Mike Wieringo Awards to Debut at Baltimore Comic-Con

From Scoop:

The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards, the celebration for the creativity, skills, and fun of comics, will debut this year at Baltimore Comic-Con. For the Ringo Awards, fans can participate in the nomination process along with a group of comics professionals.

Voting by fans and the professional jury group will be tallied independently then combined and compiled by the Ringo Awards Committee. The five nominees per category will be filled with two fan choices and three from the jury selection.

Nomination ballot voting will be open to fans and pros began on June 27, 2017 and will close on July 18. Final ballot voting for pros will be open on July 26 through August 16. Click HERE to vote!

Creators and creative works published in the preceding calendar year are eligible. Electronic works must be time-stamped and at least three episodes/installments of continuing work must have appeared during the period of eligibility.

Awards will be given in over 20 categories during the ceremony on Saturday, September 23. The fan and pro nomination categories are best cartoonist (writer/artist), writer, artist or penciller, inker, letterer, colorist, cover artist, series, single issue or story, original graphic novel, anthology, humor comic, comic strip or panel, webcomic, nonfiction comic work, and presentation in design.

The jury only nomination will be for The Mike Wieringo Spirit Award. The fan only favorite categories are for hero, villain, new series, and new talent. The Hero Initiative Award (selected by Hero) will be The Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award and The Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award.

“Mike loved comics,” Todd Dezago, co-creator with Wieringo on Tellos, said. “He loved the pure escapism of them. He loved the imagination that went into them and the inspiration he got out of them. He loved the talent and skill that went into them; the innate abilities of the artists and the writers as well as the learned and developed facility that came with study and experience. He loved the storytelling of comics, he appreciated when it was done well. Mike loved the diversity of comics; the incredible array of styles that ran the spectrum and gave each creation its own unique flavor. And he loved fun comics. Not that Mike didn’t appreciate the grim and the gritty, the deeper, more adult, more thought-provoking comics of the day. But he was drawn more to the more light-hearted, sometimes fanciful – and we called them ‘overly-coincidental’ – stories that reminded you that comics were fun.”

“Mike liked comics that were fun,” Matt Wieringo, artist and Mike’s brother said. “That’s pretty subjective and covers a lot of ground, right? He liked art that was expressive. Some people think that means ‘cartoony’ but that’s not it. For instance, he loved Juanjo Guarnido’s Blacksad art, and that’s hardly cartoony, but it’s expressive as hell. He loved the artists that could build a believable world and could tell a compelling story in that world with characters that were gestural and fun to look at. He loved artists who made their characters act. He also loved discovering new artists that didn’t draw like anyone else because he loved learning from them. He had a huge collection of European comics that he couldn’t even read, but he could study the artwork. He got excited about new artists and wanted to know who their influences were and what they read and how they worked. He read a lot of indie comics to see what was going on outside the mainstream. He was on board with Hellboy and Love & Rockets and Hate before they were ‘cool.’ Mike also loved Kirby before it was considered a badge of honor to proclaim it. He loved how innovative and energetic he was and that he was this Brooklyn bruiser with the heart of a hippy poet (a close approximation of how Mike once described him to me). And it wasn’t just the art. He liked reading stories by writers who could keep things moving and exciting. Nothing bored him more than page after page of talking heads with quippy dialogue. He wanted story. He wanted adventure. And consistent characterization. He liked working with Mark Waid because he loved how Mark can always find a new way to spin a familiar story and write characters you care about, relate to, and have their own voice. He loved working with Todd because they shared similar sensibilities and Todd always finds a way to inject fun into the story. For Mike, ‘fun’ didn’t just mean light-hearted either. He enjoyed horror and noir and crime stories as much as anyone. As a kid, he devoured Miller’s Daredevil and Sin City because the stories were compelling and well told. He loved Starlin’s Warlock and Captain Marvel because they were epic and groundbreaking. He loved Wrightson and Ploog and Colan because they could set a mood. Most of all, Mike thought good comics were entertaining and innovative. If you could hold his attention and delight and intrigue his artistic sensibilities at the same time, he’d shout your name from the rooftops. And, if it turned out you were a decent, nice person to boot, he’d be your friend for life.”

“We really miss Mike Wieringo,” Marc Nathan, Baltimore Comic-Con promoter, said. “Ringo was a great friend to the show, a great artist and creator, and a great person. It has been 10 years since his passing, and we wanted to do something to honor his spirit. These awards represent the creativity and positive attitude he brought to his work, and when we started floating the idea with his family and industry friends, everyone immediately loved it as much as we did. Having had some experience running a large industry awards show in the past, we had some great insights as to what the industry (and fans!) wanted, and we’re trying to give it to them. This has all come together very quickly, and we know we’re going to continue to adjust and adapt as we grow, but we are absolutely thrilled to have already heard from so many fans and pros alike, in addition to his family and friends, about how excited they are. Please spread the word. Please vote. And thank you for helping us celebrate Mike’s memory!”

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