Publisher Tries to Share Credit for Individual Award

Russ Manning self-portrait

Comic-Con International: San Diego has, for over 35 years (since 1982), given out the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award. It is to recognize “a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics.” Nominees must have no professional work published earlier than two years previous.

This year’s nominees are:

  • Sean Rubin, writer/artist of Bolivar (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Hamish Steele, writer/artist of Pantheon (Nobrow)
  • Pablo Tunica, artist of TMNT Universe (IDW)
  • Nina Vakueva, artist of Hi-Fi Fight Club/Heavy Vinyl (BOOM!)
  • Campbell Whyte, writer/artist of Home Time (Top Shelf)

The winner will be chosen by past Manning award winners and Russ Manning assistants and announced during the Eisner Awards ceremony on July 20.

Russ Manning self-portrait

Note that this is an award for an individual artist. It’s nice for a publisher to put out an congratulatory announcement, recognizing the creators, but Boom! went about it in a way that I disagreed with. Their press release had the headline

BOOM! Studios Earns Two 2018 Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award Nominations

No, they didn’t. The award has nothing to do with the publisher. They didn’t earn anything.

In case you think that’s just bad phrasing, the first sentence didn’t even mention the actual people who earned the nomination.

“BOOM! Studios is proud to announce it has received two nominations in the 2018 Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award (commonly referred to as The Manning Award).”

They continued to claim past credit — “BOOM! Studios has previously won the Manning Award in 2016 for the work of artist Dan Mora (Klaus) and tied for the award in 2015 with artist Jorge Corona (Feathers).” — and went on to congratulate themselves for being so observant:

“BOOM! Studios has a long-standing tradition of discovering the best new talents in comics and providing them the platform to tell original stories, something we’re proud to see recognized with two of the five possible nominations for the 2018 Manning Awards,” said Matt Gagnon, Editor-in-Chief, BOOM! Studios. “Both Bolivar and Heavy Vinyl embody our company’s commitment to creating new comics for wide-ranging and diverse audiences to grow our industry. Congratulations to Sean, Nina and all of the incredible new talents recognized this year.”

This is just tacky. Everything is not always about you. This could have been handled so much more graciously.



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