PSU professor wins coveted Comic-Con award
Author: Scott Gallagher
Posted: July 23, 2013

Eisner Awards 25th AnniversarySusan Kirtley’s book Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass won “Best Educational/Academic Work” at the 25thannual Will Eisner comic industry awards held at Comic-Con this week. The awards, known as the Oscars of the comic industry, are given in 30 categories for works published the previous year.

“The awards are a huge deal in the comic world that can make your career,” said Kirtley. “It’s exciting to be an academic among the leaders of that industry. I was surprised to be nominated and flabbergasted to have won.”

The Will Eisner awards panel selects nominees that are then voted on by experts in the comic industry. Kirtley’s book focuses on comic artist Lynda Barry’s depiction of young girls in novels, comic art, and even coloring books.

“Scholarship in the field of comic art isn’t new,” said Kirtley, “and it’s nice to see an award that recognizes the emergent field.” She also notes that Portland is a great city for comics and PSU also has the largest collection of Dark Horse comics at its library.


The Will Eisner awards began in 1988 and are the official awards of the comic industry. Other categories include best writer, best new series, best cover artist, and more. The full list is available at

Kirtley, a native Oregonian born in Medford, is already working on her next book, which looks at female created comic strips. She can be reached at

About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum.