Countdown to the Eisners: 2018 Nominees for Best Digital Comic

Fanbase Press' coverage of the 2018 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards continues with the "Countdown to the Eisners" series.  From Monday, June 4, through Friday, July 13, 2018, Fanbase Press will highlight each of the Eisner Awards' 31 nomination categories, providing comic book industry members and readers alike the opportunity to learn more about the nominees and their work.  Stay tuned for Fanbase Press' continued coverage of the Eisner Awards, including live coverage of the ceremony at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 20.

As one of the newest Eisner Award categories, the Best Digital Comic category began in 2005 and honors excellence in creators whose works is being released in a digital format by way of the various online digital platforms like comiXology, gumroad, and more.  Here are the 2018 Eisner Award nominees for the Best Digital Comic category:  

Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain/comiXology)

Having been released as a digital comic book series since 2012, Bandette is written by Paul Tobin, illustrated by Colleen Coover, and published by Monkeybrain / comiXology.  The series follows the adventures of Bandette, a teen “artful dodger” who leads a group of youngsters who split their time serving justice . . . and thieving (when the latter is just too much fun).  Often narrated by Bandette herself to heighten the excitement of the story’s action scenes, Bandette has been honored with Eisner Award wins for Best Digital Comic in 2013, 2016, and 2017.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, “This is a wonderful gateway comic for readers of all ages—one of the brightest, and most fun, comics of the year.

Click here to purchase. 

Barrier by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate)

Barrier is a 5-issue digital comic book series written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Marcos Martin, and originally released through Panel Syndicate.  Created in a landscape format, the series is noted by Image Comics as being “an unconventional drama about violence, language, and illegal immigration…with a shocking sci-fi twist.”  Depicting both sides of the immigration debate (from the perspective of a US rancher and a man immigrating to the US from Honduras), Barrier follows the two as they are captured by aliens and forced to work through their ideological and language barriers to escape.  The series is now being released in print exclusively by Image Comics, with the 50-page first issue having been given away for free on Free Comic Book Day of 2018.  

According to Newsarama, Barrier is “a fascinating mix of topical immigration issues, drug cartels and something wholly unexpected. 10 out of 10.”

Click here to purchase. 

The Carpet Merchant of Konstaniniyya by Reimena Yee (

Released in two volumes, The Carpet Merchant of Konstaniniyya is a historical romance story that was written and illustrated by Reimena Yee.  According to Yee’s website, the graphic novel is “set in 17th century Istanbul and 18th century England, centering on a carpet merchant and his relationship with faith, love, and home in the aftermath of his death by a vampire.  Creating a beautiful combination of historical romance, Gothic fiction, and the vampire genre, The Carpet Merchant of Konstaniniyya not only tackles the idea of love in its many forms, but it also examines the concept and impact of storytelling.

According to creator Yee, “These stories are often made and passed on out of love, much like beloved memories are, and this love is the foundation of a person.”

Click here to purchase. 

Contact High by James F. Wright and Josh Eckert (

Contact High is a landscape format, digital one-shot that focuses on a queer, sci-fi love story.  In it, society has evolved by leaps and bounds by removing one element from its culture: Human touch has been outlawed.  Contact High follows one man's fight for meaningful connection in that world.  Written by James F. Wright, illustrated by Josh Eckert, and released through, the proceeds for the digital comics are donated entirely to charity, with 50% of sales going to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the remaining half to Lambda Legal.

According to Morgan Hampton of Black Nerd Problems, “…every so often you come across a comic like Contact High that knocks the wind out of you and reminds you that a good story leaves you inspired.”

Click here to purchase. 

Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley’s Ghost by Harvey Kurtzman, Josh O’Neill, Shannon Wheeler, and Gideo Kendall (comiXology Originals/Kitchen, Lind & Associates)

American cartoonist and editor Harvey Kurtzman, who was best known for creating the sardonic comic book, Mad, before its transition to MAD Magazine in 1955.  Starting in the 1950s, Kurtzman had undertaken an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; however, upon his death in 1993, it had never been fully realized - until now.  Writers Shannon Wheeler and Josh O’Neill and illustrator Gideo Kendall have adapted and expanded upon Kurtzman’s work to create Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley’s Ghost, and they released the graphic novel through comiXology.

According to New York Magazine / Vulture, "(Marley's Ghost) is holiday magic… For fans of great comics, Christmas has come early."

Click here to purchase. 

Quince by Sebastian Kadlecik, Kit Steinkellner, and Emma Steinkellner, translated by Valeria Tranier (Fanbase Press/comiXology)

Quince is a 15-issue digital comic book series that follows a year in the life of Lupe, a 15-year-old girl who discovers that her quinceañera brings with it a super cool party . . . and superpowers.  Her quince powers only last as long as she’s fifteen, so over the course of this rollercoaster year, we follow the adventures of Lupe as she figures out what it really means to be a hero. Created by Sebastian Kadlecik, written by Kit Steinkellner, illustrated by Emma Steinkellner, and translated by Valeria Tranier, Quince was released by publisher Fanbase Press in both English and Spanish through comiXology on the 15th of every month.  The English language series is now available in print as a collected trade paperback.  

As noted by Teresa Jusino of The Mary Sue, “Quince is a wholly enjoyable, funny, big-hearted series that can serve as an amazing palate cleanser for the world we live in. Lupe is a heroine that is kind and smart to whom any teen girl (or anyone who used to be a teen girl) can relate.”

Click here to purchase. 

Stay tuned to the Fanbase Press website tomorrow as we continue our “Countdown to the Eisners” coverage! Plus, follow Fanbase Press’ Facebook, Twitter (@Fanbase_Press), and Instagram (@fanbasepress) with the hashtag #FPSDCC to stay up to date on our SDCC and Eisner Awards updates, including a live-tweet of the 2018 Eisner Award Ceremony from the Hilton Bayfront Hotel at San Diego Comic-Con on the evening of Friday, July 20th!

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