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What is an Eisner Award?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
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An Eisner Award is awarded to workers in the comic book and graphic novel industry. The Eisner Award is named after Will Eisner, a longtime writer and illustrator of both comic books and graphic novels. In the early 1980s, the comic book industry recognized contributors to their art form with the Kirby Awards. However, the Kirbys were short-lived, and the organization supporting the Kirby Awards disbanded in the mid 80s. Still feeling the importance of recognition of the graphic novel and magazine, many professionals came together to support a new organization, and yearly many in the industry are now honored to receive an Eisner Award.

The first nominees for an Eisner Award were artists and/or work published in 1987, with an award ceremony in 1988. Since that time, many have received an Eisner Award, given out annually in a number of categories. Currently, approximately 30 awards are given each year. One can win an Eisner Award in the following categories:

  • Best Short Story
  • Best Single Issue
  • Best Serialized Story
  • Best Graphic Album
  • Best Writer
  • Best Writer/Artist

    In addition to these and other categories for Eisner Awards, each year the voting body inducts writers, illustrators and others into the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame. One can also be nominated for a special Eisner Award for humanitarian contributions, or for being a newcomer who shows promise. Like the Oscars and the Emmys, a panel of judges nominates four to five works or artists for each category. Comic industry professionals then vote for their favorite nominee to receive an Eisner Award. Presentation of the Eisner Awards takes place at the yearly Comic Book Convention, which is held in Sand Diego California.

    Past Eisner Award recipients include Joss Whedon, well-known television director, for his work on the X-men comics, Frank Miller for several of his graphic novels, and Bill Watterson for two of his Calvin and Hobbes anthologies.

  • Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
    Tricia Christensen
    By Tricia Christensen
    With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Musical Expert contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
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    Tricia Christensen
    Tricia Christensen
    With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Musical Expert contributor, Tricia...
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