SINGAPORE-BASED cartoonist Sonny Liew picked up three Eisner Awards to stand among the top winners Friday night in San Diego during an industry ceremony held in conjunction with Comic-Con International.
Liew told The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs that he was feeling “a mix of elation and disbelief for the most part,” and that he was “still letting the whole thing sink in,” after receiving his trophies (including for best writer-artist) for his graphic novel “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye,” which traces his nation’s cultural history through the framing device of a fictional cartoonist.
Also winning big were American writer Brian K. Vaughan and Canadian artist Fiona Staples, who nabbed four awards for their work on the space opera “Saga.”
“I’m proud to have won,” King, a CIA agent-turned-top comics writer, told The Post. “I’m proud that ‘Vision,’ a book set in Arlington, Virginia, got me a prize I could bring back to my beloved and forever dramatic hometown of D.C.”
Another honoree with Washington-area ties was Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who won for the latest installment in his civil-rights memoir “March: Book Three,” co-authored by Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell.
“I’m so grateful to receive this Eisner Award,” Aydin told Comic Riffs. “It’s a hell of a thing to have your dreams come true and, at the same time, be able to honor a good man and an important story.”
It also was a good night for Diana Prince: Not only did Thompson win for “Wonder Woman: The True Amazon,” but the late Wonder Woman artist H.G. Peter was among nine greats inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame.
And speaking of legends, the late Jack Kirby received the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing, one month before the centennial of his birth.
The Eisners, often considered “the Oscars of comics,” are voted on by members of the industry.
Here is the full list of 2017 winners:
Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, “Paper Girls,” “Saga” (Image Comics)
Best Writer/Artist: Sonny Liew, “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye” (Pantheon).
Best Cover Artist: Fiona Staples, “Saga” (Image).
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist: Jill Thompson, for “Wonder Woman: The True Amazon” (DC), “Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In” (Dark Horse).
Best Penciller/Inker: Fiona Staples, “Saga” (Image).
Best Coloring: Matt Wilson, for “Cry Havoc,” “Paper Girls, “The Wicked + the Divine” (Image Comics), “Black Widow,” “The Mighty Thor,” “Star-Lord” (Marvel).
Best Lettering: Todd Klein, for “Clean Room,” “Dark Night,” “Lucifer” (DC/Vertigo), “Black Hammer” (Dark Horse).
Best Reality-Based Work: “March: Book Three,” by Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW).
Best Graphic Album — New: “Wonder Woman: The True Amazon,” by Jill Thompson (DC).
Best Graphic Album — Reprint: “Demon,” by Jason Shiga (First Second).
Best Humor Publication: “Jughead,” by Chip Zdarsky, Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Derek Charm (Archie Comics).
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8): “Narwhal, Unicorn of the Sea,” by Ben Clanton (Tundra).
Best Publication for Kids (9-12): “Ghosts,” by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic).
Best Publication for Teens (13-17): “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl,” by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel).
Best Digital Comic: “Bandette,” by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain/comiXology)
Best Webcomic: “Bird Boy,” by Anne Szabla.
Best U.S. Edition of International Material: “The Moebius Library: The World of Edena,” by Jean “Moebius” Giraud et al. (Dark Horse)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material (Asia): “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye,” by Sonny Liew (Pantheon).
Best Comics-Related Book: “Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White,” by Michael Tesserand (Harper).
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: The A.V. Club, by Oliver Sava et al.
Best Academic/Scholarly Work: “Superwomen: Gender, Power and Representation,” by Carolyn Cocca (Bloomsbury).
Best Archival Collection/Project — Strips: “Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy: Colorful Cases of the 1930s,” edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press).
Best Archival Collection/Project — Comics: “The Complete Wimmen’s Comix,” edited by Trina Robbins, Gary Groth and J. Michael Catron (Fantagraphics).
Best Publication Design: “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye,” by Sonny Liew.
Best Short Story: “Good Boy,” by Tom King and David Finch, from Batman Annual No. 1 (DC).
Best Single Issue/One-Shot: “Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In,” by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse).
Best Anthology: “Love Is Love,” Marc Andreyko and Sarah Gaydos and Jamie S. Rich, editors. (IDW/DC).
Best New Series: “Black Hammer,” by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston (Dark Horse).
Best Limited Series: “The Vision,” by Tom King and Gabriel Walta (Marvel).
Best Continuing Series: “Saga,” by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image).
The Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Milt Gross, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, George Perez, H.G. Peter, Antonio Prohias, Dori Seda, Walter Simonson, Jim Starlin.
The Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Anne Szabla.
The Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing: Jack Kirby, William Messner-Loebs.
The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Marc Andreyko, Joe Ferrara.
The Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Comicazi (Robert Howard, David Lockwood, Michael Burke), Somerville, Mass.
(Obligatory disclaimer: Comic Riffs was a 2017 Eisners nominee.)