An energetic crowd gathered over this past weekend for the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, presented at the 2016 Long Beach Comic Expo. Following an inspired ceremony hosted by Khary Payton, Charlotte McDuffie announced MS. MARVEL by writer G. Willow WIlson and artist Adrian Alphona as the winner of this year’s award.
The Award is named in honor of Dwayne McDuffie, the legendary writer and producer who co-founded Milestone Media. As a writer, Dwayne created or co-created more than a dozen comic book series, including DAMAGE CONTROL, DEATHLOK II, ICON, STATIC, XOMBI, THE ROAD TO HELL and HARDWARE. Nilah Magruder, the recipient of the first annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, spoke at this year’s ceremony.
The five finalists included:
· ANDRE THE GIANT CLOSER TO HEAVEN by Brandon Easton (writer), Denis Medri (artist) (IDW Publishing);
· FRESH ROMANCE edited by Janelle Asselin (Rosy Press);
· MOON GIRL AND THE DEVIL DINOSAUR by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder (Writers), Natacha Bustos (Artist) (Marvel Entertainment);
· MS. MARVEL by Willow Wilson (writer), Adrian Alphona (artist) (Marvel Entertainment);
· ZANA by Jean Barker (writer), Joey Granger (Artist) (Emet Comics)
“Congratulations to this year’s winning team and to all of the outstanding nominees,” said Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie. “I would like to personally thank every one of them for choosing the comic book medium to share their artistic visions with the world--not only creating more diversity in the industry, but also raising the bar for excellence in the work itself, just as Dwayne always did. The motto of this McDuffie Award is: ‘From invisible to inevitable.’ Dwayne’s words. Please continue to do his legacy proud.”
"Serving as the Director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award has been one of my greatest honors,” said Neo Edmund. “This year's award presentation was both enlightening and inspirational. The wonderfully diverse range of entries that were honored came from an equally diverse range of creative voices. It is my intention to keep this all-important award alive until the day a truly inclusive comic book industry is not merely an idea we strive toward, but a fully realized reality."
The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Selection Committee consists of six prominent comics and animation professionals who knew McDuffie and have demonstrated a commitment to inclusiveness:
Neo Edmund – Novelist, animation and comics writer;
Joan Hilty – Nickelodeon Comics Editor; editor-in-chief of Pageturner, former DC/Vertigo Senior Editor;
Joseph Illidge – Former Editor, Milestone and DC Comics; Columnist, Comic Book Resources; Writer, First Second Books;
Heidi MacDonald – Editor in Chief, The Beat;
William J. Watkins – Writer; Former owner, Chicago's first African American-owned comics store;
Matt Wayne, Former Managing Editor Milestone Media.