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A Closer Look At The 25th GLAAD Media Awards Comics Nominees

GLAAD, a high profile media advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, has announced the nominees for its 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards, including five nominees for Outstanding Comic Book. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize high quality productions that represents LGBT people in fair, inclusive, original, and impactful ways.

The nominees for Outstanding Comic for 2013 are listed on the GLAAD website as follows:

  • Batwoman, written by W. Haden Blackman, J.H. Williams III, Marc Andreyko (DC Comics)
  • Fearless Defenders, written by Cullen Bunn (Marvel Comics)
  • Husbands, written by Jane Espenson, Brad Bell (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Life with Archie, written by Paul Kupperberg (Archie Comics)
  • Young Avengers, written by Kieron Gillen (Marvel Comics)

Unfortunately GLAAD has a history of only recognizing some of the authors of its nominated comics works, as it only lists writers and not artists. It’s a frustrating decision that somewhat undermines the award’s credibility. At minimum the nominations should recognize Will Sliney for his work on Fearless Defenders, Jamie McKelvie for his work on Young Avengers, Fernando Ruiz for his work on “Archie Marries Veronica” in Life With Archie, and the Husbands art team of Ron Chan, Natalie Nourigat, M.S. Corley, Benjamin Dewey, and Tania del Rio. Depending on which specific stories earned the nominations, GLAAD might also mention the guest artists on those titles.

The GLAAD Media Awards focus on representations of LGBT people in mainstream media, which gives it a somewhat narrow focus. Last year GLAAD failed to nominate Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?, despite giving the Oustanding Comic award to her previous work Fun Home in 2007. However, given the focus on mainstream works this is one of the stronger slates of nominees that the award has offered. All five books featured both gay leads and major storylines that directly addressed the gay experience.

None the less, there are also a couple of oddities among the nominations. Husbands was first published in digital format in 2012; it was published in print in 2013. No web comic or digital-only comic has ever been nominated. It’s possible that digital comics are excluded, though much of the most progressive and inclusive LGBT content in comics today comes from web comics.

Marc Andreyko took over as writer on Batwoman with the last two issues of 2013 after the high profile departure of W. Haden Blackman and J.H.Williams III. Blackman and Williams quit in protest at editorial interference in their stories, so there is a certain obliviousness implicit in recognizing both creative teams in the same nomination.

DC has received 26 nominations in the past ten years. The publisher’s previous wins include Green Lantern in 2003, Catwoman in 2004, Detective Comics in 2010, and Batwoman in 2012. Marvel has received eight nominations in the same period, and has previously won with Young Avengers in 2006 and X-Factor in 2011. Five of DC’s nominations have been for comics starring Batwoman, and five of Marvel’s nominations have been for comics starring the Young Avengers.

This is Archie Comics’ fourth consecutive nomination, all for comics starring Kevin Keller. The publisher won last year for the solo Kevin Keller title.

The winners of this year’s GLAAD Media Awards will be announced in ceremonies in Los Angeles on April 12th and New York City on May 3rd.

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