Diamond Announces GEM AWARDS; DC Comics Big Winners

Despite Marvel’s continued sales dominance in the comic book Direct Market in 2009, DC Comics has been voted the “Publisher of the Year” by comic book retailers served by the industry’s dominant distributor, Diamond Comic Distributors.

Diamond announced their 2009 Gem Awards on Thursday, somewhat ironically describing the awards as “Comic Book Retailers Honor(ing) Industry’s Bestsellers”.

DC was awarded 10 Gem Awards, including Publisher of the Year Over 4% (Market Share), Comic Book  of the Year Under $3.00 (Batman and Robin #1),  and Comic Book  of the Year Over $3.00 (Blackest Night #1).

BOOM! Studios was awarded the 2009 Comic Book Publisher of the Year Under 4%.

Diamond’s full official announcement and the full list of Gem Award recipients follows…

"DC Comics Voted Publisher of the Year by Comic Book Retailers;

Batman and Robin #1, Blackest Night #1 Lauded as Best Comics of 2009"

"Comic Book Retailers Honor Industry’s Bestsellers with 2009 Diamond Gem Awards"

(BALTIMORE, MD) — (January 29, 2009) — Diamond Comic Distributors is proud to announce the winners of the 2009 Diamond Gem Awards, recognized within the comic book industry as the pinnacle of sales achievement for comic book artists, writers, publishers, and industry executives who work in one of America's most unique art forms.

“The ‘Gemmies’ are a fantastic opportunity for comic book retailers to honor suppliers and products that helped their businesses remain strong, despite a challenging economy,” said Diamond President and CEO Steve Geppi. “We congratulate the 2009 Gem Award winners, who truly deserve this recognition, and look forward to many more years of excellence from these and all of the valued publishers and suppliers that keep our industry growing.”

After being unseated by Marvel Comics last year, DC Comics regained the Comic Book Publisher of the Year award in 2009 for the multi-million dollar comic book specialty market. DC also took home the most Gem Awards with ten, most notably winning Comic Book  of the Year Under $3.00 for Batman and Robin #1,  Comic Book  of the Year Over $3.00 for Blackest Night #1, and Trade Paperback of the Year for perennial bestseller, The Watchmen TP.

“The long and supportive relationship between DC and the direct market is exemplified by these ten Gem Awards, and we thank the retailers for the recognition, and all they do to connect our comics with our readers,” said DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz.

“Outstanding! Ten Gem Awards!” added DC Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne. “A big thank you from everyone at DC to our partners in the retail community. Thanks for your continued support.

”

Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer hit a double-header for the Oregon-based publisher, with issue #22 awarded Licensed Comic of the Year and the Season 8 TP Volume 4: Time of Your Life winning Licensed TP of the Year.

Other publishers also fared well, with BOOM! Studios recognized as Comic Book Publisher of the Year (Under 4%) and VIZ Media as Manga Publisher of the Year. In the category of Original Graphic Novel of the Year, IDW Publishing’s bestselling Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter HC took home the prize.

The Gem Awards are selected in a three-step process that is based on quality, creativity, and their overall sales impact. Nominees were selected by a panel of Diamond industry professionals from all products shipped in 2009 and then voted on by the most critical segment that serves the comic book-buying public—comic book specialty retailers across the U.S. and abroad.

For a complete list of 2009 Diamond Gem Award winners and product photos visit www.diamondcomics.com/gemawards


2009 Diamond Gem Award Winners

2009 Comic Book Publisher of the Year Over 4%:  DC Comics

2009 Comic Book Publisher of the Year Under 4%:   BOOM! Studios

2009 Backlist Publisher of the Year:  DC Comics

2009 Manga Publisher of the Year:  VIZ Media

2009 Toy Manufacturer of the Year:  DC Direct

2009 Game Manufacturer of the Year:  Wizards of the Coast (WotC)

2009 Sports Card Manufacturer of the Year:  The Upper Deck Company

2009 Non-Sports Card Manufacturer of the Year:  Rittenhouse Archives

2009 Video Manufacturer of the Year:  Warner Home Video

2009 Comic Book of the Year Under $3.00:  Batman and Robin #1 (DC Comics)

2009 Comic Book of the Year Over $3.00:  Blackest Night #1 (DC Comics)

2009 Licensed Comic of the Year:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer #22 (Dark Horse Comics)

2009 Licensed TP or HC of the Year:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 TP Volume 4: Time of Your Life (Dark Horse Comics)

2009 Original GN of the Year:  Richard Starks’ Parker: The Hunter HC  (IDW)

2009 Indie GN of the Year:  League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #1 – 1910 (TopShelf Productions)

2009 Manga TP of the Year:  Naruto TP Volume 45 (Viz Media)

2009 Reprint TP or HC of the Year:  Watchmen TP (DC Comics)

2009 Anthology TP of the Year:  Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics HC (Abrams Comicarts)

2009 Trade Book of the Year:  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies SC (Chronicle Books)

2009 Magazine of the Year:  DC Super-Hero Figurine Collection (Eaglemoss Publications)

2009 Toy Product of the Year:  Hot Toys’ The Dark Knight 1/6 Scale Joker (DC Direct)

2009 Toy Line of the Year:  Blackest Night (DC Direct)

2009 Collectible Statue of the Year:  Cover Girls of the DCU Statue: Wonder Woman (DC Direct)

2009 Mini-Bust of the Year:  Heroes of the DCU: Superman Bust (DC Direct)

2009 Sports Card Product of the Year:  Topps 2009 Series 1 Hobby MLB T/C Box (Topps)

2009 Non-Sports Card Product of the Year:  X-Men Archives T/C Box (Rittenhouse)

2009 Game Product of the Year:  Magic: The Gathering TCG 2010 Core Set (Wizards of the Coast)

2009 Audio / Visual Media of the Year:  Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog DVD (New Video)

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