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The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Profile


The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Profile

The Eisner Awards

Copyright Comic Con International
Eisner Awards Profile


The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards

Awards Administrator

Jackie Estrada


The Eisner Awards are held as part of the San Diego Comic Con International, and are held on Friday of the event.


The Eisner Awards are being held from 8:30pm-11:30pm.
The doors open for VIP’s at 7:30pm.
The doors open for con goers at 8:15pm.


The Award ceremony is free to all paid con goers.


San Diego Convention Center – Ballroom 20
111 W. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

Contact Info

Awards Administrator - jackiee@mindspring.com
General Info – cci-info@comic-con.org
Hotline - 619-491-2475

About The Awards

The Eisner Awards are considered to be the “Oscars” of the comic book world. They endeavor to as Awards Administrator points out on the main site, “…call attention to and celebrate the best that the comics artform has to offer.” The event is a held in a gala ceremony at the San Diego Comic Con International and are considered by many to be on of the highlights of the event. The events are named after comic book legend Will Eisner, whom is considered to be the father of the graphic novel.

Why You Should Care About The Eisners

The Eisners represent the best that comic books have to offer. You might disagree with some of their choices, but the process in choosing and voting for the nominations is solid. The nominations and winners are probably going to be all good bets to pick up and read.

Nomination Process

Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada chooses the judges, which represent a cross section of the comic book community. According to an interview with PopImage, Jackie states, “I try to choose judges to represent the five basic areas of the comics industry.” Those areas are – creator, retailer, journalist, distributor, and fan.

The publishers of the comics send in nominations of the books and they are distributed amongst the judges to read. Some judges even bring books to nominate themselves. During a weekend in April, the judges get together in San Diego and go over all the material again, finally coming up with a ballot of categories and nominees. Those ballots then go out to various people associated with the comics industry, such as comics creators, publishers, editors, and retailers. The ballots are then tallied and the results are given out at the awards ceremony at the San Diego Comic Con International.


The Awards were originally known as the Jack Kirby awards and were run through the publishing company Fantagraphics. Dave Olbrich was the chief employee who oversaw the awards. When Olbrich left the company and wanted to retain control of the event, Fantagraphics owner and publisher Gary Groth objected. The resulting conflict resulted with wife of the creator Roz Kirby suggesting they retire using his name for the awards.

Olbrich went on to approach comic legend Will Eisner about the idea of using his name for a new award, which he agreed to, and Fantagraphics went on to start their own award ceremony, the Harvey’s. The Eisner’s trucked on for two years until 1990, when it became apparent that Olbrich didn’t have the time to manage a full blown awards ceremony, since he was working full time. There were errors with the ballot as well as omissions of certain content and the ceremony was canceled for that year.

This led to a meeting with Eisner, Olbrich, Dennis Kitchen (a publisher), Jackie Estrada, and Fae Desmond (Comic Con Exec). At that meeting, it was decided to turn over the running of the awards to the non-profit San Diego Comic Con and Will Eisner offered the role of administrator to Jackie Estrada, who accepted and has run the ceremony ever since. Since then, Jackie has instituted the Judges concept, who go about nominating the material to be placed on the ballot. It takes judges a hefty time commitment, having to spend as much as twenty hours a week reading comics alone to prepare for the nomination weekend meeting, which takes place in April. The Eisner Awards have gone on to become an integral and much looked forward to part of the Comic Con and look to continue it’s existence as the largest comic book awards ceremony in the comics industry.


The categories for the awards have grown to 29 categories The original award ceremony in 1988 had 10 categories with the additional Hall of Fame award. The categories are as follows:

  • Best Short Story
  • Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
  • Best Continuing Series
  • Best Limited Series
  • Best New Series
  • Best Publication for a Younger Audience
  • Best Humor Publication
  • Best Anthology
  • Best Digital Comic
  • Best Reality-Based Work
  • Best Graphic Album—New
  • Best Graphic Album—Reprint
  • Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
  • Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan
  • Best Writer
  • Best Writer/Artist
  • Best Writer/Artist—Humor
  • Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
  • Best Cover Artist
  • Best Coloring
  • Best Lettering
  • Special Recognition
  • Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
  • Best Comics-Related Book
  • Best Publication Design
  • Hall of Fame Award

Additional Awards

There are also other awards presented at the ceremony. They are as follows:

  • Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award
  • Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award
  • Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing
  • Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award.

How To Get Your Work Submitted

Email Jackie Estrada, the Awards Administrator at jackiee@mindspring.com.

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