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7th Annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics nominees announced

Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics

The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics has revealed the highly-anticipated finalists for the prestigious 7th annual prize.

The Selection Committee included new judge, David F. Walker, co-creator (with Brian Michael Bendis) of DC Comics’ and The CW’s Naomi McDuffie, so named in honor of Mr. McDuffie.

The NOMINEES for the 7th Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics are:

  • Adora and the Distance
    Writer: Marc Bernadin, Artist: Ariela Kristantina
  • Himawari House
    Writer & Artist: Harmony Becker
  • Swim Team
    Writer & Artist: Johnnie Christmas
  • Nuclear Power
    Writers: Desirée Proctor & Erica Harrell, Artist: Lynne Yoshii
  • Girl Haven
    Writer: Lilah Sturges, Artist: Meaghan Carter

The winner will be announced, in a virtual ceremony, by returning MC, actor Phil LaMarr, who voiced both heroes Static/Virgil and John Stewart/Green Lantern in the animated Warner Bros.’ series Static Shock and Justice League Unlimited, written and produced by Mr. McDuffie.

Past Winners:

  • 2020 – They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and
    Harmony Becker.
  • 2019 – Archival Quality, written by Ivy Noelle Weir & illustrated by Christian “Steenz”
    Stewart (Oni Press)
  • 2018 – Leon: Protector of the Playground, written & illustrated by Jamar Nicholas
    (Kids Love Comics)
  • 2017 – Upgrade Soul, written & illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels
  • 2016 – Ms. Marvel, written by G. Willow Wilson & illustrated by Adrian Alphona (Marvel
  • 2015 – M.F.K. written & illustrated by Nilah Magruder (www.mfkcomic.com)

2021 Selection Committee

The 2021 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics’ selection committee, led by industry legend, Marv Wolfman, consists of 10 prominent comics and animation professionals who personally knew and worked with Mr. McDuffie and/or have demonstrated a serious commitment to his vision of excellence and inclusiveness on the page and behind the scenes.

Colleen Doran is a cartoonist, writer/artist whose works include writing/drawing Sensational Wonder Woman, the multi-award winning adaptation Neil Gaimain’s Snow, Glass, Apples, and art for The Sandman, The Vampire Diaries, The Clock, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, The Walking Dead, and hundreds of other comics. She also illustrated Stan Lee’s New York Times best-selling autobiography Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible Stan Lee. Among her numerous awards and nominations are Eisner awards, the Harvey Award, The International Horror Guild Award, the Ringo and the Bram Stoker Award.

Heidi MacDonald is the editor-in-chief of Comicsbeat.com and has edited comics for Disney, DC Comics, Vertigo, HarperCollins and Z2. She can be heard on Publishers Weekly’s weekly podcast More To Come and found regularly on the Beat’s YouTube channel.

Jamal Igle is the writer/artist/creator of Molly Danger for Action Lab Entertainment, the co-creator/artist of The Wrong Earth for Ahoy Comics, co-creator of Dudley Datson and the Forever Machine for Comixology, and the penciller of the critically acclaimed series, BLACK from Black Mask Studios, as well as many titles for DC, Marvel and Dark Horse. He’s been a storyboard artist for Sony Animation and is also a popular guest lecturer on the subjects of comics and animation.

Joseph Illidge is the Executive Editor for Heavy Metal, the leading illustrated magazine and company for science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Joseph’s first job in the comic book industry was at Milestone Media, the groundbreaking publisher responsible for the popular teen hero “Static”. The first editor of color for DC Comics’ Batman franchise, Joseph is the founder of Illuminous, LLC and is co-producing the film Xero with 50 Cent’s G-Unit Film and Television, writer Christopher Priest, and Color Farm Media.

Kevin Rubio is a writer/producer who has contributed to Justice League
, Avengers Assemble, Thunderbirds Are Go!, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He is also the creator and writer of the Star Wars graphic novel, Tag & Bink Were Here, and Red 5 Publication’s Abyss Vol. I & II. He is an inaugural recipient of the George Lucas Film Award for his Star Wars short film, TROOPS, is a Promax Award winner, and is an Emmy nominee.

Geoffrey Thorne is the writer/creator of Mosaic for Marvel Comics, Prodigal for Genre 19 and writer of Green Lantern for DC Comics. He was also the head writer and showrunner of Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest as well as a writer-producer on such hit series as Leverage, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Power: Book II: Ghost, co-executive producer on Magnum P.I. and executive producer of the podcast sci-fi anthology series Geoffrey Thorne’s Dreamnasium. He is also writer of the upcoming Blood Syndicate comic book reboot for Milestone Media.

David F. Walker is an award-winning comic book writer, filmmaker, journalist, educator, and creator of the pop culture fanzine BadAzz MoFo. Perhaps best known for his work in comic books, he’s written such titles as Luke Cage and Power Man and Iron Fist for Marvel, Cyborg and Naomi (which he co-created) for DC Comics, the Eisner-winning Bitter Root (which he also co-created) for Image Comics and other titles for Dark Horse Comics, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite, and more.

Will J. Watkins (Director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics) is a freelance TV, film and animation writer who is also comic book story/world-building consultant on The Protectors graphic novel published by Athlita Comics. He had a stint as an assistant editor at DC Comics and, before moving to LA, he co-owned Chicago’s first African-American-owned comic book shop. He’s currently a writer on Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem.

Matt Wayne has written for many highly-regarded animation projects, including Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, Cannon Busters, Niko and the Sword of Light, the Emmy- nominated Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms, and Hello Kitty: Supercute Adventures. His comics work includes Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Static/Black Lightning, and writing and editing for the original Milestone Media comics line.

Marv Wolfman is the multi-award-winning writer who created Blade for Marvel Comics, The New Teen Titans for DC Comics, and legions of other iconic characters and stories. In addition to comic books, he’s written for animation, videogames, novels and more. It’s been said that he’s created more characters who’ve made the jump to movies, TV shows, toys, games and animation than any other writer save Stan Lee.

Preview: Crema


(W) Johnnie Christmas (CA) Johnnie Christmas (A/CA) Dante Luiz
In Shops: Feb 09, 2022
SRP: $19.99
Purchase: comiXologyAmazonBookshop

New York Times bestselling cartoonist Johnnie Christmas and Prism Award-nominee Dante Luiz bring you a haunted tale of love, ghosts, and coffee beans.

Esme, a barista, feels invisible, like a ghost . . . also, when Esme drinks too much coffee she actually sees ghosts. Yara, the elegant heir to a coffee plantation, is always seen, but only has eyes for Esme. Their world is turned upside down when the strange ghost of an old-world nobleman begs Esme to take his letter from New York City to a haunted coffee farm in Brazil, to reunite him with his lost love of a century ago. Bringing sinister tidings of unrequited love.

Collects the ComiXology original digital graohic novel Crema in print for the first time.


Black Hammer: Visions Opens Up a Playground for Creators

Experience Black Hammer like never before in this exciting reimagining of the Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston created, Eisner-award winning series! Black Hammer: Visions is a series of one-shots bringing some of comic’s most exciting talent into the Black Hammer Universe including Patton Oswalt, Geoff Johns, Scott Snyder, Dean Kotz, Scott Kolins, Chip Zdarsky, Johnnie Christmas, Cullen Bunn, Malachi Ward, Matt Sheean, Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Mariko Tamaki, Diego Olortegui, Cecil Castellucci, and Melissa Duffy, with colors by Jason Wordie, Bill Crabtree, Jordie Bellaire, and Dave Stewart and letters by Nate Piekos!

Kicking off Black Hammer: Visions, Patton Oswalt joins artists Dean Kotz and Jason Wordie to explore the life of youthful super heroine Golden Gail on the Black Hammer Farm before the beginning of Black Hammer#1, and her struggle to maintain sanity as a middle-aged woman trapped in the unchanging body of a superpowered grade-schooler. This 32-page issue also features variant covers by Evan Dorkin with Sarah Dyer, and Gilbert Hernandez with Dave Stewart!

Black Hammer: Visions #1 (of eight) will hit comic shops on February 10, 2021. 

Preview: 12 Reasons to Die

12 Reasons to Die

Created by: Ghostface Killah / Executive Produced by: RZA
Written by: Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon
Illustrated by: Ronald Wimberly, Breno Tamura, Gus Storms, Kyle Strahm, Joe Infurnari, Christopher Mitten, Jim Mahfood, Tim Seeley, Nate Powell, Ben Templesmith, Tyler Crook, Toby Cypress, Juan Doe, Joelle Jones, Edwin Huang, Johnnie Christmas, Russel Roehling, Ryan Kelly, Michael Walsh, Chris Hunt, Riley Rossmo, David Murdoch, Garry Brown, Johnny Ryan, Shaky Kane, Benjamin Marra, and Brian Level
Colored by: Jean-Paul Csuka
Lettered by: Jim Campbell, Nic J. Shaw
Mature / $24.99 / 180 pages

Guns. Sex. Vinyl. Revenge. Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah and RZA teamed with then young-gun writers Matthew Rosenberg (Uncanny X-Men, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank) & Patrick Kindlon (Survival Fetish, Nobody Is In Control) for this brutal tale of a dangerous crime lord’s rise and fall.

Collects issues 1-6.

12 Reasons to Die

Johnnie Christmas and Dante Luiz Present Crema, A Charming Graphic Novel About Coffee, Ghosts, and Romance from comiXology Originals

“Esme always feared sleep. As a child she feared monsters lurked there. Waiting to swallow her up in the dark where no one would find her. She’d be lost. Invisible. So she made a plan to drink sleep away. Night after night… with cup after cup… of coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.”

So begins Crema, a delectable original graphic novel by #1 New York Times bestselling writer Johnnie Christmas and Prism-Award nominee Dante Luiz, featuring lettering by Ryan Ferrier. Arriving July 21st from comiXology OriginalsCrema is the story of a haunted romance that explores the world of coffee and is told in three potent chapters — The Last Roast, The Grind, and Brew — all of which simmer with magical realism and passion.

Esme loves coffee. She works as a barista at a Brooklyn coffee shop and knows everything there is to know about the stuff. But when she drinks too much, she can actually see . . . and talk to . . . ghosts.  In fact, Gerry the ghost has been her friend since she was a young child.

Esme often feels invisible, until she meets Yara, heiress to the coffee shop and its coffee bean provider Cherry Mountain Farm. Their world is turned upside down when Esme discovers a mysterious letter written in old Portuguese and encounters the strange ghost of an Old-World nobleman, in the basement of the coffee shop.  In the midst of a sexy whirlwind romance, the discovery leads Esme and Yara to the deteriorating (and said to be haunted) coffee plantation in Brazil bringing dark and sinister tidings of unrequited love. Will Yara sell her family’s coffee plantation? Will Esme find peace—and an escape from the ghosts that visit her?


Part of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive content, Crema will be available upon release on July 21, 2020 at no additional cost, for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited, and for purchase on Kindle and comiXology. Prime Reading offers all Amazon Prime members a rotating selection of over a thousand top Kindle books, magazines, short works, comic books, children’s books, and more – all at no additional cost. Kindle Unlimited offers over 1 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and select current issues of popular magazines for just $9.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. ComiXology Unlimited now offers over 25,000 comics, graphic novels and manga for just $5.99 a month with a 60-day free trial

Tartarus #1 and On the Stump #1 Both get New Printings

Fan-favorite new series Tartarus by Johnnie Christmas and Jack T. Cole and On the Stump by Chuck Brown and Prenzy are both being rushed back to print in order to keep up with growing customer demand. 

Tartarus is an immersive new science fiction/fantasy series that pairs the hyper-detailed worldbuilding of Star Wars with the gritty characters of Breaking BadTartarus follows promising young cadet Tilde who is framed for crimes against the empire after discovering her mother was the ruthless warlord of the deadly colonyTartarus, a vital player in the galactic war. Now, Tilde’s only way home may be to reclaim her mother’s dark crown.

The campaign trail is paved with blood and broken bones in the series On the Stump. In this speculative fiction/action story, history diverged in 1868 when a pivotal presidential debate turned violent. Today, elections are decided by highly publicized hand-to-hand combat in arenas called Stumps. Unfortunately, the violence doesn’t end in the ring, and powerful people can still get away with murder. Senator Jack Hammer and FBI Agent Anna Bell Lister are teaming up to bring it all down. An over-the-top violent tale full of countless injustices—and people who have to fight for their place in it.

Tartarus #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN208958) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 1.

Tartarus #1, second printing

On the Stump #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN208956) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 1.

On the Stump #1, second printing

Breaking Bad Meets Star Wars in Tartarus this February from Johnnie Christmas and Jack T. Cole

The New York Times bestselling Johnnie Christmas teams up with artist Jack T. Cole for the upcoming ongoing science fiction epic Tartarus this February from Image Comics

In Tartarus, a promising young cadet named Tilde is framed for crimes against the empire. As the mystery unravels, Tilde discovers that her mother was the ruthless warlord of the deadly colony Tartarus and a vital player in the galactic war. Now, Tilde’s only way home may be to reclaim her mother’s dark crown. 

An action-packed adventure filled to the brim with hyper-detailed storytelling, Tartarus is best described as Breaking Bad meets Star Wars and is perfect for fans of Little Bird.

Tartarus #1 by Cover A by Cole (Diamond Code DEC190067) and Tartarus #1 Cover B by Christmas (Diamond Code DEC190068) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, February 12.

Tartarus #1

William Gibson’s Alien 3 Screenplay Comes to Comics this November

An Alien blockbuster is coming to a comic shop near you when Dark Horse Comics brings William Gibson’s original, unproduced Alien 3 script to life with the help of writer and artist Johnnie Christmas. While Gibson was a contributor in the early phase of the writing for Alien 3, ultimately most of his concepts never made it into the final film. As the father of the cyberpunk genre with titles like Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive, Dark Horse is thrilled to see Gibson’s vision fully realized for the first time!

Following the deadly events of Aliens, the Union of Progressive Peoples intercepts the spaceship carrying the hibernating bodies of Ripley, Hicks, Newt, and Bishop. But unbeknownst to them, they have also picked up another deadly passenger whose discovery will unleash a race between two governments to weaponize the xenomorph in this horrifying and poignant Cold War-themed thriller.

With an intense script by Gibson, cinematic art by Johnnie Christmas, vibrant colors by Tamra Bonvillain, and a slate of variant covers by James Harren, Daniel Warren Johnson, Paolo Rivera, Tradd Moore, and Christian WardWilliam Gibson’s Alien 3 is the “what if?” fans have been asking for!

William Gibson’s Alien 3 #1 (of five) goes on sale November 7, 2018.

Margaret Atwood’s Animal Kingdom Expands at Dark Horse

Dark Horse has purrfect additions for Margaret Atwood fans’ bookshelves! From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale, comes War Bears, a historical fiction comic series that traces the Golden Age of comic books, and The Complete Angel Catbird, a trade collection of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel.

War Bears is Margaret Atwood’s latest foray into the graphic novel medium alongside visual storyteller Ken Steacy. Steacy is an Eisner and Inkpot Award-winning creator and Canadian Comic Book Hall of Fame Inductee. War Bears follows comic book creator Al Zurakowski, who dreams of making it big in the early world of Canadian comics publishing. Al creates Oursonette, a fictional Nazi-fighting superheroine, at the peak of World War II. This three-issue miniseries explores the early days of comics in Toronto, a brutal war that greatly strains Al personally and professionally, and how the rise of post-war American comics put an end to his dreams.

The Complete Angel Catbird is a beautiful trade collection of the New York Times bestselling Angel Catbird graphic novel series. Artist Johnnie Christmas and colorist Tamra Bonvillain joined Margaret Atwood on the critically acclaimed three-volume series. Dark Horse published Angel Catbird in tandem with Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives, an initiative led by Nature Canada, the oldest conservation charity in Canada. Angel Catbird follows the adventures of a genetic engineer caught in the middle of a chemical accident as he discovers new superhuman abilities. With these new powers, he takes on the identity of Angel Catbird and gets caught in the middle of a war between animal/human hybrids. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, educational, and pulp-inspired superhero adventure—with a lot of cat puns.

The first issue of War Bears goes on sale September 5, 2018 for $4.99 soon.

The Complete Angel Catbird goes on sale October 03, 2018. The 320-page trade collection retails for $24.99.

Johnnie Christmas’ Firebug is Collected this March

Johnnie Christmas and superstar colorist Tamra Bonvillain will release a trade paperback collection of Firebug, the explosive mythological tale that first debuted in Island.

A volcano goddess named Keegan is loose in the world, and the prophecies are unclear whether her coming will bring humanity’s destruction or its salvation.

In the shadow of a sacred volcano from which Keegan derives her powers, lies the ancient city of Azar. To unravel the mysteries of her past, Keegan and her friends must get to Azar before it is overrun by a horde of forest monsters. Meanwhile, the nefarious Cult of the Goddess has plans to summon forces as old as time to extinguish Keegan’s flame permanently.

Firebug (Diamond code: DEC170655, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0494-9) hits comic book stores Wednesday, March 7th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, January 22nd.

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