Every year Long Beach Comic Con is the host of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics presentation ceremony. The books/teams nominated this year were an impressive array of talent to say the least.
- 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)
Of all Ms. Marvel was heralded as the winner, and with good reason. It’s an unbelievably rare occurrence to have a high-profile book that stars a woman, a teen at that, and then add that she’s Muslim and you’ve probably crossed the line into uber-diverse.
Then to top off the greatness of the nominees, and the winner, journalist Marc Bernardin delivered an amazing speech. Much of it is quoted below in the Marvel press release but this part struck me particularly strongly.
I don’t think anyone at Marvel or DC is a bigot. I am friends with lots of people at both companies and to a person, they’re terrific. But the system is rigged, and not in our favor. People will invariably hire the people that they know — and in order to get to know them, you need access to them. I got my access through a day job as a magazine editor in Manhattan. Plus, I’m a dazzling urbanite. But if you’re a black kid, a gay woman, or a Sikh and you’re living in Detroit or Tampa or Oakland, how do you get that access? How do you know which convention is the best for meeting editors? Is anyone telling you which hotel suite everyone’s hitting after the con wraps up and the karaoke’s done? How do you know which bar Marvel staffers frequent in New York City? Or DC’s in Burbank?
This resonates so strongly because though I’m not one of the under represented people in comics Mark mentioned even I know just how hard the access Mark is speaking of is to achieve. Highlighting that gap in access really shows not only how talented the nominees are but also the amount of work that had to go in to getting into comics was for each of them. Congratulations to all the nominees and Ms Marvel, her team, and Marvel Comics for their win!
Here’s Marvel’s Press Release
Marvel Comics’ Ms. Marvel Wins Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics
New York, NY— Feb 26, 2016 — This past weekend Marvel Comics’ Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, won the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, presented at Long Beach Comic Expo in Long Beach, California.
Praising the fans of Ms. Marvel, Wilson gave an impassioned acceptance speech graciously thanking all the fans who make the book the success that it is. “This award is very special to me, not just because of its connection to Dwayne, but because of what it represents…it is something being kept alive by one thing only and that is the readers and the fans whose passion, whose cosplay, whose wonderful repartee on Tumblr and Twitter make this book such a joy to work on.”
Wilson continued, “You are the beating heart to this series. I would like to dedicate this award to them – to the readers – to the fans. They are the ones changing the face of this industry.”
Ms. Marvel is the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm!
The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics is named for McDuffie, a writer and producer of several comic books and animation series whose work includes Marvel’s Damage Control and Deathlok. He wrote stories for dozens of other comics, including, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, and Avengers Spotlight.
Marvel Comics was also nominated for Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare and Natacha Bustos. Congratulations to all of those who were nominated for this prestigious award.
If you haven’t checked out these award winning series, head out to your local comic book retailer and pick up this great collection!
MARVEL VOL. 1: NO NORMAL
Written by G. WILLOW WILSON
Art by ADRIAN ALPHONA
MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR
Written by AMY REEDER & BRANDON MONTCLARE
Art by NATACHA BUSTOS