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The Second Annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Announces Finalists

The finalists for the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics were announced today. The five nominated titles are:

  • ANDRE THE GIANT CLOSER TO HEAVEN by Brandon Easton (writer), Denis Medri (artist) (IDW Publishing)
  • FRESH ROMANCE edited by Janelle Asselin (Rosy Press)
  • MOON GIRL AND THE DEVIL DINOSAUR by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder (Writers), Natacha Bustos (Artist) (Marvel Entertainment)
  • MS. MARVEL by Willow Wilson (writer), Adrian Alphona (artist) (Marvel Entertainment)
  • ZANA by Jean Barker (writer), Joey Granger (Artist) (Emet Comics)

The winner will be announced at the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics ceremony event to be held later this month at Long Beach Comic Expo on Saturday February 20 at 2:30 PM PT, on Dwayne McDuffie’s birthday. Acclaimed comic book writer (GENIUS) and reporter (THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) Marc Bernardin will be the event’s Keynote Speaker.

“We were thrilled to receive more than three times as many submissions this year as we did for the inaugural award,” said Neo Edmund, the Director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics. ““After weeks of careful deliberation, we were able to narrow down the submissions from over 100 titles to the five nominees, all of of which speak to Dwayne’s inclusive vision for the industry in unique and significant ways.”

The Award is named in honor of Dwayne McDuffie, the legendary writer and
producer who co-founded Milestone Media. As a writer, Dwayne created or
co-created more than a dozen comic book series, including DAMAGE
HARDWARE. Nilah Magruder was the recipient of the first annual Dwayne
McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics for M.F.K.. 

“It’s hard to believe Dwayne has been gone for 5 years this month,” said his widow, Charlotte McDuffie, “but it is gratifying to know that his presence continues to be felt in the comic book industry, through this award in his name shining a spotlight on those creators and content that are carrying on his mission to make the world of comics more accurately reflect the diversity of the real world.”

The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Selection Committee consists of six prominent comics and animation professionals who knew McDuffie and have demonstrated a commitment to inclusiveness:

  • Neo Edmund – Novelist, animation and comics writer
  • Joan Hilty – Nickelodeon Comics Editor; editor-in-chief of Pageturner, former DC/Vertigo Senior Editor
  • Joseph Illidge – Former Editor, Milestone and DC Comics; Columnist, Comic Book Resources; Writer, First Second Books
  • Heidi MacDonald – Editor in Chief, The Beat 
  • William J. Watkins – Writer; Former owner, Chicago’s first African American-owned comics store 
  • Matt Wayne, Former Managing Editor Milestone Media.

“Diversity has been central to Long Beach Comic Con and Long Beach Comic Expo since I co-founded the event seven years ago,” said Martha Donato, Executive Director of Long Beach Comic Expo. “The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics ceremony is one of the highlights of our programming slate and it’s a great honor to have this historic and important event return to Long Beach Comic Expo this month.

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