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Countdown to the Eisners: 2018 Nominees for Best Short Story

Fanbase Press’ coverage of the 2018 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards continues with the “Countdown to the Eisners” series.  From Monday, June 4, through Friday, July 13, 2018, 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 20.

First awarded as part of the Eisner Awards in 1993, the Best Short Story category honors creators whose work is less than one standard comic book issue in length.  With past winners including Tom King and David Finch (“Good Boy”), Sergio Aragones (“The Gorilla Suit”), and Katie and Mike Mignola (“The Magician and the Snake”), the category continues to highlight outstanding short stories released by established and independent publishers alike.  Here are the 2018 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Short Story category:  

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“Ethel Byrne” by Cecil Castellucci and Scott Chantler in Mine!: A Celebration of Liberty and Freedom for All Benefiting Planned Parenthood (ComicMix)

Although not a household name today, Ethel Byrne was an activist who, along with her older sister Margaret Sanger and activist Fania Mindell, opened a birth control clinic in 1916. Mrs. Byrne was arrested for distributing birth control literature. During her imprisonment, she went on a hunger strike; she truly believed in the cause and was willing to die for it. The sisters brought national attention to the issue, but it would take decades before the FDA approved birth control.

Cecil Castellucci and Scott Chantler’s short story is part of a larger anthology, Mine!: A Celebration of Liberty and Freedom for All Benefiting Planned Parenthood, collecting a who’s who of creators from the industry in this successfully funded Kickstarter. The cover was created by artist Jill Thompson, the logo by John Workman, and it was realized by ComicMix. Proceeds from the book sales go to Planned Parenthood.

Click here to purchase.

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“Forgotten Princess” by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Antonio Sandoval in Adventure Time Comics #13 (KaBOOM!)

In 2010, screenwriter/animator Pendleton Ward created Adventure Time, a series about a boy named Finn and his adventures in the Land of Ooo. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the series has been a success not just with their target audience (children), but also teenagers and adults. Within two years, KaBOOM! Studios began publishing a comic book series of Adventure Time written by Ryan North. Thereafter, a variety of comic and graphic novel spin-offs, as well as video games and books, have expanded the franchise.

“Forgotten Princess” is the short story about Finn and Jake, Finn’s best friend and adopted brother (who happens to be a dog), who become separated. Finn finds himself in the Kingdom of Forgotten Stuff, a world where forgotten things are collected. Before escaping, the armies ask him to remember them. Finn escapes and queries Jake if he remembers Finn – he does. Sadly, Finn knows there is something (somebodies) that he cannot remember. The story is written by Philip Kennedy Johnson who has worked on Kong: Gods of Skull Island (BOOM! Studios) and The Power of the Dark Crystal (Archaia Entertainment) and illustrated by artist Antonio Sandoval (Adventure Time).

Click here to purchase.

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“A Life in Comics: The Graphic Adventures of Karen Green” by Nick Sousanis in Columbia Magazine (Summer 2017)

Life is never simple, and one’s path will be filled with twists and turns. Last summer, Teachers College, Columbia University alumni and cartoonist Nick Sousanis’ (co-founder, and author of Unflattening) “A Life in Comics: The Graphic Adventurers of Karen Green – How a Butler Librarian Became Columbia’s First Curator for Comics and Cartoons” was published in Columbia Magazine. Utilizing the sequential art form, Sousanis explores and documents Green’s “unconventional” road to become the first curator.

Interestingly, Sousanis also has a first at Columbia University: He wrote his dissertation entirely in the format of a comic book which was published as Unflattening (2015, Harvard University Press).   

Click here to view pages.

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“Small Mistakes Make Big Problems” by Sophia Foster-Dimino in Comics for Choice (Hazel Newlevant)

Comics for Choice was an IndieGoGo crowdfunded project that raised over $30,000 in donations for the National Network of Abortion Funds, “a charity that works to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access, so that everyone can have full reproductive choice,” according to the official website.  

“Small Mistakes Make Big Problems,” created by Sophia Foster-Dimino, is a memoir of struggling with depression which becomes more acute when she decides to have an abortion. Foster-Dimino is an illustrator who teaches at the California College of the Arts and her series, Sex Fantasy (Koyama Press), was recognized with the Ignatz Award.

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“Trans Plant” by Megan Rose Gedris in Enough Space for Everyone Else (Bedside Press)

Megan Rose Gedris describes her short story, “Transplant,” that follows “a man [who] visits a tourist trap on another planet and decides to explore the ‘real’ areas of the planet, only to find there’s a reason he shouldn’t have been there.” Her story is just one of the stories included in the anthology, Enough Space for Everyone Else, published by Bedside Press.

A crowdfunded project that successfully raised over $36,000, Bedside Press’ Hope Nicholson explained that she wanted to explore the science fiction and space fiction genres, but instead of the usual narrative plot devices (war, conquest and imperialism), the stories in this collection explore “infinite possibilities.” The volume was edited by J.N. Monk and Lee Black and featured cover art by Eryn Williams.

Click here to purchase.

Stay tuned to the Fanbase Press website tomorrow as we continue our “Countdown to the Eisners” coverage with the Best Single Issue/One-Shot category! 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 2018 Eisner Award Ceremony from the Hilton Bayfront Hotel at San Diego Comic-Con on the evening of Friday, July 20th!


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