Resize text+=

Countdown to the Eisners: 2020 Nominees for Best Cover Artist & Best Publication Design

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 Cover Artist

The Eisner Awards have seen a few artists dominate its Best Cover Artist category since its inception in 1992. Four artists have won 18 of the 27 years: Brian Bolland (Animal Man, Wonder Woman, Legends of the Dark Knight #50, Batman: Gotham Knights, The Flash, The Invisibles); Alex Ross (Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, Kingdom Come, Uncle Sam, Batman: No Man’s Land, Batman: Harley Quinn, Batman: War on Crime); James Jean (Batgirl, Fables, Green Arrow, Runaways, 1001 Nights of Snowfall, The Umbrella Academy, Process Recess 2, Superior Showcase); and David Aja (Hawkeye, Karnak, Scarlet Witch).

Bolland won the first three honors, while winning the ‘90s with four wins and his five overall wins led the first decade of this category. Ross won three in a row in the ’90s and four of five from ’96 to ’00. James Jean has the most impressive feat of leading the 2000s with six in a row. Aja has earned three of four Eisners in the 2010s from ‘13 to ‘16. Perhaps this year’s winner will begin another string to helm the 2020s.

Here are the 2020 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Cover Artist category:

Jen Bartel, Blackbird (Image Comics)

Jen Bartel is an illustrator and comic artist who has worked with publishers like Marvel, DC/Vertigo, and Dark Horse. Bartel won the Eisner Award for Best Cover Artist last year.

Co-created by Bartel and writer Sam Humphries, Blackbird is described by the publisher as a “neo-noir fantasy” that deals with a secret magic world ruled by ruthless cabals that happens to be hiding just beneath the veneer of Los Angeles.

Click here to purchase.  

Francesco Francavilla, Archie, Archie 1955, Archie Vs. Predator II, Cosmo (Archie)

An Italian comic book artist, Francesco Francavilla is both a New York Times best-selling author and Eisner Award winner. Francavilla is known for his creator-owned series, The Black Beetle, his work on Dynamite’s Zorro series, and his run on Detective Comics with Scott Snyder and Jock.

Francavilla’s recent work for Archie Comics has taken him from the 1950s and the birth of “rock and roll,” to the red planet with Cosmo, the mighty martian.

Click here to purchase Archie 1955.  
Click here to purchase Archie vs. Predator II.  
Click here to purchase Cosmo.  

David Mack, American Gods, Fight Club 3 (Dark Horse); Cover (DC)

David Mack is an American comic book artist and writer who, in addition to his distinctive style, is known for co-creating the deaf Marvel Comics superhero Echo. Mack’s past credits include Kabuki, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Alias, New Avengers, and White Tiger.

“[American Gods] is a suitably epic treatment of a grand saga, with art that brings enough new life to the popular fiction for its many followers to add to their collections.” – Publishers Weekly

“Yes, a Fight Club comic is still a strange concept, but its confident execution in both story and art makes it an enigmatic read that tantalizes us with the story to come while laying down solid groundwork.” – AIPT

Cover is a masterful book with which I found no flaws. Jump on board now and witness history in the making.” – Comic Watch

Click here to purchase American Gods.  
Click here to purchase Fight Club 3.  
Click here to purchase Cover.

Emma Rios, Pretty Deadly (Image)

A Spanish comics artist, writer, and editor, Emma Rios is a previously Eisner-nominated creator who has worked with some of the biggest publishers in the industry, with credits including Hexed, Doctor Strange, The Amazing Spider-Man, Runaways, Osborn, and more.

Co-created by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Pretty Deadly is described by the publisher as an ongoing series that “marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher.”

Click here to purchase.  

Julian Totino Tedesco, Daredevil (Marvel)

An illustrator and comic book artist from Argentina, Julian Totino Tedesco’s cover work has been seen previously in titles like Hawkeye, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., X-Men: Uncanny Origins, Star Wars: Shattered Empire, and more.

In this chapter of the saga of the man without fear, Daredevil takes the blame when a criminal dies and must go on the run in a desperate bid to clear his name! Unfortunately, without its hero, Hell’s Kitchen becomes a playground for the true devils of the neighborhood.

Click here to purchase.

Christian Ward, Machine Gun Wizards (Dark Horse), Invisible Kingdom (Berger Books/Dark Horse)

Christian Ward is the London-based writer of the comic, Machine Gun Wizards, as well as the Eisner-winning comic book artist of titles like Black Bolt, Thor, and ODY-C.

Machine Gun Wizards #4 brings about the end of one of the best new series in comics. Seamlessly and perfectly blending genres while creating an enthralling new world with lively characters, incredible art, and fantastic writing. The conclusion is as great as the issues to come before, wraps things up in a satisfying manner, and leaves you wanting more and wondering what could come next.” – Comics Bookcase

Invisible Kingdom from Berger Books is a masterpiece of science fiction storytelling. It is a social commentary disguised as an adventurous space epic wrapped in the most beautiful art work.” – Monkeys Fighting Robots

Click here to purchase Machine Gun Wizards.
Click here to purchase Invisible Kingdom.

Best Publication Design

The Best Publication Design Eisner Award began in 1993 and is awarded to releases showcasing innovative, creative, artistic, or unique publication packaging, presentation, and design. Prior recipients for this award include Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Season of the Mists, Frank Miller’s 300 (designed by Mark Cox), and Will Eisner’s A Contract with God: Curator’s Collection (designed by John Lind).

Here are the 2020 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Publication Design category:

Grunt 1ea

Grunt: The Art and Unpublished Comics of James Stokoe, designed by Ethan Kimberling (Dark Horse)

Grunt is a deluxe hardcover artbook showcasing the work of comics creator James Stokoe, who described by the publisher as having “drawn some of the most visually meticulous and surreal illustrations in modern comics,” including credits like Orc Stain, Aliens: Dead Orbit, and Wonton Soup.

”His artwork is astonishingly detailed, with an infectious, monstrous energy and dynamism that needs to be experienced by every fan of comic books.’’ -SyFy Wire

“If you aren’t a James Stokoe fan already, Grunt may change your mind rather quickly.” – Rogue’s Portal

Click here to purchase.  

KrazyKat 21c

Krazy Kat: The Complete Color Sundays, by George Herriman, designed by Anna-Tina Kessler (TASCHEN)

As Amazon notes, the premise of Krazy Kat is simple: “a black cat loves scheming a white mouse who incessantly throws bricks at the cat’s head, which police dog Officer Pupp, secretly harboring a passionate love for the cat, tries to prevent.”

Featuring a detailed introduction by comic expert Alexander Braun, this volume includes all Krazy Kat color stories from 1935–1944.

Click here to purchase.  

logo a gogo 6b9

Logo a Gogo, designed by Rian Hughes (Korero Press)

With over 20 years of experience, Rian Hughes has used his skills and talents as a designer, illustrator, and lettering artist to craft logos for not only some of the most popular superhero titles in the comic book industry, but also for top tier clients like Hasbro, the Cartoon Network, the BBC, and more.

Logo a Gogo is “packed full of the best of his logo designs and offers an insight into the creative process behind his work.”

“Simply put, [Logo a Gogo’s] a must have for comic fans, typographers and artists alike.”  – Shelf Abuse

Click here to purchase.  

MadnessInCrowds cc2

Madness in Crowds: The Teeming Mind of Harrison Cady, designed by Paul Kopple and Alex Bruce (Beehive Books)

On its Amazon page, Madness in Crowds is described as “an overflowing art book monograph collecting the charming, virtuosic and staggeringly detailed work of the cartoonist and graphic artist Harrison Cady.”

“Cady, who died in 1970, wrote the Peter Rabbit comic strip from 1920 to 1948, but this collection looks to collect his magazine illustrations, in which Cady specialized in drawing vibrant crowd scenes. The book is part of a series by Beehive meant to preserve comics, fine art, and illustration history by resurfacing the work of ‘forgotten masters.’” – Bleeding Cool

Click here to purchase.  

makingcomics c04

Making Comics, designed by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)

Drawn & Quarterly states on its website that Making Comics is an “idiosyncratic curriculum” that will “teach you how to draw and write your story,” as well as educating readers on “how to make comics, how to be creative, how to not think.”

“Part motivational lecture, part creative writing exercise, part group therapy session, and part trippy meditation on memory and play… Barry is not only a genius herself but an encourager of genius in others.” – The Nation

“I’ve read a lot of writing and drawing textbooks, and Barry’s is the only one that has made me choke up with emotion.” – Pop Matters

Click here to purchase.  

Rusty cb3

Rusty Brown, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

A finalist for the 2020 Pen/Jean Stein Book Award, an NPR Best Book of the Year, one of Lit Hub’s most highly anticipated book of 2019, and included on The New York Times’ 100 notable books of the year, Rusty Brown is described by the publisher as both “a fully interactive, full-color articulation of the time-space interrelationships of three complete consciousnesses in the first half of a single midwestern American day” and “a major graphic novel event more than 18 years in progress.”

“Chris Ware’s design sensibility is masterfully claustrophobic . . . the ambition of his storytelling, the scope of his vision, and his absolute control over his medium are astonishing. A generational achievement, presented in a gorgeous edition.” – Forbes

“Nobody chronicles lives of quiet desperation with the exacting meticulousness of Chris Ware. His singular style provides him, and us, with direct access to the primal emotions we collectively repress. . . Precision that will take your breath away.”- NPR

Click here to purchase.  

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!

Bryant Dillon, Fanbase Press President


Favorite Comic BookPreacher by Garth Ennis and Steve DillonFavorite TV ShowBuffy the Vampire Slayer Favorite BookThe Beach by Alex Garland


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top