The nominees for the 2020 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were announced, and no AE format books were nominated. Well, maybe one, sort of. AE format books have been appearing in two categories: Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old) and Best Publication Design.
Since the inception of the format in 2010 these books have dominated the Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books category, but this is the second time in a decade when no AE Format books received a nomination; the other year was 2017.
For these 2020 awards look at books published in the previous year, and that was the year the torrent of AE format books became a trickle, with only six AE format books published. Keep in mind the number of books doesn’t translate to nominations, as 2017 saw nineteen AE format books published but had no nominations.
I say one sort of because one book of scanned original art at a reduced size was nominated: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter Artist Select, by Stan Sakai, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW).
What struck me most from the 2020 nominations was the press release from IDW Publishing. They referred to Artist’s Editions as an imprint.
The 2020 Eisner Award judges recognized IDW Publishing (OTCQX: IDWM) and its imprints, Artist’s Editions, EuroComics, Library of American Comics, Sunday Press, Top Shelf, and Yoe BooksIDW Publishing Honored with Fifteen Eisner Award Nominations in 2020
No Artist’s Editions received a nomination, so we can only assume they mean IDW Limited, which is the imprint that published Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter Artist Select.
Scott Dunbier mentioned in a recent interview he was taking over the Artist Select line as editor for IDW Limited. As well Dunbier is synonymous with the Artist’s Edition line. Was this a faux pas or a righting of the ship? I’ve wondered for quite a while why the AE line hasn’t been folded into IDW Limited.