Rich Watson and I have known each other for a number of years, since the days we both posted on the Sequential Tart message board (Tartsville). Watson is a creative fellow with a passion for comics who I have always respected immensely.
Today Watson announced the 2009 Glyph Comics Awards’ calls for submissions and also named the judges. I was honored to be asked to be part of this panel of judges, which also includes Valerie D’Orazio, president, Friends of Lulu; Mathan Erhardt, writer, Comics Nexus; Ed Mathews, columnist, Pop Image; and Elayne Riggs, comics reviewer and commentator.
As Watson noted in his announcement: “Any comics publisher – small, large, corporate, independent, self-published – as well as online comic creators and cartoonists for newspapers and other periodicals, are invited to submit black-themed material released from January 1-December 31, 2008 for consideration for award recognition. The Committee defines black-themed work as any comic with any combination of the following: a black protagonist(s), or at least a black character(s) pivotal to the direction of the story; a setting(s) or a theme(s) that explores the black experience within the United States and/or abroad, past, present, and/or future; and/or a comic of any kind written and/or illustrated by a black creator(s).”
And here’s some additional background, courtesy of Watson:
“The Glyph Comics Awards recognize the best in comics made by, for, and about people of color from the preceding calendar year. While it is not exclusive to black creators, it does strive to honor those who have made the greatest contributions to the comics medium in terms of both critical and commercial impact. By doing so, the goal is to encourage more diverse and high quality work across the board and to inspire new creators to add their voices to the field.”
One is hard pressed to disagree with such an ambitious and sensible goal. I only hope I can be as good a judge as the folks who participated in past years. My thanks to Watson for the opportunity to take part in this judges panel.