Kids Read Comics, sponsor of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics, has named the three-judge panel that will select this year’s winner. The judges will evaluate scores of books published in 2017, drawing on their own previous reading; reviews and best-of-the-year lists; and, for the first time, suggestions made by the public at large. That last category of nominations is intended to broaden as much as possible the judges’ survey of the wide world of kids’ comics as they assemble their longlist of worthy books.
The judges for this year’s award are:
Ardo Omer, a culture critic, reviewer and co-host of the Put A Blurb on It podcast. She has written about comics for publications like Women Write About Comics, Comics Bulletin, Book Riot Comics (formerly Panels) and Slate.
Alenka Figa, a librarian who is passionate about independently published and small press comics and zines. She is particularly interested in making these works more accessible to youth through collection development and programming.
Shayauna Glover, who works at Green Brain Comics in East Dearborn, Michigan. She is also an artist who is fascinated by the range of art styles and stories comics have to offer.
The judges are tasked with finding comics that are both original and timeless—even when addressing the issues of the day—and that represent a wide range of experiences, whether in this world or a totally imagined one. They seek diverse subject matter and voices in their effort to select books that are truly the best of the best for the award shortlist and the ultimate winner.
The special email address for nominations is email@example.com. Anyone who has a 2017 book or books that they loved and want others to know about can send the names of titles and authors to that address. Nominated books can be original publications or collections of comics previously published in a series. The books can be published anywhere in the world but should be available in English. The deadline for nominations is March 1.
The award will be announced at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival in June.
Kids Read Comics is a volunteer-run nonprofit that promotes the reading and making of comics by young people. The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics honors the pioneering comics and animation writer and Humanitas Prize winner who cofounded Milestone Media and created the teen superhero Static among others. The award is given out each June at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, which is run jointly by Kids Read Comics and the Ann Arbor (Michigan) District Library.