Indie Creators Dominate Manning Award Nominations

Breaking into comics is no easy task. There are hundreds of books released each month, and it’s difficult for even the most talented creators to set themselves apart. Each year at San Diego Comic-Con, the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award is given to the creator who does the best job of setting themselves apart from the pack. This year the award was largely dominated by independent creators.

The nominees included creators from Archaia, Image, BOOM!, Oni, and Dark Horse, showing that independent comic books are where the brightest-shining creative lights are emerging from. A couple of the nominees, Greg Smallwood and Jorge Corona, have done work for the Big Two, but the others have worked exclusively in the independent sphere.

The dominate of independent work reflects the broader creative freedom inherent in working outside the scope of corporate-controlled superhero characters, allowing creators a great deal more flexibility to work with original concepts and experimental art styles.

The complete list of nominees can be found below, and the winner will be announced at San Diego Comic-Con in July.

Who do you think will walk away with the award? Let us know in the comments!



2015 Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award Nominees

Comic-Con International, North America’s largest comic book and popular arts convention, has announced this year’s nominees for the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award (commonly referred to as The Manning Award).

The Manning Award has been given out annually at the San Diego Comic-Con since 1982. It is presented to a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. It is named for Russ Manning, the artist best known for his work on the Tarzan and Star Wars newspaper strips and the Magnus, Robot Fighter comic book. Russ was a popular guest at the San Diego convention in the 1970s.

The first recipient of the award was former Manning assistant Dave Stevens, who went on to create The Rocketeer. Other past recipients have included Jan Duursema, Steve Rude, Scott McCloud, Art Adams, Eric Shanower, Dan Brereton, Jeff Smith, Gene Ha, Alexander Maleev, David Petersen, Cathy Malkasian, Eleanor Davis, and Tyler Crook (see below for a complete list).

The 2015 nominees are:

  • Jorge Corona, artist of Feathers (Archaia), Goners (Image), and Teen Titans Go (DC)
  • Leila del Duca, artist of Shutter (Image)
  • Vanesa R. Del Rey, artist of Hit (BOOM! Studios)
  • GABO (Gabriel Bautista), artist of The Life After (Oni Press)
  • Greg Smallwood, artist of Moon Knight (Marvel) and Dream Thief (Dark Horse)

Both Del Rey and Smallwood were nominated last year as well.

The nominees were selected by a committee consisting of representatives of the West Coast Comics Club and Comic-Con International. The winner will be chosen by past Manning award winners and Russ Manning assistants. The recipient will be announced during the Eisner Awards ceremony on July 10 at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

– See more at:

Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus