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Countdown to the Eisners: 2019 Nominees for Best Coloring

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.

Initially started as the Best Colorist category in 1992, it transitioned a few years later to Best Coloring. This category has seen five repeat winners earn 20 of the 27 awards given. Steve Oliff won the first three years, then labeled as Best Colorist, including his sharing of the 1994 honor with Reuben Rude. Chris Ware has earned this award four times, while both Laura DePuy (now Laura Martin) and Jordie Bellaire have each won the Eisner two times. The Best Coloring Eisner has been awarded to Dave Stewart nine times, recognizing his work for titles such as Hellboy, Daredevil, Abe Sapien, B.P.R.D., The Umbrella Academy, Conan, and Captain America.

Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Coloring category:

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Jordie Bellaire, Batgirl, Batman (DC); The Divided Earth (First Second); Days of Hate, The Dead Hand, Head Lopper, Redlands (Image); Shuri, Doctor Strange (Marvel)

Jordie Bellaire has earned the Eisner Award for Best Coloring (The Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, Zero, The Massive, Tom Strong, X-Files Season 10, Captain Marvel, Journey into Mystery, Numbercruncher, Quantum and Woody) in 2014, and again (The Autumnlands, Injection, Plutona, Pretty Deadly, The Surface, They’re Not Like Us, Zero, The X-Files, The Massive, Magneto, Vision) in 2016. Bellaire’s works can also be seen in titles such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hawkeye, and Moon Knight.

Rowan Grover from Multiversity Comics describes the artistic style in Redlands: “Bellaire’s colors here continue to be faded, moody and outstanding. I love how a palette can shift from scene to scene and give us such a strong, immediate sense of tone. The opening scene is smoky, grey and miserable, appropriately so considering it takes place in the aftermath of a massacre. However, we soon shift to the opposite. The scene between Itsy and Laurent is set at a bright, vibrant twilight. Bellaire paints the sky a warming, friendly orange as she tells in the narrative of Itsy coming to accept her place with Laurent as family and it feels super appropriate.”

Click here to purchase. (Batgirl)

Click here to purchase. (Batman)

Click here to purchase. (The Divided Earth)

Click here to purchase. (Days of Hate)

Click here to purchase. (The Dead Hand)

Click here to purchase. (Head Lopper)

Click here to purchase. (Redlands)

Click here to purchase. (Shuri)

Click here to purchase. (Doctor Strange)

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Tamra Bonvillain, Alien 3 (Dark Horse); Batman, Doom Patrol (DC); Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Multiple Man (Marvel)

Tamra Bonvillain has had her work nominated for the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book (America, Black Panther: World of Wakanda) in 2018. Bonvillain is also known for other comics, including Wayward, Rat Queens, Flavor, Star Wars, and Captain America.

Being awarded the 2017 Golden Issue Award for Best Colorist, JK Schmidt explores why Bonvillain is successful: “To call Bonvillain ‘amazing’ would be a massive understatement. Her expansive pallets consider a wide range, yet each hue is carefully chosen to convey the perfect mood for the scene, whether they’re action-packed fantasy/superhero battles or intense character-driven moments. She carefully determines the setting and provides the right value between every line, helping draw the eye to what matters while subduing the parts that don’t.”

Click here to purchase. (Alien 3)

Click here to purchase. (Batman)

Click here to purchase. (Doom Patrol)

Click here to purchase. (Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur)

Click here to purchase. (Multiple Man)

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Nathan Fairbairn, Batman, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman Earth One, Vol. 2 (DC); Die!Die!Die! (Image)

Nathan Fairbairn has won the Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Colourist (Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Wolverine, and others) in 2010 and Artist (Batman, Nightwing Rebirth, Wonder Woman: Earth One) in 2017.

Ronnie Gorham from ComicsVerse talks about Die!Die!Die!: “Fairbairn also does a dynamic job with the colors. Fairbairn’s use of pastel colors is a brilliant choice to help distinguish subtle shifts within panels,” and “Fairbairn’s colors help keep a consistent balance between panels and give tip-top detail to characters.”

Click here to purchase. (Batman)

Click here to purchase. (Batgirl, Birds of Prey)

Click here to purchase. (Wonder Woman Earth One, Vol. 2)

Click here to purchase. (Die!Die!Die!)

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Matt Hollingsworth, Batman: White Knight (DC); Seven to Eternity, Wytches (Image)

Matt Hollingsworth won the Eisner Award for Best Coloring (Preacher, Death: The Time of Your Life, Dr. Strangefate, Challengers of the Unknown) in 1997. Hollingsworth has additional works that have been nominated for an Eisner, as well, including Catwoman, Alias, Daredevil, and Hawkeye.

Christopher Egan with Multiversity Comics showcases Hollingsworth’s skills as an artist: “He has a way of using layers that is sincerely mind-blowing. To say he is a genius would be an understatement. It may be a cliché to say so, but his colors bring everything to life. Characters, weapons, and places have an inner light that screams of a true existence. These are books that you can pick up and just stare at the art even after reading the story multiple times. Nearly every panel is worthy of being framed, deserving of being lovingly dissected and praised. It is all absolutely gorgeous.”

Click here to purchase. (Batman: White Knight)

Click here to purchase. (Seven to Eternity)

Click here to purchase. (Wytches)

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Matt Wilson, Black Cloud, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); The Mighty Thor, Runaways (Marvel)

Matt Wilson won the Eisner Award for Best Coloring (Cry Havoc, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine, Black Widow, The Mighty Thor, Star-Lord) in 2017. Wilson is currently working on such projects like The War of the Realms and Conan the Barbarian, and he’s also earned other Eisner nominations for previous works including Adventures of Superman, Ms. Marvel, Thor, and Daredevil.

The AV Club explores Black Cloud and “what shines in this issue is Matt Wilson’s work. The dreamscape is demonstrated through color and texture, going from grayscale to Technicolor-esque and back again. Zelda’s forays into our reality are in turns muted and neon, and without Wilson’s skill it would be hard to tell where she finds herself on any given page.”

Click here to purchase. (Black Cloud)

Click here to purchase. (Paper Girls)

Click here to purchase. (The Wicked + The Divine)

Click here to purchase. (The Mighty Thor)

Click here to purchase. (Runaways)

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!

S.T. Lakata, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor



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