The 2009 Eisner Award nominees have been announced, and a few nominees have Oklahoma connections. The nominees include "Thor,” nominated for best continuing series. "Thor” has been set in Oklahoma since the 2007 relaunch of the title by J. Michael Straczynski. Straczynski, who created the television show "Babylon 5,” also is nominated in the best writer category. The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are intended to honor the best in the comic-book industry. They have been awarded since 1990. Also nominated with an Oklahoma connection is "Willie and Joe: The World War II Years,” from Fantagraphics. "Willie and Joe” collects 600 cartoons, many never-before reprinted, of Bill Mauldin’s cartoons from the front lines. "Willie and Joe” was nominated for best archival collection of comic strips. Mauldin’s early cartoons were published in The Oklahoman. Mauldin served with the 45th Infantry Division, and more than 200 of his cartoons are collected at the 45th Infantry Division Museum, 2145 NE 36. Mauldin is a member of the Oklahoma Cartoonists Hall of Fame in Pauls Valley. Mauldin also was the subject of a nominated best comics-related book, "Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front” by Todd DePastino. "Omega the Unknown,” written by novelist Jonathan Lethem, was drawn and lettered by former Tulsan Farel Dalrymple. Dalrymple received a nomination for his lettering, and "Omega the Unknown” was nominated for best limited series. The Eisner Awards will be presented July 24 at Comic-Con International in San Diego. The Eisner Awards are named for Will Eisner, creator of "The Spirit.” The nominees were selected by a panel of judges: Amanda Emmert, owner of Muse Comics & Games in Missoula, Mont.; Mike Pawuk, teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library; John Shableski, Diamond Book Distributors sales manager; Ben Towle, graphic novelist and comics arts educator; and Andrew Wheeler, comics and manga reviewer at ComixMix.com.
See a complete list of nominees.