Urasawa’s ’20th Century Boys’ nabs 3 nominations at Eisner Awards

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Often nominated but not yet a winner, manga artist Naoki Urasawa (“Monster”) is again in the running at the 2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. The well-known artist received three nominations, including a nod in the Best Continuing Series category, for his “20th Century Boys,” Comic-Con International announced April 7.

The event, held in San Diego, is the largest annual pop culture event in the United States.

“20th Century Boys,” released by Viz Media, also won Urasawa nominations in the Best Writer/Artist category and in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material–Asia category.

It was the fifth straight year that Urasawa was nominated in the Best Continuing Series category, one of the Eisner Awards’ main categories. All eyes are on him this year.

In addition, Nobuaki Tadano’s “7 million Needles,” released by Vertical, was nominated in the Best Adaptation from Another Work category. Based on U.S. sci-fi writer Hal Clement’s “Needle,” the comic is published by Media Factory Inc. in Japan.

This year, Comic-Con announced nominations in 28 categories for the Eisner Awards, the United States’ most prestigious comic book awards.

It is interesting to note that all five nominees in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material–Asia category, which replaced a Japan-only category in 2009, were works by Japanese artists. They include: Osamu Tezuka’s “Ayako” (Vertical), Yumi Unita’s “Bunny Drop” (Yen Press), Moto Hagio’s “A Drunken Dream and Other Stories” (Fantagraphics Books), Natsume Ono’s “House of Five Leaves” (Viz Media) and Urasawa’s “20th Century Boys.”

In addition, illustrator Yuko Shimizu received a mention in the Best Cover Artist category for her cover art for “The Unwritten” (Vertigo/DC Comics).

Japan-born Shimizu is a New York-based commercial and fine artist. Her works, with their flat composition and unusual color choices, are acclaimed for their Oriental aesthetic.

Voted on by industry professionals, the results of the Eisner Awards will be presented at a gala awards ceremony on July 22 at Comic-Con.

Visit (http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_pr11_eisners_nominees.php).

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