The Horror Writers Association, or HWA as it is more commonly known, is a professional group of horror writers. The organization's members don't include Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, Joe Hill, Brian Keene, Christopher Golden, or anyone else you may have heard of, but its roster does include Lisa Morton, Vince Liaguno, and Lisa Manetti, whom (we verfied after several hours surfing the backwaters of Google), are apparently horror writers, as well.
The HWA bills itself as "a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it." They do this primarily through arguing with one another via their official Facebook page, and by hosting the annual Bram Stoker Awards for "superior achievement in horror literature". Among the annual categories in the awards is Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel. Previous winners in this category have included Alan Moore for
I Was Raped By Fish Monsters Neonomicon (in 2012).
However, this year's preliminary ballot announcement has stirred controversy in horror circles, after the organization's membership were only able to think of five horror comics published in 2013. Those titles, which included Ed Brubaker's Fatale Vol. 3, Caitlin R. Kiernan's Alabaster: Wolves, Brandon Seifert's Witch Doctor Vol. 2, Cameron Stewart's Sin Titulo, and Paul Tobin's Colder, appear by themselves on the ballot, while other categories have double the amount of nominees.
"I'm sure I wrote and published something last year," is what we imagine Steve Niles would have told us, had we actually asked him. "I don't know. At the very least, I think there was a new 30 Days of Night continuation."
"Obviously, I'm disappointed The Sixth Gun wasn't included," said Cullen Bunn. "But it's my own fault. I didn't have time to focus on The Sixth Gun the way I should have, because I spent most of last year pouring my blood, sweat, and tears into Fearless Defenders for Marvel." Bunn then broke into a round of hideous weeping, before screaming, "You see how well that worked out, don't you?"
"Swamp Thing and Phantom Stranger should have been on that list," said DC Comics' Dan DiDio, when The Outhouse pretended to reach out to him for comment. "I mean, I think they should be eligible. Are we still publishing them? I can't remember. I throw so much stuff at the wall. It's hard to tell what's sticking."
"We should pretend to cancel them," added editor-in-chief Bob Harras. "You know, like we're going to do with Teen Titans! Pretend to cancel it, and then turn around and publish it again a few months later with a new writer."
"Shut up and get in this box," said DiDio, who then proceeded to seal the box with packing tape. "We have to get you on the truck to Burbank!"
"He's not really going to Burbank," DiDio confided a few moments later after Harras had been hauled away via handtruck along with a fax machine and several cartons of office supplies.
The Outhouse then reached out to Robert Kirkman, writer of The Walking Dead, which is not only a horror comic, but one of the most successful comic books of the last decade, including 2013. "The what?" Kirkman shouted when we contacted him by phone. "The what organization? Who? I'm sorry, but you'll have to speak up. I can't hear you because I'm lying in a bed full of money and the cash is rustling in my ears."
We'll keep you updated as this story progresses. In the meantime, what was your favorite horror comic or graphic novel from last year?