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Best Publishing Company 

Image Comics

Besides being the only comic book publisher that grants artists the rights to their own images, this Berkeley-based company has produced some of the most compelling graphic novels to emerge in recent years. Its canon includes Fell, the tale of a lonely investigator who moves to a strange city where he encounters various harbingers of doom (including a nun in a Richard Nixon mask); zombie series The Walking Dead, which is largely driven by the psychology of its central character; and even an anthology of dream-like illustrations inspired by Belle & Sebastian lyrics. Now under the wing of ex-Spiderman artist Erik Larsen — whose own series, The Savage Dragon, helped launch the company in 1992 — Image ranks just below comic book goliaths Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse in terms of catalog size. In terms of substantive content, it's unparalleled.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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