Congratulations to Saga, Squirrel Girl, Sonny Liew, Rep. John Lewis, and all the other 2017 Eisner Award Winners!
At last night’s Eisner Awards, there was plenty to celebrate, but one achievement in particular represented a special victory for representation. Thanks to Sonny Liew’s three wins, a Singaporean won an Eisner for the first time!
Graphic novelist Sonny Liew won three of the six Eisner Awards he was nominated for, making him the first Singaporean to win an Eisner Award. He won Best Writer/Artist himself, and his graphic novel The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye was awarded Best Publication Design and Best US Edition of International Material – Asia. “I can’t predict the future,” he said to The Straits Times, “but I hope this gives encouragement to other Singapore authors and artists. When I was young, I remember seeing local authors on the shelf and being inspired by that.”
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye was the subject of some controversy back in Singapore, after the National Arts Council withdrew its $8,000 grant for the book because its satirical content “potentially undermines the authority or legitimacy” of the Singaporean government. Given these difficulties, and what it means for representation, I’m so happy that Liew took home so many Eisners for his work.
The Saga team took home four awards, with the series itself winning Best Continuing Series while writer Brian K. Vaughan won Best Writer and artist Fiona Staples won both Best Cover Artist and Best Penciller/Inker.
Jill Thompson won Best Painter/Multimedia Artist and also came away with two other awards: Best Single Issue/One-Shot for Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In, by Thompson, Evan Dorkin, and Sarah Dyer; and Best Graphic Album—New for Wonder Woman: The True Amazon.
Writer Tom King also won big last night. “Good Boy,” by King and David Finch, from Batman Annual #1, took home Best Short Story, while The Vision, by King and Gabriel Walta, took home the prize for Best Limited Series.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, won Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17).
Love is Love, the anthology to benefits victims of the Pulse Orlando shooting, won Best Anthology.
March: Book Three, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, won Best Reality-Based Work, just as March: Book Two did in 2016. The March trilogy actually sold out on Amazon earlier this year after Trump Rep. Lewis for refusing to attend his inauguration.
Matt Wilson won Best Coloring for his work on titles like Cry Havoc, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine, Black Widow, and The Mighty Thor.
Todd Klein won Best Lettering for his work on titles like Clean Room, Dark Night, Lucifer, and Black Hammer.
Jughead, by Chip Zdarsky, Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Derek Charm, won Best Humor Publication, and Zdarsky tweeted about the win in characteristic fashion.
“The Eisner Award-winning Jughead” ha ha what a world
— Real Chip Zdarsky (@zdarsky) July 22, 2017
The awards also took a poignant turn, as Jack Kirby was awarded the posthumous Bill Finger Excellence in Comics Writing Award. “At long last,” said Mark Evanier, “someone presents a writing award to Jack Kirby.” William Messner-Loebs won the living-writer Bill Finger Excellence in Comics Writing Award. Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, George Perez, Walter Simonson, and James Starlin were all inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame.
Were you surprised by any of the wins? Excited to see one of your favorites recognized? Let us know!
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