The Will Eisner Awards, named for a writer-artist who was an early adopter of the graphic novel format, began in 1988 at Comic-Con. They cover more than 24 categories of the comics industry and are often regarded as the equivalent of its Oscars.
A panel of five to six judges selects the nominees. The judges generally include a comics creator, a critic, a librarian, a retailer, an academic and a member of the Comic-Con organizers. They consider works published in the previous year that are distributed in the United States.
Voting is then open to a wide range of people with interests in comics: creators, nominees, publishers, editors, critics, historians, librarians, store owners and more. As the nominees can come from independent presses, self-publishing or large publishers, a look at the award winners is a great entry into what is being created in a given year.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a fabulous graphic novel collection and you can read many of the winning works through our print or eResources options. Here is a list of the 2020 award winners. The full list is also available on the Eisner website along with lists of past winners.
You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.
If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.
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