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Countdown to the Eisners: 2019 Nominees for Best Single Issue / One-Shot

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.

The nominees for the Best Single Issue/One-Shot are five remarkable, self-contained books that probe the unexplored corners of an existing comic book universe or create an entirely new one. There’s no denying that these standalone stories really stand out! This year’s winner will join a stellar troop of recipients that includes Mike Mignola, Adam Hughes, Dan Slott, Michael Allred, Evan Dorkin, and Jill Thompson who won for two different Beast of Burden one-shots.

Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Single Issue/One-Shot category:

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Beneath the Dead Oak Tree by Emily Carroll (ShortBox)

Emily Carroll’s Beneath the Dead Oak Tree is a gorgeously rendered poem/folk song about murder, decadence, guilt, and aristocratic foxes in wigs. In his article for The AV Club, Oliver Sava explained the book is “inspired by Carroll’s feelings of being alone in a crowd with the constant buzz of social media and the simmering guilt, anger, and shame that arose from that alienation.” This dark and horrific tale of vengeance pairs exceptionally well with Carroll’s arresting artistic style and pastel colors.

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Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox (Dark Horse)

Writer Jeff Lemire continues the masterful expansion of his sprawling new universe in Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise. Being a high school girl isn’t easy, especially when you’re a Lovecraftian monster and the daughter of a supervillain. This comic spins off a previous Black Hammer spinoff series titled Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil and features art by super-star artist Emi Lenox. Lemire told SyFy Wire, ““Emi’s style has a real sweetness, an innocent look that is perfectly suited to Cthu-Louise’s personality, and I thought to juxtapose it to the more horrific things that happen would create an interesting tension.”

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No Better Words by Carolyn Nowak (Silver Sprocket)

Carolyn Nowak creates pornographic poetry with her sexually charged, but never needlessly gratuitous, vignette about Mallory and Theo. The titillating art is bursting with colorful, youthful enthusiasm. The eloquent narration purposefully switches to genuinely awkward dialogue as the characters are overcome with the thrill of desire. In her article for Women Write About Comics, Laura Stump said of the comic, “Nowak wrote No Better Words for anyone who has ever felt desire so strong they thought they might combust if the wind blew in the right direction. She created new ways to talk about an emotion that confuses and terrifies and intrigues, all at the same time.”

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Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 by Chip Zdarsky (Marvel)

The wildly imaginative Chip Zdarsky ends his acclaimed run with the web head in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310. The story is told in the style of a documentary film; it examines what Spider-Man means to the people of New York and what being Spider-Man means to Peter Parker himself. In his review for Comic Book Revolution, Kevin Lainez wrote, “There is no big, world-ending conflict that only Spider-Man can stop. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 is a character focus story that shows why Spider-Man is such a beloved character.”

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The Terrible Elisabeth Dumn Against the Devils in Suits by Arabson, translated by James Robinson (IHQ Studio/ Image)

Elisabeth Dumn is a troublemaker in trouble. Years ago, her father sold her soul to the devil for wealth and success, and now the devil has come to settle the debt. The graphic novella was created by Brazilian sensation Arabson and translated into English by writer James Robinson. It features an overtly grotesque artistic style that vibrates with movement. “Narratives about pacts with metaphysical entities generate interest by themselves, as we find in classic literature and mythology along the centuries and people’s imaginations all around the world,” Arabson said in a feature for Image. “It’s interesting to think that, somehow, forces so antagonistic are more united than they look like, working together for the sake of this reality.”

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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 2019 Eisner Award Ceremony from the Hilton Bayfront Hotel at San Diego Comic-Con on the evening of Friday, July 19th!

Gabe Cheng, Fanbase Press Contributor



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