Buffy Season 8 - Issue 2 CoverToday the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defimation, or GLAAD, announced the nominees for their 20th Annual Media Awards. Included again this year is a category for comic books:

The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Drew Goddard, Jeph Loeb and Joss Whedon (Dark Horse Comics)
Final Crisis: Revelations by Greg Rucka (DC Comics)
Secret Six by Gail Simone (DC Comics)
Young Avengers Presents by Ed Brubaker, Brian Reed, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Paul Cornell, Kevin Grevioux and Matt Fraction (Marvel Comics)

The awards are handed out to media and media-makers who provide compelling, honest, and visible portrayals of GLBT people.

I’ve often felt that the intended aims of the media awards were awkward, giving a pat on the back to straight people who are good to gays rather than recognizing the achievements of… you know… actual gay people who also inspire and create great work and are visible and honest and etc.  But since I haven’t read 4 of the 5 books on my list up there I’ll hold my tongue until I get through them… if I ever get through them.

(Maybe Scott Pilgrim will finally get nominated next year when the movie comes out, eh?)

- Chris

10 Comments on “GLAAD Announces 20th Annual Media Award Nominees”

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  1. Myk says:

    So now I´m wondering which one of the five books mentioned above you did read?

  2. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Jan. 28, 2009: Letter from Carmine says:

    [...] [Scene] GLAAD media award nominees announced Link: Christopher Butcher [...]

  3. Sexy Detective Zdarsky says:

    “to gays rather than recognizing the achievements of… you know… actual gay people

    (Maybe Scott Pilgrim will finally get nominated next year when the movie comes out, eh?)”

    Whoa, whoa. Did you just out Mal?

  4. Jbird says:

    But Secret Six portrayed both its gay love story and its surviving gay character TERRIBLY.

  5. Ab. says:

    You make a very valid point, Chris. I think LGBT creators warrant a separate category though. I think – given the current environment as a whole, and not just talking about comics – it’s always good to recognize those that try to include LGBT content (e.g. daytime soap As The World Turns).

    And as for the nominated titles – I think the Young Avengers title is fantastic. Think of it as Star Trek TNG to the Avengers. The two gay characters are great and it’s not forced or preachy, but rather, just a small facet of who they are. One of the pair had to change his superhero name Asgardian to something else – given the jokes that people would make about his name. Think about it. It’s hilarious and well written.

  6. Steve MacIsaac says:

    I’m glad that you wrote about this, because this award has always driven me up the fucking wall. It’s seems to be really only interested in visibility issues in the mainstream comics industry; a B-list lesbian character in a high-profile book will always trump everything else. I mean, this is a group that awarded the prize to 52 over Fun Home. Ridiculous.

  7. Chris says:

    Myk- Buffy.

    Chip- He Wishes.

    Ab- I guess my issue is that they define mainstream appeal as superheroes, which doesn’t do much for me when the mainstream of America–excluding Spider-Man meeting Obama–doesn’t really care about superhero comics. It’s like if _every_ nomination went to guiding light, in every category, regardless of how appropriate it was.

    Steve- Exactly. I feel like hardcore superhero nerds both nominate and pick these awards, and they’re not doing anyone any favours with their choices.

  8. Ab. says:

    I agree Chris, re: mainstream. I do think it’s part of the education process or lack thereof. I would assume that the GLAAD jurors think of comics as “super heroes” and are not aware of the plethora of wealth beyond this genre.

    I’m curious to see what the nomination process is. Do the individual publishers have to submit their titles for consideration? Just having done awards submission myself – I think this process will open it up for “lesser mainstream” titles to be given an opportunity/consideration.

    BTW, I consider myself as a superhero nerd, so… >=P hehe.

  9. Halliday says:

    YOUNG AVENGERS? Really? They never actually say, “We are a gay couple” at any point in that book. It’s sort of implied, but never actually confirmed verbally or visually (unless you count the Hulk kids earring, I guess?). I’m pretty sure they don’t even hold hands.

  10. Steve MacIsaac says:

    Actually it’s not just the comics which are like this, but pretty much all of the categories. I’ve read articles talking about it before, and the thinking is pretty much “We’re a watchdog group, we want to make sure we reward positive representations of the LBGT community, Fiction/film/art/culture/music/comics done by queers will de facto HAVE such positive representations, therefore we don’t need to publicize it.” I can sort of see the thinking, except that because its one of the most visible awards of its kind it winds up being sort of slap in the face to LGBT creators. Oh well.

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