The Michigan-based educational organization Kids Read Comics has announced a shortlist of ten finalists for the Second Annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids Comics, which will be handed out at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival on June 18.  The award is named for the highly respected comic book and animation writer, who was also a co-founder of Milestone Media.  McDuffie, who passed away in 2011, was the creator of Static and a number of other memorable comic book characters (see “R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie”).   

The judges for this year’s McDuffie Award are Edith Donnell, a Kids Read Comics cofounder and youth and teen librarian; Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, manager of Little Island Comics, a comic shop exclusively for kids; Eva Volin, a children’s librarian and comics-in-libraries advocate; and Marv Wolfman, a comics and animation writer and editor whose storied career goes back nearly half a century.

The judges considered over 100 titles published in 2015 that were created for readers up to 13 years of age and narrowed the field down to ten based on four criteria: Quality, Timelessness, Originality, and Diversity.  The shortlist for the Dwayne McDuffie Award of Kids’ Comics 2016 (listed in alphabetical order) includes:

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova—Yen Press

Chi’s Sweet Home, Vol. 12 by Konami Konata—Vertical

Courtney Crumrin, Vol. 7: Tales of a Warlock by Ted Naifeh—Oni Press

Flop to the Top by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing—Toon Books

The Flying Beaver Brothers & the Crazy Critter Race by Maxwell Eaton—Random House

Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks—First Second

LumberJanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stephenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, and Brook Allen—Boom Studio

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale—Abrams

Ultraman by Tomohiro Shimoguchi & Eiichi Shimizu—Viz Media

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North and Erica Henderson—Marvel Comics