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Russ Manning Award

Comic-Con International Presents Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award

Self-portrait by Russ Manning

Comic-Con Announces 2018 Manning Award Nominees

Comic-Con International is pleased to 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, Tyler Crook, Dan Mora, and Greg Smallwood, to name a few.

The 2018 nominees are:

  • Sean Rubin, writer/artist of Bolivar (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Hamish Steele, writer/artist of Pantheon (Nobrow)
  • Pablo Tunica, artist of TMNT Universe (IDW)
  • Nina Vakueva, artist of Hi-Fi Fight Club/Heavy Vinyl (BOOM!)
  • Campbell Whyte, writer/artist of Home Time (Top Shelf)

The nominees are truly international: While Rubin is American, Steele hails from London, Tunica is Argentinian, Vakeuva lives in Moscow, and Whyte is Australian.

The nominees were chosen by a panel consisting of board and committee members of Comic-Con International and a San Diego comics retailer. 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 20 at Comic-Con International in San Diego.


Started in 1982 in conjunction with the West Coast Comics Club (which no longer exists), this award honors a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. The deadline for all submissions was May 25.

To qualify for the award:

1. The artist must be a newcomer to the comic field, with no professional work published prior to January 2016. Exceptions to this rule are:

  • A. Work done as an unaccredited assistant to another artist
  • B. Fan publications
  • C. Any nonprofessional work done on the Internet
  • D. Small press with a print run of 500 or less
  • E. A one-shot in a new talent anthology comic

2. The artist’s work must have been published prior to submission.

3. A sample of the artist’s work must be included.

4. A sample of the artist’s pencil work should be submitted if it was inked by another artist.

5. If multiple names are credited to the work, what the artist contributed must be made clear.

6. If selected as a nominee, the artist (or publisher) should be prepared to provide 25 copies of the work to be sent to the judges.

7. Those who entered last year may enter again this year if they still meet the criteria.


History of the Manning Award

The Russ Manning Promising Newcomer 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).


Previous Award Recipients
2010s
  • 2017: Anne Szabla
  • 2016: Dan Mora
  • 2015: (TIE) Jorge Corona, Greg Smallwood
  • 2014: Aaron Conley
  • 2013: Russel Roehling
  • 2012: Tyler Crook
  • 2011: Nate Simpson
  • 2010: Marian Churchland
2000s
  • 2009: Eleanor Davis
  • 2008: Cathy Malkasian
  • 2007: David Petersen
  • 2006: R. Kikuo Johnson
  • 2005: Chris Bailey
  • 2004: Eric Wight
  • 2003: Jerome Opena
  • 2002: Tan Eng Huat
  • 2001: Goran Sudzuka
  • 2000: Alan Bunce
1990s
  • 1999: Jay Anceleto
  • 1998: Matt Vander Pool
  • 1997: Walt Holcomb
  • 1996: Alexander Maleev
  • 1995: Edvin Biukovic
  • 1994: Gene Ha
  • 1993: Jeff Smith
  • 1992: Mike Okamoto
  • 1991: Daerick Gross
  • 1990: Dan Brereton
1980s
  • 1989: Richard Piers Raynor
  • 1988: Kevin Maguire
  • 1987: Eric Shanower
  • 1986: Art Adams
  • 1985: Scott McCloud
  • 1984: Steve Rude
  • 1983: Jan Duursema
  • 1982: Dave Stevens