Mad Event Entertainment and Long Beach Comic Con have announced that nominations for the 2017 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics are now open. This McDuffie Award has a new director, Will J. Watkins, and several new Selection Committee Members: Mark D. Bright, Don McGregor, Kevin Rubio, Cassandra Pelham and Gail Simone. The third annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics reception will be held February 18, 2017, in Long Beach, CA during the Long Beach Comic Expo.
The motto of The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics comes from Dwayne’s own words, “From invisible to inevitable.”
To commemorate his vision and contributions, the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, grand opening September 24th, has invited Dwayne McDuffie to be included for posterity.
The deadline for completed submissions for the third annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics is December 31, 2016.
The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Selection Committee consists of twelve prominent comics and animation professionals who have demonstrated a commitment to McDuffie’s vision of inclusiveness:
- Mark D. Bright is a storyboard artist for commercials, television and feature films. Prior to his career as a storyboard artist, he was an artist for Marvel, DC, Acclaim and Milestone Media working on titles including Iron Man, Green Lantern, G.I. Joe, Power Man and Iron Fist and Icon. He is also the co-creator of Quantum and Woody.
- Neo Edmund – is a former child actor turned bestselling author, screenwriter, comic book writer, story development exec, and Virtual Reality director. He is the author of The Red Riding Alpha Huntress series published by WordFire Press. He is currently writing numerous books including a Predator anthology and the reboot of Colt The Outlander.
- Joan Hilty is Comics Editor at Nickelodeon and editor-in-chief of Pageturner, a boutique comics/graphic novel production house. She was formerly a Senior Editor at DC/Vertigo and syndicated cartoonist. She teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and the Maryland Institute College of Art.
- Joseph Illidge is a Senior Editor for Lion Forge Comics, a columnist for Comic Book Resources and The Shadow League, and the co-writer of Solarman for Scout Comics. His editorial career began at Milestone Media, Inc. He then joined the Batman Editorial Group at DC Comics, and later worked for Archaia, now a division of BOOM! Studios. His graphic novel, The Ren will be published by First Second Books, a division of Macmillan.
- Heidi MacDonald is the editor-in-chief of Comicsbeat.com and a former editor for Disney and DC Comics. She also edits the graphic novel review section for Publishers Weekly and can be heard on PW’s weekly podcast More To Come.
- Don McGregor is a writer whose notable comic books for Marvel Comics include Jungle Action, where he did the seminal work on Black Panther and Amazing Adventures Featuring Killraven, which contained the first interracial kiss in a color comic book. He also created Sabre, one of the first modern graphic novels. Don’s groundbreaking career garnered him the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing last year.
- Kevin Rubio is a writer/producer who has contributed to Justice League Action, 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, a Promax Award winner and Emmy nominee.
- Cassandra Pelham is a senior editor for the Graphix and Scholastic Press imprints at Scholastic, where she has edited award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling, and USA Today bestselling graphic novels.
- Gail Simone is a writer known for the DC titles Birds of Prey, Secret Six (for which she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award), Batgirl, Wonder Woman and The All-New Atom. She recently wrote Dark Horse’s Tomb Raider, Dynamite’s Red Sonja and is currently working on DC/Vertigo’s Clean Room.
- Will J. Watkins is a film and animation writer who is also comic book story/world-building consultant on The Protectors graphic novel published this year by Athlita Comics. He had a stint as an assistant editor at DC Comics and before moving to L.A. he owned Chicago’s first African American-owned comics store and is currently writing a novel about the experience.
- Matt Wayne has written on many highly-regarded animation projects including Niko and the Sword of Light, Cannon Busters, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Avengers: Ultron Revolution, Thunderbirds Are Go! and the 2006 Biker Mice from Mars revival. He wrote the Emmy-nominated Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms and was also a writer and Managing Editor at Milestone Media. was the Managing Editor of Milestone Media, and is currently a Primetime Emmy®-nominated animation writer. His credits include Static Shock!, Justice League Unlimited, Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Ben 10: Omniverse, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Avengers: Ultron Revolution, Thunderbirds are Go!, Niko and the Sword of Light, and Cannon Busters.
- Len Wein is the legendary animation and comic book writer who co-created Swamp Thing, Wolverine, and the wildly successful diverse new team of X-Men that debuted in 1975; He’s had the distinction of serving both as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics and Senior Editor at DC Comics. The Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Famer’s most recent comic book Batman “66: The Lost Episode was released last year.