The 23rd annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards will be held Friday, July 22 in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. This year’s title sponsor, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), will be giving out a new Vision A-Series APU notebook computer to one lucky attendee toward the end of the evening. The Eisner Awards, considered the “Oscars” of the comic book industry, will be given out in 28 categories, for works published in 2010.
The overall master of ceremony is once again Bill Morrison, creative director for Bongo Comics. And new this year, the ceremony will be divided into three parts, each with separate segment hosts. These hosts include Eisner Awards favorites actor/writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (Reno 911, Night in the Museum), special guests Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan, (authors, Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel), and voice actor Phil LaMarr (Futurama, MadTV).
In addition, presenters will include actor/author Lance Henriksen (Millennium, Aliens); bestselling author Glen David Gold (Carter Beats the Devil); British talk show host and comics author Jonathan Ross; TV writer/cartoonist Tom Gammill; Eisner nominees Gerry Alanguilan, Ian Boothby, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, Greg Rucka, and Jill Thompson; and Comic-Con special guests Dave Gibbons, Patrick McDonnell, and Walt and Louise Simonson. All the presenters will be aided on stage by actress Kayre Morrison, and Sergio Aragonés will handle the Hall of Fame presentations. A few surprise celebrity presenters can be expected as well.
The doors for the event will open at 8:15, and the ceremonies will get under way at 8:30. Attendance at the event is free to anyone with a Comic-Con badge. Advance seating for VIPs (nominees, sponsors, presenters) and those with pro badges will begin at 7:30. The ceremony is expected to run until about 11:00. All who attend the awards ceremony will receive a graphic novel from the Will Eisner Library, published by DC Comics.
In addition to AMD as the title sponsor, the principal sponsors for the Eisner Awards are Gentle Giant Studios and Lebonfon, while supporting sponsors for the Eisners are Alternate Reality Comics (Las Vegas), Atlantis Fantasyworld (Santa Cruz, CA), Diamond Comic Distributors, Flying Colors and Other Cool Stuff (Concord, CA), mycomicshop.com, Strange Adventures (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Warp 1 Comics & Games (Edmonton, Alberta), and Mel Thompson and Associates.
The Eisner Awards evening includes the presentation of several other special awards, given by both Comic-Con International and other organizations. Comic-Con’s own awards are the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, to be presented by Bob’s daughter Ruth, and the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, to be presented by past winner Chris Bailey. Also being presented is the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award, presided over by Joe Ferrara, sponsored by Baby Tattoo for the third year in a row. And this is the seventh year for presentation of the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The 2011 recipients are the 94-year-old Del Connell (prolific writer of Dell Comics titles, including Space Family Robinson) and the late Bob Haney (co-creator of Metamorpho and Doom Patrol). The award will be presented by Mark Evanier. The major sponsor for the 2011 Bill Finger Award is DC Comics. Supporting sponsors are Heritage Auctions and Maggie Thompson.
The Eisner Awards are part of, and underwritten by, Comic-Con International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture.
The Eisner Awards are part of, and underwritten by, Comic-Con International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture. More information about the Eisner Awards can be found at the Comic-Con website here.