Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 by Jim Norrena
The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are heralded as the "Oscars of the comics industry." This month CCA's MFA in Comics and Writing and Literature faculty member Justin Hall received an Eisner Award nomination for No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics (Fantagraphics Books, 2013), which he edited.
The publication is nominated in the Best Anthology category. (The publisher, Fantagraphics Books, is the leading publisher with 24 Eisner Award nominations.)
"I'm thrilled to have received an Eisner Award nomination for No Straight Lines," exclaimed Hall. "The Eisners are the most important awards in the American comics industry, and this is a dream come true for me!"
"At CCA, we're very fortunate to have a faculty with expertise covering all aspects of the world of comics," says Matt Silady, newly appointed chair of the MFA in Comics program at CCA. "We've taken great care to assemble a very exciting comics faculty here at CCA, and Justin is at the heart of it all."
In addition to being an Eisner Award nominee, No Straight Lines has also garnered the following industry recognitions:
- Lamda Literary Award finalist (LGBT Anthology)
- 2013 Stumptown Comic Arts Award nominee (Best Anthology)
- A top-10 selection on the 2013 ALA GBLT Roundtable "Over the Rainbow" list
- Fourth place (tie): Boing Boing's "Best Damn Comics of the Year" survey
"Justin Hall, already well known as an accomplished writer and cartoonist," says Silady, "now has his talent as an editor and comics historian recognized by the Eisner committee. His work on this landmark anthology reflects his deep respect for underrepresented voices in comics and has helped secure their well-deserved place in comics history."
Like the publication itself, Hall is gaining national attention for his comics work, as evidenced this past fall in a New York Times article written by Glen Weldon. In reference to Hall, Weldon wrote: "A comics creator who knows how to milk the fusion of, and tension between, word and image can place us deep inside a character’s head with an immediacy and sensuousness prose writers envy."
The Arts and Entertainment section of the Advocate also reviewed No Straight Lines, praising it as a "top must-read."
About the 2013 Eisner Awards
Comic-Con International: San Diego is a four-day event and the home of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. This year the event returns to the San Diego Convention Center Thursday, July 18, through Sunday, July 21. This year's show marks its 44th year, making it the country’s longest continuously run comics and popular art convention.
The nominees, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, reflect the wide range of material being published in comics and graphic novel form today, from crime noire to autobiographical works to cartoon adventures. Voting results will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 19, at Comic-Con International.
Comics + ENGAGE
No Straight Lines is not only a landmark LGBTQ comics anthology but also the basis for the ENGAGE: Queer Comics Project course offered in spring 2011, which provided graphic novel enthusiasts the unique opportunity to study writing and graphic design within a queer perspective!
The ENGAGE course enlisted the GLBT Historical Society and San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum as community partners in helping the students meet the course's goal: to examine the evolution, subject matter, forms, conventions, and the future of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) comics for archival purposes.
Hall adds: "The students' contributions were invaluable in every stage of this project, from collecting and curating the material to filming and archiving this hidden artistic history to hanging the work at the museum. Comics art, student work, and community involvement make a wonderful combination!"
What is ENGAGE at CCA?
ENGAGE at CCA is coordinated by the Center for Art and Public Life and places students at the center of project-based learning with a focus on community engagement. Activated across academic programs, ENGAGE at CCA serves as a hub to connect interested faculty and students to community partners and relevant outside experts.