The 2021 Joe Shuster Awards celebrating Canadian comics announced nominees in three of its ten categories – best artist, best writer, and best cartoonist. More nominee categories will be announced next week.

The awards acknowledge the contribution of Canadians in the wider international comics medium with no restriction on where their work is published – be it Canada-domestic, the Franco-Belgium or American market. All qualifying work had to have been published and distributed in 2020.

While the announcement timing of nominees isn’t explicitly fixed, they usually take place in the summer months. In 2020, the nominees were announced in September. This 2021 Joe Shuster Awards’ December announcement is probably the latest thus far.

In a post on the Joe Shuster Awards website,

It has been a challenging year, and while this announcement once again comes a little later in the year than usual, the Canadian Comic Book Awards Association is proud to present the first batch (of 3) nominees for the 17th Annual Joe Shuster Awards and related honours for work published in 2020.

Canada has a rich tradition of supporting our national arts communities with awards that recognize the achievements of our citizens in books, music, stage, television and film – the JOE SHUSTER AWARDS (including the associated Gene Day, Harry Kremer, TM Maple, Dragon and Hall of Fame Awards) are Canada’s national awards program that honour and raise the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell comic books, digital comics and graphic novels.

The capes and tights crowd might recognise a few names in the 2021 Joe Shuster Awards list – Chip Zdarsky and Jeff Lemire are frequent nominees and winners. Zdarsky’s last win was in 2020 in the webcomic/digital comic category for comiXology Original book Afterlift with Jason Loo. Artist Jamal Campbell got a nod for Far Sector (written by N.K. Jemisin); and Jason Fabok for Batman: Three Jokers (written by Geoff Johns).

Still to come are the 2021 Joe Shuster Award nominees for best webcomics creators, cover artist, kids comic (Dragon Award), retailer (Harry Kremer Award), community supporter (the TM Maple non-creator or retail award) and self-publishing (Gene Day Award), plus the inductee into the Hall of Fame.

The Joe Shuster Awards began in 2005 to recognise the role of Canadians in comics industries at home and abroad. The awards are organised by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association and are posthumously named after famed Canadian-born Superman co-creator and artist Joe Shuster, with the permission of Joe Shuster estate.

Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Artist / Dessinateur Canadien Exceptionnel de Bandes Dessinées

Jamal Campbell – Far Sector (DC Comics)
Jeik Dion – Aliss (Alire/Front Froid)
Jason Fabok – Batman: Three Jokers (DC Comics)
Keet Geniza – Kimiko Does Cancer: A Graphic Memoir (Arsenal Pulp)
Scott B. Henderson with Donovan Yaciuk (colours) – The Reckoner Rises Book 1: Breakdown, A Girl Called Echo Vol. 3: Northwest Rebellion (HighWater Press)
Denis Rodier – La Bombe (Glenat)
Julie Rocheleau – Traverser l’autoroute (La Pastèque)
Ty Templeton – Batman: The Adventures Continue (DC Comics)

Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Writer/ Écrivain Canadien Exceptionnel de Bandes Dessinées

Sophie Bienvenu – Traverser l’autoroute (La Pastèque)
Jeff Lemire – Ascender, Family Tree, Gideon Falls (Image Comics), Colonel Weird: Cosmagog, Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy (Dark Horse), Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place (Marvel Comics), The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage, The Joker: Killer Smile (DC Comics)
Jed Mackay – Black Cat, Spider-Verse, Taskmaster (Marvel Comics)
Patrick Senécal – Aliss (Alire/Front Froid)
Tasha Spillett – Surviving the City Vol. 2: From the Roots Up (HighWater Press)
Kimiko Tobumatsu – Kimiko Does Cancer: A Graphic Memoir (Arsenal Pulp)
Chip Zdarsky – Daredevil, X-Men/Fantastic Four, Doom 2099 Vol. 2, Incoming, Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling (Marvel Comics), Stillwater (Image Comics), Dark Knights Death Metal Guidebook, Detective Comics 1027 (DC Comics)

Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist / Créateur Canadien Exceptionnel de Bandes Dessinées

Kaare Andrews – E-Ratic (AWA)
Sweeney Boo – Eat, and Love Yourself (Boom! Studios)
Scott Chantler – Bix (Simon and Schuster)
Michael DeForge – Familiar Face (Drawn & Quarterly)
Mélanie Leclerc – Temps Libre (Mecanique Generale)
Mirion Malle – C’est comme ça que je disparais (Pow Pow) / This is How I Disappear (Drawn & Quarterly – translated in 2021)
Michel Rabagliati – Paul à la maison (La Pastèque) / Paul at Home (Drawn & Quarterly)
Mireille St-Pierre – La Brume (Front Froid)