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Countdown to the Eisners: 2018 Nominees for Best New Series

Fanbase Press' coverage of the 2018 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards continues with the "Countdown to the Eisners" series.  From Monday, June 4, through Friday, July 13, 2018, Fanbase Press will highlight each of the Eisner Awards' 31 nomination categories, providing comic book industry members and readers alike the opportunity to learn more about the nominees and their work.  Stay tuned for Fanbase Press' continued coverage of the Eisner Awards, including live coverage of the ceremony at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 20.

As one of the original Eisner Award nomination categories from 1988, the Best New Series category honors creators whose newly published work is truly distinctive and outstanding, with previous winners include Paper Girls, Saga, Chew, and Ex Machina.  Here are the 2018 Eisner Award nominees for the Best New Series category:  

Black Bolt, by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward (Marvel)

Published by Marvel Comics, Black Bolt is a comic book series by writer Saladin Ahmed and illustrator Christian Ward which reintroduces the titular character originally created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965.  In this new series, Saladin and Ward have crafted a new and inventive narrative for the powerful Inhuman (with an all-powerful voice) that finds him falsely imprisoned and forced to contemplate his world views and past sins.  Ahmed notes about the series, “For all darkness and torture that’s in my writing, I like my heroes to come out on top even if they’re a little scarred. I hope it feels earned.”

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Grass Kings, by Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins (BOOM! Studios)

Published by BOOM! Studios, Grass Kings is a comic book series by writer Matt Kindt and illustrator Tyler Jenkins which weaves an intriguing mystery of a secluded, Midwestern town and the tragic lives of its three rulers (and brothers) and the town’s inhabitants.  Combining action, drama, and murder mystery, the series depicts an incredible character study to the reader that concludes with all of its mysterious puzzle pieces fitting together at the end, subtly and masterfully.  As noted by Fanbase Press contributor Phillip Kelly in his review of the series’ final issue, “The creators don’t just tie all of the threads together, they tie the experiences of every character that exists in this world together and lay it at your feet in the most palpable of ways, and I cried.”

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Maestros, by Steve Skroce (Image)

Published by Image Comics, Maestros is a fantasy comic book series by writer/artist Steve Skroce.  Filled to the brim with comedy and action, the series follows William Little who learns that “The Maestro and his entire royal family have been murdered,” and he will now inherit the throne, as well as a spell that turns its user into god.  According to Comicosity, “With Maestros, Skroce demonstrates his true expert level conducting skills at weaving together a story and artwork that leave the mind yearning for more.”

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Redlands, by Jordie Bellaire and Vanesa Del Rey (Image)

Published by Image Comics, Redlands is a horror comic book series written by Jordie Belaire and illustrated by Vanesa Del Rey.  Set in a sleepy Florida town where a coven of powerful witches seeks to take power and demands sacrifices, the series follows the story of one individual seeking to prevent their rise to power and the townspeople who will fight to protect the new way of life.  According to io9, "Image’s powerful series, Redlands, highlights the link between womanhood and witchcraft, showing the misogyny behind the mythology…"

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Royal City, by Jeff Lemire (Image)

Published by Image Comics, Royal City is a comic book series that is written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire.  As articulately described by the publisher’s website, “In a return to the literary and thematic territory of Lemire’s breakthrough graphic novel, Essex County, Royal City follows Patrick Pike, a fading literary star who reluctantly returns to the once-thriving factory town where he grew up.”  Following the lives of Pike and each member of his troubled family, the series studies their lives and losses over three decades.  According to Broken Frontier, “Royal City is not an ostentatious piece of storytelling – Lemire’s craft is subtle and underplayed here but it’s all the more compelling and human for just that reason.”

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Stay tuned to the Fanbase Press website tomorrow as we continue our “Countdown to the Eisners” coverage with the Best Continuing Series! 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 2018 Eisner Award Ceremony from the Hilton Bayfront Hotel at San Diego Comic-Con on the evening of Friday, July 20th!

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