The Eisner Awards — named after Will Eisner, a writer and artist that pioneered artist rights, even as he created some of the most innovative works of the comics medium — are sort of like the Oscars, but for comic books. Evergreen creators become legendary, and up-and-comers cement their place as future legends. The whole thing is a really big deal.
This year, three — Three! — Kickstarter projects are nominated: Dax Tran-Caffee’s Failing Sky; Watson and Holmes (nominated twice!) created by Brandon Perlow and Paul J. Mendoza, written by Karl Bollers and illustrated by Rick Leonardi; and the anthology Thrilling Adventure Hour, written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker and drawn by a number of artists. We’re equally proud of all of them, so we got in touch to hear about their reactions.
“I panicked. And then I ran circles around my kitchen counter for several days straight. I had my housemate pinch me a lot, but that didn't exactly help. I also lost all social propriety, blabbing to people on the street that I had an Eisner nomination, and being flabbergasted when they knew what that was. I suppose I don't have the emotional tools to deal with this kind of news, and am hoping to wake up any moment, because this is just that crazy. I haven't drawn a single panel since, 'cause I can't figure out what to do next with my life. Anyhow, I should get back to ogling my Google Analytics feed because I'm mesmerized by how many people are reading the novel right now." —Dax Tran-Caffee
“We were over the moon. We have such respect and admiration for the other nominees, both in our category and outside of it. It's a cliche to say it's an honor to be nominated. It's even a cliche to say it's a cliche to say that it's an honor to be nominated, but it's a cliche for a reason and that reason is that it's absolutely an honor to be nominated. It really is. You get all grateful to the people that were a part of it — all our amazing collaborators on the book, the people with whom we do the show, the Kickstarter backers, everyone. You can't help but feel this great swirl of gratitude and you realize that the stuff you're thinking (and tweeting) sounds like the kind of speech people give when they win awards. 'I'd like to thank the Academy.' And that's when it lands what an honor it is to be nominated. You feel like you won." —Ben Acker
“Last Friday my writer—Brandon Easton—for issue 6 (which was funded by the Kickstarter) posted that he had something major happen to him. I asked him on Facebook and he said we got nominated for issue 6. I was blown away. He said we should be getting the same mail soon. Well, to my bigger surprise we got another from the Eisners. A best new series nomination as well. It was hard to only tell my team and family about this. It feels good to know the hard work and high quality we put in this series is recognized by our industry.” —Brandon Perlow