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Countdown to the Eisners: 2019 Nominees for Best Archival Collection/Project – Comics

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.

Starting in 2006, the Best Archival category was split into separate awards for comic books and comic strips. Titanic runs like Jack Cole’s Plastic Man, Jack Kirby’s New Gods, Will Eisner’s The Spirit, and Jim Steranko’s Nick Fury have shared this honor alongside such titles as The Rocketeer, Akira, and Sandman. IDW’s Artist Editions have dominated the voting in recent years; we’ll see what history has in store at this year’s awards.

Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Archival Collection/Project – Comics category:

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Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman edited by Paul Levitz (DC Comics)

Summing up the history of Superman in one volume would be a daunting task for any editor. Fortunately, DC Comics has a red phone hotline to Paul Levitz, the ideal tour guide for a volume like this. Action holds the record as the longest continually published American comic book, and the stories assembled here give readers a taste of how it’s both changed and stayed constant over the decades — from Siegel & Shuster’s original champion of the oppressed to the iconic Man of Steel we know today.

Click here to purchase.

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Bill Sienkiewicz’s Mutants and Moon Knights… and Assassins Artifact Edition edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

IDW strikes again with another stunning collection, this time highlighting Bill Sienkiewicz’s 1980s work, including Moon Knight, New Mutants, and Elektra: Assassin. More than just an assembly of various comics pieces, this book offers a page-by-page look at the evolution of an iconic artist, from his Neal Adams-influenced early work to the wild graphic experimentation of later years. A perfect match of talent with book format.

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Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet (Drawn & Quarterly)

Julie Doucet arrived on the comics scene decades ago, blazing like a bright comet before doing what comets do: keep moving onward. Left in her wake were books like Dirty Plotte and My New York Diary, all of it collected here along with reams of bonus material. The New York Times praised Doucet’s work and said, “While most of the material dates from 20 to 30 years ago, the wonderment and rage at virulently gendered behavior feels fresh, and relevant for this moment.”

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Madman Quarter Century Shindig by Mike Allred; edited by Chris Ryall (IDW)

Frank Einstein (a.k.a. Madman) is in good company at IDW: He joins such luminaries as The Avengers, Fantastic Four, and the Hulk in getting his own Artist Select edition. The pure, inventive pop art joy of the Allred’s work — writer/artist Mike and colorist Laura — bursts off these pages like a string of firecrackers across Madman’s 25 year history. The advantage of this format is that the included stories were curated by the creator himself, allowing Allred, and all of us, to revisit his work with fresh eyes.

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Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition edited by Bob Chapman, Joseph Melchior, and Terry Moore (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)

Terry Moore and Strangers in Paradise are familiar names in Eisner Award land; the title would have to be in any discussion of the most successful self-published series in comics history. This oversized collection steps outside the bounds of “regular” reprint material, offering instead the first and last SiP stories, along with one sample page from every issue in between. It’s like being handed a portfolio of original art from one of the top talents in the business.

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Will Eisners A Contract with God Curators Collection 384

Will Eisner’s A Contract With God: Curator’s Collection edited by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)

Eisner redefined what was possible in comic art with The Spirit, and in A Contract With God, he delivered what many consider the first graphic novel. The premise — a series of short stories about the Jewish dwellers of a New York City tenement building — may sound “simple” on first glance. In the hands of a master storyteller, it’s anything but. What Kitchen Sink has delivered here are two different reading experiences inside one slipcase: the story told through Eisner’s color pencil layouts, as well as through his inked pages. The closest any fan will get to standing over the shoulder of this comics titan.

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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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