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Countdown to the Eisners: 2019 Nominees for Best Graphic Album – New

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.

From books by legends like Will Eisner and Joe Kubert, to iconic titles like The Killing Joke and Elektra Lives Again, to works like Blankets and My Favorite Thing Is Monsters that draw rave reviews from outside the comics world, every year, this category shines a spotlight on the best new standalone books (its sister category focuses on reprints).

Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Graphic Album (New) category:

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Bad Girls by Alex de Campi and Victor Santos (Gallery 13)

Staking out some story ground different than any of the other nominees, this one unfolds one night in Cuba, 1958. There’s politics, music, gangsters, suitcases full of money, and, of course, Bad Girls sprinkled throughout the 224-page story. Publishers Weekly raved that “de Campi’s masterful writing is punctuated by the coolness of Santos’ block shading artwork and moody coloring; simplistic and reminiscent of the pop art style of the 1950s.” The book is also nominated this year for Best Writer and Best Lettering.

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Come Again by Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)

Another period piece, this one is set in the Ozarks at the end of the 1970s. Writer-artist Powell, winner of both a previous Eisner (for 2008’s Swallow Me Whole) and the prestigious National Book Award, tells the story of a girl named Hal in the enclosed community of Haven — which may not be as idyllic as the residents like to think. NPR cites Come Again as “a perfect example of what’s possible when a creator roams outside of set conventions.”

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Green Lantern: Earth One by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman (DC)

Continuing on the path of such other DC Earth One characters as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, this story posits Hal Jordan in a “straight” sci-fi adventure minus the trappings of regular continuity (though fans of the GL mythology shouldn’t worry about being deprived). Flickering Myth calls it “arguably the [Earth One] series’ best yet,” while IGN praises co-writers Bechko and Hardman’s “engrossing overhaul of an iconic hero.”

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Homunculus by Joe Sparrow (Short Box)

Here’s an example of the kind of “under the radar” book the Eisner judges are so good at finding. Sparrow’s book — about a scientist and her sentient machine — comes courtesy of UK publisher Short Box, and most readers might not ever have heard of it if not for the nomination. If you’re a fan of offbeat material, looking to try something outside of the Big Three, then take a look; you’ll even be ahead of the major comic news sites, many of whom seem to have missed this altogether. Credit to The Verge, though — they rated Homunculus one of the 10 best comics of 2018.

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My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Image)

You don’t have to be a regular Criminal reader to enjoy this standalone story — about a young couple of addicts who meet in rehab — though it does offer extra reward for dedicated fans of Brubaker and Phillips’s noir opus. The Comics Journal praises the dynamic coloring by Jacob Phillips (son of Sean) and adds that the creative team “might be at the top of their game.” Multiversity Comics singles out this book for special praise, saying that, in fact, it’s “more than a graphic novel.” If you’re at all a fan of crime comics, this one’s unmissable.

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Sabrina by Nick Drnaso (Drawn & Quarterly)

No, it has nothing to do with a certain teenage witch. We’ll do you potential readers a favor on this one and keep the details to a minimum. All you really need to know is that a woman named Sabrina goes missing, and the ripples of this development affect her sister Sandra and her boyfriend Teddy. Listen to acclaimed cartoonist Chris Ware who, writing in The Guardian, said that he “found the experience deeply unnerving. Most especially because Sabrina is a book that looks right back at you.”

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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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