VCU Libraries Gallery

The Eisner Awards: the Oscars of the Comics Industry

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards have been given annually at Comic-Con International: San Diego since 1988. Named for Will Eisner, the acclaimed and influential comics writer and artist, the awards are widely described as the "Oscars" of the comic industry. Each year, a panel of judges presents nominations for the award, and invite professionals working in the comics or related industries to vote for their favorites. Awards recognizing the best publications and creators in 30 different categories are announced at a ceremony open to all attending the Comic-Con in San Diego.

VCU Libraries has served as the repository for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards since 2005. Every year following Comic-Con, dozens of nominated and award-winning titles are donated to James Branch Cabell Library and made available to researchers and visitors in Special Collections and Archives. Nearly 1,000 comic books, graphic novels, archival editions, scholarly titles, and journals are included in this rapidly growing resource, which is part of the Libraries' expansive Comic Arts Collection.  


The Comic Arts Collection began in the 1970s with the donation of a modest comic book collection and the papers of Richmond newspaper editorial cartoonist, Fred O. Seibel (1886 - 1968). Today, it comprises more than 175,000 items, including more than 125,000 comic books, of which 60,000 are available for research. in addition to comic books, the collection includes reference titles, journals, graphic novels, fanzines, original works of comic art, and the personal papers of notable figures in the comic arts. VCU Libraries is the repository for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and provides access to thousands of publications that received or were nominated for the award. 

The collection represents many artistic styles, literary genres, time periods, and subjects. It is one of the largest research collections of its kind in the country and also serves as a source of ideas and inspiration for the creative community.

Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library is home to rare and valuable books, manuscripts, book art, and comic arts. Materials from the collections do not circulate but are available for use in our Reading Room on the fourth floor of Cabell Library, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.