Nova Scotia resident lauded at 2007 awards

Darwyn Cooke holds up his three Joe Shuster Awards.


Dan Kim

The annual Canadian comic book creator honours has its first triple-crown winner, turning the 2007 Joe Shuster Awards into the Darwyn Awards. (No, not the ones with the people who die in foolish ways.)

The multi-talented Darwyn Cooke swept the outstanding writer, artist and cartoonist nods at Saturday night’s awards ceremony in Toronto.

Earning this hat trick of honours — bringing his total to four over the three years of the awards’ existence — was a great thrill, Cooke said, especially because of his great admiration for Joe Shuster, the Canadian-born co-creator of Superman.

“It’s an incredible honour,” the Nova Scotia resident said after being lauded by more than 125 attendees. “I try to explain to my friends in America how much more important to me this is than the Eisners (comics’ top honours), believe it or not, but everyone up here knows.”

Cooke’s cartoonist and artist awards, the latter shared with longtime collaborator J. Bone, were both for projects bringing back The Spirit, a crime fighter created by the late comic book legend, Will Eisner.

“We’re just happy to know The Spirit is being well-received and that people are entertained by it,” Cooke said. “I guess (these awards are) an indication that we’re doing all right.”

The other big winner as the results of the online balloting for the JSAs were revealed was Dan Kim, formerly of Waterloo, Ont., now of Montreal, who took home the outstanding web comic creator and fan-favourite English-language creator plaques.

“It’s quite overwhelming and it’s quite humbling,” Kim said.

Receiving these prizes for his efforts at www.manga.clone-army.orgwill be good incentive to keep working hard, said the 23-year-old creator.

“Hopefully, these awards will give me even more motivation to get everything done that I want to get done,” Kim said.

Other 2007 winners included a repeat victory for Drawn & Quarterly as outstanding publisher, Michel Rabagliati as favourite French-language creator and another back-to-back win for

American writer Brian K. Vaughan as outstanding international creator.

Inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame were Toronto’s Gerald Lazare, Quebec’s Jacques Hurtubise and the late Albert Chartier and Howard (Gene) Day.

Taking home this year’s Harry Kremer Award for outstanding Canadian retailer was Edmonton’s Happy Harbor Comics & Toys — a most pleasing result for store founder Jay Bardyla.

“It’s something we’ve worked really hard for,” he said. “We put a lot of effort into going beyond just selling comic books and toys.”

winners list

The results of the 2007 Canadian comic book creator honours — the Joe Shuster Awards:

  • Outstanding artist — Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone for Batman/The Spirit

  • Outstanding cartoonist — Darwyn Cooke for The Spirit No. 1

  • Outstanding writer — Darwyn Cooke for Superman Confidential No. 1, 2

  • Outstanding publisher — Drawn & Quarterly

  • Outstanding web comics creator — Dan Kim for April May & June, Kanami, and Penny Tribute

  • Outstanding international creator — Brian K. Vaughan for Pride Of Baghdad, Ex Machina, Runaways, Doctor Strange: The Oath and Y: The Last Man

  • Fan-favourite creator (English) — Dan Kim for April May & June, Kanami, and Penny Tribute

  • Fan-favourite creator (French) — Michel Rabagliati for Paul a la Peche

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