The honoring of good comics in memory of Dwayne McDuffie continues with the announcement of the shortlist for the second annual McDuffie Awards for Kids Comics.
The prize, which is sponsored by Kids Read Comics, will be announced at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival on June 18. The shortlist was sleected from “excellent comics aimed at children through age thirteen, scoring the work on four main criteria: Quality, Timelessness, Originality and Diversity.”
More than 100 books were submitted, backing up what we’ve been saying here for a while: kids comics are HOT! (The category totally dominates Bookscan charts.) The selections are from a wide range of publishers, from manga to Big Two to traditional book publishers.
The judging committee includes: Edith Donnell, a Kids Read Comics cofounder and youth and teen librarian; Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, manager of Little Island Comics, a comic shop exclusively for kids; Eva Volin, a children’s librarian and comics-in-libraries advocate; and Marv Wolfman, a comics and animation writer and editor whose storied career goes back nearly half a century.
And here’s the list!
AWKWARD, by Svetlana Chmakova, introduces Penelope (Peppi) Torres, a new girl at middle school who makes an embarrassing first day worse by hurting the feelings of another social misfit — and soon compounds a rivalry between the school’s art-nerds and science-nerds. (Yen Press)
CHI’S SWEET HOME, VOL.12, by Konami Kanata, concludes the story of the lost kitten adopted by Yohei Yamada and his family — as mischievous Chi finds her mother and faces an important decision about the future. (Vertical)
COURTNEY CRUMRIN VOL. 7: TALES OF A WARLOCK, by Ted Naifeh, tells the tale of Courtney’s Uncle Aloysius as a young man — joining the Anti-Sorcery Society’s crusade against witches and warlocks, while hiding his own magical ancestry. (Oni Press)
FLOP TO THE TOP! by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing offers a modern-day fable of fame and fandom — when the picture young Wanda posts of her floppy-eared bulldog goes viral and brings all the celebrity she’s ever dreamed of…but for the dog, not for her. (Toon Books)
THE FLYING BEAVER BROTHERS AND THE CRAZY CRITTER RACE, by Maxwell Eaton III, continues the adventures of Ace and Bub, and this time they’re tangled up in an island-hopping race with more at stake than the grand prize…as a fast-growing vine starts to entangle them all! (Random House)
HUMAN BODY THEATER, by Maris Wicks, gives readers a front-row seat for a theatrical revue of each and every biological system of the human body — courtesy of a skeletal master of ceremonies who puts on a new layer of her costume (that is, her body) with each act. (First Second)
LUMBERJANES, VOL. 1: BEWARE THE KITTEN HOLY, by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen, follows butt-kicking best friends Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley as they spend their summer at Lumberjanes scout camp…where yetis, three-eyed wolves and giant falcons await! (Boom Studios)
NATHAN HALE’S HAZARDOUS TALES: THE UNDERGROUND ABDUCTOR, by Nathan Hale, uncovers the true-life story of abolitionist Harriet Tubman — who was born into southern slavery and escaped to the north, embarking on a lifelong career to help other enslaved people find their freedom. (Abrams)
ULTRAMAN, by Tomohiro Shimoguchi and Eiichi Shimizu, is the story of Shinjiro, an ordinary teenager who inherits a family legacy that leads him to take on the role of Ultraman and defend planet Earth against a deadly alien invasion. (Viz)
THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL, VOL. 1: SQUIRREL POWER, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, collects the first five issues of the comic series that takes a whole new look at the Marvel universe of heroes and villains, as seen through the eyes of the nuttiest and most upbeat superhero in the world! (Marvel)
The judges for this year’s McDuffie Award are Edith Donnell, a Kids Read Comics cofounder and youth and teen librarian; Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, manager of Little Island Comics, a comic shop exclusively for kids; Eva Volin, a children’s librarian and comics-in-libraries advocate; and Marv Wolfman, a comics and animation writer and editor whose storied career goes back nearly half a century.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.