Manga, Graphic Novels to Get Hugo Award Category (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo
Science-fiction/fantasy readers' highest honors add graphic story category

Manga and other forms of graphic novels will have their own category in the Hugo Awards, the most prestigious honors voted on by science-fiction and fantasy readers, for the first time next year. At the Denvention 3 event in Colorado earlier this month, the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) moved to add a Best Graphic Story category in the Hugo Awards at its annual business meeting. The category cannot be permanently added to the awards until 2010 at the earliest, since the move must be officially ratified at next year's convention.

However, René Walling, the chair of the 67th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Montréal next year, has confirmed that the convention will have the Best Graphic Story category ahead of schedule. The Montréal Worldcon, which also goes by the name Anticipation, has exercised its power to add one temporary category, and it has chosen to add the Best Graphic Story category before the official ratification.

The Anticipation convention will be held from August 6 to August 10 of next year. Worldcon members can nominate titles, although the nomination process has not officially opened. In WSFS's proposed amendment, Best Graphic Story category is open to "any science fiction or fantasy story told in graphic form appearing for the first time in the previous calendar year." Pictured above is the award design — complete with the Japanese hero Ultraman — for last year's 65th World Science Fiction Convention. Last year was the first time that a Worldcon was held in Japan.

Although there were no graphic story categories in previous Worldcons, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' acclaimed Watchmen graphic novel won a Hugo Award in the "Other Forms" category in 1988. Watchmen, which is being made into a movie, is the only graphic novel to have won the award. Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano's The Sandman: The Dream Hunters novella was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2000. Anime titles have already been eligible for Hugo Awards in the Best Dramatic Presentation categories.

Thank you to Petrea Mitchell for the news tip.

Update: Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's animated film Spirited Away was nominated for the 2003 Hugo Awards in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category. Thanks, Petrea Mitchell.

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