Our judges have adjudicated; our readers have voted, and we’re proud to present to you a very special award; the Chip Zdarsky Award for Achievements in Working With Chip Zdarsky. We invited you to vote on all of Chip's major collaborators in 2015 (and we definitely didn't leave anyone out), and you chose a winner.

Here's Chip Zdarsky himself, on this, the day officially commemorating his birth, to talk about all five nominees and the proud winner.

  • Runner Up: Veronica Fish

    I first met Veronica at Heroes Con two years ago. I said, “Hello, little one! How old are you?” which is my standard condescending greeting to anyone more than five years my junior who is a better artist than me. She slid the blade between my ribs and I shouted, “Agh! Between my ribs!” which started a stampede at the North Carolinian show from people who thought I had BBQ ribs on my person. At night I can still feel their feet trampling me, their saliva speckling my face.

    Veronica was the wonderful illustrator on the latest issue of Howard the Duck, which was the most emotional thing I’d ever written before this write-up.

  • Runner Up: Becka Kinzie

    Not a lot of people recognize the work color flatters do, but Becka Kinzie saves our asses on Kaptara with her speed and professionalism. And her colour choices are excellent and sometimes seep into Kagan’s final colouring, so we’ve been crediting her as 'colour assist' on the book as a result! She also does colour flatting for me on Sex Criminals, and I always credit her because I want everyone to know that it’s not just me toiling away on the book, it’s also Becka.

    And our fantastic editor Tommy K. And our amazing Managing Editor, Lauren Sankovitch. Not to mention the production help from Drew Gill and the various support from the rest of the Image Comics crew. But beyond that, there’s also the amazing comics retailers who help get my books into the hands of our greatest collaborators, and the readers, who give me such amazing stories for my letters column!

    And that’s it! That’s everyone who works on Sex Criminals.

  • Runner Up: Kagan McLeod

    “Collaborator” doesn’t really feel like the right word with which to describe my relationship to Kagan. It’s as if we are fused together, but not in that bad way where it’s awkward to go pee-pee or poo-poo, but in a spiritual and mental way where we can finish each other’s

    Sorry, I’m just so used to Kagan shouting out “sentences!” that it’s weird to just be typing this out without his response! In any case, he’s really good at illustrating he-men and cat-tanks and he’s also v. handsome.

  • Runner Up: Joe Quinones

    I stopped writing Howard after issue one, so it’s a true testament to Joe’s abilities as a storyteller that so many new issues have come out since then. Sometimes it feels weird taking any credit at all for the book, but in this writer-driven economy, it’s vital to have my name on it. Thanks for everything, Joe!

  • Winner: Erica Henderson

    Erica’s one of the most talented people working in comics, and the joy I get from seeing her Jughead pages come in, knowing I’m taking time away from her working with Ryan North on Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, fills me with so much joy.

    And now, the people have spoken and Erica has been deemed my greatest collaborator! But a collaborator is only as good as the person they’re collaborating with, so thank you all for voting me number one!