Archaia grabbed three Eisner Awards for Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand—the book's artist Ramon Perez took home Eisners for best graphic book-new and best penciller and Eric Skillman won for the book’s design—at the 24th annual Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards, held at the San Diego Comic-con International last night. The winning graphic novel was based on a 30-year-old never-produced screenplay written by Henson and his collaborator Jerry Juhl.

Among the other book-prizes, Eisner Awards went to Darwyn Cooke for Richard Stark’s Parker: The Martini Edition (IDW), a combination edition of Cooke’s comics adaptations of Donald Westlake’s prose novels The Hunter and The Outfit; Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case for The Green River Killer: A True Detective Story (Dark Horse); Shigeru Mizuki for Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths (D&Q), and Craig Thompson for best writer/artist for Habibi (Pantheon).

In addition, Art Speigelman’s MetaMaus (Pantheon) won an Eisner for best comics-related book. In an unusual tie in the best academic work category, Eisners were presented to both Charles Hatfield (briefly a comics reviewer here at PW) for Hand of Fire: the Comics Art of Jack Kirby (Univ. Press of Mississippi) and Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy & Practice (Yale Univ. Press). And for kids and young adults, Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost (First Second) won for best publication for young adults; James Kochalka’s Dragon Puncher’s Island won for best publication for early readers; and Roger Langridge’s Snarked won the prize for best publication for kids. Tyler Crook, artist for Petrograd (Oni Press), was awarded the Russ Manning most promising newcomer award.

And in what many attendees hailed as something of a landmark achievement for the Eisner Awards—a beloved and gala event that, nevertheless, sometimes seems as though it may never end—the ceremony was over in record time and finished by about 10:20 p.m. (This reporter has attended for more than a decade and can never remember it ending before 11:00 at night.) As a result of the brisk proceedings and early ending, it seemed that many more attendees (and winners) hung around at the after-party, mingling, chatting, drinking and soaking up the atmosphere after an evening of celebrating great comics.

The Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards, the National Book Awards of the comics industry, are presented each year to the best work in comics periodical, graphic novel and nonfiction publishing. The Eisners are awarded in a wide range of creative and editorial categories in the comics industry and a complete list of winners is available on the San Diego Comic-con International website.