The nominees for the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards, Canada’s awards acknowledging excellence in contributions to Comics, Graphic Novels and webcomics in 2012, were annouced yesterday. The pack is full of some of Canada’s best and brightest including such names as Darwyn Cooke, Stuart Immonen, Fiona Staples, Yanick Paquette and Jeff Lemire, each with nominations in 2 or more categories. The talent is such that it’s hard to pick a winner for any award.  

Paquette, Staples and Immonen are joined by Ramon Perez, Marcus To, Isabelle Arsenault and Patrick Boutin-Gagné in the Best Artist Category. Swamp Thing, All New X-Men and Saga were critical and crowd favourites last year, so I would bet on one of these artists taking home the prize. But Perez is no stranger to awards, so it’s anybody’s guess. The competetion in the Cartoonist category is just as thick as Darwyn Cooke, Jeff Lemire, Scott Chantler and Francis Manapul are all nominated. Paquette, Staples, Cooke and Immonen all pop up again in the nominees for Best cover and are joined by Jacques Lamontagne and the cover machine known as Mike del Mundo. The list starts to get a bit more diversified when looking at the noms for Best Writer. Of course, Lemire is nominated for his DC work, most notably Animal Man. Ed Brisson (Comeback), Kathryn Immonen (Journey Into Mystery) and Ryan North (Adventure Time) are also names of note up for this award.

What I like most about the Shusters is that they not only recognize excellence in the producing of comics but also the distribution side as well with the Harry Kremer Award given to the best brick and mortar comic shop in Canada. This year, stores from Calgary, Toronto, Saskatoon, Quebec City and London are all represented. In this digital shoping age, it’s important to give praise to the comic shops still out there offering their inventory and expertise to new and old fans alike.

Also announced was this year’s entrants into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame. Vernon Miller (1912-1974), Murray Karn and Katherine Collins (formerly known as Arn Saba) will all be honored at this year’s awards, taking place in Toronto on August 25th, 2013 (time and location still to be determined), at a gala ceremony open to the public.

Congratulation to all the nominees!

If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD! 

The 2013 Joe Shuster Awards will take place on August 25th.