Finalists for Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity Announced; Ceremony Set for Long Beach Comic Expo 2015
Announcing the Finalists for the First Ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity
(February 18, Long Beach, CA) The finalists for the first ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity Award were announced today. The five nominated titles are:
HEX11 by Lisa K. Weber and Kelly Sue Milano (HexComics)
M.F.K. by Nilah Magruder (www.mfkcomic.com)
MS. MARVEL by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel Entertainment)
THE SHADOW HERO by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew (First Second Books)
SHAFT by David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely (Dynamite Entertainment)
The winner will be announced at the first ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity ceremony event to be held later this month at Long Beach Comic Expo on Saturday February 28 at 2 PM PT. The Award is named in honor of Dwayne McDuffie, the legendary writer and producer who co-founded and created Milestone Media. As a writer, Dwayne created or co-created more than a dozen series, including DAMAGE CONTROL, DEATHLOK II, ICON, STATIC, XOMBI, THE ROAD TO HELL and HARDWARE.
“The nominees for the first ever Dwayne McDuffie Award reflect the best of what a comic book can be,” said Matt Wayne, the Director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity. “These five titles, as different as they are, reflect Dwayne’s aspirations for the comic book industry. They are diverse, inclusive and forward looking.”
“I am so proud that my husband’s personal mission to include a more diverse array of voices–both in content and creators–is able to continue now through this Award in his name, by encouraging others who share his vision of comics, characters, and the industry itself better mirroring society,” said Charlotte McDuffie.
The Dwayne McDuffie Award Selection Committee consists of eight 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; Creator of Bitter Girl;
- Joseph Illidge – Former Editor, Milestone and DC Comics; Columnist, Comic Book Resources; Writer, First Second Books;
- Heidi MacDonald – Editor in Chief, The Beat;
- Glen Murakami – Producer/Supervising Director, DC animated properties and Ben 10: Alien Force/Ultimate Alien;
- Eugene Son – Comics writer/Story Editor, Ultimate Spider-Man Animated;
- William J. Watkins – Writer; Former owner, Chicago’s first Black-owned comics store;
- Len Wein – Co-creator Swamp Thing, Wolverine, New X-Men; Former Editor-in-Chief- of Marvel Comics and Senior Editor, DC Comics.
“The Long Beach shows are committed to diversity,” said Martha Donato, Executive Director of Long Beach Comic Expo. “It’s our great pleasure to host the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity Award ceremony and to celebrate the legacy of a wonderful man and writer who inspired so many people with his words, his action and his creations.”
Reginald Hudlin, an innovator of the modern black film movement (House Party, Boomerang and BeBe’s Kids), will be the Keynote Speaker at the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity Award ceremony later this month.
ABOUT THE CREATORS OF HEX11:
Kelly Sue Milano was introduced to comics the way most five-year-old girls are: by getting taken to the Fullerton AMC Theaters to see Batman with her Dad in the summer of 1989. Though she wasn’t stoked at first, what followed was total and complete love. Not just with superheroes and comics – but with stories. She has been published in the Orange County Register, has written award-winning short stories, monologues, and comedy sketches, and has contributed to the development of several film projects for Periscope Entertainment. She also curates the blog for A.WAKE; a movement dedicated to celebrating female artists. Kelly Sue is a sucker for Nabakov and fancy coffee and currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Louie.
Lisa K. Weber makes art for comics, kid’s books, and cartoons. She also enjoys satire, white wine, and classic rock hits. She has created artwork for comic adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s Hop-Frog, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, and Saki’s Tobermory, all featured in Graphic Classics. Her illustrations have appeared in publications from Penguin Books, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic Inc, and Capstone Press. She has also contributed character designs and storyboards for Nickelodeon, Curious Pictures, and PBS Kids. Lisa currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
ABOUT THE CREATORS OF M.F.K.:
Nilah Magruder is a storyboard and concept artist artist in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Maryland, from a young age she developed an eternal love for three things: nature, books, and animation. Naturally, all of her school notebooks were full of doodles of animals and cartoon characters.
Nilah received a B.A. in communication arts from Hood College and B.F.A. in computer animation from Ringling College of Art and Design. She has illustrated for comics, children’s books, film and commercial television. Interested in exploring diversity in storytelling, she launched the action-adventure webcomic M.F.K. She believes that everyone should have characters with whom they can relate in their chosen entertainment, be it comic book, novel, film, TV, or video game.
ABOUT THE WRITER & ARTIST OF MS. MARVEL:
G. Willow Wilson is a novelist and comic book writer based in Seattle. Her works include the novel Alif the Unseen, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the 2013 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. She is the creator, with artist Adrian Alphona, of the bestselling All-New Ms. Marvel series from Marvel Comics. Her series Air (DC/Vertigo) and Mystic: The Tenth Apprentice (Marvel) were both nominated for Eisner Awards. In what spare time she has, Willow enjoys playing MMOs, watching British television, cooking, and maintaining the proud tradition of the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their two children.
Adrian Alphona is the artist of MS. MARVEL. He illustrated an acclaimed run of RUNAWAYS written by Brian K Vaughan for Marvel Entertainment.
ABOUT THE CREATORS OF THE SHADOW HERO
Gene Luen Yang’s 2006 book American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award. His 2013 two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints was also nominated for a National Book Award and won the L.A. Times Book Prize. Gene currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and children.
Sonny Liew is a comic artist, painter and illustrator whose work includes titles for DC Vertigo, Marvel Comics and First Second Books. He has received Eisner nominations for his art on Wonderland (Disney), as well as for spearheading Liquid City (Image Comics), a multi-volume comics anthology featuring creators from Southeast Asia. His Malinky Robot series was a Xeric grant recipient and winner of the Best Science Fiction Comic Album Award at the Utopiales SF Festival in Nantes (2009).
His latest work is The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, which will be published by Pantheon Books in 2016.
ABOUT THE WRITER & ARTIST OF SHAFT:
David F. Walker is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, and author of the YA series The Adventures of Darius Logan. His publication BadAzz MoFo became internationally known as the indispensable resource guide to black films of the 1970s. His work in comics includes the series Shaft (Dynamite Entertainment), Doc Savage (Dynamite Entertainment), Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics), The Army of Dr. Moreau (IDW/Monkeybrain Comics), and The Supernals Experiment (Canon Comics).
Bilquis Evely is a 24-year-old Brazilian comic book artist. She started her professional life in 2010 as the penceiller of the Brazilian comic book, Luluzinha Teen e Sua Turma” Her recent work includes The Shadow and Doc Savage for Dynamite. She is currently working on Shaft, which is written by David F. Walker.
ABOUT DWAYNE MCDUFFIE:
Dwayne McDuffie is best known as the co-founder and creator of Milestone Media. He was a Story Editor on the KIDS WB’s Emmy Award-winning animated series STATIC SHOCK, which he co-created. He was also a Producer and Story Editor on Cartoon Network’s JUSTICE LEAGUE. He was Editor-In-Chief of Milestone Media’s award-winning line of comic books, managing an editorial operation which boasted the best on-time delivery record in the industry for nearly four years running and has also worked as an editor for Marvel Comics and Harvey Entertainment. As a writer, Dwayne created or co-created more than a dozen series, including DAMAGE CONTROL, DEATHLOK II, ICON, STATIC, XOMBI, THE ROAD TO HELL and HARDWARE. He wrote stories for dozens of other comics, including, SPIDER-MAN, BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, THE TICK, CAPTAIN MARVEL, AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT, BACK TO THE FUTURE, HELLRAISER, ULTRAMAN, (The Artist Formerly Known As) PRINCE and X-O MANOWAR.
Dwayne won the 2003 HUMANITAS PRIZE for “Jimmy,” a STATIC SHOCK script about gun violence in schools. He was nominated for two EMMY AWARDS for the TV series STATIC SHOCK, a WRITERS GUILD AWARD for the TV series JUSTICE LEAGUE and three EISNER AWARDS for his work in comic books. His comic book work won eleven PARENTS’ CHOICE AWARDS, six “Best Editor” awards, and a GOLDEN APPLE AWARD for his “use of popular art to promote and enhance human dignity.”
Dwayne was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and attended The Roeper School. Before entering comics, he studied in undergraduate and graduate programs at The University of Michigan, then attended film school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He also co-hosted a radio comedy program, while moonlighting pseudonymously as a freelance writer for stand-up comedians and late-night television comedy programs. He wrote scripts for an animated feature, episodes of BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE, STATIC SHOCK!, JUSTICE LEAGUE, WHAT’S NEW, SCOOBY-DOO? and TEEN TITANS.
ABOUT LONG BEACH EXPO:
Long Beach Comic Expo is an annual event held at the Long Beach Convention Center that celebrates comic books and pop culture and showcases the exceptional works of talented writers, artists, illustrators and creators of all types of pop culture. At Long Beach Comic Expo, you’ll find exhibitors promoting and selling all types of related products, as well as entertaining and educational programs for all ages, guest signings and meet & greet sessions with celebrities. Long Beach Comic Expo is a MAD Event Management, LLC production. To learn more and purchase tickets, please visit www.longbeachcomicexpo.com.
Meet Gene Luen Yang, award–winning author and nominee for the National Book Award, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 7:00–8:30 p.m. He will discuss Boxers and Saints and describe the genesis of the two-volume graphic novel project about the Boxer Rebellion. He’ll talk about why historical events intrigue him and what he learned while researching. Lang’s talk will be followed by questions from the audience and a book signing. Open to all ages.
Arlington Heights Memorial Library
500 N. Dunton Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5910
Gene Luen Yang appears at Fantastic Comics to speak about writing comics and sign the latest Avatar: The Last Airbender comic, The Rift part 3, on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 3:00 pm!
Gene Yang is the award winning creator of American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, The Shadow Hero, Level Up, and writer of Avatar: The Last Airbender series.
The event will begin with a talk from Gene about creating comics, followed by a signing. Join us this Saturday, November 8th, starting at 3PM. Hope to see you all there!
2026 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Gene Luen Yang appears at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Monday September 29, 2014 at 6:30 pm!
In the golden ago of comics in the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity—The Green Turtle was the first Asian American superhero. The original Green Turtle comic only had a short run, but now Gene Luen Yang has revived the character, creating an origin story for a forgotten hero.
Hank just wants to enjoy his quiet life running the family grocery store with his father, but his mother wants him to become a superhero, and to clean up their Chinatown neighborhood! With artwork by Sonny Liew, this dazzling, funny comics adventure for teens is a new spin on the long, rich tradition of American comics lore.
Gene Luen Yang is best known for his popular comic adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender; the graphic novel diptych Boxers & Saints, a narrative of China’s Boxer Rebellion; and graphic novel American Born Chinese, which is now in print in over ten languages and was a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Printz Award. American Born Chinese was celebrated as a unique presence in comic and graphic novels, a voice of Asian American youth struggling with fitting into America culture, a bold expression about Yang’s perspective on the Asian-American experience (especially for kids) and his understanding of his own ethnic heritage. Yang was also awarded the San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Book of the Year and The Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award.
He lives in Oakland, California. We’re pleased to welcome Yang for a reading, discussion, and signing.
Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Gene Luen Yang (Boxers & Saints, American Born Chinese) appears at Eastwind Books on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm to present his latest graphic novel The Shadow Hero!
In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret . . . The Green Turtle was the first Asian American superhero.
The original Green Turtle comic only had a short run, but now Gene Luen Yang has revived the character, creating an origin story for a forgotten hero.
Hank just wants to enjoy his quiet life running the family grocery store with his father, but his mother wants him to become a superhero, and to clean up their Chinatown neighborhood! Can he find a way to live the life he wants and not disappoint his mother?
With artwork by Sonny Lieu, this dazzling, funny comics adventure for teens is a new spin on the long, rich tradition of American comics lore.
2066 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
Gene Luen Yang appears at Mission: Comics & Art on Saturday, August 16th at 6:00 pm to sign his new graphic novel THE SHADOW HERO!
Mission: Comics & Art
3520 20th St. Suite B, San Francisco, CA 94110
Gene Luen Yang appears at Wild Rumpus Books in Minneapolis Friday July 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm! He will be talking about his and Sonny Liew’s latest graphic novel The Shadow Hero!
Artist, author, educator, trailblazer! Gene Luen Yang is all of these and more. That’s why we’re so very excited to meet him.
His book American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to earn a National Book Award nomination and the first to win the American Library Association’s Prinz Award.
His most recent works, Boxers and Saints, are a diptich, with the stories of the two books intertwining. Not surprisingly, the diptich is another National Book Award nominee.
Wild Rumpus Books
2720 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Join us on Thursday, July 24 at 7:00 pm when creators, authors and illustrators Gene Luen Yang and Dave Roman will be in-store to host a Create Your Own Comic demo and workshop followed by a signing.
Barnes & Noble
Mira Mesa MarketCenter, 10775 Westview Parkway, San Diego, CA 92126
Gene Luen Yang (Boxers & Saints, American Born Chinese) appears at Flying Colors Comics on Saturday, August 2nd at 4:00 pm for the debut of his new graphic novel with artist Sonny Liew THE SHADOW HERO.
Gene is always an entertaining guest, so stay tuned for more details as the event draws nearer. Just know this: SHADOW HERO will be one of 2014’s most engaging and talked about graphic novels!
Flying Colors Comics
2980 Treat Blvd (at Oak Grove Rd), Concord, CA 94518