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1997 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners

The nominated creators have been recognized by their peers for having produced some of the outstanding achievements in comics in 1996.
(Winners are in bold and marked with *)

Best Short Story

  • "Gentlemanhog," Jim Woodring, Frank #1 (Fantagraphics)
  • "Heroes," Archie Goodwin and Gary Gianni, Batman: Black & White #4 (DC Comics) *
  • "Joy Ride," Carol Lay, Joy Ride and Other Stories (Kitchen Sink)
  • "The Nearness of You," Wizard Presents Kurt Busiek's Astro City, vol. 2, #1/2 (Homage/Wizard Press)
  • "Oracle-Year One: Born of Hope," John Ostrander, Kim Yale, Brian Stelfreeze, and Karl Story, Batman Chronicles #5 (DC)
  • "Perpetual Mourning," Ted McKeever, Batman: Black & White #1 (DC)

Best Single Issue

  • Giant THB Parade, Paul Pope (Horse Press)
  • Kane #13: "Point of View," Paul Grist (Dancing Elephant Press)
  • Kurt Busiek's Astro City, vol. 2, #1: "Welcome to Astro City," Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Will Blyberg (Jukebox Productions/Homage) *
  • Elric #0: Neil Gaiman's "One Life Furnished in Early Moorcock," adapted by P. Craig Russell (Topps)
  • Optic Nerve #3, Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Sandman #75: "The Tempest," Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess (DC/Vertigo)
  • Stray Bullets #10: "Here Comes the Circus," David Lapham (El Capitan)

Best Serialized Story

  • Captain America #450-453: "Man Without a Country," Mark Waid, Ron Garney, and Scott Koblish (Marvel)
  • Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol. 2, #2-3: "Everyday Life/Adventures in Other Worlds," Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Will Blyberg (Jukebox Productions/Homage)
  • Starman #20-23: "Sand and Stars," James Robinson, Tony Harris, Guy Davis, and Wade von Grawbadger (DC) *
  • Strangers in Paradise #10-13: "It's a Good Life" Terry Moore (Abstract Studios/Homage)
  • Usagi Yojimbo #1-2: "Noodles," Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)
  • Walt Disney's Comics & Stories #604-606: "The Universal Solvent," Don Rosa (Gladstone)

Best Continuing Series

  • Akiko, Mark Crilley (Sirius)
  • Kane, Paul Grist (Dancing Elephant Press)
  • Kurt Busiek's Astro City, Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Will Blyberg (Jukebox Productions/Homage) *
  • Starman, James Robinson, Tony Harris, and Wade von Grawbadger (DC)
  • Strangehaven, Gary Spencer Millidge (Abiogenesis Press)
  • Strangers in Paradise, Terry Moore (Abstract Studios/Homage)

Best Limited Series

  • Age of Reptiles: The Hunt, Ricardo Delgado (Dark Horse)
  • Batman: Black and White, Mark Chiarello and Scott Peterson, eds. (DC)
  • Death: The Time of Your Life, Neil Gaiman, Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, and Mark Pennington (DC/Vertigo)
  • Gon, Masashi Tanaka (Paradox Press)
  • Kingdom Come, Mark Waid and Alex Ross (DC) *
  • The System, Peter Kuper (DC/Vertigo Verite)
  • Terminal City, Dean Motter and Michael Lark (DC/Vertigo)

Best New Series

  • Barry Windsor-Smith: Storyteller, Barry Windsor-Smith (Dark Horse)
  • Coventry, Bill Willingham (Fantagraphics)
  • Leave It to Chance, James Robinson and Paul Smith (Homage) *
  • Nowhere, Debbie Drechsler (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • The Wretch, Phillip Hester and others (Caliber)

Best Comics Publication for a Younger Audience

  • Akiko, Mark Crilley (Sirius)
  • Leave It to Chance, James Robinson and Paul Smith (Homage) *
  • Patty Cake, Scott Roberts (Permanent Press/Tapestry)
  • Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Kurt Busiek and Pat Olliffe (Marvel)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)
  • Walt Disney's Comics & Stories, John Clark, ed. (Gladstone)

Best Humor Publication

  • Empty Love Stories #2, Steve Darnall and various artists (Slave Labor)
  • Joy Ride and Other Stories, Carol Lay (Kitchen Sink)
  • Patty Cake, Scott Roberts (Permanent Press/Tapestry)
  • Ragmop, Rob Walton (Planet Lucy)
  • Sergio Aragones Destroys DC (DC) and Sergio Aragones Massacres Marvel (Marvel), Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones *

Best Anthology

  • Batman: Black and White, Mark Chiarello and Scott Peterson, eds. (DC) *
  • Big Book of Hoaxes, Carl Sifakis and various artists, Jim Higgins, ed. (Paradox Press)
  • A Decade of Dark Horse, Randy Stradley, ed. (Dark Horse)
  • Negative Burn, Joe Pruett, ed. (Caliber)
  • Shi: Kaidan, Peter Guittierrez and various artists, Tony Bedard, ed. (Crusade)

Best Graphic Album-New

  • Adolf: graphic novel series (vols. 2-5), Osamu Tezuka (Cadence Books)
  • Batman and Captain America, John Byrne (DC/Marvel)
  • Castle Waiting: The Curse of Brambly Hedge, Linda Medley (OLIO)
  • Fax from Sarajevo, Joe Kubert (Dark Horse Books) *
  • Marilyn: The Story of a Woman, Kathryn Hyatt (Seven Stories Press)

Best Graphic Album-Reprint

  • Daddy's Girl, Debbie Drechsler (Fantagraphics)
  • It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken, Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Kurt Busiek's Astro City: Life in the Big City, Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson (Jukebox Productions/Homage)
  • Mr. Monster: Origins, Michael T. Gilbert (Graphitti Designs)
  • Sandman: The Wake, Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli, Jon J. Muth, Charles Vess (DC/Vertigo)
  • Stray Bullets: Innocence of Nihilism, David Lapham (El Capitan) *

Best Archival Collection

  • Aviation Art of Russell Keaton (Kitchen Sink)
  • Blueberry Saga: Confederate Gold, Jean-Michel Charlier and Jean Giraud (Mojo Press)
  • Li'l Abner, vol. 22-24, Al Capp (Kitchen Sink)
  • Nine Lives to Live: A Classic Felix Celebration, Otto Mesmer (Fantagraphics)
  • Tarzan: The Land That Time Forgot and The Pool of Time, Russ Manning (Dark Horse) *

Best Writer

  • Kurt Busiek, Kurt Busiek's Astro City (Jukebox Productions/Homage); Untold Tales of Spider-Man (Marvel)
  • Neil Gaiman, The Sandman; Death: The Time of Your Life (DC/Vertigo)
  • Alan Moore, From Hell (Kitchen Sink);Supreme (Maximum Press) *
  • John Ostrander, The Spectre (DC)
  • James Robinson, Starman (DC); Leave It to Chance (Homage)
  • Mark Waid, Flash; Impulse; Kingdom Come (DC); Captain America (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist-Humor

  • Mark Crilley, Akiko (Sirius)
  • Marc Hempel, Tug & Buster (Art & Soul)
  • Batton Lash, Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre (Exhibit A Press)
  • Carol Lay, Joy Ride and Other Stories (Kitchen Sink)
  • Don Rosa, Walt Disney's Comics & Stories; Uncle Scrooge (Gladstone) *
  • Masashi Tanaka, Gon (Paradox Press)

Best Writer/Artist-Drama

  • Paul Grist, Kane (Dancing Elephant Press)
  • Joe Kubert, Fax from Sarajevo (Dark Horse)
  • David Laphham, Stray Bullets (El Capitan)
  • Mike Mignola, Hellboy: Wake the Devil (Dark Horse/Legend) *
  • Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse)
  • Osamu Tezuka, Adolf graphic novel series (Cadence Books)

Best Penciller

  • Ron Garney, Captain America (Marvel)
  • Phil Jiminez, Tempest (DC)
  • Michael Lark, Terminal City (DC/Vertigo)
  • Steve Rude, Nexus: Executioner's Song (Dark Horse) *

Best Inker

  • Jimmy Palmiotti, Ash (Event); Vampirella Lives (Harris)
  • George Perez, Teen Titans (DC)
  • Joe Sinnott, Untold Tales of Spider-Man '96 (Marvel)
  • Cam Smith, Supergirl (DC)
  • Al Williamson, Spider-Man, Untold Tales of Spider-Man #17-18 (Marvel) *

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

  • Brent Anderson/Will Blyberg, Kurt Busiek's Astro City , vol. 2 (Jukebox Productions/Homage)
  • Tony Harris/Wade von Grawbadger, Starman (DC)
  • Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez/Kevin Nowlan, Dr. StrangeFate (DC)
  • Paul Smith, Leave It to Chance (Homage)
  • Charles Vess, Book of Ballads and Sagas (Green Man Press); Sandman #75 (DC/Vertigo) *
  • Aron Weisenfeld/Richard Bennett, Deathblow and Wolverine (Wildstorm/Image/Marvel)

Best Painter

  • Dan Brereton, Thrillkiller (DC)
  • Joseph Michael Linsner, Dawn (Sirius)
  • Miguelanxo Prado, Tangents (NBM)
  • Alex Ross, Kingdom Come (DC) *

Best Coloring

  • Monica Bennett, Deathblow and Wolverine (Wildstorm/Image/Marvel)
  • Jeromy Cox, Leave It to Chance (Homage)
  • Matt Hollingsworth, Preacher; Death: The Time of Your Life (DC/Vertigo); Bloody Mary (DC/Helix); Challengers of the Unknown (DC) *
  • Trish Mulvihill, Wonder Woman; Firebrand (DC); Batman and Captain America (DC/Marvel)
  • Daniel Vozzo, The Invisibles; The Dreaming; The Sandman (DC/Vertigo)

Best Lettering

  • Todd Klein, The Sandman,: Death: The Time of Your Life; House of Secrets; The Dreaming (DC/Vertigo); Batman; The Spectre; Kingdom Come (DC) *
  • Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo; Space Usagi (Dark Horse)
  • Dave Sim, Cerebus (Aardvark-Vanaheim)
  • Richard Starkings and Comicraft, Batman: The Long Halloween (DC);Generation X (Marvel)
  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Company #7 (Fantagraphics)

Best Cover Artist

  • Mark Chiarello, Terminal City (DC/Vertigo)
  • Tony Harris, Starman (DC)
  • Michael Kaluta, Books of Magic (DC/Vertigo); Vermillion (Helix)
  • Jerry Ordway, Power of Shazam (DC)
  • Alex Ross, Kingdom Come (DC); Kurt Busiek's Astro City (Jukebox Productions/Homage) *
  • Steve Rude, Nexus: Executioner's Song; Nexus/Madman (Dark Horse)

Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition

  • Ricardo Delgado, Age of Reptiles *
  • Debbie Drechsler, Daddy's Girl; Nowhere
  • Jon "Bean" Hastings, Smith Brown Jones
  • Batton Lash, Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre
  • Gary Spencer Millidge, Strangehaven
  • Rob Walton, Ragmop

Best Editor

  • Tom Brevoort, Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Daily Bugle
  • M. M. Carwald, Amalgam line
  • Andy Helfer, Gon; Big Book of Little Criminals (Paradox Press)
  • Scott Peterson/Mark Chiarello, Batman: Black & White (DC)
  • Joe Pruett, Negative Burn (Caliber)
  • Dan Raspler, Kingdom Come; Hitman; The Spectre; Sergio Aragones Destroys the DC Universe (DC) *

Best Comics-Related Periodical

  • Comics Buyer's Guide (Krause Publications)
  • The Comics Journal (Fantagraphics) *
  • Comic Relief (Page One)
  • Jack Kirby Collector (TwoMorrows)

Best Comics-Related Book

  • Alex Toth by Design, Alex Toth and Darrell McNeil (Gold Medal Productions)
  • Batman Collected, Chip Kidd (Bullfinch Press/Little, Brown)
  • Graphic Storytelling, Will Eisner (Poorhouse Press) *
  • Great Women Superheroes, Trina Robbins (Kitchen Sink)
  • National Cartoonists Society Album, 50th Anniversary edition, Bill Janocha, ed. (NCS)

Best Comics-Related Product

  • Akiko Kimono limited print-Mark Crilley (Sirius)
  • Hellboy bust, Randy Bowen (Bowen Designs) *
  • Jack Kirby portfolio (Dark Horse)
  • Kingdom Come cards (Skybox)
  • Lillith Limited print-Joe Linsner (Sirius)
  • Shi statue, Clayburn Moore (Moore Studios)

Best Publication Design

  • Acme Novelty Library #7, designed by Chris Ware (Fantagraphics) *
  • Black Eye Productions publications, designed by Michel Vrana: Berlin (with Jason Lutes), Dear Julia (with Brian Biggs), The Sands (with Tom Hart)
  • Buzz Buzz and Giant THB Parade, designed by Paul Pope and C. Rambler (Horse Press)
  • Fax from Sarajevo, designed by Brian Gogolin (Dark Horse Books)
  • It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken, designed by Seth (Drawn and Quarterly)
  • Mr. Monster: Origins limited edition hardcover, designed by Richard Bruning and Beatman/Brainstorm Unltd. (Graphitti)
  • The Sandman: The Wake hardcover edition, designed by Dave McKean (DC/Vertigo)

Hall of Fame

  • Bill Everett
  • Al Feldstein
  • Bill Finger
  • Gardner Fox
  • Carmine Infantino
  • Gil Kane *
  • Paul S. Newman
  • Charles Schulz *
  • Julius Schwartz *
  • E. C. Segar
  • Joe Simon
  • art spiegelman
  • Curt Swan *