Retailers Select Diamond Gem Awards to Recognize Publisher Sales
Diamond Comic Distributors has announced the winners of the 2014 Gem Awards, prizes “selected by comic book specialty retailers” to recognize “sales achievement”. That last helps explain some of the award divisions. I think it’s interesting to look at what comic book retailers think helped them most last year — these decisions might explain some of what you see stocked in their stores.
“We established the Gem Awards to give retailers an opportunity to recognize the suppliers, titles, and products that have been instrumental in helping their businesses grow over the past year,” said Diamond President & CEO Steve Geppi. Nominees are chosen “by a panel of Diamond product specialists based on their overall impact on the industry, while comics and related merchandise were chosen on the merits of their sales performance and quality from 2014.” Retailers then vote for the winners.
Publishers of the Year were Image (Over 4% Market Share) and BOOM! Studios (Under 4% Market Share), both good choices. DC Entertainment got the most awards, with seven, including Backlist Publisher of the Year and Best Original Graphic Novel of the Year for Batman: Earth One (presumably the softcover version, since the hardcover came out in 2012). Best Indie Graphic Novel of the Year was Andre the Giant: Life & Legend from First Second.
Other DC awards were
- 2014 Reprint TP/HC of the Year: Batman: Death of the Family Book & Joker Mask Set
- 2014 Magazine of the Year: MAD Magazine
- And three toy/statue awards
Manga Publisher of the Year was Viz Media, although the “Manga TP of the Year” came from Kodansha, Attack on Titan: Before the Fall Volume 1.
Marvel Comics was declared the Top Dollar Comic Book Publisher of the Year (which is an award I suspect may exist just so all the big pubs get some kind of Pub of the Year recognition) and got both the Comic Book of the Year Under $3.00 for Ms. Marvel #1 and Comic Book of the Year Over $3.00 for Thor #1. (What a weird division! But a good way to recognize more product.) Their other two awards were for Amazing Spider-Man #1 as Top Dollar Comic of the Year, and their Guardians of the Galaxy reprint was Best Free Comic Book Day Book.
The remaining comic awards went to
- IDW for Best All-Ages Comics: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- Dark Horse for Best Anthology (Dark Horse Presents); Licensed Comic of the Year (Serenity: Leaves on the Wind); and Licensed TP/HC of the Year (Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search Library Edition hardcover)
- Image for Best New Comic Book Series: Outcast
The Trade Book of the Year was The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 44 from Gemstone Publishing, recognizing a way to value comics for ways other than content.