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Countdown to the Eisners: 2020 Nominees for Best Short Story & Best Single Issue/One-Shot

Fanbase Press’ coverage of the 2020 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards continues with the “Countdown to the Eisners” series.  From June 22 through July 14, 2020, 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 in July 2020.

Best Short Story

Sometimes, the most powerful punches come in the smallest packages, and with this diverse group of talented voices and important subjects, that punch is potent this year.  The following nominees join a list of greats from previous years like Tom King, Evan Dorkin, Neil Gaiman, and Frank Miller.

Here are the 2020 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Short Story:

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“Hot Comb” by Ebony Flowers, in Hot Comb (Drawn & Quarterly)

“Hot Comb,” a short story from Ebony Flowers’ first collection of short stories of the same name, has already become a multi-award winning and highly praised endeavor by everyone from The Chicago Tribune to Publisher’s Weekly to The A.V. Club. It has popped up on multiple best-of-the-year lists because of its honest, humorous, and bittersweet look into the lives of a group of Black women who share their stories and gossip while seated around a hair salon.

The nominated title story follows a young girl as she gets her first perm, so she doesn’t look “too white” in the all-Black neighborhood to which she has just moved. Flowers has combined her training as an ethnographer with her talents as a cartoonist to create heartfelt and captivating stories about race that deserve to be experienced.

To purchase the comic, click here.

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“How to Draw a Horse” by Emma Husinger (The New Yorker)

Published in The New Yorker, “How to Draw a Horse” is a simple and eloquent look at the complexities and uncertainties of falling in love for the first time mirrored by the complexities of what it takes to draw a horse, and how the romantic and artistic struggles to get something right intersect.

Husinger has published multiple comics for The New Yorker that often portray characters with a playful lack of self-awareness and is already hard at work on her soon to be first co-authored and published children’s book titled My Parents Won’t Stop Talking.

To read the comic, click here.

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“The Menopause” by Mira Jacob (Believer Mag)

In “The Menopause,” a young girl who is more used to being a boy, thanks to her friendship with her older brother, suddenly experiences her first period. As all of the realities of being a girl hit her at once, she sets out to convince her father exactly how her periods can be fixed. It is a genuinely hilarious and truthful look at identity and the struggles of coming of age as a young woman.

Mira Jacob is a celebrated author, having written Good Talk: a Memoir in Conversations which ended up on several top ten lists in 2019, including Time, Esquire, Publisher’s Weekly, and Library Journal, and also her debut novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, which also ended up on several best of lists for 2014. Both books were short and long listed for multiple awards.

To read the comic, click here.

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“Who Gets Called an Unfit Mother” by Miriam Libicki (The Nib)

“Who Gets Called an Unfit Mother” is an eye-opening dive into the pervasive influence of racism in our society, as a mother of color relives a frightening and traumatic event: an anonymous call puts her children in the crosshairs of Child and Family Services.

Miriam Libicki has been self-publishing comics through her Real Gone Girl Studios since 2003, with her long-running, semi-autobiographical comic book, jobnik! an American Girl’s Adventure in the Israeli Army, running since 2005.  She has also been published in Rutgers University Press, Alternate History Comics, the Ilanot Review, and Cleaver Magazine, where she approaches her non-fiction stories through the experiences as a duel American-Israeli citizen.

To read the comic, click here.

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“You’re Not Going to Believe What I’m About to Tell You” by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal)

Matthew Inman, the creator and owner of the popular comic website, The Oatmeal, insightfully and humorously breaks down why it’s so difficult to change people’s minds in “You’re Not Going to Believe What I’m About to Tell You.

Inman’s absurdist and insightful humor has won him fans around the world and has made The Oatmeal one of the biggest names in online humor publications. He has won multiple awards over the years as sole creator of the website, where he continues to regularly publish his comic strips.

To read the comic, click here.

Best Single Issue/One-Shot

To experience something in its totality in one contained story – the highs and lows of comedy and drama, the complexity of characters and their relationships to each other and the world around them – in one sitting is what the award for Best Single Issue/One-Shot is here to praise.

This award has only been around since 2010 and has seen winners in the superhero world like Matt Fraction and David Aja for their work from Hawkeye to the creator-owner world like Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson for their work on Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers.

Here are the 2020 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Single Issue/One-Shot:

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Coin-Op No. 8: Infatuation by Peter and Maria Hoey

The sister and brother team of Maria and Peter Hoey have been creating original comics together since 2007, and this isn’t their first Eisner nomination, having been nominated in 2019 for the comic, “Supply Chain,” in the Best Short Story category.

Their current nominated comic is part of their regularly released collection of stories called Coin-Op. Broken Frontier called Coin-Op “a masterclass in the medium; in the subtleties and the nuances of its most distinctive properties in communicating, conversing, and connecting with the audience.”

To purchase the comic, click here.

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The Freak by Matt Lesniewski (Adhouse Books)

The Freak tells the story of the world’s ugliest man who moves to an unnamed city to escape the abuse that’s been thrown at him his entire life, only to find the same kind of abuse. Will the Freak seek revenge or learn to forgive? Matt Lesniewski has created a complex parable with no easy answers with incredibly detailed artistic work.

He’s written and illustrated a number of self-published comics including Arctic Hell, Alone Again, Antique, and many more. This includes his work as an artist for Image Comics’ Where We Live.

To purchase the comic, click here.

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Minötaar by Lissa Treiman (Shortbox)

Lissa Treiman is head of story at Disney, having worked on multiple films as an animator like Zootopia, Big Hero 6, Wreck-It Ralph, and Tangled. In the comic book world, she is known for illustrating the hit comic, Giant Days, from BOOM! Studios.

With Minötaar, her humorous, satirical take on two friends getting lost in an Ikea-like store has earned her two Eisner nominations this year, which should go along nicely for her Harvey and Eisner Award nominations and wins for Giant Days.

To purchase the comic, click here.

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Our Favorite Thing Is My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)

Our Favorite Thing Is My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is a 16-page comic that was presented on Free Comic Book Day. It’s an all-new, original story that takes place in the same world in which her 2018 Eisner-winning graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, took place, which NPR called “a dazzling graphic novel tour-de-force,” wherein her debut work was compared to Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel, and Chris Ware.

To read the comic, click here.

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Sobek by James Stokoe (Shortbox)

Sobek is about a lazy, Ancient Egyptian, giant crocodile god who is forced to action when the followers of Set beset his own followers. This humorous take on deities and those that follow them has been nominated for three Eisners this year.

Stokoe is a highly sought-after writer and illustrator, working for Marvel, Dark Horse, and Image Comics.

To purchase, click here.

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 2020 Eisner Award Ceremony!

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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