Publishers Weekly has announced its Star Watch list for 2019 — and it’s full of our favorite comics folks. For the past five years, the magazine has teamed up with Frankfurter Buchmesse to honor 50 innovators from the U.S. and Canada who are chosen for their trailblazing spirit and leadership qualities.
The list isn’t just limited to creators. PW recognizes the whole spectrum of the industry by including literary agents, editors, sales specialists, publicists, booksellers and designers.
Comics fans will recognize more than a few names from this list, notably Kwanza Osajyefo, who’s best known for creating the BLACK series. For those that haven’t been keeping up with his ever-expanding line, it’s a comic that imagines a world where only black people have superpowers. It’s seen several spin-off titles since it launched on Kickstarter a few years ago, and has only been published by Black Mask Studios.
Taneka Stotts, cofounder of Beyond Press joins Osajyefo on the list of honorees. Her work includes Elements: Fire, an anthology featuring 23 stories by creators of color and Beyond, a sci-fi/fantasy collection “celebrating unquestionably queer characters hailing from across the spectrum of gender and sexuality, front and centre as the heroes of their own stories.” Stotts has also contributed editing and writing to Déjà Brew, Love Circuits and Casual Hex.
⭐️ I'm a 2019 Publisher's Weekly Star Watch Honoree along with an amazing group of my peers and friends ⭐️
This is incredible…https://t.co/r3sREDMNG5
— Taneka Stotts @ FLAMECON I-067 (@TanekaStotts) July 30, 2019
Fans of We are Here Forever will notice its publisher Quirk Books on the list as well, thanks to Publicist and Marketing Manager, Ivy Noelle Weir. She also co-created the Dwayne McDuffie Award-winning graphic novel, Archival Quality, with Christina “Steenz” Stewart, the Eisner Award-winning cartoonist; the pair have done a handful of other comics projects together as well, including a story in A Wave Blue World’s new anthology, Dead Beats.
I'm so honored to be amongst some amazing company as a Publishers Weekly Star Watch honoree!! ⭐️✨✨✨https://t.co/4oxae5jYsZ
— Ivy Noelle Weir (@ivynoelle) July 30, 2019
Of course, indie comics aren’t the only ones honored here. Major comic publishers like Random House Graphic, Harper Collins, 20th Century Fox/Disney also make the 2019 Star Watch list thanks to publishing directors, acquiring editors and others.
For the full list of comics folk honored by PW’s 2019 Star Watch, check out the list below.
Gina Gagliano, Publishing Director, Random House Graphic
David Moench, Director of Publicity, Del Rey, Random House, Penguin Random House
Amber Oliver, Acquiring Editor, Harper Collins and Harper Perennial
Kwanza Osajyefo, Cofounder, Creator, Author, BLACK
Amelia Possanza, Assistant Director of Publicity, Flatiron Books
Joshua Redlich, Senior Publicist, Random House Children’s Books
Clare Reeth, Director, Literary Affairs, 20th Century Fox/Disney
Benjamin Rosenthal, Executive Editor, HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books
Taneka Stotts, Cofounder, Editor, Creator, Author, Beyond Press
Nick Thomas, Senior Editor, Levine Querido
Emily Tyler, Digital Product Manager, Rowman & Littlefield
Ivy Noelle Weir, Publicist and Marketing Manager, Quirk Books
Reid Welsh, Senior Analyst, Sales Business Development, Penguin Random House