The Hugo Awards announced its 2019 nominees this morning, including those for Best Graphic Story, which means…comics!
The six comics chosen for that list were a mixture of newer books as well as established award-winners. They are as follows:
- Abbott, written by Saladin Ahmed, art by Sami Kivelä, colors by Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios)
- Black Panther: Long Live the King, written by Nnedi Okorafor and Aaron Covington, art by André Lima Araújo, Mario Del Pennino and Tana Ford (Marvel)
- Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
- On a Sunbeam, by Tillie Walden (First Second)
- Paper Girls, Volume 4, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff Chiang, colors by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image Comics)
- Saga, Volume 9, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
While none of these nominations would qualify as a huge surprise (they are all excellent) the inclusion of some was perhaps more expected than others. The fantasy epic Monstress, for example, won five awards at the Eisners in July, while Saga and Paper Girls are both staples of bookstore end caps across the country. Monstress, Saga, and Paper Girls were all nominated for Hugo Awards last year as well, with Monstress being the winner (personally, my money is on Monstress again this year too…it’s that good).
Abbott, a horror-tinged story about a black female journalist doing her job in the face of demons and discrimination in 1970s Detroit, is a great inclusion, and it marks the second year writer Saladin Ahmed has scored a nomination in this category, following one in 2018 for his Marvel Comics series, Black Bolt.
Rounding out the list are Tillie Walden’s gorgeous ethereal coming-of-age graphic novel On a Sunbeam and Black Panther: Long Live the King. The writer of the latter, Nnedi Okorafor, won a Hugo Award in 2016 for her prose novella Binti and was also nominated for the follow-up, Binti: Home, in 2018.
Meanwhile, the Best Dramatic Presentation category is filled with superhero films, including Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (plus also Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You, which was a cool surprise).
A full list of nominees in all categories can be found here. Other categories of interest to comics readers are likely to be Best Artist, Best Art Book, and Best Fan Artist.