Shigeru Mizuki's "Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths" Wins Manga Eisner Award

Translation of legendary manga author's semi-autobiographical work takes prestigious award

During ast night's ceremony, the prestigious Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards honored Drawn & Quarterly's release of legendary manga author Shigeru Mizuki's Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths with its prize for Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia

 

 

Best known for his yokai supernatural classic GeGeGe no Kitaro (aka Hakaba no Kitarō or Graveyard Kitaro), Mizuki's Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths is the semiautobiographical story of the experience as an infantry soldier in the final days of World War II. 

 

From Drawn and Quarterly's description

Shigeru Mizuki is the preeminent figure of gekiga/manga and one of the most famous working cartoonists in Japan today -- a true living legend. Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, is his first book to be translated into English and is a semi-autobiographical account of the desperate final weeks of a Japanese infantry unit at the end of World War Two. The soldiers are instructed that they must go into battle and die for the honor of their country, with certain execution facing them if they return alive. Mizuki was a soldier himself (he was severely injured and lost an arm) and uses his experiences to convey the devastating consequences and moral depravity of the war. 

Mizuki's list of accolades and achievements is long and detailed. Currently in Japan, the life of Mizuki and his wife has been made in an extremely popular television drama that airs daily. Mizuki is the recipient of many awards including Best Album award for his book NonNonBā (to be published in 2012 by Drawn & Quarterly) and Heritage Essential award for Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, at the Angouleme International Comics Festival, the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Special Award, Kyokujitsu Shō Decoration, Shiju Hōshō Decoration and the Kodansha Manga Award. His hometown of Sakaiminato honored him with the Shigeru Mizuki Road, a street in his town decorated with bronze statues of his Ge Ge Ge no Kitarocharacters and the Shigeru Mizuki International Cultural Center. 

 

 

D&Q have also release's Mizuki's NonNonBa, with a Kitaro collection planned.

 

Other nominees for  Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia included

A Bride’s Story, by Kaoru Mori (Yen Press)
Drops of God, by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto (Vertical) 
Saturn Apartments, vols. 3-4, by Hisae Iwaoka (VIZ Media) 
Stargazing Dog, by Takashi Murakami (NBM)
Wandering Son, vol. 1, by Shimura Takako (Fantagraphics)


Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys was dominated for Best Continuing Series, but lost to Mark Waid's Daredevil.


The full list of winners included:

Best Short Story
"The Seventh," by Darwyn Cooke, inRichard Stark's Parker: The Martini Edition(IDW)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Daredevil #7, by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)

Best Continuing Series
Daredevil, by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)

Best Limited Series
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
Dragon Puncher Island, by James Kochalka (Top Shelf)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12)
Snarked, by Roger Langridge (kaboom!)

Best Publication for Young Adults (Ages 12–17)
Anya's Ghost, by Vera Brosgol (First Second)

Best Anthology
Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)

Best Humor Publication
Milk & Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad, by Evan Dorkin (Dark Horse Books)

Best Digital Comic
Battlepug, by Mike Norton, www.battlepug.com

Best Reality-Based Work
Green River Killer: A True Detective Story, by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse Books)

Best Graphic Album - New
Jim Hensons Tale of Sand, adapted by Ramón K. Pérez (Archaia)

Best Graphic Album - Reprint
Richard Stark's Parker: The Martini Edition, by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Strips
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse vols. 1-2, by Floyd Gottfredson, edited by David Gerstein and Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Books
Walt Simonson's The Mighty Thor Artist's Edition (IDW)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
The Manara Library, vol. 1: Indian Summer and Other Stories, by Milo Manara with Hugo Pratt (Dark Horse Books)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia
Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Writer
Mark Waid, Irredeemable, Incorruptible (BOOM!); Daredevil (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
Craig Thompson, Habibi (Pantheon)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Ramón K. Pérez, Jim Henson's Tale of Sand (Archaia)

Best Cover Artist
Francesco Francavilla, Black Panther (Marvel); Lone Ranger, Lone Ranger/Zorro, Dark Shadows, Warlord of Mars (Dynamite); Archie Meets Kiss (Archie)

Best Coloring
Laura Allred, iZombie (Vertigo/DC); Madman All-New Giant-Size Super-Ginchy Special (Image)

Best Lettering
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse)

Best Comics-Related Journalism
The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon, www.comicsreporter.com

Best Educational/Academic Work (tie)
Cartooning: Philosophy & Practice, by Ivan Brunetti (Yale University Press)
Hand of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby, by Charles Hatfield (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Comics-Related Book
MetaMaus, by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)

Best Publication Design
Jim Henson's Tale of Sand, designed by Eric Skillman (Archaia)

Hall of Fame
Judges' Choices: Rudolf Dirks, Harry Lucey
Bill Blackbeard, Richard Corben, Katsuhiro Otomo, Gilbert Shelton

Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award:
Tyler Crook

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award:
Morrie Turner

Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award:
Frank Doyle, Steve Skeates

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award:
Akira Comics, Madrid, Spain - Jesus Marugan Escobar and
The Dragon, Guelph, ON, Canada - Jennifer Haines

 

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Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain't It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.

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