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Countdown to the Eisners: 2019 Nominees for Best Publication for Teens (Ages 13-17)

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.

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13 – 17) is a category that was established in 2008 to distinguish creative excellence for teenage stories.  Nick Abadzis’ Laika (First Second) was the first book awarded in this category, and, last year, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda were awarded the Eisner for Monstress (Image).

Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Publication for Teens (Ages 13-17) category:

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All Summer Long by Hope Larson (Farrar Straus Giroux)

Eisner Award winner Hope Larson (Batgirl, Goldie Vance) has been nominated for her coming-of-age story All Summer Long, the first volume in The Eagle Rock trilogy.  Best friends Bina and Austin usually spend the summer hanging out, but this time, while Austin heads off for soccer camp, Bina explores her music and makes some new friends in the process.  Larson mentioned in an interview with The Los Angeles Times’ Tracy Brown that she drew from her teenage experiences and stressed that “it’s a time when you’ve got your whole life ahead of you.  There are endless possibilities and no answers.”

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Gumballs by Erin Nations (Top Shelf/IDW)

Top Shelf describes Gumballs as “an array of bright, candy-colored short comics about Erin’s gender transition, anecdotal tales of growing up as a triplet, and fictional stories of a socially inept lovestruck teenage named Tobias.  The wide-ranging series is filled with single-page gag cartoons, visual diaries of everyday life, funny faux personal ads, and real-life horror stories from customers at his day job.” Gumballs is the winner of the 2018 DINKy Award for Diversity.

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Middlewest by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona (Image)

Teenage years are often a rocky journey, as each young teen finds their way in life and determines their identity.  Writer/artist Skottie Young (Marvel Comics’ Cable & Deadpool, Venom, Spider-Man: Legend of The Spider Clan, and Rocket Raccoon) and Jorge Corona (DC Comics’ We Are…Robin, Nightwing, and The Flash) have penned and inked Middlewest (Image), a dark fantasy comic book series that follows Abel as he seeks to understand and resolve his family’s history.  Abel’s story has resonated with many readers, and a fourth printing of the first issue was announced earlier this year.  

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Norroway, Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway by Cat Seaton and Kit Seaton (Image)

A love of fairy tales was the catalyst for siblings Cat and Kit Seaton to collaborate and bring a Scottish story, The Black Bull of Norroway, to life for readers.  A witch reveals an unusual fate for a young girl, Sibylla, and how she comes to terms with her fate as she advances through her teenage years.  In an interview with Literary Ashland’s Ed Battistella in late 2014, the siblings talk in depth about Sibylla’s journey, their creative process, and a few examples from Norroway.  It is an insightful interview and well worth reading.  

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

Prince Sebastian has a secret: At night, he becomes Lady Crystallia, a fashion icon in Paris, wearing the beautiful creations by his dressmaker friend, Frances.  How does the Prince maintain his secret as his parents seek a bride for him? And how does Frances realize her dreams without compromising her friendship and the secret they share?  The accolades for Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker from First Second are numerous: Washington Post Best Graphic Novel, NPR Best Book, Boston Globe Best Children’s Book, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, and joint winner of the Harvey Award for Best Children’s or Young Adult Book – all for 2018.  

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Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval, translated by Lucas Marangon (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

The synopsis of Watersnakes is utterly fascinating: “Mila is a solitary teenager ready to put another boring summer vacation behind her until she meets Agnes, an adventurous girl who turns out to be a ghost.  And not just a regular ghost, but one carrying the essence of an ancient fallen king and a mouth full of teeth that used to be his guardian warriors” (Amazon).  Mexican author/illustrator Tony Sandoval may be familiar to readers for his first book, Doomboy, which was nominated for this same category in 2015.  In all, Sandoval has three Eisner nominations.

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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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