GLAAD, the advocacy group that monitors lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender representation in the media, has announced the 2016 nominees for its annual Media Awards celebrating positive LGBT representation, including five comic book series that provided outstanding examples of fair, inclusive, original and impactful LGBT characters in 2015.

Four publishers are recognized this year; DC leads with two nominees, Harley Quinn and Midnighter. Marvel's sole nominee is Angela, Queen of Hel, while Boom's Lumberjanes and Image's The Wicked And The Divine complete the list. For the first time, the GLAAD website lists the artists for the books rather than just crediting the writers.

The nominees in full are:

  • Angela: Queen of Hel, by Marguerite Bennett, Kim Jacinto, Israel Silva, Stephanie Hans (Marvel Comics)
  • Harley Quinn, by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin, John Timms, Jed Dougherty (DC Comics)
  • Lumberjanes, by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Carolyn Nowak, Brooke Allen (Boom Studios)
  • Midnighter, by Steve Orlando, Aco, Hugh Petrus, Alec Morgan, Stephen Mooney (DC Comics)
  • The Wicked + Divine, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Kate Brown, Tula Lotay (Image Comics)

Last year's prize went to Rat Queens, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch, and we noted at the time that the nominees that year reflected a tipping point for queer inclusion in mass market comics, both because more publishers were in contention, and because nominated works increasingly feature LGBTQ lead characters rather than supporting characters.

This year's nominees mark the first time that all five books feature either LGBTQ lead characters or a heavily queer-inclusive ensemble cast. Three of the books include both queer relationships and transgender characters.

This is Lumberjanes' second consecutive nomination, and the second year that Boom Studios has been nominated. It's also the second year for Image, though the WicDiv team of Gillen and McKelvie won the GLAAD Media Award in 2014 for their work on Young Avengers.

The comic industry is also represented in a couple of other categories. The episode of Late Night With Seth Meyers featuring cartoonist Alison Bechdel is nominated for Outstanding Talk Show Episode, and the CW show Arrow is nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, alongside sci-fi shows Orphan Black and Sense8 and seven other nominees.

The full list of nominees is available at the GLAAD website. The two-part ceremony takes place April 2 in Los Angeles and May 14 in New York, with the comics award expected to be given at the New York event.


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