Dwayne McDuffie was a co-founder of Milestone Media, a landmark company that created a multicultural comics line that introduced black superheroes such as Hardware and Static, who died in 2011 at the age of 49. The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics was established to highlight diversity both in the creators and the creation in McDuffie's honor.
This year's nominees are:
- Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels
- Shaft: Imitation of Life by David Walker and Dietrich Smith
- Amazing Forest by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas and more
- StarHammer by J. N. Monk and Harry Bogosian
- 14 Nights by Kristina Stipetic
McDuffie's widow Charlotte praised the nominees.
"I am pleased to once again welcome another group of outstanding work and all of these remarkable creators to be forever associated with my late husband's name, and I look forward to seeing where our 2017 nominees' careers go from here," said Dwayne's widow, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie."Everything they create from now on, they'll do attached to Dwayne's reputation for not just inclusiveness but excellence. Please continue to do him proud in all ways, always."
The judges for this year's award are Mark D. Bright, Neo Edmund, Joan Hilty, Joseph Illidge, Heidi MacDonald, Don McGregor, Kevin Rubio, Cassandra Pelham, Gail Simone, Will J. Watkins, Matt Wayne, and Len Wein. The winner is scheduled to be announced in a ceremony February 18 at the Long Beach Comic Expo.