Rick Duree talks about the H.E.R.O.I.C AWARDS

Rick Duree is an entrepreneur, professional BBQ Judge, and comic book enthusiast. He and other Indie Creators have decided to combine their skills to form the 2023 H.E.R.O.I.C Awards. This year will be the first of the annual H.E.R.O.I.C Awards. Rick was nice enough to stop by First Comics News to let our readers know all about the H.E.R.O.I.C Award, The recognizing symbol of excellence in the Indie Comics Industry.

First Comics News: What’s involved in being a Professional Barbeque Judge?

Rick Duree: Clear guidelines for judging, fairness, training, and quality brisket!

1st: What elements of Barbeque Judge are you bringing to Comic Judging?

Rick: Judging can be similar across industries.  BBQ societies utilize 3 sections when judging their meats.  We took that 3-section framework and applied it to the H.E.R.O.I.C awards creating our judging criteria.  For instance, Best Letter/Technical criteria include Lettering, Visual Harmony, and Layout.  Each section has its own subsections further detailing how a Judge show evaluates the work.

1st: Which publishers are eligible for the H.E.R.O.I.C Awards?

Rick: We wanted the H.E.R.O.I.C awards to highlight the lesser-known publishers.  To accomplish this, we limited the entrants to publishers that have less than 1% of the comicbook market.

1st: Who can submit to the H.E.R.O.I.C Awards?

Rick: Any Indie imprint can submit their work.  If they have 3 or more book series, then they can submit 2 books and can nominate each of them for 2 awards.  These will be their best books from 2023 and are submitted to several judged awards including Best Writer, Best Interior Lineart, Best Colorist, Best Cover Art, Best Letter/Technical, Best Single Issue, and Best Series among others.  Having created comics for years before, they are of a high quality.  If the imprint has less than 3 series, they are entered into the People’s Choice Award as well as a few other awards but are not subject to the judged awards.

1st: When do submissions need to be in for the H.E.R.O.I.C Award?  

Rick: Our cutoff date is January 31st, 2024.

1st: How does someone submit to the H.E.R.O.I.C Award?

Rick: They contact the H.E.R.O.I.C. awards or me directly on Facebook or via email.

1st: Who are the H.E.R.O.I.C Award judges?

Rick: We’ve recruited professional comics aficionados known in their fields throughout the comics industry. We will be publicizing their names and the awards they will be judging once all the submissions are in.  NOTE: No one submitting their work to an award will judge their own work.

1st: How does someone become a H.E.R.O.I.C Award judge?

Rick: Either by being nominated by their peers, by requesting to get involved, or by us reaching out to them.

1st: How many categories are there?

Rick: There are 11 awards this year.  More may be created in future years.  This awards program is organic, and the people’s input will help frame how this program grows.

1st: When will the judging be done?

Rick: All judging must be finished by the end of March so we have time to compile the results.

1st: Where will the award ceremony be held?

Rick: The LIVE awards ceremony will take place at C2E2 in Chicago on April 27th.

1st: How did the association with C2E2 come about?

Rick: With the Eisner Awards taking place on the West Coast and the Ringo Awards on the East Coast, many of us Indie Creators felt that the Midwest was primed to host its own Indie Awards, and C2E2 is one of the most well-known Midwest Comic Cons around.  Many of our entrants will be there already, so it made sense to host the H.E.R.O.I.C awards there.

1st: What does the award look like?

Rick: A bronze statuesque-capped superhero standing over a foot tall and weighing nearly 5 lbs embodies the proud history of Indie Comics.  It holds the place of the icon on our Facebook page.

1st: What is your award motto?
– INDIE CREATORS deserve recognition and appreciation.

– INDIE FANS want their voices heard.

– INNOVATIONS in art and writing need publicity.

1st: Good luck with the awards. Fans can follow along on Facebook at Facebook.com/HEROICawards

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