February 24, 2011


Not much to say that hasn't been said already, but legendary comic writer Dwayne McDuffie passed away at the age of 49. It's always sad and unfortunate when things like this happen, but there's not a lot of people that have done what he's achieved in comics with the skintone he had.

Dwayne and I share mutual friends, and I've shared pleasantries with him, and finally meeting him face-to-face at the ECBACC show in Philly a few years back - I was a little stunned by how tall he was, and how . . . chill Dwayne seemed to be. It was that professional, mainstream polish that I hadn't seemed to have mastered - how to walk among us but be totally in your own space, clearly comfortable with yourself to the point you made others smooth down their shirts. Something that I didn't understand at the time, but that something makes people call you 'sir' to your face. Respect? Reverence. Somewhere in there.

I sometimes went to his website forum and marveled at how many people came to him just to listen to his words. But it wasn't like he was trying very hard to make people think he was interesting - he just did his thing. Like I have aspired to do my whole career.

Most importantly, Dwayne opened up doors for people who look like me in comics. He fought battles on muddy slopes for people who try to do what I'm trying to do in comics. He clicked on a flashlight and ran it over the dark corners of the bias, ignorance and head-scratchingly dense world of comics and asked questions that we all wanted answers to - and wouldn't leave until he got an answer, or until they made him leave.

That's a swagger that I'd love to wear into a room like Dwayne did. He lifted us on his shoulders and carried us, even if it wasn't his full intent. I believe he just wanted to tell a good story, by any means necessary.

Thanks for Doing Your Thing, Dwayne.

February 20, 2011


Pretty cool!

I'm up for a few GLYPH Comics Awards this year, along with FIST STICK KNIFE GUN in several categories.

Also the BLACK COMIX book that I was featured in won a special achievement award already! You can see me mention that here. That's a great honor!

Full list of noms below:

Story of the Year
Afrodisiac; Jim Rugg, co-writer and artist; Brian Maruca, co-writer
BB Wolf and the 3 LPs; JD Arnold, writer, Richard Koslowski, artist
Fist Stick Knife Gun; Geoffrey Canada, writer, Jamar Nicholas, artist
Unknown Soldier: Dry Season; Joshua Dysart, writer, Alberto Ponticello, artist
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty; G. Neri, writer, Randy DuBurke, artist

Best Writer
JD Arnold, BB Wolf and the 3 LPs
Geoffrey Canada, Fist Stick Knife Gun
Joshua Dysart, Unknown Soldier
Mat Johnson, Dark Rain
Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca, Afrodisiac

Best Artist
Denys Cowan, Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers
Christian Dibari, Pale Horse
Simone Gane, Dark Rain
Richard Koslowski, BB Wolf and the 3 LPs
Jim Rugg, Afrodisiac

Best Male Character
Afrodisiac, Afrodisiac; created by Jim Rugg, co-writer and artist, & Brian Maruca, co-writer
BB Wolf, BB Wolf and the 3 LPs; created by JD Arnold, writer, Richard Koslowski, artist
Cole, Pale Horse; created by Andrew Cosby & Michael Alan Nelson, writers, Christian Dibari, artist
Geoff, Fist Stick Knife Gun; Geoffrey Canada, writer, Jamar Nicholas, artist; based on the life of Geoffrey Canada
Moses Lwanga, Unknown Soldier; Joshua Dysart, writer, Alberto Ponticello, artist; inspired by the character created by Robert Kanigher & Joe Kubert

Best Female Character
Aloya Rose, Unknown Soldier; created by Joshua Dysart, writer, Alberto Ponticello, artist
Nola Thomas, NOLA; created by Chris Gorak & Pierluigi Cothran, writers; Damian Couceiro, artist
Sarah, Dark Rain; created by Mat Johnson, writer, Simone Gane, artist
Scout Montana, Shadoweyes; created by Ross Campbell, writer and artist
Selena, 28 Days Later; Michael Alan Nelson, writer; Declan Shalvey & Marek Oleksicki, artists; based on the character created by Alex Garland for the motion picture 28 Days Later

Rising Star Award
Nicholas DaSilva, Dread & Alive
Carl Herring Jr. & Tod Smith, The Enforcers
Brandon Howard & Sean Mack; The Revolutionary Times
Jamar Nicholas, Fist Stick Knife Gun
Geoffrey Thorne & Todd Harris, Prodigal: Egg of First Light

Best Reprint Publication
Cold Space TP, BOOM! Studios
Superman vs. Muhammad Ali Deluxe HC, DC Comics
Unknown Soldier: Dry Season TP, DC/Vertigo

Best Cover
28 Days Later #6, Tim Bradstreet, illustrator
Afrodisiac, Jim Rugg, illustrator
Cold Space #1, Jeffrey Spokes, artist; Juan Maruel Tumburus, colorist
Unknown Soldier #15, Dave Johnson, illustrator
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty; Randy Duburke, illustrator

Best Comic Strip or Webcomic
The K Chronicles, Keith Knight, writer and artist
Marty’s Diner, Dmitri Jackson, writer and artist
The Revolutionary Times, Brandon Howard, writer, Sean Mack, artist
Solomon Azua; Jake Ekiss, writer and artist
World of Hurt, Jay Potts, writer and artist

Fan Award for Best Comic
Azrael: Angel in the Dark; Fabian Nicieza, writer, Ramon Bachs & John Stanisci, artists
Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers; Reginald Hudlin, writer, Denys Cowan, artist
Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural; Rick Remender, writer; Jefte Palo, Gabriel Hardman & Alessandro Vitti, artists
New Avengers: Heroic Age – Possession; Brian Michael Bendis, writer, Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger & Art Adams, artists
New Avengers: Luke Cage – Town Without Pity; John Arcudi, writer; Eric Canete, artist

The poll for the Fan Award will go up next month at the ECBACC website (www.ecbacc.com/wordpress). Fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite black comics from the five nominees listed, or to submit their own with a write-in choice. All write-in ballots must be sent to rich.watson@gmail.com with “Fan Award” in the subject line. IMPORTANT: The write-in ballot is ONLY for choices NOT listed on the poll. ANY WRITE-IN BALLOTS WITH ANY OF THE FIVE NOMINEES ALREADY ON THE POLL WILL BE DISCARDED AND WILL NOT COUNT.

In addition, for the first time, the GCA Committee announces the creation of the Chairman’s Award, a new award given in special recognition of a work in any media outside of comics, including but not limited to books, television, film, or the Internet, that illuminates the black comics experience in an exceptional manner, and also broadens and deepens the growing body of knowledge about black comics worldwide.

This year, the GCA Committee bestows the award to the book Black Comix: African American Independent Comics Art and Culture, by Damian Duffy & John Jennings, a reference book spotlighting over fifty different independent black comics creators from the past quarter century. The release of this book was accompanied by a gallery exhibition in New York containing artwork from some of the book’s featured artists.

The GCA ceremony will be held May 20, 2011, in the Skyline Room of the Free Library of Philadelphia, Park Central branch, as part of ECBACC, which will take place at the Crown Plaza Hotel Center City, in Philadelphia, PA, May 21, 2011.

About the Glyph Comics Awards:
The Glyph Comics Awards recognize the best in comics made by, for, and about people of color from the preceding calendar year. While it is not exclusive to black creators, it does strive to honor those who have made the greatest contributions to the comics medium in terms of both critical and commercial impact. By doing so, the goal is to encourage more diverse and high quality work across the board and to inspire new creators to add their voices to the field.

The awards were founded in 2005 by Rich Watson as a means to provide news and commentary of comics with black themes, as well as tangential topics in the fields of black science-fiction/fantasy and animation.