says, “Karl Kerschl creates a stunning world teeming with diverse characters and environments. Every element of this book presents a crisp and clean visual experience with an instantly recognizable level of polish. Plus, each character and location has a unique and well-defined look to them, making them feel as memorable as artwork from a Studio Ghibli or Disney film.”
Click here to purchase. (Isola)
Sonny Liew, Eternity Girl (Vertigo/DC)
Sonny Liew has won Eisner Awards for categories Best Writer/Artist, Best Publication Design, and Best U.S. Edition of International Material–Asia (all for The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye) in 2017. Liew also won “the first graphic novel to win the Singapore Literature Award” (The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye) and is also known for Wonderland, The Shadow Hero, Malinky Robot, and Doctor Fate.
Mexi Gremillion from Comicosity describes the artistic style in Eternity: “Liew’s work complements the downwards plunge into irreconcilable madness, depression, and horror that Visaggio’s words paint. The glitching reality of certain panels feels like this infinity shriek into the breaking of reality, these glimpses into what Caroline sees in her head and in the world around, her molding and mixing as well as oil and water. It’s a distressing image of sanity breaking and one’s most negative feelings seeping in and ruining what’s good in one’s life, a more physical formation of the spiraling Caroline is working through at the moment. It is her ‘splintering mind’ trying to shove circles into square holes. It’s great work.”
Click here to purchase. (Eternity Girl)
Sean Phillips, Kill or Be Killed, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (Image)
Sean Phillips won the Eisner Award for Best New Series (Criminal) in 2007. Phillips is also known for other works which have also earned him Eisner nominations, such as The Fade Out, Incognito, Sleeper, and 28 Days Later.
Joshua Davison from Bleeding Cool states in a review of Kill or Be Killed that “Sean Philips is immensely talented, and this comic is a well-detailed and appealingly styled experience. The action scenes are especially well-composed.”
Click here to purchase. (Kill or Be Killed)
Click here to purchase. (My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies)
Yanick Paquette, Wonder Woman Earth One, Vol. 2 (DC)
Yanick Paquette is a Joe Shuster Award winner for the category of Artist (Batman #49 – 50, Nightwing Rebirth #1, Wonder Woman: Earth One) in 2017. Paquette also has multiple other credits of work, including various titles such as Batman, Swamp Thing, Gambit, X-Men, and Wolverine.
Michael Fitzgerald Troy of Fanbase Press discusses Paquette’s style: “[His] art is amazing, as usual…It seems like there is nothing that he can’t draw - and draw well to boot. (20-eye lace boots even!) His style has the grace and beauty of Adam Hughes with the gritty realness of Bryan Hitch.”
Click here to purchase. (Wonder Woman Earth One, Vol. 2)
Stay tuned to the Fanbase Press website each day as we continue our “Countdown to the Eisners” coverage! Plus, follow Fanbase Press’ Facebook, Twitter (@Fanbase_Press), and Instagram (@fanbasepress) with the hashtag #FPSDCC to stay up to date on our SDCC and Eisner Awards updates, including a live-tweet of the 2019 Eisner Award Ceremony from the Hilton Bayfront Hotel at San Diego Comic-Con on the evening of Friday, July 19th!