Comic-Con International have announced the five nominees in the running for the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award. The winner will be declared as part of the Eisner Award ceremony, taking place July 26.

In the running for the 2024 Manning Award are:

  • Oliver Bly, artist of The Mushroom Knight (Mad Cave Studios)
  • Patrick Horvath, writer/artist of Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees (IDW)
  • Vincent Kings, writer/artist of Atomic Fairytales and Time Dog and Other Atomic Fairytales (Sincere Comics)
  • Oma Sei, writer/artist of Blood Blade (Kodansha)
  • Eamon Winkle, artist of Principles of Necromancy (Magma Comix)

Oliver Bly is a cartoonist whose debut graphic novel, The Mushroom Knight is described as an “ontological urban faerie tale that explores the ecology of our day from a variety of perspectives”

Patrick Horvath has already drawn some attention here at Stately Beat Manor for remarkable serial killer drama in a town of innocent anthropomorphised animals, Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees (IDW). Horvath comes from a horror film-making background, serving as a producer, writer and director of three features between 2009 and 2014.

Illustrator and animator Vincent Kings has been published in a bunch of places including Heavy Metal (RIP). His art for science fiction graphic novel This Is Where We Fall (Z2, 2021) had previously earned a 2022 Ringo Award for Promising Newcomer. His comic-strip style comic Time Dog and Other Atomic Fairytales about a girl and her time travelling dog was crowdfunded via Zoop in 2022.

Eamon Winkle is an artist that works in comics, illustration and visual development. Having worked in TV, film and gaming for over a decade. He is working on creator owned ongoing series Principles of Necromancy (written by Jackson Lanzig and Collin Kelly) for Magma Comix, a dark fantasy about the first necromancer.

Little is known about Oma Sei but their debut manga Blood Blade – about a katana wielding female reincarnation of Count Dracula – was unusually given an English language first release by Kodansha, which was announced by Kodansha USA at last summer’s San Diego Comic-Con.

Nominees for the Russ Manning Award were selected by board and committee members of Comic-Con International alongside a San Diego-based comics retailer. The winner will be picked by past recipients and former assistants of Russ Manning.

Last year’s winner of the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award was up and coming British creator Zoe Thorogood, who has already wowed critics and fans with autobio book It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth (Image, 2022) and debut fiction work The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott (Avery Hill, 2021). Thorogood’s most recent work has been on Life is Strange videogame tie-in series Forget Me Not, from Titan Comics; and Hack/Slash spin-off Back to School, from Image.

Since 1982, the Russ Manning Award has annually been awarded to encourage new talents in the comics industry. It was named after the late comics artist Russ Manning, known as the creator of Magnus, Robot Fighter, and for the Tarzan and Star Wars newspaper strips. It has recognised top names earlier in their careers including The Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens, Bone’s Jeff Smith, Tylor Crook, Gene Ha, and Eleanor Davis.