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Comic-Con: 2006 Eisner Award winners

July 22nd, 2006
Author Kevin Melrose

Eisner Awards

The 2006 Eisner Awards were announced last night at Comic-Con. The winners are:

Best Short Story

“Teenage Sidekick,” by Paul Pope, in Solo #3 (DC)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

Solo #5, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

Best Serialized Story

Fables #36-38, 40-41: “Return to the Homelands,” by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha (Vertigo/DC)

Best Continuing Series

Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Marvel)

Best Limited Series

Seven Soldiers, by Grant Morrison and various artists (DC)

Best New Series

All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)

Best Writer

Alan Moore, Promethea, Top Ten: The Forty-Niners (ABC)

Best Writer/Artist

Geof Darrow, Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman)

Best Writer/Artist — Humor

Kyle Baker, Plastic Man (DC); The Bakers (Kyle Baker Publishing)

Best Publication for a Younger Audience

Owly: Flying Lessons, by Andy Runton (Top Shelf)

Best Anthology

Solo, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)

Best Digital Comic

PVP, by Scott Kurtz

Best Reality-Based Work

Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)

Best Graphic Album — New

Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, by Alan Moore and Gene Ha (ABC)

Best Graphic Album — Reprint

Black Hole, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)

Best Archival Collection/Project — Comic Strips

The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson (Andrews McMeel)

Best Archival Collection/Project — Comic Books

Absolute Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (DC)

Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material

The Rabbi’s Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)

Best Penciller/Inker

John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Planetary (WildStorm/DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

Ladronn, Hip Flask: Mystery City (Active Images)

Best Cover Artist

James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); Runaways (Marvel)

Best Coloring

Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #16 (ACME Novelty)

Best Lettering

Todd Klein, Wonder Woman, Justice, Seven Soldiers #0 (DC); Desolation Jones (Wildstorm/DC); Promethea, Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, Tomorrow Stories Special (ABC); Fables (Vertigo); 1602: New World (Marvel)

Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition

Aaron Renier (Spiral-Bound)

Best Comics-Related Periodical

Comic Book Artist, edited by Jon Cooke (Top Shelf)

Best Comics-Related Book

Eisner/Miller, interviews conducted by Charles Brownstein (Dark Horse Books)

Best Publication Design (tie)

Acme Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Little Nemo in Slumberland, designed by Philippe Ghuilemetti (Sunday Press Books)

Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award

R Kikuo Johnson (Night Fisher)

Bill Finger Award (previously announced)

Alvin Schwartz and Harvey Kurtzman

Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award

Zeus Comics

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award

Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly

Hall of Fame

Judges’ choices: Floyd Gottfredson and William Moulton Marston

Voters’ selections (four): Vaughn Bode, Ramona Fradon, Russ Manning and Jim Steranko

The complete list of nominees can be found here.

28 Responses to “Comic-Con: 2006 Eisner Award winners”
  1. David Welsh Says:

    There are some really good choices in there. I’m particularly glad to see Aaron Renier, Ramona Fradon, and The Rabbi’s Cat.

  2. tim agen Says:

    I can only hope that “Solo” will get another chance at life.

  3. carl towns Says:

    desolation jones gets shut out. i’m not too surprised because issue 6 sort of changed my own opinion on the title and i dropped it. happy to see all star superman, seven soldiers, ast. x-men, fables and solo get some loving.

  4. Goldenboy Says:

    Congratz on Owly winning the Younger Audience award, and the same to PvP for Digi Comics!

  5. modbooks Says:

    ZEUS COMICS!!! Bring on CAPE 3!! This shop is great.

  6. For Shizzle-Dizzle Says:

    Man, this year must’ve been a horrible year for indy comics.

  7. firewalkwithme Says:

    Shaolin Cowboy and Geof Darrow! YEAH!!

  8. Owen Roberts Says:

    wow…congratulations, everyone! especially Joss!

  9. Kevin Feeley Says:

    I’m not surprised to see Ellis shut out. I peronally think its a damn shame. This last year has seen Ellis put out some of the best work of his career and most of his output eclipses that of some of the current winners.

    While i don’t think those who won were underserving, i just wish the Eisner judges would get off of the Charles Burns/Alan Moore/John Cassaday/Chris Ware kick, and start recognizing the work of other, equally (if not morse), deserving comic book professionals.

  10. Robert Blythe Says:

    My comment is in regard to Zeus Comics winning the “Spirit Of Retailing” Award. Not a more biased choice can be made on an award. Zeus Comics is run by a couple of guys that “go the other way” and earlier this year, they ran a ‘gay/lesbian’ rally at their shop. There has been a recent push to promote comics toward the gay/lesbian community. I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with this. What I do have a problem with is an OBVIOUS political agenda that played a part in the judges deciding on Zeus Comics as the winner because of the facts I stated above. I’ve seen the shop and although it is OK, it doesn’t provide a more pleasurable comics shop experience than Austin Books. I defy anyone to visit both these shops (just 200+ miles of each other) and tell me that Zeus is better than Austin. Like most awards these days, the Eisners have, unfortunately, become a stage for political agendas, and I am sad for this because I’m sure Mr. Will Eisner would have no part of it. Let’s base decisions and awards on who truly has the better shop. I’ve collected and read comics for over 30 years and visited many comics shops and am probably far more qualified to judge what a great comic shop is. Austin should have won the award. Have a nice day. Robert Blythe

  11. Robert Blythe Says:

    By the way, my e-mail address is if you feel a need to respond to my opinion on my comment above.

  12. JK Parkin Says:

    To clarify, here’s the official verbage for the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award:

    “The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San Diego, is given to an individual retailer who has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large.”

    So it’s not really about who has the best shop.

    Zeus not only held a gay and lesbian mixer the day before Free Comic Book Day to honor a group of comic creators for their positive representations of gays and lesbians in comics, but also held the very cool & well-attended CAPE event in their parking lot on FCBD, bringing in several creators and generating a lot of buzz in the Dallas area. I imagine both events played a part in them winning the award.

  13. Phil Sandifer Says:

    I’m kind of outraged that the Little Nemo collection had to share an award. That collection is one of the most staggering works of comic art ever, and deserved to win archival collection over Calvin and Hobbes by a mile, and to win production design hands down.

  14. Kevin Melrose Says:

    Robert, you’re ascribing motives, and “agendas,” to the Eisner committee when, at this point, we don’t know why Zeus was given the award.

    Certainly, at least to my mind, holding a successful event like CAPE would seem as good a reason as any to honor the store. But what if it was the gay and lesbian mixer — or “rally,” as you call it — or the store’s outreach to a gay audience?

    You, and not the Eisner committee, seem to be the one politicizing that.

  15. Thomas Mackiewicz Says:

    Why should the judges get off of the Charles Burns/Alan Moore/John Cassaday/Chris Ware kick when they are simply producing the best stuff around. It is not about someone getting more recognition, it is about who is the best. My only complaint is that Astonishing X-Men won best on-going when Ex Machina is superior in everyway possible and isn’t just a retread of the often tired superhero genre.

  16. Joseph Lipton Says:

    Congrats to everyone. Glad to see Klein win. That man is amazing.

  17. Juisarian Says:

    Congrats to Kyle Baker!

  18. Ken Lowery Says:


    Yes, it could be that the Pink Cape Mafia (term coined by Barry, employee at Zeus) has infiltrated the minds of the Eisner committee. I’m also aware you have NO PROBLEM WITH THIS, SINCE YOU PUT IT IN CAPS.

    It could also be that Zeus won because they put on the biggest FCBD event on the continent, and did so at a loss to generate good will in the comics community. It could be their extensive charity work. It could be getting the mayor of Dallas to make FCBD official in that city. It could be they go ally with various and diverse groups like Prism Comics (the gay ones) and the Friends of Lulu (the ones with vaginas). It could be that their store sets an example for how retailers SHOULD conduct business, and that is more than just having “A ton of trades.”

    Or it could be the Pink Cape Mafia. Whichever.

  19. MattG Says:

    To me, Robert sounds like an Austin Books employee that’s bitter over not winning. Zeus is much more than just a pretty store, as anyone that’s spent any significant amount of time in the shop can tell you. They’re even nice to those of use that like girls. Imagine that!

  20. Amy Austin Says:

    While I have not been to Austin Books, it is petty and very short-sighted to assume that Zeus won simply because it’s owners happen to be gay and have done many things for the gay community. Austin Books may be a nice store, but after your spiteful and opinionated comments about the winning comic shop only winning because of political agenda while you sing the praises of your own store I can see how they might have lost. Sour grapes is generally the act of lesser men.

    Zeus is clean, beautiful, well-organized, and staffed by friendly people that never try to hard-sell you into reading comics to make a few more bucks. They take the time to get to know their clients and will recommend comics that fit their personality and reading habits, but never try to make them feel bad if they don’t take them up on it. The store is designed beautifully with such attention to detail from the type of display boxes to the ease of navigation.

    Between their CAPE event that came with the Mayor’s blessing and their work with MANY charitable organizations (not limited to G&L organizations) alone they have brought not only positive local media attention to their causes but also to the comic store genre itself. Let’s face it, most shops are dingy, dirty, crammed and unorganized and regarded as a place for teens. Not something that garners a lot of respect in the adult world. By making Zeus so much more artistic and stylish and convenient they take any stigma out of an adult going to a comic shop.

    They won for being the best shop, and being the best retailer and for the positive way they combine marketing and charity. I applaud them!

  21. Jennifer Elaine Says:

    Just to clarify, Zeus has never held a gay/lesbian rally. Ever. They did hold a few gay/lesbian mixers at a restaurant next door, and trust me–those were about margaritas, not politics. Not only that, but there are plenty of us straight folks that really enjoy the camaraderie that the mixers encourage.

    I really think Zeus won because it fosters a real sense of community among its patrons, both those who “go the other way” and straight people. They know ALL of their regular customers by name, and this is no small achievement. They make everyone feel welcome, from soccer moms to drag queens. It’s not about the sexuality of the men who run Zeus, it’s about their ability to run a successful business, and treat their customers like part of the family. To attribute their successes to sexual preference is petty, insulting, and offensive to all of the Zeus family.

  22. Brad Bankston Says:

    I would like for this bickering to stop.

    My name is Brad Bankston ( and I own Austin Books & Comics, finalist for the Eisner Award.

    When this thread was brought to my attention, I was surprised. And, I have some things to say in response.

    First, I’d like to offer a thanks to our supporters. We are quite proud of AB&C and everything that we have accomplished since taking over the store in 1994. Much of the trip has been uphill and now that we have reached a certain altitude, we can look back on the path. We would also be the first to admit that we haven’t yet reached our summit.

    I’d also like to say that I have been to Zeus comics. It is a beautiful store. It has a boutique-like appeal that is not often found in this industry — though not the only way to approach comic retailing. Austin Books is a clean, well-lit, and hyper-organized 4100sf store. Our approach is to have everything, always. Most of the time we do. Our room for future growth lies in the area of design and decoration. We get that and will continue to make changes.

    Both stores give back to the community, and each city’s community (as well as the overall health of the comic’s industry) is better for it. Zeus holds CAPE on FCBD. Austin Books is the sole sponsor of STAPLE! (staple-austin dot org), held away from the store — for no monetary gain. Zeus, I’m sure, has many other causes they support with donations as well as hosting LGBT mixers. AB&C has twice held the World’s largest 24HCD event (2004 and 2005). We regularly host many release parties, signings, and special events including our Comic Book Legal Defense Fund-raiser in February (where we raised over $2200 in the name of free-speech.) We work with libraries, schools, and even the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum to promote comics to the general public, not just our public.

    The award is based on four criteria: Knowledge, Community, Variety of Innovative Material, Layout/Design. These are four things that add to make a great store and are the ideals that every store should work toward. The judges decision this year is due to Zeus’ adherence to these principles, not an agenda. Comments to the contrary were not made, nor condoned, by us.

    I’m sorry that this thread has forced people choose between the two stores since both are worthy of praise. When my customers move to Dallas, I always mention Zeus. And, I invite anyone from Zeus that visits or moves to Austin to come by Austin Books & Comics. CAPE, held yearly the weekend of FCBD, is a great opportunity to make a trip to the metroplex. STAPLE!, held in the Spring is the perfect time to come to Austin. (We also hold a massive sale the weekend before Thanksgiving…)

    I introduced myself to Richard before making the trip to Comic Con, and again — in person — at the show. We hold no animosity toward Zeus and I’d like to again offer my congratulations to Richard, the Zeus staff and all of their customers.

    You won and we’ll try again.

    Brad Bankston
    Austin Books & Comics
    5002 N. Lamar
    Austin, TX 78751-2318
    youtube: austinbooks

  23. James D Says:

    See, a touch of class. Thank you Mr. Bankston.
    Gay, straight, whatever. Zeus is an incredible comic shop. having never been to AB&C (but will next time I am in Austin) I can’t say which is better. But I can say, in the DFW metroplex, Zeus is the best comic store I have been in. And it’s due ion large part to the caring and attention shown by Richard, Barry, and everyone there.

  24. Jackie Estrada Says:

    The Eisner Retailer Award is facilitated by Joe Ferrara of Atlantis Fantasyworld Comcics in Santa Cruz, CA (a past winner of the award who has been in business for 30 years). This year’s judges for the award were Paul Levitz from DC, Nance Romer from Diamond Comic Distributors, longtime inker Al Gordon, comics writer Frank Beddor, and last year’s winner, Mimi Cruz (Night Flight Comics of Salt Lake City). They had a tough task in choosing the finalists and the winner. Their efforts are much appreciated!

    Jackie Estrada

  25. Ken Lowery Says:

    Brad -

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope you understand no one here is choosing Zeus over AB&C, simply defending a store they love. I can see only good things coming out of an ‘alliance’ (for lack of a better word) between the two stores — both seem progressive and active in the community. I actually first heard about STAPLE at Zeus. Best of luck to you next year, and good show.

  26. Cason Pilliod Says:

    I’ve lived in both Austin and the Dallas area, and both Austin Books and Zeus have been “my” comic shops. I’ve also traveled extensively and been in comic shops throughout the world. Both stores bring a certain sophistication to the industry that is sadly lacking in most shops. I’m thrilled to see such efforts being recognized by the Eisner’s, winners and nominees all.

    As for the orientation stuff, I’ll just say that my wife and I are weekly visitors to Zeus, and participants in CAPE. We could not be made to feel more welcome by anybody. As for the store’s quality, our weekly trip is 70 miles round trip, passing numerous others stores on the way. Zeus is just that good.

    Thanks to Mr. Bankston for the setting the record straight, and congrats to Richard, Barry and the rest of the Zeus crew on the win!

    Cason Pilliod
    Plano, TX

  27. Lea Hernandez Says:

    I couldn’t possibly be more proud of Zeus, Richard, the gang. I’d bust. Kablooie.

    I’m also proud of AB&C–I wrote a long letter to add to their Eisner portfolio last year.

    They’re both fantastic stores, so great that Texas seems juuuust big enough for both of them.

    Both stores host absolutely awesome events that I love to attend, and this is coming from someone who is VERY picky about where she goes. An event has to be worth the trip.
    Heck, when I am on road trips, I always make the King of the Car pull off the highway for AB&C and Zeus. It’s always worth it.

  28. G. Noel Gross Says:

    The award piqued my curiosity about Zeus.

    Checked them out yesterday, and they’ll undoubtedly be my first stop from now forward. What an immaculate, organized, exceedingly well-stocked store.

    Better still to read here about their contributions to the comics community, which I’ll have to follow more closely myself!

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