Top Shelf Productions


THEY CALLED US ENEMY wins the Eisner Award!

July 25, 2020

At last night’s Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony, They Called Us Enemy received the coveted Eisner Award, the highest honor in the comics community as voted upon by professional peers, in the category of “Best Reality-Based Work”. The heartfelt graphic memoir by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker presents Takei’s firsthand account of a childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II.

“What a tremendous honor to be recognized by our peers in the comics industry with this Eisner Award for They Called Us Enemy,” say the creators in a joint statement. “We offer our deep thanks to the judges who nominated this book and everyone that voted. We also owe a special thanks to all the readers, librarians, educators, and shopkeepers that have embraced this story and spread the word. Because of you, the story of the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II will be more widely known by future generations, and in that education there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.”

“In times of crisis, it can be tempting to consider books ‘nonessential,’ but that’s when it's most essential to grapple with our history and our values, and to understand how the past still lives with us in the present,” says Top Shelf editor Leigh Walton. “As a young man, George Takei could find nothing in his school textbooks about his family’s imprisonment — now, his Eisner-winning graphic memoir is rapidly becoming adopted as a school text. It’s an honor to join the comics community in celebrating this team’s profound and beautiful achievement.”

The 2020 Eisner Award judges recognized IDW Publishing and its imprints, Artist’s Editions, EuroComics, Library of American Comics, Sunday Press, Top Shelf, and Yoe Books, with a combined fifteen nods this year (fourteen nominations and one shared nomination), the most nominations for a publisher this year.

IDW Publishing and Top Shelf Productions would like to thank the judges and voters for this year’s awards and are honored to be included among such stellar competition.