The Eisner Awards have seen a few artists dominate its Best Cover Artist category since its inception in 1992. Four artists have won 18 of the 27 years: Brian Bolland (Animal Man, Wonder Woman, Legends of the Dark Knight #50, Batman: Gotham Knights, The Flash, The Invisibles); Alex Ross (Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, Kingdom Come, Uncle Sam, Batman: No Man’s Land, Batman: Harley Quinn, Batman: War on Crime); James Jean (Batgirl, Fables, Green Arrow, Runaways, 1001 Nights of Snowfall, The Umbrella Academy, Process Recess 2, Superior Showcase); and David Aja (Hawkeye, Karnak, Scarlet Witch).
Bolland won the first three honors, while winning the ‘90s with four wins and his five overall wins led the first decade of this category. Ross won three in a row in the '90s and four of five from ’96 to ’00. James Jean has the most impressive feat of leading the 2000s with six in a row. Aja has earned three of four Eisners in the 2010s from ‘13 to ‘16. Perhaps this year’s winner will begin another string to helm the 2020s.
Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Cover Artist category:
Jen Bartel, Blackbird (Image); Submerged (Vault)
Jen Bartel has illustrated cover work for various publishers, including Marvel (The Life of Captain Marvel, Uncanny X-Men, Marvel Tales, America), DC Comics (Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica), IDW Publishing (Jem and the Holograms), Image Comics (The Wicked + The Divine, Isola), and several others. Bartel’s artwork has gained attention beyond the comic industry, including Adidas where they’ve teamed up with a Captain Marvel shoe design.
Marcus Orchard from Sequential Planet talks about Bartel’s art: “Her characters look fantastic, and the fantasy looks even better. From vivid colors to incredible beasts, Jen makes the world beautiful and intimidating. Bartel’s work makes Blackbird #1 worth the price of admission by itself.”
Click here to purchase. (Blackbird)
Click here to purchase. (Submerged)
Nick Derington, Mister Miracle (DC)
Nick Derington earned an Eisner Award nomination for Best Cover Artist (Mister Miracle, Doom Patrol) in 2018. Derington has provided cover art for multiple publishers, including titles like Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, and The Mighty Thor.
Chase Magnett of comicbook.com reveals that “Reviewing covers for the widely acclaimed Mister Miracle reveal an understanding of the core themes of the series. The isolation found in covers where Miracle is bound on stage or standing amidst explosions reconstruct the tone of the series beautifully. The presentation of key antagonists like Darkseid and the Female Furies distinguish them by their overwhelming presence or frenetic energy within the series, respectively.”
Click here to purchase. (Mister Miracle)
Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
Although Karl Kerschl is new to the Best Cover Artist category, he’s previously earned an Eisner for Best Digital Comic (Abominable Charles Christopher) in 2011. Kerschl’s work has drawn comic book covers for several different stories from Spider-Man, Deadpool, Iceman, Batman, and Batgirl.
Matthew Sardo from Monkeys Fighting Robots shares his opinions about Isola, noting, “Overall, Kerschl’s art leads the way” and “Isola is one of the best-looking books of 2018.”
Click here to purchase. (Isola)
Joshua Middleton, Batgirl and Aquaman variants (DC)
Joshua Middleton has previously been nominated for the Best Cover Artist category (X-Men Unlimited, New Mutants) in 2004. Middleton has created covers that feature characters from Wonder Woman, X-Men, Green Arrow, and Supergirl.
When featuring a variant cover, Chris Arrant from Newsarama headlines a preview with “JOSHUA MIDDLETON Delivers Stunning Batgirl #24 Variant.”
Click here to purchase. (Batgirl)
Click here to purchase. (Aquaman)
Julian Tedesco, Hawkeye, Life of Captain Marvel (Marvel)
Julian Tedesco has earned an Eisner Award nomination for this category (Hawkeye) in 2018. Tedesco has created cover art or variants for titles that include, but are not limited to, Batgirl, Mystik U, Harley Quinn, and current runs of Hawkman and Daredevil.
Maite Molina from ComicsVerse reviews Issue #5 of The Life of Captain Marvel: “Julian Totino Tedesco’s cover is simply gorgeous. The cover captures the joy Carol obtains when she flies through the skies. It captures the wonder and awe of her persona as a superhero.”
Click here to purchase. (Hawkeye)
Click here to purchase. (Life of Captain Marvel)
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!