The Glyph Comics Awards is a US-based annual ceremony and celebration that aims to honour the best Black-themed images and stories of this year. The GCA Committee is now accepting submissions for potential nominees – and we can confirm that the Awards are open to all and this is not a purely US-based award.
GCA will honour the best comic books, graphic novels, comic strips, writers and artists, and more, that represent the best in Black-themed comic book, sci-fi and fantasy storytelling.
“The Glyph Comics Awards is open to non US publishers and there are no restrictions,” Glyph Comics Awards Chairperson, Pamela Thomas told downthetubes.
“Black Comic books deserve a second look for the job that they do,” she explains. “Amid the numerous television shows and cinematic films starring heroes with fantastic abilities, very few, if any, feature African Americans in regular starring roles or depict them as being just as fantastic. But Black comics books are closing this gap. Within the pages of Black comic books, African Americans are the stars and can have their unique cultural stories told.”
As a former art gallery owner and current curator of the Museum Of UnCut Funk, a virtual museum that celebrates 1970’s Black culture, Thomas understands the importance of preserving history. In her second term as GCA Chair, she successfully carries the torch lit by Glyph Comics Awards Founder Rich Watson, owner of the comic book focused blog Glyphs: The Language of the Black Comics Community, for which the awards program is named. The goal of the Awards is to encourage more diverse and high-quality work across the board and to inspire new creators to add their voices to the field.
In her second year as GCA Chairperson, Thomas promises even more recognition for African American comic book publishers. As the awareness of Black-themed comic books grows, the more appreciative the overall comic book fan base becomes of culture-based stories and their creators. Thomas continues: “The GCA is already showing double the amount of support we have had in years past, which means more support for the creators, more submissions for the awards ceremony, and more quality work for us readers and fans. These are very exciting times for Black comic books.”
An avid collector and an expert on Black culture of the 1970’s., over the past 15 years, Pamela has pursued her passion for Black history by building an extensive collection of Black culture artifacts, which includes animation, comics, film posters and stamps that incorporate Black images. As a former art gallery owner, Ms. Thomas understands the importance of preserving culture for future generations.
She’s joined on the GCA judging panel by artist and graphic designer Omar Bilal, who founded the Museum of Black Superheroes in 1997. This web forum turns an insightful eye onto both popular and under-the-radar comic book characters, with an emphasis on ethnically diverse characters. The site collects and catalogs these characters as well as provides a lively discussion space for their impact.
The other judges are Johanna Draper Carlson, founder of the independent review site www.ComicsWorthReading.com, author Hannibal Tabu, who’s been a review columnist at Comic Book Resources for over seven years and is editor-in-chief and owner of Komplicated at the Good Men Project, Maurice Waters, owner of Black-Scifi.com, a website that focuses on sci-fi, sci-fact and fantasy entertainment, news, people, places, and events and the measure of their impact on the African-American community; and artist Joseph Wheeler III, president of the New Art Order and Founder of the OnyxCon convention in Atlanta, who is also the creator of the UAC ANKh Project, which serves as an homage to actors and characters of African ancestry within the Star Trek Universe.
• The Glyph Comics Awards ceremony will be held on Friday 16th May 2014, from 6pm to 9.00pm, at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 7th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia, PA. The GCA ceremony is free and open to the public, serving as the official kick-off reception for the 13th Annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention the following day at the Enterprise Center located at 4548 Market Street in Philadelphia, PA.