On Friday at A2CAF, The Cardboard Kingdom received the 2019 Dwayne McDuffie award for kids’ comics. Named after acclaimed writer and editor, the McDuffie award honors American comics that are committed to inclusion and diversity. Chad Sell‘s The Cardboard Kingdom does that inside and outside its pages. Though he provided art for the entire graphic novel, Sell brought in a huge team of talent to do the writing, including Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Manuel Betancourt, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Cloud Jacobs, Michael Cole, Barbara Perez Marquez.

The Cardboard Kingdom deals with tolerance, bullying, cultural norms, gender norms and even romance in each of its short stories. The team behind those concepts are just as diverse as those issues. Comicosity’s review boils down the collections success in that regard: “Sell and the writing team deliver an authentic experience for literally every race and culture you can think of, while also including characters that are members of the LGBT community. The creators do this without explicitly labeling anyone or making this story about diversity, per se, but rather just showing a modern neighborhood in all it’s joyful glory.”
Also nominated for the kids’ comics award this year were nine other groundbreaking books. Those included Be Prepared, by Vera BrosgolHidden Witch, by Molly Knox OstertagLast Pick, by Jason WalzLumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, by Lilah SturgesMy Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, by Nie JunOnibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter, by Atelier SentoPeter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths, by Graham Annable, The Prince and the Dressmaker, by Jen Wang and Sanity & Tallulah, by Molly Brooks.
The Dwayne McDuffie award winning Cardboard Kingdom is published by Knopf Books and is available now at your local comic shop, or online.