Nilah Magruder's web comic M.F.K. has won the inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity. The other four nominees for this year's award were Hex11 by Lisa K. Weber and Kelly Sue Milano (HexComix), Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel), The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew (First Second Books), and Shaft by David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely (Dynamite). 'Nilah Magruder’s M.F.K. is a great read,' Matt Wayne, director of the McDuffie diversity award, says in a statement. 'Nilah created an incredibly engaging post-apocalyptic fantasy world peopled with a broad array of characters. In terms of both excellence and inclusiveness, this is just the sort of comic the award was created for.'
M.F.K is a fantasy: the story of Abbie, and her journey to scatter her mother's ashes over the Potter's Spine mountain range (and return home as quickly as possible), and the numerous people and challenges which seem intent on delaying her. Magruder, who received her B.A. in communication arts from Frederick’s Hood College, graduating in 2005, before getting her B.F.A. in computer animation from Ringling College of Art and Design. is a native of Maryland now working in LA as a storyboard artist and children's storybooks illustrator. She launched M.F.K. online in 2012. She was presented the award at the Long Beach Comics Expo by Dwayne McDuffie's widow, Charlotte McDuffie.
Established in September 2014, the aim of the award is to honor and continue McDuffie's legacy; his commitment to the championing and creation of work representing people from all backgrounds and walks of life, and those creators from the same.. A co-founder of Milestone Media, Dwayne McDuffie was a hugely respected and influential comics figure, with a successful career as a writer and producer in animation and comics. 'I am so proud that my husband’s personal mission to include a more diverse array of voices -both in content and creators- is able to continue now through this award in his name, by encouraging others who share his vision of comics, characters and the industry itself better mirroring society,' Charlotte McDuffie said in a statement.
The Dwayne McDuffie Award Selection Committee was comprised of Neo Edmund, Joan Hilty, Joseph Illidge, Heidi MacDonald, Glen Murakami, Eugene Son, William J. Watkins and Len Wein.