Image from Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1, by Allan Heinberg and Olivier Coipel. Stolen from http://blog.project76.tv/2010/07/13478/

GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Aliance Against Defamation, have announced the nominees for their 2010 Media Awards. The awards recognize positive portrayals of gays and lesbians in the media, and for 10+ years “In the media” has also meant “comic books,” which is nice. Their nominations for the top gay-positive comics of 2010?

Outstanding Comic Book
Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Scott Allie, Brad Meltzer, Joss Whedon (Dark Horse Comics)
Fogtown by Andersen Gabrych (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Veronica by Dan Parent (Archie Comics)
X-Factor by Peter David (Marvel Comics)
Young Avengers: Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg (Marvel)

Every year I agonize over these awards because they specifically reward the ‘straightest’ material that happens to be nice to gays, rather than doing anything to recognize the work of actual gay cartoonists. I’m trying hard not to do this, this year, because hey, at least they’ve nominated gay writers Allan Heinberg and Andersen Gabrych. And I don’t want to minimize the support or work of vocally queer-friendly creators like David, Meltzer, or Whedon.

I just look at this list every year and think “If they had just nominated Ed Luce for Wuvable Oaf the resulting interest and sales could pay that creator’s’ rent for three months,” and it’s a bit depressing to me. Comics aren’t quite the powerhouse that film or theatre are, but if they can do “Wide-Release” and “Limited Release” categories for film, and “Broadway/Off-Broadway” and “Off-Off-Broadway” categories for Theatre (and that’s just New York), is it too much to hope for an area to recognize independently published queer comics work?

Also is it weird that they don’t list the artists? No? And they got the title wrong and it’s just Avengers: The Children’s Crusade and not Young Avengers: Children’s Crusade? Anyway.

I do wish sincere congratulations to the nominees and I hope that the resulting attention from the queer community means good things for them and their work.

EDIT: So, somehow, I completely missed the fact that the film SCOTT PILGRIM was nominated for OUTSTANDING FILM: WIDE RELEASE, which is excellent. I’d like to congratulate Bryan, Edgar, and Kieran for a bang up job. I’d also like to be a total bitch and point out that the outstanding comic book series upon which this nominated film is based has never been similarly nominated in its category, this year included, and wonder why that is in a very leading way. Hmmm…!

- Christopher


9 Comments on “Comic Books Nominated for 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards”

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  1. Comics nominees announced for 22nd annual GLAAD Media Awards | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment says:

    [...] Butcher offers commentary: “Every year I agonize over these awards because they specifically reward the [...]

  2. Lyle says:

    The focus of the GLAAD Media Awards isn’t to recognize gay creators, though. It is about trying to encourage fair representation of LGBT people in media that straight people will see. What straight people are told about LGBT people in the media is the focus of GLAAD, overall.

    The criteria for judging potential nominees (fairness/diversity, originality, “impact” and overall quality) goes with this. “Impact” is a quarter of what’s considered, basically asking how challenging the material is vs. how many eyes will see it.

    Now, one big problem I have with the GLAAD Media Awards is that I think they undervalue the importance of comics that do a lot of sales in bookstores, that Scott Pilgrim books reach as many (or, more likely, more) readers than a b-list title from a front-of-Previews publisher. (Then again, the impact criteria also tends to value media where the audience is presumed to be homophobic, since it’s more likely to challenge that audience’s view of LGBT people, so a superhero title gets credit that an indie doesn’t.)

  3. captainfur says:

    Yes, it’s kind of a turn off that they don’t consider anything beyond mainstream, I could expect this much from other awards, but this… it is particularly wrong.

  4. Chris says:

    Lyle – Past nominees have included Love & Rockets, though that was quite some time ago. I honestly just get the feeling that the people picking the awards are huge superhero nerds, and they pick what they’re aware of without doing any research.

  5. Lyle says:

    I’ve had a few glimpses into the nomination process and there’s a lot of research into what’s out there. Unless they’ve dropped the ball in the past few years, plenty of indie comics have been considered and discussed, especially at SLG (Charm School, Skelebunnies) and Oni (Maria’s Wedding, Hopeless Savages).

    Unfortunately, those indies usually fall short in the impact category while the superhero titles don’t fall short enough in the other categories. And, usually, when indies (like How Loathsome) have gotten nominated that’s due to a successful advocate among the nomination committee.

  6. Joe says:

    Adding a category that focuses on the work of non mainstream LGBT writers and artists would be great, and I tend to think likewise with Christopher that doing so would help those same people financially, as well as show non comics reading people that comics are more than just punch ‘em up stories with spandex clad heroes.

    Not to be an apologist – and I don’t think Lyle is either – but I know that a lot of research is made each year. However, it seems to remain the individuals’ responsibility to find and buy the material if they don’t already own the comics/ graphic novels. The argument can be made that this precludes the possibility of “favoritism”, if that’s the right word. It also means the possibility is likely that not every person on the nominating committee has the money to buy the discussed material.

    Outing myself, I advocated specifically for How Loathsome the year it was published and before that, Strangers In Paradise. If I’d thought it was possible under GLAAD’s guidelines, I’d have advocated for Wuvable Oaf.

  7. Graphic Books Best Sellers: Manga Romance and Honors from GLADD - NYTimes.com says:

    [...] work of actual gay cartoonists,” wrote Christopher Butcher at Comics212. You can read more of his comments here and more about comic book fans who are gay here [...]

  8. Lyle says:

    Joe has a good point. When the committee members have to each get their own copy of a title, that means a title getting evaluated is partially subject to the local shops. It only takes one person to get the entire group to hear about a comic with LGBT content, but by then the title is likely to have shipped and too late to order through Previews… and, of course, if someone has to visit several shops to find a title it’s bound to affect the Impact score.

  9. Joe says:

    Thanks, Lyle. Maybe the narrow focus by GLAAD in the comics category can be seen as opportunity for individuals in the LGBT comics community to honor LGBT creators with its own awards?

    Providing PDF copies of work might be a way to ensure that any judges (GLAAD or otherwise) are able to read and evaluate work.

    http://www.gayleague.com/wordpress/2011/01/25/an-alternative-idea-to-the-glaad-awards/

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