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Wonder Women of the Eisner Awards

Sure, this week’s Comic-Con in San Diego is the most spectacular annual pop culture celebration in the universe, with hordes of geeks gorging themselves on genre TV and movie factory hype. But graphic designers have plenty of banquets to feast on as well. Just check my “21 Best Comic-Con Artists” list from last year. And 2016’s starter plate includes Howard Chaykin, Denis Kitchen, Chip Kidd, Keith Knight, Kenny Keil, Peter Kuper, Trevor Goring, Marc H. Greenberg, J. David Spurlock, Craig Yoe, and a special celebration to honor the life of Darwyn Cooke. And then there’s a cornucopia of delicious, nutritious “comics ain’t—and never have been—just for guys” main courses.

Foremost among all the numerous female notables is pioneering feminist underground comix artist and historian Trina Robbins. She’ll be presenting on Lily Renee and Tarpe Mills, who created popular strips featuring glamorous, adventuresome women during the medium’s formative years, on the “Comics and Latin America” panel. She’s also featured on the “Queer History and Comics,” “Generations of Women in Comics,” and “The Complete Wimmen’s Comix: A Her-Story” sessions and is the star of Comics Arts Conference’s “Focus on Trina Robbins.” And then there’s “CBLDF: She Changed Comics,” “Cartoon Creatives: Women Power in Animation,” “Comic Book Women: Working with Licensed vs. Creator Owned Characters,” “Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender & the Comic Book Medium,” “The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con: To Bechdel, Or Not to Bechdel,” “She Made That: Nickelodeon Women in Animation”… the list goes on and on. And among the other venues demonstrating the powerful presence of women is Friday evening’s Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

This year’s Eisner Awards ceremony will offer a relief to the series of sexist fiascos surrounding the Angoulême Comics Festival’s Grand Prix earlier this year. Around fifty deserving women have garnered 61 nominations in 27 of the thirty categories. A large number of them will be present to accept their honors, including the triple-nominated Joëlle Jones and Colleen Coover as well as SDCC Spotlight guests Kate Beaton and Emily Carroll. I’ve assembled some of the most graphically impressive works from among these artists, and concluded by acknowledging one more from the author of a book that’s sure to be of vital interest to any and all designing cartoon enthusiasts.

Best Continuing Series

Bandette, by Colleen Coover (writer: Paul Tobin)

Best Limited Series

Lady Killer, by Joëlle Jones (writer: Jamie S. Rich)

Best New Series

Bitch Planet, by Valentine De Landro (writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick)

Best New Series

Monstress, by Sana Takeda (writer:  Marjorie Liu)

Best Humor Publication

Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection, by Kate Beaton

Best Digital/Webcomic

Bandette, by Colleen Coover (writer: Paul Tobin)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia

A Bride’s Story: vol. 7, by Kaoru Mori

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

Joëlle Jones, for Lady Killer and Brides of Helheim

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist

Colleen Coover, for Bandette

Best Cover Artist

Amanda Conner, for Harley Quinn

Best Cover Artist

Joëlle Jones, for Lady Killer

Best Coloring

Laura Allred, for Lady Killer, Silver Surfer, and Art OPS

Best Coloring

Jordie Bellaire, for The Autumnlands, Injection, Plutona, Pretty Deadly, The Surface, They’re Not Like Us, Zero, The X-Files, The Massive, Magneto, and Vision

Best Coloring

Elizabeth Breitwiser, for The Fade Out, Criminal Magazine, Outcast, and Velvet

Best Comics-Related Book

Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer, by Martha Fay

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