Countdown To The Eisners – Best Publication For Teens (Ages 13-17)

Cameron Hatheway writes;

Ah, that age of rebellion; the teenage years. It doesn’t matter how you try and reason with teens, they think they’re the bees-knees, and you ain’t too hip on the upswing, daddio! With all their YOLOing and texting going on nowadays, it’s a miracle that teenagers are focused enough to read graphic novels, let alone ongoing series. Pretty soon (like with their food) they’ll be taking pictures of what comics they’re reading and uploading it to Instagram or Twitter, with the appropriate hashtag conveying their thoughts on the matter. Before they start rolling their eyes, today I’ll be focusing on the Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17) category. If you need a reminder of what’s been nominated, you can find the entire list right here, and see what I chose last time right here.

Keep in mind I cannot vote for who wins (nor can you, probably), as per the rules. However, that’s not keeping me from being vocal regardless!

Who is not eligible to vote?

  • Comics press or reviewers (unless they are nominees)
  • Non-creative publisher staff members (PR, marketing, assistants, etc.)
  • Fans

Before I get back to work on my Bluewater one-shot Katy Perry: Teenage Dream so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens, by Meredith Gran (kaboom!)

Marceline and her band the Scream Queens go on a rock n’ roll tour of Ooo, with Princess Bubblegum acting as band manager. Featuring several familiar faces from the Adventure Time series, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum run into constant problems on tour, while at the same time growing a much larger fanbase with their music. Meredith Gran is able to keep the tone of the comic pretty rock n’ roll and rebellious, while maintaining the playful Adventure Time look and feel.

Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion)

Joseph Lambert illustrates the famous story of how Helen Keller learned language thanks to her teacher Annie Sullivan. The use of art conveying how Keller eventually came to absorb and understand language and communication is extremely well executed. While Keller’s story is the more well-known of the two, Sullivan’s story was a lot more fascinating when learning of her harsh and troubled upbringing.

Ichiro, by Ryan Inzana (Houghton Mifflin)

Ichiro thinks he’s in for a boring vacation when he has to leave New York to travel to Japan with his mother. While she works, Ichiro stays with his grandfather as he learns all about Japan’s rich culture. With his mom Japanese and his father American, Ichiro has a hard time figuring out where exactly he fits in. After capturing an ancient tanuki, Ichiro is taken on a wild ride to the realm of the gods he’s recently learned so much about. Ryan Inzana does a fabulous job illustrating Ichiro’s journey, as well as retelling the Japanese mythologies with his unique Japanese influenced style.

spera_coverSpera, vol. 1, by Josh Tierney et al. (Archaia)

Princesses Pira and Lono embark on an adventure to Spera after Pira discovers her mother’s sinister plans to lay ruin to every kingdom she touches. With a loyal fire spirit named Yonder as their guide, the princesses quickly make their way to Spera through the countryside to avoid detection in this first volume. Josh Tierney does a wonderful job telling his epic fantasy adventure, while making sure every chapter has a different artist.

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

Review copy unavailable.

Who I think should win:
spera_page_30Spera, vol. 1, by Josh Tierney et al. (Archaia)

The main thing I loved about this graphic novel was the diversity of artists who contributed, and their fascinating different takes on the characters. You have the main story of Pira, Lono, and Yonder making their way to Spera, but then you have several mini-adventures in the back pages. The introduction to new beasts and companions made for a real treat, for this is a world I definitely want to explore more of.

While this story contains certain fantasy tropes, Tierney is able to still make the genre feel fresh and new. If your teen is still too young to read the Song of Ice and Fire series, I’d highly recommend starting them out with this saga first.

Who I think could win:
Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion)

When Annie Sullivan is desperately trying to get Helen Keller to sit down and sign, I felt incredibly frustrated right there with her. Lambert is that successful in pulling you into the story, and making you both care and relate with the characters. Sullivan already came from a hard walk of life, but the reward from all that difficult work was certainly phenomenal.

Who I think should have been nominated:
A Game For Swallows, by Zeina Abirached (Graphic Universe)

 

Who do you think should win / been nominated?

Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner and Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Sonoma State STAR. You can help him kill Blood Demons on Twitter @CamComicCorner.