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 by writers George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and illustrated by Harmony Becker (IDW Publishing/Top Shelf Productions)
- Excellence by writer Brandon Thomas and artist Khary Randolph (Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment)
- From Truth With Truth by writer/artist Lawrence Lindell (self-published)
- Angola Janga: Kingdom of Runaway Slaves by writer/artist Marcelo D'Salete (Fantagraphics)
- Iyanu: Child of Wonder 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."
Past winners are Ivy Noelle Weir and Christina "Steenz" Stewart's Archival Quality (Oni Press), Jamar Nicholas's Leon: Protector of the Underground (Kids Love Comics), Ezra Clayton Daniels' Upgrade Soul, G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona's Ms. Marvel (Marvel Comics), and Nilah Magruder's M.F.K.
"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.