Mad Event Entertainment and Long Beach Comic Con have opened nominations for the 2017 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics. This year welcomes a new director of the award, writer Will J. Watkins, and new Selection Committee Members including storyboard artist Mark D. Bright and writer-producer Kevin Rubio, repping the animation scene.
The Award was established in honor of three-time Eisner winner Dwayne McDuffie, who served as an editor at Marvel Comics (where he co-created Damage Control with Ernie Colón). Frustrated with a lack of diversity of both characters and creators in comics, McDuffie joined with Derek Dingle, Denys Cowan and Michael Davis to found Milestone Comics — the first ever African-American owned comic-book company, publishing Static, Icon, Hardware and Xombi. In addition to his celebrated work in comics, McDuffie served as an animation producer, story editor and writer on projects including Static Shock, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Ben 10 and Teen Titans, among others.
Among his accolades, McDuffie was posthumously presented with the WGA’s 2011 Animation Writing Award (another first in African-American history). This month, he will be commemorated with inclusion in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture at its grand opening on September 24.
Nominations can be submitted online by the December 31 deadline, with the third annual Dwayne McDuffie Award reception slated for February 18, 2017 during the Long Beach Comic Expo.
“We are tremendously proud that in just its third year, both the comic book and animation industries are already beginning to see some evidence of the DMAD’s powerful mission statement demonstrably influencing reality by helping a more diverse range of outstanding creative voices finally find some inclusion in the media, with the careers of our first two winners and finalists starting to take off at major entertainment companies.” said Dwayne’s widow, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie.
“To paraphrase Dwayne: Everyone deserves to see themselves represented in the media. And everyone deserves to participate in telling their own story.”
This year’s selection committee is Mark D. Bright (artist, Iron Man, Green Lantern; co-creator, Quantum and Woody), Neo Edmund (author, The Red Riding Alpha Huntress), Joan Hilty (Comics Editor, Nickelodeon; editor-in-chief, Pageturner), Joseph Illidge (Senior Editor, Lion Forge Comics; co-writer Solarman), Heidi MacDonald (editor-in-chief, Comicsbeat.com), Don McGregor (writer, Jungle Action, Black Panther, Killraven), Kevin Rubio (writer/producer, Justice League Action, Avengers Assemble, Thunderbirds Are Go!), Cassandra Pelham (senior editor, Graphix and Scholastic Press), Gail Simone (writer, Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Clean Room), Matt Wayne (writer, Niko and the Sword of Light, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Hellboy: Storm of Swords), Len Wein (co-creator, Swamp Thing, Wolverine).