Harvey awards

Comic Book Awards I Always Prowl For

If you’re a comic writer or artist who doesn’t have a big publisher with a huge promotion budget to back you, one of the best things that can happen to you is an award.

There are the big awards of course, the Eisner, Harvey etc. that are not always fair and above board. (This probably wouldn’t matter so much to me if I won one of them, of course.) Then there are smaller awards, small press awards, lettering and inking awards and so on.

If you’re aiming for some level of commercial success – and I can’t imagine why any comic artist would not – it’s a good idea to  keep track of what kind of works are winning prizes and setting standards.

As a comic book enthusiast, awards are a great way to find out about comics that have otherwise flown under my radar.

These are the awards that I prowl for myself.

Eisner Awards
(June 16-18, 2017)


The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, commonly shortened to the Eisner Awards, are prizes given for creative achievement in American comic books, sometimes referred to as the Comics Industry’s equivalent of the Oscar Awards

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are probably the Oscars of the comic world. These are named after Will Eisner, early American cartoonist and the man behind the experimental (for the time) series The Spirit. The Eisner Awards have been held since the mid-eighties. The nominations are made by a 5-member panel and then can be voted on by professionals in the industry. The awards are presented at the San Diego Comic Con.

There is a long list of categories for which awards are given out. These include awards for best new series, continuing series, artist/inker/team, limited series, single issue, short story, anthology, digital comic, reprints, humor, comics-related book and so on.

Harvey Awards
(June 16-18, 2017)

Harvey awards

The Harvey Awards are given for achievement in comic books.

The Harvey Awards were being presented at the Baltimore Comic Con until 2016, and right now it’s homeless. I’m not sure if and where the awards will be held in 2017, but watch Newsrama for more news.

Like the Eisners, the Harvey Awards pick winners for several categories, including web comics. In fact, in 2016 there seemed to be quite a few nominations for web comics, peeving print comic enthusiasts. There was also the issue with oalmost 50 nominations for Valiant Comics. At the moment, the awards have plans to partner with ReedPOP, which also runs NY Comic Con and other large comic cons.

(June 16-18, 2017)

ignatz award

The Ignatz Award, named for the character in the classic comic strip Krazy Kat by George Herriman, is the festival prize of the Small Press Expo, that since 1997 has recognized outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning.

The Ignatz awards are a part of the Small Press Expo. These awards are a lot more inclusive in their jury. A 5-panel team chooses the nominations. Voting is done by the attendees of the Small Press Expo. The awards ceremony is open to the public, and I’ve discovered many fantastic independent comics that I would never have heard of, if it had not been for the Ignatz awards.

Glyph Awards
(June 16-18, 2017)


The awards are named for the blog Glyphs: The Language of the Black Comics Community, at Pop Culture Shock, started in 2005 by comics journalist Rich Watson as a means to provide news and commentary of comics with black themes, as well as tangential topics in the fields of black science-fiction/fantasy and animation.

The Glyph Awards are hosted by the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention. They are only awarded to creators who are people of color or to comic works that are about people of color. Nominations are chosen from the previous calendar year. Awards presented include categories like pioneer award, story of the year, best male/female character, rising star award, comic strip or web comic, fan award for best comic.

Inkwell Awards
(June 16-18, 2017)

inkwell awards

The Inkwell Award, sometimes shortened to the Inkwells, is a trophy given in the field of inking in American comic books

The Inkwell Awards are presented for inking in American comics. The awards are self-funded and run on donations. Some of my favorite ink artists and pencillers have won the award in the past. The most recent winners were Joe Prado (the inker on several Aquaman, Blackest Night and Wonder Woman comics), Victor Olazaba (who has worked on Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man etc.) and Walden Wong, who won the 2016 award for being the most adaptable.

Besides these American awards, I also keep an eye on some Canadian awards like the Doug Wright Award and the Joe Shuster Awards.

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