Diverse Comic Book Nominees Unveiled for McDuffie Awards

Andre the Giant - H 2016
Courtesy of Denis Medri/IDW Publishing
Marvel's 'Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' and IDW's 'Andre the Giant' both appear on the list.

Later this month, the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics will be presented at the Long Beach Comic Expo, celebrating a work promoting diversity in comics either on the page or behind the scenes. Ahead of the Award's Feb. 20 ceremony, THR can exclusively reveal this year's list of nominees.

Even beyond the diversity of each nominee's creators, this year's nominees offer a wide range of subject matter, including a biography of an iconic wrestler, a crowdfunded romance anthology and a digital SF comic about Apartheid in a future South Africa. The five nominated works for the 2016 Award are:

Andre The Giant: Closer to Heaven by Brandon Easton and Denis Medri (IDW Publishing)
Fresh Romance, edited by Janelle Asselin (Rosy Press)
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder and Natacha Bustos (Marvel Entertainment)
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel Entertainment);
Zana by Jean Barker and Joey Granger (Emet Comics)

"The Dwayne McDuffie Award is a significant step forward in not merely acknowledging the need to expand diversity of the characters represented in comics and those who create them, but also taking action to make that need into a reality," said Neo Edmund, director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics. "Stories arise from a diverse array of voices from all over the world, thus playing a pivotal role in broadening our understanding of cultural values beyond our own."

The award is named for McDuffie, a writer and producer of comic books and animation whose work includes Warner Bros' Justice League Unlimited, Ben 10 and co-creating the Static Shock television series. In comics, he created or co-created over a dozen series including Marvel's Damage Control, currently in development for a live-action ABC series, and co-founding Milestone Media, home of such characters as Icon, Hardware and Xombi.

McDuffie died in Feb. 2011, following complications from emergency heart surgery.

The winner of the award will be decided by a committee of six comics and animation professionals who, in the words of the organizers, knew McDuffie and have demonstrated a commitment to inclusiveness. They are director Edmund, Nickelodeon Comics editor Joan Hilty, writer and editor Joseph Illidge, writer and editor Heidi MacDonald, writer and former comic store owner William J. Watkins and Matt Wayne, the former managing editor of Milestone Media. The keynote speaker at the Feb. 20 ceremony will be THR's own Marc Bernardin.