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Eisners: Kids’ and YA titles rule!

This year’s Eisner Award nominations are out, and comics for kids and teens got plenty of nominations not only in their own categories but also in some others. Here’s a list:

Best Short Story
"Murder He Wrote," by Ian Boothby, Nina Matsumoto, and Andrew Pepoy, in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #14 (Bongo)

Best Publication for Kids
Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kabuishi (Scholastic Graphix)
Cowa! by Akira Toriyama  (Viz)
Princess at Midnight, by Andi Watson (Image)
Stinky, by Eleanor Davis (RAW Junior)
Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)

Best Publication for Teens/Tweens
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Crogan’s Vengeance, by Chris Schweizer (Oni)
The Good Neighbors, Book 1: Kin, by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Scholastic Graphix)
Rapunzel’s Revenge, by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

Best Graphic Album—New

Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)
Swallow Me Whole, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf)

Best Writer
Mariko Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)

Best Writer/Artist
Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Jillian Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist
Jill Thompson, Magic Trixie,  Magic Trixie Sleeps Over (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Best Coloring
Steve Hamaker, Bone: Ghost Circles, Bone: Treasure Hunters (Scholastic Graphix)

Best Lettering
Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules! (Renaissance)
Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)

Best Comics-Related Book
Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second)

I’m only counting books that are directly marketed to children and teens, although a lot of the other nominees are probably being read by teens. What did the commitee do right and what did they do wrong? Consider this an open thread.

Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.


  1. Katherine Dacey says:

    OK, Brigid, I’ll bite… There are some great choices on the list, from “Skim” and “Rapunzel’s Revenge” to “COWA!” and “Crogan’s Vengeance.” I have a few minor quibbles, though. Why were “Jellaby,” “Salt Water Taffy,” and “There’s a Wolf at the Door” overlooked in favor of “Tiny Titans,” a cute but inconsequential series? And why weren’t there any manga nominations for teens/tweens? I can think of several titles that should be have been included: “Sand Chronicles,” “We Were There,” “Real,” “Yokaiden,” and “Song of the Hanging Sky” are all first-rate titles for this age category, as are “Dororo” (nominated in another category, at least) and “Jyu-Oh-Sei.”

  2. Good points, Kate. I find Tiny Titans well-near incomprehensible, not being a regular superhero reader, but my 8-year-old nephew loves them. I agree that your picks should have been there as well, too.

    I just blogged at MangaBlog about how the Eisners should have more categories for manga; maybe the same is true of children’s and teen’s comics as well—how can you put an entire universe of comics into a single category? It seems to me that you end up comparing apples and oranges, plus with all the good books that are coming out lately, titles like the one you mention are being left in the dust.

    Even so, I think no manga in the teens category is inexcusable. It’s what teens read!

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