After a vigorous round of judging, the five finalists for the Dwayne McDuffie Award For Diversity In Comics have been revealed (I was one of the judges) and they are:
Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels
Shaft: Imitation of Life by David Walker and Dietrich Smith
Amazing Forest by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas and more
StarHammer by J. N. Monk and Harry Bogosian
14 Nights by Kristina Stipetic
The nominees include two webcomics, two print comics and one comic (Upgrade Soul) that was originally an iPad app. I think it’s a pretty good spectrum of works that are all excellent…and have absolutely nothing in common. The winner will be announced at a panel at the Long Beach Comic Expo this Weekend — and I will be there.
The McDuffie Award was established to highlight diversity both on the page and behind it and were founded in 2015 to honor the memory of the late writer Dwayne McDuffie.
“I am pleased to once again welcome another group of outstanding work and all of these remarkable creators to be forever associated with my late husband’s name, and I look forward to seeing where our 2017 nominees’ careers go from here,” said Dwayne’s widow, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie.”Everything they create from now on, they’ll do attached to Dwayne’s reputation for not just inclusiveness but excellence. Please continue to do him proud in all ways, always.”
The complete judging panel comprised Mark D. Bright, Neo Edmund, Joan Hilty, Joseph Illidge, Heidi MacDonald, Don McGregor, Kevin Rubio, Cassandra Pelham, Gail Simone, Will J. Watkins, Matt Wayne, and Len Wein.
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.