11:24am PT by Graeme McMillan
Image Comics Named 'Publisher of the Year' by Comic Book Retailers
The comic book retailers of the world have spoken, and it's official: Image Comics was the publisher of 2013, although DC Entertainment and Dark Horse Comics aren't doing too badly, either.
Diamond Comic Distributors has announced the winners of the 2013 Diamond Gem Awards, industry accolades voted on by comic book specialty retailers that recognize achievements both creative and financial over the last 12 months. Image Comics not only took home the Comic Book Publisher of the Year (over 4 percent market share) award, but also Best New Comic Book Series (for Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta's East of West) and Best Free Comic Book Day Book (for The Walking Dead Special).
DC was the biggest winner of the awards, winning six -- for Top Dollar Comic of the Year (Superman Unchained #1), Backlist Publisher of the year, Toy Manufacturer of the Year, Reprint Trade Paperback/Hardcover of the Year (Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family), 2013 Toy Product of the Year (DC Comics Super Villains: The Joker Action Figure) and 2013 Collectible Statue of the Year (DC Comics Bombshell: Harley Quinn). Dark Horse Comics took five awards, including Licensed Comic of the Year (The Star Wars #1) and Original Graphic Novel of the Year (Hellboy: The Midnight Circus).
Diamond president and CEO Steve Geppi said that the company "established the Gem Awards to give comic retailers an opportunity to recognize the vendors, titles and products that have been instrumental in helping their businesses grow over the past year," adding, "Our vendors work diligently to support retailers and the entire industry with top-quality titles and products, and we thank all of the retailers who took time from their busy schedules to vote and acknowledge those efforts."