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

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.

As the companion category to Best Graphic Album (New) category, this is where the Eisners honor collections of material previously published in single-issue format. The division of categories started back in 1991, with this debut award going to Sandman: The Doll’s House. Since then, a who’s who of creators have seen their work celebrated, including Dave Sim, Darwyn Cooke, Frank Miller, Art Spiegelman, and Jeff Smith.

Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Graphic Album – Reprint category:

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Berlin by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)

Of all of the titles nominated this year, Berlin may be the most ambitious. The story of the rise of Nazism has been published since 1994 as individual issues, collected editions, and now the omnibus version. Rather than a history lesson/homework approach to the material, Lutes uses individual characters to bring alive the fall of the Weimar Republic and the horrors that arrived in its wake — the central character at the heart of it all, though, is the city itself. The Austin Chronicle said, “If any book published in the last decade or so illustrates the astoundingly powerful potential of storytelling in this [graphic novel] format, Berlin is it.”

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Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak (Top Shelf/IDW)

Writer-artist Nowak’s female-led, interconnected stories defy easy classification. There are the everyday struggles of simply being a human in the world, yes, but also a robot boyfriend, an underwater hotel, a movie that doesn’t exist, a fantasy amusement park, and even… well, let’s not spoil all of the surprises in this quirky, charming, deeply felt collection. Kirkus Reviews praised the way “Nowak creates raw female characters and, by spotlighting them, demands that they be seen.” The creator was previously honored with an Ignatz Award for some of the material reprinted here.

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Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels (Lion Forge)

The premise is straightforward sci-fi: An aging couple decides that the perfect anniversary celebration would be investing in clones of themselves — but from there, Dwayne McDuffie Award-winner Daniels steers the story in directions even the most experienced readers may not see coming. Originally published via an iPhone app, Upgrade Soul goes deep into questions of identity and existence without ever sacrificing narrative momentum for philosophical debate. Production company Aperture Entertainment has optioned the movie rights to the book, so take advantage of the chance to see it in its original incarnation before the rest of the non-comics reading world.

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The Vision by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Michael Walsh (Marvel)

Keep an eye on this Tom King guy — he may be going places. The writer is also nominated this year for his work on DC’s Mister Miracle; he previously won the 2018 Eisner as Best Writer, and The Vision was 2017’s Best Limited Series. What more can be said about this widely lauded series — featuring what may not have been anyone’s favorite Avenger beforehand, along with his android family — that hasn’t been sung from the heavens already? As Comicsverse stated, this was “one of the most complex and emotional comics to come out of Marvel in years.”

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Young Frances by Hartley Lin (AdHouse Books)

You may have heard of these stories from their previous incarnation as Pope Hat, by Lin’s pen name Ethan Rilly. The book charts the relationship of two central characters: law clerk Frances and her actress roommate, Vickie. Publishers Weekly called out Lin’s “disarming brilliance” and praised the “skillful comics art and authentic conversational humor.” If you need a break from the world-shaking Sturm und Drang of so many comics on the racks, look no further.

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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!

Kevin Sharp, Fanbase Press Contributor



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