Asaf Hanuka Asaf Hanuka Asaf Hanuka's comic strip "The Realist," about his daily life has earned him a global following.

'The Realist' wins a top book award at Comic-Con

Illustrator Asaf Hanuka's personal project rewarded with comics industry 'Oscar.'

The world's largest comic book convention, Comic-Con International, wrapped up Sunday in San Diego, California, and one of the big winners of the four-day event was Asaf Hanuka.

The Israeli illustrator and comic book artist took home an Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material for his book "The Realist," based on his comic strip of the same name, a highly personal project that explores his daily life in Tel Aviv and has been published in Israel's Calcalist newspaper for the past seven years.

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are named after pioneering writer and comic book artist Will Eisner and are widely considered to be “the Oscars of comics.”

Hanuka, who was not in attendance during the ceremony, nonetheless posted a picture of the award to his Instagram account:


"It's been 7 years since I started documenting my life in Tel Aviv in comics form. I never imagined it will be recognized outside of Israel," he wrote underneath the image.

Hanuka explained to From The Grapevine in an interview last year that the inspiration for "The Realist" came from American culture.

"In the '70s, New York became such an icon for me because it was illustrated in all the Spiderman comics, and you could imagine Spiderman jumping from the roof of a building in New York, and it always had this water tower and all these very particular aesthetics," Asaf explained.

"I always thought Tel Aviv deserved to be illustrated, too. It has a lot of particular stuff. The architecture is pretty specific, so I really wanted to make Tel Aviv a character like New York," he added.

Hanuka is no industry outsider, most recently collaborating with twin brother Tomer, himself a successful illustrator, on the bestselling graphic novel "The Divine."

Tomer (L) and Asaf (R) Hanuka have become internationally celebrated illustrators.Asaf and Tomer Hanuka have become internationally celebrated illustrators. (Photo: PIERRE DUFFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

The Eisner Awards this year included several other big-name winners, including Georgia congressman John Lewis, who won Best Reality-Based Work for his “March: Book Two,” the second installment of his graphic memoir of the civil rights movement; and writer Jason Aaron, named "Best Writer" for his work on the comic books "Southern Bastards," "Men of Wrath," "Doctor Strange," "Star Wars" and "Thor."

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