Andre The Giant: Closer to Heaven by Brandon Easton and Denis Medri (IDW Publishing)
Fresh Romance, edited by Janelle Asselin (Rosy Press)
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder and Natacha Bustos (Marvel Entertainment)
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel Entertainment);
Zana by Jean Barker and Joey Granger (Emet Comics)
The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics is presented to works which further the goals towards a more inclusive comics industry on the page and behind it. And disclosure, I am one of the six judges for this award, along with: director Neo Edmund, Nickelodeon Comics editor Joan Hilty, writer and editor Joseph Illidge, writer and former comic store owner William J. Watkins, and Matt Wayne, the former managing editor of Milestone Media.
“The Dwayne McDuffie Award is a significant step forward in not merely acknowledging the need to expand diversity of the characters represented in comics and those who create them, but also taking action to make that need into a reality,” Neo Edmund, director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, told THR. “Stories arise from a diverse array of voices from all over the world, thus playing a pivotal role in broadening our understanding of cultural values beyond our own.”
The Award is named for McDuffie, a writer and producer of comic books and animation whose work includes Warner Bros’ Justice League Unlimited, Ben 10 and co-creating the Static Shock television series. In comics, he created or co-created over a dozen series including Marvel’s Damage Control, currently in development for a live-action ABC series, and co-founding Milestone Media, home of such characters as Icon, Hardware and Xombi.
The winner will be announced in a ceremony February 20th at the Long Beach Comic Con; Marc Bernadin will be the keynote speaker.
I’m very proud to be a part of this process and not only spotlight five very worthy comics, but keep Dwayne’s spirit alive in such a fitting way. All five nominees present a view of the world that reflects the diversity and variety of the real world, and that’s something for all of us to be proud of.
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.