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Countdown to the Eisners: 2020 Nominees for Best U.S. Edition of International Material & Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia

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 U.S. Edition of International Material

Established in 1998, the Best U.S. Edition of International Material category honors foreign sequential books that have been translated and published by U.S. publishers for American readers.  This is a significant opportunity to expand one’s exposure to narratives, themes, and issues being explored by creators in other countries.  Prior award winners have included Star Wars: A New Hope – Manga by Hisao Tamaki (Dark Horse, 1999), The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar (Pantheon, 2006), and It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics, 2011).

Here are the 2020 Eisner Award nominees for Best U.S. Edition of International Material category:

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Diabolical Summer by Thierry Smolderen and Alexandre Clerisse, translated by Edward Gauvin (IDW)

Belgian writer Thierry Smolderen (Gipsy, Ghost Money) and French artist Alexandre Clerisse (Le Mouchoir, The Farce of Master Pathelin) team up on this spy thriller that is also a coming-of-age story that follows 15-year-old Antonie during the summer of 1967.  The tale is translated by Edward Gauvin and published by IDW.

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Gramercy Park by Timothée de Fombelle and Christian Cailleaux, translated by Edward Gauvin (EuroComics/IDW)

Gramercy Park is set in the mid-1950s New York City where two people, from different worlds, see each other from their respective abodes located across the street from one another.  From the creative team of French novelist Timothee de Fombelle and globe trotting writer/illustrator Christian Cailleaux, Euro Comics Roundup describe this tale as “evocative, lyrical, literary, yet exceptionally lucid and accessible.” Edward Gauvin is the translator of this IDW-published graphic novel.

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The House by Paco Roca, translated by Andrea Rosenberg (Fantagraphics)

Three siblings return to their father’s vacation home after his death to clean up the residence before placing it on the market.  Through flashback, each character face resentments, joys, guilt, and disappointment as they overcome the past, mediate memories and move forward past the loss of their dad.  Written and illustrated by Paco Roca and translated by Andrea Rosenberg, The House was published by Fantagraphics.

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Maggy Garrisson by Lewis Trondheim and Stéphane Oiry, translated by Emma Wilson (SelfMadeHero)

Starting a new job is always filled with a certain amount of nervousness.  Maggy Garrisson follows Maggy as she begins a new job as a secretary to PI Anthony Wight and spins downward as she becomes embroiled in the criminal element of the city’s underworld.  Written by Lewis Trondheim, illustrated by Stephane Oiry, and translated by Emma Wilson, this tale is published by SelfMadeHero.

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Stay by Lewis Trondheim and Hubert Chevillard, translated by Mike Kennedy (Magnetic Press)

Before their holiday has started, Roland is killed in a freak accident, leaving Fabienne alone.  She decides to continue the planned itinerary as she processes Roland’s death while a local vendor, Paco, befriends her.  Published by Magnetic Press, Stay pairs writer Lewis Trondheim, illustrator Hubert Chevillard, and translator Mike Kennedy.

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Wrath of Fantȏmas by Olivier Bocquet and Julie Rocheleau, translated by Edward Gauvin (Titan)

The Wrath of Fantomas is written by Olivier Bocquet (Snowpiercer) and illustrated by Julie Rocheleau in her professional debut in the comics medium.  This tale is a reimagining of Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre’s terror story about masked men and women in 1910s Paris.  Comicon describes this graphic novel as a “thing of beauty, whether it’s the light, delightful Art Nourveau styled line work of daylight Parisian life or the dark, rich tones of the villainy going on in the Parisian night.” This marks translator Edward Gauvin third nomination in this category.  Titan is the publisher.

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Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia

In similar vein to the Best U.S. Edition of International Material category, Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia focuses on Asian publications specifically.  This category was established in 2010 by awarding A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly) the first honor.

Here are the 2020 Eisner Award nominees for Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia category:


BEASTARS by Paru Itagaki, translated by Tomo Kimura (VIZ Media)

At the time of this writing, BEASTARS from VIZ Media has been released in eight volumes.  In the first volume, readers are introduced to Legoshi, a gray wolf, and prime suspect in the murder of a Cherryton Academy student.  Did he do it? This manga series is written and illustrated by Parl Itagaki and the first volume translated by Tomo Kimura.

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Cats of the Louvre by Taiyo Matsumoto, translated by Michael Arias (VIZ Media)

Released last September by VIZ Signature, Cats of the Louvre is set in the famous museum where renowned works of art are collected.  By day, the halls are filled with visitors from around the world, but at night, a family of felines living in the attic, find they are not alone.  Written and illustrated by Taiyo Matsumoto and translated by Michael Arias.

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Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, translated by Janet Hong (Drawn & Quarterly)

The Canadian publisher, Drawn and Quarterly, published Grass, written by Keum Suk Gentry-Kim and translated by Janet Hong.  Grass is described by the publisher as “a powerful anti-war graphic novel, offering up firsthand the life story of a Korean girl named Lee Ok-sun who was forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army during the second World War – a disputed chapter in 20th century Asian history.”

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Magic Knight Rayearth 25th Anniversary Edition by CLAMP, translated by Melissa Tanaka (Kodansha)

According to the Amazon listing, this is “the tale of three Tokyo teenagers who cross through a magical portal and become the champions of another world is a modern manga classic.”  This box set includes three volumes of manga covering the entire first series of Magic Knight Rayearth from CLAMP and translated by Melissa Tanaka.

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The Poe Clan by Moto Hagio, translated by Rachel Thorn (Fantagraphics)

Originally released in the 1970s, The Poe Clan is written and illustrated by manga pioneer Moto Hagio who created the shojo/shonen-ai genres.  Siblings Edgar and Marybelle are initiated into a vampiric clan at a young age, and through these two and the humans they interact with, Hagio explores concepts of life, love, and death.  Translated by Rachel Thorn, the first volume was been published by Fantagraphics.     

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Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama, translation by Stephen Kohler (Kodansha)

AV Club summarizes Kamome Shirahama’s Witch Hat Atelier as “Harry Potter meets Kiki’s Delivery Service” and has been hailed as a “best of” for the year.  This tale follows the journey of Coco, who is resigned to the fact that because she was not born with the gift of magic, she cannot become a witch; however, when she meets a magician named Qifrey, she begins to hope her dream may come true.  Translated by Stephen Kohler, the first volume was published by Kodansha.

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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 2020 Eisner Award Ceremony!

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor



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