The finalists for the 2023 Hugo Awards have just been announced and it is a who’s who of returnees – as Monstress, Saga and Once & Future return in contention alongside familiar names and other surprises. 

The 2023 Hugo Award winners will be declared October 21, 2023 at the 81st World Science Fiction Convention, which is taking place at Chengdu Worldcon, China. Voting on final ballot – from July 10 – will only be open to members of the Chengdu Worldcon (which can be purchased online via their website). 

The Best Graphic Story or Comic category has familiar faces alongside licensed titles and adaptations. Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s ongoing fantasy series Monstress is the most familiar on the list. The series’ seventh volume is also the seventh consecutive nomination for the Image Comics published series that debuted in 2015. The series has won three Hugo Awards so far – in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Other familiar faces are Kieron Gillen with Dan Mora for the fourth collection of their BOOM! Studios series Once & Future. Gillen has been a regular fixture of the Hugo nominations for this and various other series, including The Wicked + The Divine (with Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson) and Die (with Stephanie Hans), both published by Image. Once & Future’s first and third volumes have previously been nominated. This year would make the series’ third nomination in a row. Gillen’s projects have regularly been nominated but yet to receive a win. Could this be the year?

Tom King returns to the Hugos for a second consecutive year with latest superhero spotlight serial Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (DC Comics), with Bilquis Evely and Matheus Lopes. In 2022 he was nominated for Strange Adventures (DC Comics), alongside Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner.

Meanwhile Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ critically acclaimed, award winning, returning series Saga is once again nominated. Prior to its 2018 to 2022 hiatus, the popular Image Comics series had been a regular feature in the Hugo Awards, winning the category in 2013 with its first collected volume and being nominated almost every consecutive year since. 

There are two surprise entries in the Best Graphic Story or Comic category – Cyberpunk 2077: Big City Dreams by Bartosz Sztybor, Filipe Andrade, Alessio Fioriniello, Roman Titov, Krzysztof Ostrowski (Dark Horse Books) and Dune: The Official Movie Graphic Novel, by Lilah Sturges, Drew Johnson, and Zid  (Legendary Comics). Two adaptations or spin-offs of movie or videogame properties (though Cyberpunk 2077 is itself a videogame spinoff of a tabletop RPG while Dune is an adaptation of a movie of Frank Herbert‘s classic novel). Cyberpunk 2077: Big City Dreams is part of Dark Horse Books’ World of Cyberpunk 2077 stable of tie-in comics and graphic novels.

Outside the comics category, Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) has Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Nope, and Oscar-winner Everything Everywhere All at Once as standouts in the six strong category. Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) has two episodes of surprise hit Star Wars series Andor sitting beside The Expanse, For All Mankind, Stranger Things and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

Below is the list of the 2023 Hugo Award categories for Best Graphic Story or Comic, Dramatic Presentation (Long and Short), and Artist finalists. For the complete Hugo book and short story-related lists check out here.

Best Graphic Story or Comic

  • Cyberpunk 2077: Big City Dreams, by Bartosz Sztybor, Filipe Andrade, Alessio Fioriniello, Roman Titov, Krzysztof Ostrowski (Dark Horse Books)
  • DUNE: The Official Movie Graphic Novel, by Lilah Sturges, Drew Johnson, Zid (Legendary Comics)
  • Monstress vol. 7: Devourer, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
  • Once & Future Vol 4: Monarchies in the UK, by Kieron Gillen / Dan Mora (BOOM! Studios)
  • Saga, Vol. 10, by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Fonografiks (Image Comics)
  • Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, by Tom King, Bilquis Evely, and Matheus Lopes (DC Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Avatar: The Way of Water, screenplay by James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver, directed by James Cameron (Lightstorm Entertainment / TSG Entertainment II)
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, screenplay by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, directed by Ryan Coogler (Marvel Studios)
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once, screenplay by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Sheinert (IAC Films / Gozie AGBO)
  • Nope, written by Jordan Peele, directed by Jordan Peele (Universal Pictures / Monkeypaw Productions)
  • Severance (Season 1), written by Dan Erickson, Anna Ouyang Moench et al., directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle (Red Hour Productions / Fifth Season)
  • Turning Red, screenplay by Julia Cho and Domee Shi, directed by Domee Shi (Walt Disney Studios / Pixar Animation Studios)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • Andor: “One Way Out”, written by Beau Willimon, Tony Gilroy, and George Lucas, directed by Toby Haynes (Lucasfilm)
  • Andor:Rix Road”, written by Tony Gilroy and George Lucas, directed by Benjamin Caron (Lucasfilm)
  • The Expanse: “Babylon’s Ashes”, written by Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck, Naren Shankar, directed by Breck Eisner (Alcon Entertainment)
  • For All Mankind: “Stranger in a Strange Land”, written by Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi, directed by Craig Zisk (Tall Ship Productions/Sony Pictures Television)
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: “Whose Show is This?”, written by Jessica Gao, Francesca Gailes, and Jacqueline Gailes, directed by Kat Coiro (Marvel Entertainment)
  • Stranger Things: “Chapter Four: Dear Billy”, written by Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, and Paul Dichter, directed by Shawn Levy (21 Laps Entertainment)

Best Professional Artist

  • Sija Hong
  • Kuri Huang
  • Paul Lewin
  • Alyssa Winans
  • Jian Zhang
  • Enzhe Zhao

Best Fan Artist

  • Iain Clark
  • Richard Man
  • Laya Rose
  • Alison Scott
  • España Sheriff
  • Orion Smith