Stan Sakai, Walter Simonson, Peach Momoko, Jared Cullum, and More IDW Creators Reflect on the Recognition of Fans and Creative Peers
SAN DIEGO, CA (January 5, 2022) – IDW would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to Walter Simonson, Jared Cullum, Stan Sakai, the creators of The Nib, Scott Dunbier, Peach Momoko, Paul Allor, Chris Evenhuis, Brittany Peer, and Guido Guidi for well-earned accolades presented at the recent National Cartoonists Society’s 75th Annual Reuben Awards, the Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards, the Transformers Hall of Fame Induction, and from the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education organization.
Nachie Marsham, IDW’s publisher, says, “It’s a joy to see that the work of such visionary writers and artists has resonated so deeply with audiences and their contemporaries in the field. Congratulations to each of you!”
REUBEN DIVISION AWARD WINNERS
Walter Simonson, Ragnarök: The Breaking of Helheim
- Winner, “Comic Books” Category
Over the course of his career, Walter Simonson has written and drawn nearly every major character from both Marvel and DC Comics. In 2014, he brought his epic myth-making to IDW with the launch of Ragnarök, depicting the Norse Twilight of the Gods and its aftermath. Ragnarök: The Breaking of Helheim is the third volume in the series, following Last God Standing and Lord of the Dead, and depicts Thor’s search for Loki’s daughter Hel, queen of the dead.
“I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude to the National Cartoonists Society for voting me the recipient of the 2021 NCS Divisional Award for best comic book. I was surprised, stunned, and delighted all at the same time. I also want to thank both IDW who published the book, Ragnarök: The Breaking of Helheim, and my editor, Scott Dunbier, whose nudge more than 17 years ago was the initial spark that eventually led to the comic. My thanks also to colorists Laura Martin and Len O’Grady and to letterer John Workman for their wonderful contributions in helping me complete the comic in its finished form. I am deeply grateful to you all,” says Simonson
Jared Cullum, Kodi
- Winner, “Graphic Novels” Category
Jared Cullum is an author-cartoonist and traditional painter whose debut middle-grade graphic novel Kodi, published by IDW imprint Top Shelf Productions, was released in August 2020. Kodi tells the story of two friends, a young girl and a kodiak bear, who are separated by almost everything in the world -- everything except love. In addition to its Reuben Award win, Cullum’s Kodi has been nominated for two Eisner Awards, the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, and was an official selection of Hoopla's Fall 2021 Graphic Novel Book Club.
“It is an absolute honor to receive this award and I'm filled with the deepest sincere gratitude for the National Cartoonists Society, my publisher, and my always-encouraging wife and children,” says Cullum.
RINGO AWARD WINNERS
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo
- Winner, “Best Cartoonist” Category
- Winner, “Best Series” Category
Written and illustrated by Stan Sakai for almost four decades, Usagi Yojimbo is set in a unique world based on 17th century Japan. A ronin, Miyamoto Usagi traverses this unique world – a landscape populated by ghosts, dinosaurs, monsters, and warriors of all kinds – honing his skills, saving villages, and often navigating delicate affairs of national/political significance. Sakai’s deft weaving of history, folklore, and Japanese culture into Usagi Yojimbo has made it a critical favorite, with considerable award nominations and wins throughout its publication, including two Eisner Awards earlier this year (“Best Continuing Series” and “Best Letterer”).
“I have been writing, lettering, and drawing the Usagi Yojimbo series for 37 years and it is very reaffirming to receive these prestigious awards. Like many cartoonists, I work pretty much in solitude and to receive these recognitions, voted on by my peers no less, really shows me that my efforts are appreciated. Thank you all,” says Sakai.
The Nib, Be Gay, Do Comics
- Winner, “Best Anthology” Category
Be Gay, Do Comics is an anthology of queer history presented through deeply personal true stories, insightful memoir, and gut-busting satire, assembled by The Nib, a daily publication devoted to promoting political and non-fiction comics and founded by Pulitzer Prize finalist Matt Bors. Brimming with resilience, inspiration, and humor, this anthology takes readers from the American Revolution through Stonewall to today’s fights for equality and representation in tales written and illustrated by an incredible LGBTQIA lineup of top indie cartoonists.
“It's an honor to have this book recognized by our colleagues. Be Gay, Do Comics is a testament to how much diverse talent exists in indie comics today and we're really proud to work with them all at The Nib,” says Bors.
"Everyone on staff at The Nib is so pleased and excited to hear about the Ringo awards results. We were especially overjoyed to see our colleagues in the comics industry recognize the spectacular work by all of our contributors – who this win truly belongs to,” says Mattie Lubchansky, associate editor.
Scott Dunbier, David Cockrum’s X-Men Artifact Edition
- Winner, “Best Presentation in Design” Category
The debut of Giant Size X-Men in 1975 propelled a series in danger of cancellation to one of the most popular and best-selling comics of all time, due in no small part to the talents of artist Dave Cockrum. His exquisite X-Men artwork has long been deserving of preservation in the Artist’s Edition line of oversized hardcovers, meticulously curated by editor Scott Dunbier. The May 2020 release of David Cockrum’s X-Men Artifact Edition includes over 100 pages from Cockrum’s initial run on Uncanny X-Men, plus a gallery of covers, sketches and more surprises.
“I'm honored to receive this award. I'm especially pleased that Dave Cockrum's family are happy with this book, and I want to thank Paty Cockrum for generously donating all her royalties on this project to the Hero Initiative,” says Dunbier.
Peach Momoko, The Crow: Lethe, Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road, and more
- Winner, “Best Cover Artist” Category
Peach Momoko, one of this past year’s most prolific and sought-after artists, won the “Best Cover Artist” award for work on projects from across the industry, including The Crow: Lethe and Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road from IDW Publishing.
“I am deeply honored to be awarded a Ringo Award. It has always been a pleasure working on IDW books, as they provide me a lot of freedom to express my own style and vision. For example, The Crow: Lethe really allowed me to express a slightly darker side of me, while Usagi Yojimbo really allowed me to share my Japanese soul on the covers. Thank you!” says Momoko.
TRANSFORMERS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION
- Artist of Transformers: Shattered Glass, Transformers: All Hail Megatron, and more
Hasbro created the official Transformers Hall of Fame to honor key characters and creators from the history of the franchise. Since its debut in 2010, Hasbro has extended this honor to several comic book creators, including Bob Budiansky, Simon Furman, Flint Dille, and John Barber.
In 2021, Hasbro inducted Guido Guidi to the esteemed ranks. A lifelong fan, Guidi first illustrated the “robots in disguise” professionally with Dreamwave Productions’ Armada, Energon, and More Than Meets The Eye titles. Once IDW acquired the Transformers license, the company instantly recognized his talent and versatility, inviting him to work on such projects as Regeneration One, Evolutions - Hearts of Steel, All Hail Megatron, Spotlight one-shots dedicated to Galvatron and Mirage, and more. He is currently illustrating Transformers: Shattered Glass.
“It’s always great when a passion becomes a job, but it’s even greater when you unexpectedly receive an acknowledgement from the brand itself. As influenced by the original series as I’ve always been, I have so very much enjoyed putting to paper what I loved from the G1 cartoon and comics; it’s always interesting and challenging!” says Guidi.
SAVE 2021 National Media Award Winners
Paul Allor, Chris Evenhuis, Brittany Peer, IDW Publishing, and Hasbro
- Winners, “Best Digital Creative Media” Category, for G.I. JOE #7
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education is one of the nation’s first organizations dedicated to the prevention of suicide, raising public awareness, educating communities, and equipping every person with the right tools to save lives. As part of their mission, they established the SAVE National Media Award recognizing publications that contribute to public understanding of suicide and mental health.
In 2020, the creative team of writer Paul Allor, artist Chris Evenhuis, and colorist Brittany Peer launched a reimagined G.I. JOE continuity, distinguished by moving, character-driven tales that explore (and sometimes challenge) concepts of patriotism, duty and sacrifice, courage and personal responsibility, loss, and trauma.
The seventh issue, “A Soldier’s Heart”, addresses the topics of mental health and suicide in veterans, from the perspective of the G.I. JOE character code-named Scarlett, and included a page with mental health resources for veterans. Members of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and U.S. Army served as consultants on the issue. The vital message of “A Soldier’s Heart” was available digitally for free to communities and generated extensive media coverage.
“I'm still trying to wrap my head around such an incredible honor. Seeing the impact that G.I. JOE #7 has had on other people, particularly veterans and those struggling with PTSD, trauma recovery, and suicidal ideation, has meant more than I can properly say,” says Allor. “I'm also so thankful to everyone at IDW Publishing and Hasbro for their support of this issue. And I'm incredibly grateful to have worked on it with such an extraordinary team, as well as our amazing consultants.”
“Working on G.I. JOE #7 was one of the highlights of my 15-year career at Hasbro. Paul Allor’s incredible story, the exceptional art and colors of Chris Evenhuis and Brittany Peer, and the thoughtful and diligent editing of Bobby Curnow produced what I feel is one of the best G.I. JOE comics ever made. It is an incredible honor to see this issue recognized by SAVE, and know that this work is viewed as a meaningful contribution to mental health awareness and suicide prevention,” says Michael Kelly, Hasbro’s Vice President, Global Publishing.
IDW Publishing would like to thank the judges and voters of this year’s Ringo and Reuben awards.
To acquire copies of IDW Publishing’s nominated comic book and graphic novel releases, please contact your local comic shop or visit www.comicshoplocator.com to find a store near you. Graphic novels are also available for order via bookstores, online booksellers, and digital platforms.
IDW (NYSE AMERICAN: IDW) is a leading media company providing uniquely compelling stories and characters in various genres for global audiences across all entertainment platforms. The award-winning IDW Publishing and IDW Entertainment divisions holistically evaluate and acquire IP for franchise development across comics and graphic novels, television, theatrical, games, merchandise, and other entertainment platforms, in addition to bringing world-renowned storytelling to life with our creative partners.