How many Eisner Awards does one man need? At what point does the admiration of an entire industry stop being flattering and start to require storage rental? We first ask this question of Brian K. Vaughan, who was one of two artists who swept the 2013 Comic-Con International ceremony last Friday. Vaughan won three medals for his work on Saga with artist Fiona Staples. Or, if you prefer, Brian K. Vaughan won 9% of the 2013 Eisner Awards. Vaughan took home solo honors for Best Writer as well as accolades for Best New Series and Best Continuing Series with Staples. These awards will sit next to previous wins for Ex Machina, Y: The Last Man, and Vaughan’s storyline in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight, which is possibly the only comic book to feature a tutorial on cutlery etiquette.
Vaughan and his cosmic sci-fi opus only played runner-up to Chris Ware and his acclaimed Building Stories, that provocative box that housed 14 printed narratives and dominated many a 2012 best-of list. Ware shelved four awards, including Best New Graphic Album, Best Writer/Artist, Best Lettering, and Best Publication Design. After the ceremony wrapped, Ware instructed Vaughan on the various methods, temperatures, and solvent pH-balances to clean Eisner Awards; Ware now holds an accumulative 19 wins, including previous awards for his work on Acme Novelty Library and Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth.
David Aja, the artist of Marvel’s Hawkeye, was also a repeat winner for Best Cover Artist and Best Penciler/Inker, the latter of which Aja shared with Chris Samnee for his art on Daredevil and Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom.
Other notable winners include Ryan North, who took honors for Best Publication for Kids (ages 8 – 12) with his Adventure Time iteration as well as Joseph Lambert, who won Best Reality-Based Work for Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller alongside Frank M. Young and David Lasky for The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song.
Lee Falk, Al Jaffee, Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, and Joe Sinnott all entered the Eisner Hall of Fame, and in a development that exclusively celebrates the critical legacy of cartoon ducks, Steve Gerber (Howard the Duck) and Don Rosa (Scrooge McDuck) jointly won the Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award.
Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Winners 2013
Best Short Story: “Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): The Mire, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
Best Continuing Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
Best New Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12): Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17): A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)
Best Humor Publication: Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
Best Digital Comic: Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
Best Anthology: Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
Best Reality-Based Work (tie): Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion); The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)
Best Graphic Album—New: Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint: King City, by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Pogo, vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW
Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia: Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)
Best Writer/Artist: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)
Best Penciler/Inker (tie): David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel), Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel); Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)
Best Cover Artist: David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Batwoman (DC); Fatale (Image); BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive (Dark Horse)
Best Lettering: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: The Comics Reporter, edited by Tom Spurgeon, www.comicsreporter.com
Best Comics-Related Book: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe (HarperCollins)
Best Educational/Academic Work: Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass, by Susan E. Kirtley (University Press of Mississippi)
Best Publication Design: Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
Hall of Fame: Lee Falk, Al Jaffee, Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sinnott
Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Russel Roehling
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Chris Sparks and Team Cul deSac
Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award: Steve Gerber, Don Rosa
Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Challengers Comics + Conversation, Chicago, IL