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Shuster Award

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Shuster Award

Joe Shuster Award
2007 Joe Shuster Award logo
2007 Joe Shuster Award logo
Awarded for Outstanding achievements in Canadian comics
Country Canada
Presented by Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association
Official website

The Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards (or Joe Shuster Awards) are given out annually for outstanding achievements in the creation of comic books, graphic novels, webcomics, and comics retailers and publishers by Canadians. The awards, first handed out in April 2005, are named in honour of Joe Shuster (1914–1992), the Canadian-born co-creator of Superman.

The Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association is a not-for-profit organization formed in 2004 to administer the awards.


The Joe Shuster Awards are comic book industry oriented awards that recognize the achievements of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.[1] Founded initially as an English language comics award the criteria has been changed and refined since 2006 to be inclusive of all works published in Canada (see Language Criteria). The majority of the awards were initially committee-nominated, public-vote awards[1], with write-in nominations accepted for the International Creator award.[2] This was changed in 2008 to a committee-nominated, jury-selected model, with publishers nominating works within the relevant award category.[3] The model established in 2008 was designed to eliminate voter bias and ballot stuffing. The jury deliberates until they agree on a winner, discussing the merits of each candidate.[3]

They are named after Canadian-born cartoonist Joe Shuster (1914–1992), who co-created Superman in 1938.[1][4] The name is used with the approval of the Estate of Joe Shuster (Michael Catron, Estate Agent). The award, which focuses mainly on mainstream comics, is complemented by the Doug Wright Awards, which focuses on alternative comics, cartooning, and comic strips.[4]

Harry Kremer Retailer Award

The late Harry Kremer, owner of Now & Then Books in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, was a true pioneer in the industry and a constant and tireless promoter and patron of the medium and owner one of the first comic book specialty stores in Canada. His memory is kept alive in the award that has been named after him – the Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer Award.[1] The Award was given to Kremer's store in 2005, with open voting from 2006 onwards.[5]

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 award winner receives a bursary of $500. The award was introduced in 2009.[6] Prior to this, Dave Sim had established a Gene Day award distributed annually at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, Ohio from 2002 to 2008[7]

Comics For Kids Award

This award, established in 2004,[3] Works considered for this award are comic books and graphic novels that are targeted at readers 14 and under. Nominees are selected by a team of educators led by Jennifer Haines, MA, B.Ed., who is also the proprietor of Guelph, Ontario’s The Dragon comic book shop.

Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame

Includes dozens of creators such as Hal Foster, Win Mortimer, John Byrne, Dave Sim and more.

Language Criteria

The Joe Shuster Awards honour original work published during the previous calendar year in any language. However, Canada has two official languages - French and English, so extra research and attention is given to works published in the two official languages. In order to ensure that bilingual works are included on the ballot, two nominating committees select the finalists in each official language and the finalists are merged for the announced ballot. The nominated books are then given to jury members who can read both official languages for equal consideration.

Nationality and residency

The Joe Shuster Awards are open to all Canadian Citizens.

Canadian citizens who have chosen to reside outside of Canada are still eligible for consideration, unless they contact the Awards Organization and notify them that they have surrendered their Canadian citizenship and no longer wish to be considered for their recent work as a Canadian citizen.

Non-Canadians who have achieved Permanent Residency status in Canada are also eligible for consideration. In order to be considered for inclusion as a resident, the individual must have lived in Canada for three years. Permanent Residents who do not wish to be considered may opt out of the Awards program before the selection process begins by sending a statement in writing to the Awards Organization. If an approved Permanent Resident moves away from Canada, they are no longer considered eligible for the awards.


Categories and winners of Joe Shuster Awards are as follows:

Outstanding Achievement

  • 2005 Dave Sim and Gerhard for completing Cerebus in 2004. Begun in 1977, this 300-issue series is a milestone in comic book publishing and is the longest running creator-owned comic book series.[8]
  • 2006-2007 No winner
  • 2008 David Watkins for using comic books as a teaching tool.
  • 2009 Category suspended

Outstanding Artist

Outstanding Cartoonist (Writer/Artist)

Outstanding Publisher

Outstanding Writer

Outstanding WebComic Creator/Creative Team

Outstanding Colourist

Outstanding Cover (2008-2010) / Cover Artist (2011-)

Comics for Kids Award

Gene Day Award for Canadian Self-Publishing (New in 2009)

  • 2009 Jesse Jacobs for Blue Winter, Shapes in the Snow[9]
  • 2010 Ethan Rilly for Pope Hats No.1[10]
  • 2011 John Martz for Heaven All Day[11]
  • 2012 Dakota McFadzean for Ghost Rabbit[12]
  • 2013 Cory McCallum and Matthew Daley - The Pig Sleep: A Mr. Monitor Case[13]

Harry Kremer Retailer Award

Hall of Fame Inductees

Voters Choice - Outstanding International Creator

Voters Choice - Favourite Creator (English Language)

Voters Choice - Favourite Creator (French Language)

  • 2007 Michel Rabagliati for Paul a la Pêche, published by La Pastèque.
  • 2008 Philippe Girard for Danger Public
  • 2009 Category suspended

See also

Comics portal
Canada portal


Works cited

External links

  • Interview with Kevin Boyd about the awards
  • Jamie Coville's audio recordings of the 6th (2010) Annual Awards
  • Jamie Coville covers the 3rd (2007) Awards Ceremony for the Collector Times
  • The Fabler Blog looks at the 2010 Nominees
  • Metro Columnist Jonathan Kuehlein's article on the 2008 Awards ceremony
  • 4th Annual JSA's Completed!
  • Blake Bell covers the 2007 Awards Ceremony
  • Metro columnist & CCBCAA member Jonathan Kuehlein's article on the 2007 Awards ceremony
  • Canadian comic-book awards: one down, one to go CBC Arts report on the 1st year

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