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Countdown to the Eisners: 2018 Nominees for Best U.S Edition of International Material

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.

Added to the Eisner Awards categories in 1998, the Best U.S. Edition of International Material brings comics and graphic novels to U.S. audiences that would likely not have access otherwise. The materials nominated explore the 19th century American naturalist/painter John James Audubon, a French freedom fighter during WWII Paris, a tensive scenario that includes crosswords, a mystery involving the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, Diego Velázquez and his influential Las Meninas painting, and the history of Brazil’s slavery revealed through an escape narrative.

Here are the 2018 Eisner Award nominees for the Best U.S. Edition of International Material category:

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Audubon: On the Wings of the World by Fabien Grolleau and Jerémie Royer, translated by Etienne Gilfillan (Nobrow)

“At the start of the 19th century, John James Audubon embarked upon an epic ornithological quest. With nothing but his artist’s materials, an assistant, a gun, and an all-consuming passion, he set out to study and paint all of America’s birds…

“Audubon’s seminal work, The Birds of America, is considered one of the finest masterpieces of natural history and art. This embellished graphic novel, based on Audubon’s own retellings, not only captures the spirit of early America’s unexplored wilderness but also the rise of this exceptional artist to become one of the greatest natural historians ever.” – Nobrow

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Flight of the Raven by Jean-Pierre Gibrat, translated by Diana Schultz and Brandon Kander (EuroComics/IDW)

“Jean-Pierre Gibrat’s lushly colored graphic novel is one of the most stunningly beautiful comics of the 21st Century. The story takes place in Paris during the German occupation and stars a memorable heroine in the French Resistance fighter named Jeanne. With the help of an apolitical cat burglar named François, she tries to save her comrades, including her missing sister Cécile, from the Gestapo. They walk in the places between shadows, as Gibrat uses the evocative Paris rooftops and river barges on the Seine almost as separate characters.” – IDW

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FUN by Paolo Bacilieri, translated by Jamie Richards (SelfMadeHero)

“Respected novelist Pippo Quester is writing a history of the crossword puzzle. Together with fan and protégé Zeno Porno – a Disney comics writer – he unearths stories of pioneering editors, genius cruciverbalists, eminent compilers, and literary giants.

“As Professor Quester and Zeno explore the crossed destinies of comics and crosswords, the sudden appearance of Mafalda, an enigmatic student carrying a grudge and a handmade pistol, throws the two writers into a present-day puzzle of their own.

“Both an impeccably researched history and a playful literary crime story, Paolo Bacilieri’s FUN is a breathtaking inventive graphic novel that explores the strange power of one of the world’s most popular pastimes.” – SelfMadeHero

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Ghost of Gaudi by El Torres and Jesús Alonso Iglesias, translated by Esther Villardón Grande (Lion Forge/Magnetic)

“He was called a genius, a madman, and God’s own architect. His designs have inspired and bewildered both mathematicians and artists for generations.  His monuments defy comparison. And someone is leaving a trail of horrific murders among them, baffling local police. Only one girl may hold the key to catching the killer. But she insists she’s seen a ghost.

A visual tour through the beautiful streets of Barcelona on a true edge-of-your-seat thriller. Winner of several awards in Spain.” – Magnetic Collection

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The Ladies-in-Waiting by Santiago Garcia and Javier Olivares, translated by Erica Mena (Fantagraphics)

“In 1656, Diego Velázquez, leading figure in the Spanish Golden Age of painting, created one of the most enigmatic works in the history of art: Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-Waiting). This graphic novel, written and drawn by two of Spain’s most sophisticated comics creators, examines its legacy as one of the first paintings to explore the relationship among the viewer, reality, and unreality. (It guest stars Cano, Salvador Dalí, Zurbarán, and many others.) Olivares’s art moves from clear line to expressionistic; from pen nib to brush strokes; from one color palette to another, as The Ladies-in-Waiting uses fiction to explore the ties among artists and patrons, the past and the present, institutions and audiences, creators, and creativity. Their combined efforts have garnered not only international comics prizes, but the equivalent of the National Book Award in Spain, where the book has been a commercial and critical sensation.” – Fantagraphics

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Run for It: Stories of Slaves Who Fought for the Freedom by Marcelo D’Salete, translated by Andrea Rosenberg (Fantagraphics)

Run for It – a starkly stunning graphic novel by internationally acclaimed illustrator Marcelo d’Salete – is one of the first literary and artistic efforts to confront Brazil’s hidden history of slavery. Seen through the eyes of its victims, Run for It tells of ordinary slaves who rebel against their masters. Run for It’s vivid illustrations and magical realism engage the reader’s poetic imagination through stories of individual suffering caused by the horrors of slavery.

Originally published in Brazil – where it was nominated for three of the country’s most prestigious comics awards – Run for It has awed readers worldwide. These intense tales offer a tragic and gripping portrait of one of history’s darkest corners. It’s hard to look away.” – Fantagraphics

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Stay tuned to the Fanbase Press website next Monday as we continue our “Countdown to the Eisners” coverage! Plus, follow Fanbase Press’ Facebook, Twitter (@Fanbase_Press), and Instagram (@fanbasepress) with the hastag #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.

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor



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