The 2011 Joe Shuster Awards

by: Austin Paul

Attendants at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo on Saturday, June 18, 2011 are in for a treat. This February it was announced that the 7th Annual Joe Shuster Awards would announce this year’s winners during a public ceremony at the Calgary expo.

First celebrated in 2005, the Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards are an annual award celebration that recognizes the outstanding achievements of Canadian creators in the comic book industry.

Also known simply as the Joe Shuster Awards, the awards were named after the legendary Canadian-born co-creator of Superman, Joe Shuster.

Administered by the non-profit organization Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association, the awards recognize and celebrate all aspects of the Canadian comic book world including graphic novels, comic books, retailers and publishers.

The current categories for the 2011 awards include Outstanding Comic Book Artist, Outstanding Comic Book Cartoonist, Outstanding Comic Book Colourist, Outstanding Comic Book Cover Artist, Outstanding Comic Book Publisher, Outstanding Web Comics Creator(s), Outstanding Comic Book Writer(s), Comics for Kids, The Gene Day Award for Self-Publishers, The Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Comic Book Retailer and Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame.

This year Chester Brown (I Never Liked You, The Playboy) and Todd McFarlane (Spawn, IMAGE COMICS) are being inducted into the Canadian Comic Creator Hall of Fame.

Shuster portrait by Tom Grummett and Paul McCusker

All nominations are for the previous year of publication (2010) and as of 2008 winners are decided through a committee-nominated, jury-selected model.

Although more attention is given to work published in the English-French languages, the awards honour all original work published in any language.

The Gene Day Award for Self-Publishers was introduced into the awards in 2009 and honours original self-published work by Canadian citizens and includes a $500 bursary. To qualify, any writers, illustrators or creative teams that publish and sell their comic independently from any other published companies and who have not had any previous works distributed by a third party can submit their publication for review. To learn how to submit your own publications for future nominations please visit here.

This year’s nominees include writing team Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery for their work on Kill Shakespeare, cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley for Scott Pilgrim Vol.6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour and Montreal-based publisher Drawn & Quarterly. Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Superboy) is nominated for three awards including Outstanding Writer, Outstanding Cartoonist and Outstanding Cover Art.

For the full list of nominees and what works they are nominated for please visit here for more information.

With an all-star list of Canadian comic book talent, we would like to congratulate all of the nominees and thank them for their amazing work that keeps us reading and proud to be Canadian. Good luck and all of the best to the nominees!

We will keep you updated as more news breaks and will have a recap of the awards with a list of the winners. In the mean time please visit the Joe Shuster Awards website for more information.

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