Sixth Annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics finalists named

Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics
(Image credit: Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics)

The finalists for the sixth annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics have been named, with a winner to be announced in February during Black History Month. 

The award is meant to honor the "commitment to excellence and inclusion, both on the page as well as behind the scenes," in honor of the late comic book and animation writer/editor/producer Dwayne McDuffie.

The finalists are:

  • They Called Us Enemy (opens in new tab) by writers George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and illustrated by Harmony Becker (IDW Publishing/Top Shelf Productions)
  • Excellence (opens in new tab) by writer Brandon Thomas and artist Khary Randolph (Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment)
  • From Truth With Truth (opens in new tab) by writer/artist Lawrence Lindell (self-published)
  • Angola Janga: Kingdom of Runaway Slaves (opens in new tab) by writer/artist Marcelo D'Salete (Fantagraphics)
  • Iyanu: Child of Wonder (opens in new tab) by writer Roye Okupe and artist Godwin Akpan (YouNeek Studios)

"This award, like the man for whom it is named, has proven itself to be a game-changer," says award director Will J. Watkins. "As we've all had to contend with the shadow of racism, injustice, and intolerance looming over us, it's so important that today we again get to use this award to shine a light on diverse voices and say that they matter."

Dwayne McDuffie

(Image credit: Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics)

Past winners are Ivy Noelle Weir and Christina "Steenz" Stewart's Archival Quality (opens in new tab) (Oni Press), Jamar Nicholas's Leon: Protector of the Underground (opens in new tab) (Kids Love Comics), Ezra Clayton Daniels' Upgrade Soul (opens in new tab), G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona's Ms. Marvel (opens in new tab) (Marvel Comics), and Nilah Magruder's M.F.K (opens in new tab).

"At this staggeringly tumultuous and conversely glorious time, as the first female, the first African-American female, the first South Asian American, African-American female is historically inaugurated as Vice President of The United States of America, this award in my husband's name — which celebrates and spotlights creative work by and about the diversity of humanity that is society — is arguably the most vital thing taking place in the comic book industry today," says Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie, the widow of Dwayne McDuffie.

The finalists for this year's award was decided by a selection committee comprised of writer/artist Colleen Doran, writer Marv Wolfman, writer/artist Jamal Igle, writer/editor Joe Illidge, journalist Heidi MacDonald, writer/producer Kevin Rubio, writer/producer Geoffrey Thorne, writer Will J. Watkins, and writer Matt Wayne.

Check out Newsarama's spotlight on the black superheroes who changed the face of comic books.

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)