Baltimore Comic-Con Announces New Industry Awards, the Ringos
Now we know why the Baltimore Comic-Con let go of the Harvey Awards last fall after hosting them for ten years. The convention is launching its own award program, the Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards, aka the Ringo Awards. They’re aiming for
“an annual celebration of the creativity, skill, and fun of comics.
Unlike other professional industry awards, the Ringo Awards include fan participation in the nomination process along with an esteemed jury of comics professionals.
More than 20 categories will be celebrated with top honors being given at an awards ceremony Saturday, September 23, 2017.”
Mike Wieringo was a beloved comic artist who passed away suddenly ten years ago.
There are no details yet on how nominations or balloting will be handled to balance fan input with the four inaugural jurors named: John Haines (store owner), Jamar Nicholas (artist), Chris Powell (retailer/ distributor), and José Villarrubia (colorist). I’m sure, though, with the convention’s experience, that information will be forthcoming shortly, since there’s only three months to pull all this together.
As to whether this program becomes successful, that depends on whether they’re able to move the needle. Awards matter when they influence behavior. If someone is more likely to buy a graphic novel that’s emblazoned “Eisner winner”, and if people cite that status as proof of value (of whatever kind), then the awards matter, particularly if they’re noted by certain audiences. Librarians often look for reputable awards as signs of what to acquire. Retailers may want to stock books bannered as “award-winning”. That means sales based on the recognition, which is what makes publishers, creators, and customers pay attention.
By the way, still no word on where we’ll see the Harvey Awards, which have been bought by ReedPOP, since their website, harveyawards.org, no longer exists.