Diverse Comic Books Honored With Dwayne McDuffie Award Nominations

Ms. Marvel Number One Cover - P 2013
<p>Ms. Marvel Number One Cover - P 2013</p>   |   Sara Pichelli/Marvel Entertainment
'Shaft' and Marvel's 'Ms. Marvel' recognized for pushing representation in comic industry.

The nominees for the first ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics have been announced, showcasing some of the best comics dedicated to offering more than just another straight white male upholding the status quo.

The five titles nominated for the award are Hex11 by Lisa K. Weber and Kelly Sue Milano, MFK by Nilah Magruder, Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew and Shaft by David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely.

Matt Wayne, director of the McDuffie Award and former collaborator with Dwayne McDuffie on comic books including Shadow Cabinet and television series like Static Shock and Justice League Unlimited, said in a statement that the five nominees "reflect the best of what a comic book can be," adding that "as different as they are, [each reflects] Dwayne's aspirations for the comic book industry. They are diverse, inclusive and forward looking."

McDuffie, who died in 2011, was an African-American comic-book writer and television producer known for his work advancing diversity both on and off the comics page and screen. In 1993, he was one of the founders of Milestone Media, which produced a line of comic books that centered around a more racially diverse cast than other mainstream publishers, including Marvel and DC.

Charlotte McDuffie is quoted in the announcement as saying that she is "so proud that my husband's personal mission to include a more diverse array of voices — both in content and creators — is able to continue now through this Award in his name, by encouraging others who share his vision of comics, characters, and the industry itself better mirroring society."

The award will be presented at an event during the Long Beach Comic Expo at the end of this month, with movie producer Reginald Hudlin appearing as keynote speaker.

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