About The Joe Shuster Awards
Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s national award recognizing outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics. The awards are named after pioneering Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster who, along with writer Jerry Siegel, created the iconic super-powered hero, Superman. The name is used with the approval of the Estate of Joe Shuster – Michael Catron, Estate Agent.
Canada has a rich tradition of supporting our national arts communities with awards that recognize the achievements of our citizens like the Genie Awards for film and television and the Juno Awards for music –in 2004, a group of individuals gathered to establish the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association, a not-for-profit organization that would coordinate and present what would eventually become known as the JOE SHUSTER AWARDS, Canada’s national award that honours and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, publish and sell comics, graphic novels and webcomics.
They are named after pioneering Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992), whose clear, dynamic style and inventive visual flourishes set the standard for graphic storytelling during the infancy of the North American comic book industry. It was Superman, a co-creation of Shuster and Jerry Siegel, that electrified the industry in 1938 and, almost overnight, transformed comic books into an enormous pop-cultural phenomenon. The name is used with the approval of the Estate of Joe Shuster (Michael Catron, Estate Agent. Special thanks must go those people that supported the efforts of the Association at it’s beginning, such as Joe’s sister Jean Shuster-Peavy, and legendary comics creators like Jerry Robinson, Neal Adams and Dave Sim.
Comics are a collaborative medium, there are writers, artists, cover artists, letterers, editors and publishers. Some individuals wear many hats, and for that reason Cartoonists, also referred to as writer/artists are given their own category. The “core” creative Joe Shuster Awards consist of Cartoonist (writer/artist), Artist, Writer, Colourist, Cover Artist and Publisher for works that were professional distributed during the previous calendar year. With the rise of webcomics as a popular medium, those that create them are honoured in the award category of Outstanding Webcomics Creator/Creative Team.
From time to time, the awards may choose to retire or put on hiatus certain categories with the exception of Writer, Artist and Cartoonist.
The awards were chosen initially by public vote, but the process changed in 2007 to jury decision to ensure every nominee is given adequate consideration.
THE GENE DAY SELF-PUBLISHER AWARD
Named after the late comics artist and self-publisher Gene Day (1951-1982), this award honours Canadian comic book creators or creative teams who self-published their work, but did not have the books distributed by a third party distributor. The nominees are selected from publications submitted for review from across Canada. Please see the page for details on where to send your submissions.