The 8th Annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics is now officially accepting submissions. Moreover, Nilah Magruder and Eric Wallace have now joined the selection committee, joining members including Joseph Illidge, Jamal Igle, Colleen Doran, The Beat‘s own Heidi MacDonald, and other notable comics industry figures. The event will name one winner from five honored finalists, whose work resembles a commitment to excellence and inclusion on and off the page, much like the late Mr. McDuffie’s own efforts to produce entertainment that was representative of and created by a wide scope of human experience.

Like last year, the winner of the 8th Annual Dwayne McDuffie Award will be announced in a virtual ceremony, set to take place on December 1, 2023.

Read the official PR below for details:

The DWAYNE McDUFFIE AWARD for DIVERSITY in COMICS is now receiving submissions at for this 8th annual prestigious  prize. All comics produced in the United States during calendar year 2022—whether  professional or personal, in print or on the web—are invited to compete. The deadline  for entries is September 30, 2023. 

The slogan of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics comes from Mr.  McDuffie’s own profound, succinct words: 

“From invisible to inevitable.” 

– Dwayne McDuffie 

The 2022 Selection Committee—led by comics’ industry legend, Marv Wolfman— includes two new judges: Nilah Magruder, winner of the 1st Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, and Eric Wallace, writer of the award-winning Mr. Terrific for DC Comics, among his numerous other creative works. 

Fun fact: “Eric Wallace” was a character in the movie Free Enterprise, played by  perennial DMAD Master of Ceremonies, Phil LaMarr

Quote from Nilah Magruder: 

“I’m thrilled to join the judging committee for this year’s Dwayne McDuffie Awards and  be a part of elevating underrepresented voices in comics. Being recognized and  meeting so many of Dwayne’s friends and colleagues was a huge moment in my career.  I’m happy to be a part of bestowing that honor on more creators.” 

Quote from Eric Wallace: 

“A storytelling pioneer in everything he did, Dwayne understood the importance  of recognizing and supporting inclusive excellence in the arts.  

He was also a mentor and friend to me whose guidance and advice was  invaluable when I first started writing comic books. Today the DMADs continue  (Dwayne’s mission) by spotlighting brilliant contemporary talents, 

and I’m honored to be a small part of this incredible tradition.” 

Quote from DMAD Director, Will J. Watkins: 

“One of the many things I loved about Dwayne was that he understood having  diversity without inclusivity is meaningless. Whether it was through his writing or  his relationships with people, he was determined to create spaces where every  human being could feel equal and valued, not just represented. At a time when  many are attempting to quiet the voices of the excluded and denied, this award is 

shouting from the rooftops that everyone deserves a seat at the table… and  while at that table, their voices must be welcomed.” 

Quote from Dwayne’s widow, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie: 

“I couldn’t be more pleased that by now, year 8, this award in my late husband’s  name has already long-since earned a stellar reputation for highlighting  excellence and inclusiveness on the page and behind the scenes; for bringing  yet-to-be-discovered writers and artists to industry-wide attention; and attracted  such impressive talents as our past nominees and winners, all of whom have  gone on to continue creating outstanding work that would make Dwayne proud.” 

The 2022 winner will be announced December 1, 2023 in a virtual awards’ ceremony presided over by returning MC, actor Phil LaMarr, who voiced both the heroes  Static/Virgil and John Stewart/Green Lantern in the animated Warner Bros.’ series Static Shock and Justice League Unlimited, written and produced by Mr. McDuffie. 

Past Winners:  

2021 – Adora and the Distance, written by Marc Bernadin & illustrated by Ariela  Kristantina (Dark Horse Comics) 

2020 – They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and  Harmony Becker. 

2019 – Archival Quality, written by Ivy Noelle Weir & illustrated by Christina “Steenz”  Stewart (Oni Press) 

2018 – Leon: Protector of the Playground, written & illustrated by Jamar Nicholas  (Kids Love Comics) 

2017 – Upgrade Soul, written & illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels 

2016 – Ms. Marvel, written by G. Willow Wilson & illustrated by Adrian Alphona (Marvel  Entertainment) 

2015 – M.F.K. written & illustrated by Nilah Magruder (


The 2022 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics’ selection committee, led by industry legend, Marv Wolfman, consists of 11 prominent comics and animation  professionals who personally knew and worked with Mr. McDuffie and/or have  demonstrated a serious commitment to his vision of excellence and inclusiveness on  the page and behind the scenes. 

Colleen Doran is a cartoonist, writer/artist whose works include writing/drawing Sensational Wonder Woman, the multi-award winning adaptation Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples, and art for The SandmanThe Vampire DiariesThe ClockStar Wars: Doctor AphraThe Walking Dead, and hundreds of other comics. She also illustrated Stan Lee’s New York Times best-selling autobiography Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible Stan Lee. Among her numerous awards and nominations are Eisner awards, the Harvey Award, The International Horror Guild Award, the Ringo and the Bram Stoker Award.

Heidi MacDonald is the editor-in-chief of and has edited comics for Disney, DC Comics, Vertigo, HarperCollins and Z2. She can be heard on Publishers Weekly’s weekly podcast More To Come and found regularly on the Beat’s YouTube channel. 

Jamal Igle is the writer/artist/creator of Molly Danger for Action Lab Entertainment, the co-creator/artist of The Wrong Earth for Ahoy Comics, co-creator of Dudley Datson and the Forever Machine for Comixology, and the penciller of the critically acclaimed series, BLACK from Black Mask Studios, as well as many titles for DC, Marvel and Dark Horse. He’s been a storyboard artist for Sony Animation and is also a popular guest lecturer on the subjects of comics and animation.

Joseph Illidge is a writer, editorial director, thought leader, and public speaker who started his career at Milestone Media, the influential comic book publisher profiled in the HBO Max documentary “Milestone Generations”. In addition to his groundbreaking  editorial runs for the Batman line of books for DC Comics and Heavy Metal magazine, Joseph has written MPLS Sound for Humanoids and the Judge Kim and the Kids’ Court series for Simon & Schuster. His new monthly column, Adventures in the Champagne Room, is a surgical examination of the comic book industry’s business relationship with its creators. 

Nilah Magruder is a writer/artist and the inaugural winner of the Dwayne McDuffie  Award for Diversity in Comics for the graphic novel M.F.K. She wrote and illustrated the  picture book How to Find a Fox, and has also written for Marvel Comics, illustrated  children’s books for Disney-Hyperion, Scholastic, and Penguin, and worked as a writer  and storyboard artist in television animation. She is currently illustrating Creaky Acres, a middle-grade graphic novel about horseback riding. 

Kevin Rubio is a writer/producer who has contributed to Justice League ActionAvengers AssembleThunderbirds Are Go!Green Lantern: The Animated Series and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He is also the creator and writer of the Star Wars graphic novel, Tag & Bink Were Here, and Red 5 Publication’s Abyss Vol. I & II. He is an inaugural recipient of the George Lucas Film Award for his Star Wars short film, TROOPS, is a Promax Award winner, and is an Emmy nominee.

Geoffrey Thorne is the writer/creator of Mosaic for Marvel Comics and the writer behind the transformation of DC Comics’ John Stewart from Green Lantern to the Emerald Knight. He was also the head writer and showrunner of Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest as well as a writer-producer on such hit series as Leverage, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Power: Book II: Ghost. He is the executive producer of the hit sci-fi/fantasy audio drama series Dreamnasium and of Redjack: the Animated Shorts on YouTube. 

Eric Wallace is the writer of multiple titles for DC Comics, including the award winning Mr. Terrific. He also wrote on Ben 10: Omniverse and Duel Masters for Cartoon Network, plus Syfy’s Eureka and Z Nation, Co-Producing the latter; was  Co-Executive Producer/Writer/Director on MTV’s Teen Wolf; wrote Dark Shadows audio books, the video game Scribblenauts Unmasked, and was Show Runner &  Executive Producer on The CW’s, The Flash. Fun fact: “Eric Wallace” was a  character in the movie Free Enterprise, portrayed by DMAD Master of  Ceremonies, Phil LaMarr

Will J. Watkins (Director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics) is a freelance TV, film and animation writer who is also comic book story/world-building consultant on The Protectors graphic novel published by Athlita Comics. He had a stint as an assistant editor at DC Comics and, before moving to LA, he co-owned Chicago’s first African American-owned comic book shop. He’s currently a writer on Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem.

Matt Wayne has written for many highly-regarded animation projects, including Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi ChroniclesCannon BustersNiko and the Sword of Light, the Emmy-nominated Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms, and Hello Kitty: Supercute AdventuresHis comics work includes Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Static/Black Lightningand writing and editing for the original Milestone Media comics line.

Marv Wolfman is the multi-award-winning writer who created Blade for Marvel Comics, The New Teen Titans for DC Comics, and legions of other iconic characters and stories. In addition to comic books, he’s written for animation, videogames, novels and more. It’s been said that he’s created more characters who’ve made the jump to movies, TV shows, toys, games and animation than any other writer save Stan Lee.

Dwayne McDuffie (1962-2011) a founder of Milestone Comics—later  Milestone_Media— remains renowned for his focus on diversity, both on the  page/screen and behind the scenes. Emmy-nominated and Humanitas Prize-winning  Creator of Static Shock, Writer/Producer of Justice League Unlimited,  Writer/Producer/Story Editor of Ben 10: Alien Force/Ultimate Alien, and Inkpot Award winning Writer/Editor of too many comic books to name , the Dwayne McDuffie Award  for Diversity in Comics was created in 2015 to carry on his mission of excellence and  inclusivity.  

Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie—the widow of Writer/Producer/Humanitarian, Dwayne  McDuffie—wrote numerous Ben 10: Alien Force comics for DC, a story in the Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular and for #1 of the new Damage Control series. She is also a two-time Emmy nominee, best known for writing Ben 10: Alien Force/Ultimate Alien/Omniverse and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, as well  as for her work on the legendary Star Wars fan film, TROOPS.  

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