Joe 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 have 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 award, which focuses on professionally published and distributed comics from all publishers including those designated as mainstream such as DC Comics and Marvel Comics, is complemented by the Doug Wright Awards, which focuses on alternative comics, cartooning, and comic strips and avoid mainstream published works.[4]

From the Joe Shuster Award webite: "When it comes to defining comics our job is to be as INCLUSIVE as possible when narrowing the selections down to an EXCLUSIVE number of annual nominees – there is only one winner in each category though! We strive to ensure that our nominates represent the entire country’s output – whether that output is in English or French (Canada’s two official languages) or in other languages – the central defining characteristic of our nominees are that they are Canadian. We don’t censure Canadian creators who work with non-Canadian publishing houses – while Canada is a large and diverse country, for the creative awards, there are a very limited number of Canadian publishers."

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 the Howard E. Day Prize distributed annually at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, Ohio, from 2002 to 2008.[7]

Comics For Kids Award

This award was 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

The 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.

Citizenship 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

Outstanding Artist

Outstanding Cartoonist (writer and artist)

Outstanding Publisher

Outstanding Writer

Outstanding WebComic Creator/Creative Team

Outstanding Colourist

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

Comics for Kids Award (The Dragon Award)

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

Harry Kremer Retailer Award

T.M. Maple Award

New in 2014. "The T. M. Maple Award will go to someone (living or deceased) selected from the Canadian comics community for achievements made outside of the creative and retail categories who have had a positive impact on the community."

Hall of Fame Inductees

Voters Choice - Outstanding International Creator

Voters Choice - Favourite Creator (English Language)

Voters Choice - Favourite Creator (French Language)

See also


Works cited

Bell, John (2006). Invaders from the North: How Canada Conquered the Comic Book Universe. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55002-659-7. 
MacDonald, Heidi (2011-06-20). "2011 Joe Shuster Award winners announced". The Beat. Retrieved 2012-01-03.  External link in |publisher= (help)
Melrose, Kevin (2009-09-27). "Winners of the 2009 Joe Shuster Awards". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
Spurgeon, Tom (2012-09-18). "Your 2012 Joe Shuster Awards Winners". The Comics Reporter. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
Spurgeon, Tom (2013-08-25). "Your 2013 Joe Shuster Awards Winners". The Comics Reporter. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
Stump, Greg (April 2005). "Shuster Awards to be given for Canadian comic-book excellence". The Comics Journal. Fantagraphics Books (267): 47. ISSN 0194-7869. 
Stump, Greg (July 2005). "Sim, Cooke among Shuster Winners". The Comics Journal. Fantagraphics Books (269): 48. ISSN 0194-7869. 
Stump, Greg (April 2006). "Shuster Nominees Announced". The Comics Journal. Fantagraphics Books (275): 33. ISSN 0194-7869. 
Stump, Greg (July 2006). "Shuster Winners Announced". The Comics Journal. Fantagraphics Books (277): 27–28. ISSN 0194-7869. 
Vu, Liem (2010-06-07). "Joe Shuster Award-winners announced". The National Post. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
Weiner, Robert G.; Randall William Scott; Elizabeth Figa; Amy Kiste Nyberg; William T. Fee; Francisca Goldsmith (2010). Weiner, Robert G., ed. Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries and Archives: Essays on Readers, Research, History and Cataloging. McFarland. ISBN 9780786443024. 
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