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Countdown to the Eisners: 2020 Nominees for Best Adaptation from Another Medium & Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

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 Adaptation from Another Medium

Not all of the best comics start out as comics. This year’s nominees for Best Adaptation from Another Medium transform some of the most renowned works of nonfiction and literature into a graphic format. Best Adaptations is a young Eisner category, first awarded in 2010, and there were no nominees in 2017. Last year, Damian Duffy and John Jennings won for their adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Kindred. And comic book maestro Darwyn Cooke won three times for adapting three Richard Stark stories.

Here are the 2020 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Adaptation from Another Medium category:

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Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made by Josh Frank, Tim Hedecker, and Manuela Pertega (Quirk Books)

Modernist artist Salvador Dali was a fan of the Marx Brothers, so he wrote a script and mocked up sketches for this project that was rejected by MGM.  That script has been realized in full color as close as you can get to the big screen in a graphic novel titled Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made. Co-written by Josh Frank and Tim Hedecker and illustrated by Manuela Pertega, this book was published by Quirk Books.

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The Giver by Lois Lowry, adapted by P. Craig Russell (HMH Books for Young Readers)

A Newbery Medal-winning novel written by Lois Lowry, the graphic novel version was written by Lowry and illustrated by P. Craig Russell.  The story follows Jonas, a twelve-year-old boy, who learns about the dark secrets of his seemingly ideal world when he is assigned as the Receiver of Memory.  Cheshire Public Library states that this story “blends words and images to create a brilliant new representation of Lowry’s dystopian conflict between the ideals of free will and security.”

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The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel by Margaret Atwood, adapted by Renee Nault (Nan A. Talese)

Illustrator Renee Nault adapted Margaret Atwood’s novel about a dystopian future America experiencing a Second American Civil War. Among the many stellar reviews, Booklist states, “Nault spectacularly transforms lines and color into fear, resignation, desperation, the tiniest glimmers of hope… most piercing throughout are her affecting use of color (red – ‘the color of blood’ – and its portentous hues of orange, crimson, rust) and scale (the indistinguishable handmaids trapped in plain sight.  She adds softness when Offred recalls her past, with less-saturated colors for happier memories, thickened, darker lines for the repetitive nightmares.”

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H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, vols. 1 – 2 adapted by Gou Tanabe, translated by Zach Davisson (Dark Horse Manga)

One of the seminal stories by early 20th century cosmic horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, manga artist Gou Tanabe adapted and illustrated At the Mountains of Madness.  Centered on a 1931 expedition to Antarctica, this two-volume western comic book is translated by Zach Davisson and published by Dark Horse Manga.

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The Seventh Voyage by Stanislaw Lem, adapted by Jon J. Muth, translated by Michael Kandel (Scholastic Graphix)

Stanislaw Lem’s The Seventh Voyage has been adapted by illustrator Jon J. Muth and translated by Michael Kandel and published by Scholastic Graphix.  Alone in space, this tale follows Ijon Tichy as he becomes trapped in a time loop.  “Muth’s atmospheric watercolor artwork gives an astounding sense of space. Vast expanses of darkness dotted with pale stars are the backdrops for Tichy’s retro, tin-can-like spaceship, and Tichy himself, rendered in aqueous watercolors, has a charmingly limber look, which becomes increasingly comical as more and more Tichys appear at various ages,” according to a Booklist review.

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Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran (Dark Horse Books)

The Snow White tale is retold by legendary writer Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Colleen Doran.  Originally written in 1994 as a short story in support of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, this title won the 2019 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Graphic Novel category.

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Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

The Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism Eisner category began in 2008 and is awarded to comic book news and journalist publications. Past recipients include The Comics Journal, Comic Book Resources, and Alter Ego.

Here are the 2020 Eisner Award nominees for Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism category:

Comic Riffs blog by Michael Cavna with David Betancourt

Comic Riffs is a Washington Post blog devoted to comics.  Created by Michael Cavna with David Betancourt, Comics Riffs has been a nominee for this category in 2016 and 2017.  

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The Comics Journal edited by Gary Groth, RJ Casey and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
The Comics Journal is an ongoing source of comic book, comic strip, and graphic novel news and criticism.  Published by Fantagraphics and edited by Gary Groth since 1977, the journal is known for its lengthy interviews and critical comic book news coverage over the years.

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Hogan’s Alley edited by Tom Heintjes (Hogan’s Alley)

Hogan’s Alley is an Eisner Award-winning online and magazine periodical that explores the world of sequential art via the following categories: cartoonists, comics history, features, interviews, reprints, and web extras.  The magazine is edited by Tom Heintjes.

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Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society edited by Qiana Whitted (Ohio State University Press)

Published by Ohio State University Press and edited by Qiana Whitted, this journal brings “together scholarly essays, archival materials, and insights and discoveries from leading comics professionals” according to their website.

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LAAB Magazine, vol 4: This Was Your Life edited by Ronald Wimberly and Josh O’Neill (Beehive Books)

According to the magazine’s website, volume 4 is edited by Ronald Wimberly and “concerns themes of death and environmental devastation, horror, hauntology, necropolitics, and the anthropocene.  We ask what it means to die, and what it means to live — and what might have to die for a future to be born.” LAAB magazine is published by Beehive Books.

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Women Write About Comics edited by Nola Pfau and Wendy Browne

“Founded by Megan Purdy, WWAC is an Eisner Award-nominated online journal that features a diverse group of intersectional, international feminists who provide equally diverse insight into the world of comic book culture and the comic book industry at large. We’re committed to giving our readers diverse, interesting, critical, and fun content on comic books, the comic industry, books, comic book culture, and a look into differing geeky lifestyles,” according to WWAC’s About Us page.  This is the online journal’s second nomination in the category, with the first having been in 2018.

Click here to view.

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!

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor



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