Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Ten Most Important Eisner Award Winners

Here's a nice surprise: John Dodge of Comic Book Resources (CBR) calls Mom's Cancer one of the "Ten Most Important Eisner Award Winners" of all time! That's ten drawn from 35 years of awards given to hundreds of comics in many, many categories. I'm on a list with Watchmen, Bone, and Calvin & Hobbes.


Dodge wrote, "Apart from helping to lay the foundation for digital comics as a relevant branch of the wider medium, this win also shined a spotlight on Mom's Cancer as a testament to the kind of heartfelt, deeply moving interpersonal drama that is so often lacking in other, more action centric titles that are themselves indicative of the type of stories that have long dominated the world of comics."

Mom's Cancer won as a webcomic in 2005 before it was published as a book by Charles Kochman at Abrams ComicArts in 2006, and was indeed the first webcomic to win an Eisner in the brand-new category of "Best Digital Comic." At the time, there was considerable debate about whether online comics were actually comics at all. As I recall, Will Eisner himself settled the issue. Since his name was on the trophy, his opinion carried considerable weight.

(I never met Mr. Eisner. He loved handing out his namesake awards in person, but died in January 2005 before I won mine.)

Mom's Cancer is still in print. I give a couple of talks every year to medical students who study it in their medical humanities curricula. I'm always welcome at the annual international graphic medicine conference, some of whose organizers got into the field because they read it. And once in a while I get a royalty check worth enough to buy a real nice dinner.

I couldn't be prouder of a story or more gratified by the astonishingly long life it's had, coming up on 20 years now. I know my friend, Editor Charlie, feels the same. It's truly nice to see that acknowledged by CBR.

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