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Submit now for the 2020 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics

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

Dwayne McDuffie

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

Submissions are now being accepted for the the sixth annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics. 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.

“Given our initial COVID delay this Spring and now the current timing, we’ve done a lot of soul-searching about launching a ‘pop culture’ contest amidst such serious civil unrest– whether it would seem frivolous at best, opportunistic at worst," McDuffie's widow, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie said in the announcement.

"We decided that Dwayne would have been resoundingly, unquestionably on the side of having this inclusive award in his name not only be continued uninterrupted despite all the events so far in 2020, but that it be announced right now, during this impressive worldwide demand for long-overdue change," she continued. 

"We as a society, as human beings, as beings who are all human, desperately need more diverse voices and content in our collective media. We have always needed this. If not now, when? Dwayne used to say, ‘If you can see it, you can be it.’ Representation matters. ‘Don’t start none, won’t be none.’ (‘None’ here meaning REPRESENTATION IN THE MEDIA!) I’m calling on all diverse creators to submit their work. Please. The world needs your voices. ‘From invisible to inevitable.’”

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.

Comic creators and publishers can submit now at DwayneMcDuffie.com.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm PST on September 1st, 2020, with five finalists chosen by a selection commitee. The details on how the final winner will be chosen from the finalists has not been specified, however the winner is scheduled to be announced in a video later this year by actor Phil LaMarr, who has been the award host in previous years.

“It is important right now to acknowledge and reward artists who strive to tell the stories of diverse experiences and points of view," LaMarr said in the announcement. "When you know someone’s story, you cannot dehumanize them.”

For this year's award, writer/artist Colleen Doran and writer Marv Wolfman have joined the Selection Committee already comprised of 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.

Chris has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, 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  2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and the 2012 Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.