For the sixth straight year, manga artist Naoki Urasawa has been nominated in the Best Continuing Series category at the 2012 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, Comic-Con International announced.
Urasawa's "20th Century Boys" is being challenged by four other nominees this year.
The most prestigious award in the U.S. comic industry, the Eisner Awards recognizes outstanding comic books published in the United States. But with many Japanese comic books being published in English and gaining a broader presence in the country, Japanese manga titles have often been nominated and won awards in recent years.
Several works from Japan are also in the running this year.
Urasawa's nomination in the category was in 2007 for his "Monster" manga series.
Although the artist is critically acclaimed in the United States, he has never won the award. Expectations are high that he will win the accolade this year.
The English version of the manga is published in the United States by Viz Media.
Another highlight this year is "Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths," an autobiographical manga by Shigeru Mizuki, which has been in the running in the Best Reality-Based Work category. Known for his works featuring "yokai" ghouls and hobgoblins, Mizuki served in the military as a low-ranking soldier during World War II.
The nominated title is published in English by Canada-based comic book publisher Drawn and Quarterly, which won the accolade in 2010 with "A Drifting Life" by Yoshihiro Tatsumi.
Japanese manga continued to dominate the Best U.S. Edition of International Material--Asia category, with all six nominated works coming from Japan.
In addition to "Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths," "A Bride's Story" by Kaoru Mori (published by Yen Press), "Drops of God" by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto (Vertical), "Saturn Apartments" by Hisae Iwaoka (Viz Media), "Stargazing Dog" by Takashi Murakami (NBM), and "Wandering Son" by Takako Shimura (Fantagraphics) are in the running for the award. Many of the works have won various prizes in Japan.
Winners will be voted on by industry professionals and announced on July 13 at the Comic-Con International pop culture event to be held in San Diego, California.
For detailed information, visit (http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_main.php).
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