The webcomics blog about webcomics

Our Northern Neighbours [sic] Have Good Taste

So the Shuster Awards — pardon me, the Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards — came out with their nominations ‘tother day, and as has been the case in past years, they are well-considered and not bogged down in a million categories or complex rules. The work has to be by Canadians, released in calendar year 2019, and presented to the nominating committee by 30 June 2020. We won’t be listing every nominee and every category, but instead will focus on folks from the webcomics and indie comics communities.

Over in Artist, you’ve got Faith Erin Hicks for Pumpkinheads (words by Rainbow Rowell) and Karl Kerschl for Isola; more on Kerschl shortly. Mariko Tamaki is recognized in the Writer category, for multiple works including Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me (which must surely be approaching the end of its eligibility period, not that I am complaining). Chip Zdarsky is also under consideration for various Marvel titles.

In the Cartoonist category (for writer/artist one-stop creators) I see the superlative Emily Carroll nominated for When I Arrive At The Castle which I must confess I hadn’t heard about until now. There’s so many great comics coming out from so many great creators that it’s natural to miss out on some, but I’ll have to remedy this oversight at the first opportunity.

Webcomics/Digital Comics is, as typical for the Shusters, packed with quality work. The nominees this year are:

… which prompts two thoughts:

1. A Canadian isn’t disqualified for working with a non-Canadian (in this case, Statesians), so that’s nice.

2. I’m not sure about Kershl’s nomination in this category. I stand second to no one in my love for The Abominable Charles Christopher, and I know that it’s the work that Kerschl is most proud of, and most invested in.

But it’s also been frequently on hiatus while he pursued paying work — this is not a criticism! — and thus more than a little sporadic since mid-2014. Kerschl did make a nice comeback with weekly updates and progress on the story from January-March of 2019, but then the frequency dropped to three updates in April, two in May, one in June and nothing since.

While a justly-loved and honored piece in the canon (such as it is) of webcomics, I would always prefer to see awards go to either a regularly-updating-through-the-year contender, or one that if it didn’t run the full year, came to a conclusion (or a complete story, that would be good, too).

Other categories for the Shusters include Cover Artist, the Gene Day Award for Self-Published Comics/Graphic Novels, the Gene Day Award For Anthology Collections, the Dragon Award (Comics For Younger Readers), and the Harry Kremer Retailer Recognition Award.

Two special awards recognize larger bodies of work — the Canadian Comic Creator Hall Of Fame will induct Seth and Bernie Mireault, and the TM Maple Award (for achievements outside the creative/retail categories for the benefit of the Canadian comics community) will honour the ongoing efforts of members of the Canadian comics community — the many creators, retailers, publishers, fans and other members of the community — who have stepped up to help others during the still ongoing COVID-19 Crisis with fundraising efforts.

The Shusters will be presented in a virtual ceremony near the end of October, date and time TBA. But that would put them around the same time as the Ringos; as of this writing, they apparently still think they’ll be presented in person at Batimore Comic Con, which apparently still thinks will happen at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Seriously, the calendar for the BCC shows COVID testing clinics, and every other event between now and BaltoCon listed as either virtual, canceled, or postponed (followed by a few more cancellations into November). You are not putting 15,000 people together in an enclosed space in a downtown metro area in six weeks, people. Just make the frigging call and go virtual, already.

Spam of the day:

Each citizen ONE TIME is entitled to financial assistance in the amount of 14,000 to 310,000 rubles

For the record, at today’s exchange rates, that’s between US$186 and US$4200, and you’re going to have to up your game. I’ve got Nigerian princes offering me millions.

I have a question. Do you know why the Joe Shuster Awards didn’t have a Webcomics/Digital Comics last year?

Damn good question. The website doesn’t list any nominees/winners past 2015, and Wikipedia tells me the category was on hiatus in 2016 and doesn’t list anything for 2018 or 19.

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