The annual Joe Shuster Awards, honoring the best in Canadian comics, were presented over the weekend and winners include our own Brandon Schatz and Danica LeBlanc of the Best Retailer Award for their Edmonton shop Variant Edition! Congrats to Brandon and Danica! You can read the archive of their columns on retailing and more here.
But they were just some of the winners. The complete list:
for PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN
and MARVEL 2-IN-ONE
for BENEATH THE DEAD OAK TREE
THE DRAGON AWARD – COMICS FOR YOUNGER READERS
AVENTUROSAURE T.1 par JULIEN PARÉ-SOREL
THE GENE DAY AWARD FOR SELF-PUBLISHING
CHRISTIE PITS by JAMIE MICHAELS, DOUG FEDRAU
GENE DAY AWARD FOR ANTHOLOGY COLLECTION
WAYWARD SISTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MONSTROUS WOMEN
ALLISON O’TOOLE, Editor (TO COMIX PRESS)
TM MAPLE AWARD (FOR ACHIEVEMENTS OUTSIDE THE CREATIVE)
A leading Canadian comic retailer for over 20 years, Jenn Haines has been an active and vocal supporter of the comics industry and the role comics and comic shops have in their communities. She established the Comics in the Classroom initiative to help educators use comics and graphic novels in their classrooms to improve student literacy. From the initiative’s mandate:
To a reluctant reader or an English Language Learner, a prose text can be incredibly daunting; it is a wall of words, overwhelming to start, impossible to finish. The key to getting these learners to read is to engage their imagination and interest. Comics are a perfect vehicle. They divide up the text into manageable chunks, which are supported by images. These images help readers increase their vocabulary through the connection between words and images. Comics are especially useful for English Language Learners from Korea, China, and Japan, for whom comics are an inherent part of their culture. By offering a style of reading with which these students are familiar, they will be more willing to make the effort to read. The bottom line is getting them to read. Thus, it is better to offer a graphic adaptation of a prose novel covered in class to those reluctant readers, to allow all students to participate in discussions and unit work, rather than have some students fall behind and be unable to participate at all.
She also established the Dragon Award for Comics aimed at Younger Readers that is handed out annually and has worked with educators to review and select the nominees and winners in this category and recognize an important part of the Canadian comics landscape.
We have relied on Jenn as an advisor to the Joe Shuster Awards since their inception in 2004 and in 2019 she served on the jury for the Will Eisner Comic Book Industry Awards.
HARRY KREMER AWARD for Outstanding Comic Book Retailer
VARIANT EDITION COMICS
of EDMONTON, ALBERTA
Located in the heart of west Edmonton, Variant Edition provides a comic shop experience unlike any other, perfect for those looking to discover or rediscover the joys of sequential storytelling. Variant Edition prides themselves on their inclusive environment and innovative recommendation system, which will help you find books you didn’t even know you loved.
Customer reports from Variant Edition rave about the friendly, knowledgeable and personal staff, the attention to providing quality service, the store’s cozy and welcoming atmosphere, and their great and wide selection of comics and graphic novels.
Congratulations to Brandon and Danica for such a great store and another fantastic addition to the Kremer family of Oustanding Canadian comic book retailers.
HARRY KREMER AWARD (Special Bonus)
of GUELPH, ONTARIO
Eisner Award-Winning Guelph, ON retailer THE DRAGON celebrated their 20th Anniversary in 2018. In 2019 they are being given an honourary Harry Kremer Award for their Contributions to the Canadian comic retail landscape and beyond.
As an awards sponsor and booster, they have self-omitted themselves previously from consideration for the Kremer Award, but unbeknownst to them, the Awards Executive felt that in light of their special anniversary year as well as the JSA’s 15th, and in lieu of Jenn being honoured with the TM Maple Award and the awards being presented in Guelph that all of these factors added up to it being the right time for the Dragon to officially be included to the short list of Canada’s top comic retailers. Congratulations Jenn!
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Al Hewetson (1946-2004)
(active from 1970-1999)
Alan Hewetson was a Scottish-Canadian writer and editor of American horror-comics magazines, best known for his work with the 1970s publisher Skywald Publications, where he created what he termed the magazines’ “Horror-Mood” sensibility. He went on to become a publisher of city magazines in Canada.
Gerhard is the professional name of a Canadian artist known for the elaborately detailed background illustrations in the comics series Cerebus the Aardvark.
Dale Keown (1962-)
Dale Keown is a Canadian comic book artist, known for his runs on The Incredible Hulk and his creator-owned book, Pitt.
Ken Lashley (1967-)
Ken Lashley is a prolific artist and editor, credited as a colorist, penciller, cover colorist, inker, finisher, cover, and variant cover artist, has worked across the comic book industry with DC (The Flash, Cyborg, Suicide Squad, Superwoman, Batwing, Superboy) and Marvel (Excalibur, X-Men, Rising Stars, Black Panther, Spider-Man).