Comic Books & Graphic Novels

2015 Dwayne McDuffie Award Winner Announced


The Dwayne McDuffie awards celebrate diversity in comics and comic creative teams in honor of the late Dwayne McDuffie, author of such comics as Damage Control, Deathlok II, The Road to Hell, Justice League, Fantastic Four, and Ben 10. He is also the co-creator of the Milestone Media, which featured almost solely superheroes of varying genders, sexualities, race, and ethnicity as well as tackling many issues in the typical American community. The award is given to comics that continue his legacy of featuring diversity as well as telling a compelling story.

McDuffieAwardThe second annual Dwayne McDuffie awards were recently hosted at Long Beach Comic Expo. The ceremony was opened with congratulations by Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie (McDuffie’s widow) offering congratulations to the nominees:

I would like to personally thank every one of them for choosing the comic book medium to share their artistic visions with the world — not only creating more diversity in the industry, but also raising the bar for excellence in the world itself, just as Dwayne always did. The motto of this McDuffie Award is: From invisible to inevitable — Dwayne’s words. Please continue to do his legacy proud.”

Last year’s winner, Nilah Magruder (M.F.K.), then gave a speech at the awards show, while the finalists were announced.

The nominees were:

  • Andre The Giant: Closer to Heaven by Brandon Easton (writer), Denis Medri (artist) of IDW Publishing
  • Fresh Romance (by multiple writers and artists) edited by Janelle Asselin of Rosy Press
  • Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder (writers), Natacha Bustos (artist) of Marvel Entertainment
  • Ms. Marvel by Willow Wilson (writer), Adrian Alphona (artist) of Marvel Entertainment
  • Zana by Jean Barker (writer), Joey Granger (artist) of Emet Comics

Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven is a graphic novel biography of Andre Roussimoff, a famous pro wrestler. He had gigantism, a disease where some of his body grew to abnormal sizes. Andre used this to his advantage to improve his athleticism and performance in the ring, charming audiences everywhere. Brandon Easton and Denis Medri chart Andre’s life with brillant writing and art.

Fresh Romance is an anthology by many different authors and artists (including Kevin Wada, Marcy Cook, and Marguerite Bennett) charting romances across genders, sexualities, and ethnicities. The stories are charming, the art is beautiful, and perfect for a romantic read.

Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur by Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, and Natacha Bustos is an adorable adventure of an ingenious child who teams up with a kind dinosaur to go on adventures. Wonderful for anyone of any age.

Ms. Marvel by Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona is about the budding new superhero, Kamala Khan. She gains the power to stretch her body, and embarks to emulate her favorite superhero, Captain Marvel. Can she balance superheroics, friends, family, and her Muslim faith? Find out!

Zana by Jean Barker and Joey Granger features a dystopian South Africa where apartheid never ended, an angry ancestral spirit arrives to two village girls in order to bring peace back to South Africa.

With the 2015 Dwayne McDuffie Award winner being Ms. Marvel. Congratulations!


The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Selection Committee judged the nominees and 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


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