Does Comics Really Need Yet Another Award? Detroit Fanfare Launches Shel Dorf Awards

The Detroit Fanfare, a convention in its second year, is launching the full Shel Dorf Awards this year. Winners will be announced at the show, held September 24-25.

Shel Dorf Awards

I don’t believe the comics industry needs yet another award, after the Eisners, Harveys, Ignatzes, and the specialty recognitions. What’s supposed to make this one special is that “the awards are most concerned with the fan perspective, giving the fans their right and say in the nomination and voting process.” So, just like the CBG Awards and the (presumably dead) Wizard ones?

Do you believe fans have the discretion to choose excellent work, as opposed to just the stuff they like? Then again, with titles formed as “Writer of the Year”, maybe that doesn’t rule out a popularity contest.

Shel Dorf is best known in comics for helping initiate the San Diego Comic-Con. Last year, a limited set of the awards that bear his name were given out as follows:

Stan Lee was on hand to accept the Legacy of Comics Award. A special award was given to three individuals that helped to continue the convention that Shel started [as the press release has it, "arguably the first true comic convention in the country with Detroit Triple Fan Fair in 1965"] and the recipients of the Shel Dorf Torch Bearer’s Award were Marvin Giles, Carl Lundgren, and Greg Theakston.

This year, they’re opening nominations to fan voting, with 16 categories, including the expected creator awards and various comic title recognitions (miniseries, graphic novel, webcomic, strip, plus self-published and kids’ comic). Two unusual categories are Comic Blogger of the Year and the Jerry Bails Comic Book Fandom award “for Excellence in the Pursuit of the Essence of Comic Fandom”. (The essence? Isn’t that old paper and dried sweat? Ewww.) The Legacy of Comics Award will continue, determined by the show’s directors.

Nominations for the open awards are accepted until the end of the month. That will produce a list of five finalists for another round of voting. In a nice gesture, any finalist can attend the dinner and award ceremony as a guest of the show. I guess an award setup is now considered a must-have for any serious convention.


3 Responses to “Does Comics Really Need Yet Another Award? Detroit Fanfare Launches Shel Dorf Awards”

  1. William George Says:

    When I want a great example of bloated self-importance, I know I can always rely on fan culture.

  2. Comics A.M. | No new bidders for Borders; CCI sets 2012 prices | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment Says:

    [...] Awards | The second Shel Dorf Awards, which will be presented at Detroit Fanfare in September, have opened up voting to fans and expanded the number of categories. [Comics Worth Reading] [...]

  3. Brian Germain Says:

    I think there is much moire room for many more awards. I mean how come its ok for every huge grandiose entertainment industry to have multiple awards but not for comics especially when half the time the entertainment industry takes far less actual “talent” to complete a project.




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