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Countdown to the Eisners: 2018 Nominees for Best Archival Collection/Project - Strips

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.

Added to the Eisner Awards categories in 2006, the Best Archival Collection/Project - Strips category seeks to honor comic strips that have been influential in the industry. This year, nominees represent depictions of early 20th century living, a loyal beagle, and near-future space exploration to the ultimate saga in a galaxy far, far away…

Here are the 2018 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Archival Collection/Project - Strips category:




Celebrating Snoopy by Charles M. Schulz, edited by Alexis E. Fajardo and Dorothy O’Brien (Andrews McMeel)

“Snoopy—the world’s coolest dog—finally gets the book he deserves.” – Washington Post

An adorable white beagle made his first appearance in the comic strip, Peanuts, on October 4, 1950, but it wasn’t until a month later that readers learned his name was Snoopy. Celebrating Snoopy showcases comic strips featuring Snoopy from the strip’s origin through 2000, when Peanuts’ creator Charles Schulz passed away.  

Schulz had this to say about his canine: “Snoopy is the most popular character in the strip. In fact, I think you could make a good case that he’s the most popular cartoon character in the world. I suppose that’s because what I’ve done with him is very original. I don’t think there has been an animal character in a long time that has done the different things that Snoopy has done. He’s an attorney. He’s a surgeon. He’s the World War I Flying Ace.”

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Crazy Quilt: Scraps and Panels on the Way to Gasoline Alley by Frank King, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press Books)

Frank King was an early 20th century cartoonist who studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, got a job at the Chicago Examiner, and then moved over to the Chicago Tribune. He worked on a number of daily comic strips, but it was The Rectangle and Gasoline Alley in which things came together for King. Walt and Skeezix and their families were introduced to readers, but each series also marked a visual documentation of King’s exploration in experimenting and pushing the comics art form. It coincides with the art movements of the day – cubism, futurism, constructivism – that were propelling the medium into a new and modern visual experience.

Sunday Press Books describes Crazy Quilt as “a collection of rarely seen material that takes a new look at one of the great masters of American comics, giving insight into a developing artist and greater understanding of his inspiration to the generations that followed.”  

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Foolish Questions and Other Odd Observations by Rube Goldberg, edited by Peter Maresca and Paul C. Turney (Sunday Press Books)

Continuing an exploration of early 20th century comics, Sunday Press Books’ Foolish Questions and Other Odd Observation was also nominated. While most people will think of his inventive machines and gadgets, Rube Goldberg was also a cartoonist. In fact, he was a founding member of National Cartoonist Society and served as its first president.

In this volume, edited by Peter Maresca and Paul C. Turney, is the “full Sunday-page run of [Goldberg’s] first hit comic, Foolish Questions, expanded and colorized for the pages of the Sunday Chicago Tribune, 1909-1910. This comic strip spawned several reprint books and inspired games, postcards, copycat comic strips, and got readers to start ridiculing the “foolish questions” in their own lives. Also included is a brain-scrambling assortment of the other panels from his daily comics series that originated the wise-cracking Foolish Questions classic. Most are printed for the first time in over 100 years.”  

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Sky Masters of the Space Force: The Complete Dailies by Jack Kirby, Wally Wood et al., edited by Daniel Herman (Hermes Press)

Jack Kirby was one of the leading innovators of the comic book industry in part because his multi-decade career was filled with milestone comic book titles that would define the medium. He worked for the Big Two – DC and Marvel – drawing many of the superheroes that readers were captivated by and wanted to emulate; however, comics, like many of the other popular mediums, were also a reflection of societal themes of the times. “Sky Masters was created at the beginning of the space race – when [and] who would get into space and to the moon first – was a national obsession. The strip takes place in the not [too] distant future where the United States sends men into space but hasn’t ventured much further yet.” In this series, Kirby worked with brothers Dick and Dave Wood (writers) and artists Wally Wood (no relation) and Dick Ayers.

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Star Wars: The Classic Newspaper Strips, Vol. 1 by Russ Manning et al., edited by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)

“People today can’t get enough science fiction, especially if it is original and full of creative adventure. The Star Wars characters are like Mickey Mouse. They will be loved forever.” – Russ Manning

Manning was and is correct. The first of three volumes of Star Wars comic strips covering March 11, 1979, through October 5, 1980, includes 600 sequential comic strips (the first ten stories). Originally, the dailies were in black/white while Sunday’s strip was in color and told separate stories; however, within six months, the stories were merged to feature sagas spanning across seven days of the week. Volume 2 was released this spring and volume 3 will be out later this year.

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Stay tuned to the Fanbase Press website tomorrow as we continue our “Countdown to the Eisners” coverage! Plus, follow Fanbase Press’ Facebook, Twitter (@Fanbase_Press), and Instagram (@fanbasepress) with the hastag #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.


Last modified on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 18:25

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