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Countdown to the Eisners: 2019 Nominees for Best Writer/Artist

Fanbase Press’ coverage of the 2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards continues with the “Countdown to the Eisners” series. From Wednesday, May 29, through Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 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 19.

The Eisner’s Best Writer/Artist category has been around since the awards’ inception in 1988, with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons winning as a team for Watchmen. Although publisher Fantagraphics isn’t part of this year’s nominations in this category, three of the previous five winners were under this comic book publisher’s umbrella, including last year’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters from Emil Ferris.

Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Writer/Artist category:

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Sophie Campbell, Wet Moon (Oni Press)

Sophie Campbell is a previous nominee for the Eisner Award for Special Recognition (Abandoned and Wet Moon 2) in 2007. She is the creator of Shadoweyes and Wet Moon and has also worked on other popular titles such as Jem and the Holograms and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Alex Dueben from Smash Pages writes about Campbell and how she’s “able to write characters, to craft mysteries with such precision, and she was able to make a series that for the most part was plotless slice-of-life stories about a few months in the lives of these characters and make them so compelling.”

Click here to purchase. (Wet Moon)

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Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (Drawn & Quarterly)

Nick Drnaso won the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Award for the Graphic Novel/Comics category with his debut comic work (Beverly) in 2017. He’s also received recognition with three Ignatz Awards nominations and was listed for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

Insha Fitzpatrick from examines Drnaso’s approach to Sabrina: “He develops a story that’s completely honest. The type of honesty that has one foot forward in action and one foot back in consequences. He moves them simultaneously step by step walking you through regular dialogue because that’s real life…People are up and down, and then life goes on, and Drnaso shows that wonderfully in these pages.”

Click here to purchase. (Sabrina)

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David Lapham, Lodger (Black Crown/IDW), Stray Bullets (Image)

David Lapham has previously won Eisner Awards for Best Writer/Artist, Drama (Stray Bullets) in 1996 and Best Graphic Album-Reprint (Stray Bullets: Innocence of Nihilism) in 1997. Lapham has worked on stories from various comic publishers, including Age of Apocalypse, The Strain, Harbinger, and Detective Comics.

Jhoan Suriel of ComicsVerse compares Lapham’s art in Stray Bullets to Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo, “because Sakai also draws panels that instantly conveys action. Notably, the best thing that Lapham does in STRAY BULLETS: SUNSHINE AND ROSES vol. 1 is his use of silent panels. Indeed, Lapham’s mastery of black and white fleshes out the noir feel such characters’ realistic expressions or the close up of a gun.”

Click here to purchase. (Lodger)

Click here to purchase. (Stray Bullets)

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Nate Powell, Come Again (Top Shelf/IDW Publishing)

Nate Powell has three Eisner Awards for categories Best Graphic Album-New (Swallow Me Whole) in 2009, Best Reality-Based Work (March: Book Two) in 2016, and Best Reality-Based Work (March: Book Three) in 2017. Some of Powell’s other achievements include self-publishing at age 14, working on various projects such as Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero, and earning several other literature awards.

Publishers Weekly comments on Powell’s Come Again: “This enchanting solo effort reveals even greater depths to Powell’s gift for visual storytelling and creating appealing, human characters.”

Click here to purchase. (Come Again)

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Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

Tony Sandoval has received multiple Eisner Award nominations, including Best Publication for Teens, Ages 13-17 (Doomboy) in 2015, Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (A Glance Backward) in 2016, and Best Short Story (“Forgotten Princess”) in 2018.

John Seven from highlights that “[Sandoval’s] stories and sensibilities are unique, his artwork stunning in its layering and animation, and his ability to mix the dark with the irreverent in a way that isn’t either cloying or mercenary makes his work accessible but not pandering.”

Click here to purchase. (Watersnakes)

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Jen Wang, The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second)

Jen Wang won the Cybils Award in the Graphic Novel category (In Real Life) in 2014. Wang is also a co-founder and organizer for Comic Arts LA, “a free, public event promoting the appreciation of comics, graphic novels, and sequential arts among the broader Los Angeles public.”

Princess Weeks of The Mary Sue states the importance of Wang’s work: “What it means to be a queer person is on a spectrum, and I believe that a book like The Prince and the Dressmaker (aimed at teens and middle-grade readers) gives people—especially young men—the ability to enjoy figuring out their truth in a safe way.”

Click here to purchase. (The Prince and the Dressmaker)

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!


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