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The Eisner Awards' comic journalism category isn't dead (yet), keep submitting

The Eisner Awards first decision was not to give comics journalism an award, but there could be a chance for a re-do.

Will Eisner Comic Book Industry Awards
Image credit: Kendall Whitehouse

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The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are by far the most well-recognized awards in all of English-language comics, and as part of that for decades it has given out awards not only for comics but for journalism about comics. That changed however in January, with the Eisner Awards' decision to remove the 'Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism' category from its list of categories.

But while the category isn't listed, the category may not be dead (yet), and you could save it.

In speaking with someone affiliated with the Eisner Awards committee this week, we've learned that the final decision on the categories for this year's awards won't be ultimately decided until the end of April. Although the organization purposely removed the Comics Journalism category from in its call for entries in January 2024, submissions continue to be accepted for all categories as well as for any comics-related journalism and periodicals.

That's not new - when the 'Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism' category was removed in January, Eisners organizer Jackie Estrada told Popverse that anyone who would submit for the category can submit for the general 'Comics-Related Books' category that was previously set-up just for book-length non-fiction writing about comics - and that that category had been amended to 'Best comics-related publication (book or periodical about comics)'.

But in that recommendation lies an opening. Don't hit me with Dumb & Dumber memes, but yes I'm telling you there's a chance. If comics journalists of all stripes - those who write for print, for web, and those who do podcasts and video content - all submit, then it would increase the chances that the Eisner judges to reinstate the category.

Why? If for nothing else, this year's Eisner judging will be a lot harder in deciding the nominees for one category that encompasses every form of words, video, and audio about comics, especially if there is a lot to choose from..

"Now judges will have to weigh websites, magazines, and books against each other as if they’re the same thing, diluting the unique properties of each to create a dull sludge that seems to be defined as vaguely as 'well, it’s all writing about comics, I guess, so it’s all the same probably," Popverse staff writer (and former Eisner judge) Graeme McMillan wrote earlier this year. "Imagine the outcry if the Eisners folded comics, graphic novels, and webcomics into one category and let them slug it out."

Speaking now as a former Eisner judge who has talked to other Eisner judges about this, my understanding is that this year's Eisner judges could make decisions on category additions, removals, and changes up until the nominees themselves are finalized.

The Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards nominees are currently being decided now amongst this year's judges, with a timeline of in late April or early May for decisions. The nominations are then typically announced in mid-May, ahead of the ceremonly in late-July's Comic-Con International: San Diego.

I'll end this with an apt quote from the editor-in-chief of the Eisner Award-winning website Women Write About Comics, Nola Pfau. They told us this back in 2022 as part of an Eisner-nominees' comics journalism roundtable, but the quote stands still in these new issues being raised.

"I'd love to see more organizations understand the role of comics journalism in the industry and provide material support to sites that maintain it," says Pfau. "Some publishers view it just as PR, but the journalism and critique is an art form all its own, and while we're seeing a change in the way that's recognized across the industry, a lot of outlets are struggling!"


This isn't the first time the Eisner Awards' killed the comics journalism category, and it somehow came back then as well.

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About the Author
Chris Arrant avatar

Chris Arrant

Editor-in-Chief

Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)
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