2015 Darrell Award for Best Other Media Won by Comic Book

The 2015 Darrell Award for Best Midsouth SF/F/H Other Media Work was won by Dream Thief # 4, a comic book by Jai Nitz. As Mr. Nitz mentioned in his acceptance speech, this was the first time a Darrell Award has been given for a comic book.

Jai Nitz was unable to attend MidSouthCon 33, at which the 2015 Darrell Awards were presented. He sent in remarks, which were read out by Cullen Johnson. Everyone enjoyed his remarks so much that we asked for his permission to share them here on the blog. He graciously agreed to allow us to do so.

The shortest Oscar acceptance speech in history was Alfred Hitchcock for his lifetime achievement award.He picked up the statue and simply said, “Thank you.”  Then he left the stage.  That’s it.  I have always fantasized about winning an Oscar and only saying, “Thanks,” so I could be in the record books (suck it, Hitchcock!).  But then some joker would win one, smile and nod, then walk off without a word and I’d be back to being a footnote.  Ah well. 

I think the lesson here is that we all fantasize about winning awards and what we’d say when we won.  The experts all tout the same advice: be short and sweet, don’t read a list, and don’t ramble.  I am neither short, nor sweet.  I like lists.  And I tend to ramble. 

With all that said, I wouldn’t have won this award if it wasn’t for Memphis.  Memphis is Beale Street.  Memphis is Elvis.  Memphis is barbeque.  Memphis is Shelby Foote.  Memphis is Stax Records.  Memphis is the Lorraine Motel.  Memphis was a place I’d been before and a place I wanted to talk about in my fiction. 

When I sat down to write Dream Thief in 2012 I set the book in my childhood home of Atlanta, but I wanted John Lincoln’s adventures to take him all over the South.  I wanted to shine a light on the people I knew and the different cultures I loved.  I wanted my readers to be as excited as I was about the South.  I wanted them to feel the music, the food, the crime, and the history.  I wanted to write about the secrets we keep and the faces we show the world.  And I hope the irony of a character with the last name Lincoln touring the South is not lost on you. 

I also wouldn’t have won this award without Greg Smallwood.  Greg is the artist on, and co-creator of, Dream Thief.  His powerful visuals and deft storytelling made this comic the best it could be.  He used his own family photos of their trip to Graceland as reference for the story.  He was fully invested, and it shows.  I’d also like to thank our editor Patrick Thorpe and our publisher Dark Horse Comics.  They saw fit to let us do our thing and never meddle.  They gave us the freest of reins, so part of this award belongs to them. 

Finally, I’d like to thank my two sons.  They haven’t gotten to see the world the way I have, but one place I know I’ll take them is Memphis for a Lot-A-Burger. 

Thanks to the Darrell Awards, the voters, and the readers.  To my knowledge, a comic book has never won the award, so it’s nice to be first, but it’s nicer to know that my chosen medium is taken seriously by the fine folks of a town I love.  Thank you all.

2015 Darrell Awards Presented at MidSouthCon 33

It gives us great pleasure to announce that the 2015 Darrell Awards were presented at the Banquet at MidSouthCon 33 on Saturday, March 21, 2015, and here are the results!

As previously announced, Jeff Crook is the newest inductee into the Dal Coger Memorial Hall of Fame.

DREAM THIEF # 4 by Jai Nitz is the Winner of the 2015 Darrell Award for Best Midsouth SF/F/H Other Media Work. This is the first time that a comic book has won a Darrell Award (in this or any other category). Previous Other Media winners included films, plays and efiction (before the Jury started considering efiction as just fiction). 

Barry (a short film available on vimeo.com) by Matthew Graves is the First Runner Up for the 2015 Darrell Award for Best Midsouth SF/F/H Other Media Work.

The Five Faces (a Markhat novel) by Frank Tuttle won the 2015 Darrell Award for Best Midsouth SF/F/H Novel, with Valkyrie’s Daughter by John E. Siers as First Runner Up in the novel category.

Eat Your Peas by Robert J. Krog won the 2015 Darrell Award for Best Midsouth SF/F/H Short Story. This story appeared in Luna’s Children: Full Moon Mayhem

Stolen Thunder by H. David Blalock (seen in Realms of Imagination) is the 2015 First Runner Up in the short story category.

Additional Finalists in the short story category were

  • Hello I, This is H by Bill M. Tracer;
  • Thursday Morrow: The Self-Winding Mechanical Man by Robert J. Krog (seen in Capes & Clockwork); and
  • The Serpent and the Dagger by Robert J. Krog (seen in A Tall Ship, a Star, and Plunder)

As we have done in some previous years, the Jury chose not to award in the Novella category this time.

Each of the Finalists were invited to attend MidSouthCon 33 on Saturday, March 21,  to participate in a Meet the Darrell Awards Finalists Panel and offered a free ticket to the Banquet later that same day. Jai Nitz , Robert J. Krog and Jeff Crook were unable to attend; they each sent remarks, which were read at the Banquet. We were unable to contact Matthew Graves. The other Finalists responded and attended the 2015 Darrell Awards presentation.

Photos of the Plaques presented to the Winners will be posted on the Darrell Awards page on Facebook and other social media sites.

The Darrell Awards are given annually to support literacy in the greater Memphis area (the Midsouth) by recognizing the best published Science Fiction, Fantasy and/or Horror fiction. Annual categories include Novel, Novella, and Short Story. Other Media and Young Adult alternate on a 2 year cycle; this year we considered Other Media, which includes plays, audio presentations, podcasts, movies, games, comics, and other non-book and non-ebook forms of SF/F/H. In 2016, we will consider Young Adult SF/F/H. Please check back here for an announcement when the nominations for the 2016 Darrell Awards are opened.

We heartily recommend these Winners and Finalists to all those who enjoy a good story, especially to fans of Science Fiction, Fantasy and/or Horror. Now, GO BUY THEIR BOOKS AND READ THEM !

2015 Coger Hall of Fame Winner Announced

The Darrell Awards Jury is pleased to announce that the 2015 Dal Coger Memorial Hall of Fame Award Winner is JEFF CROOK.

This Award is for his extraordinary contributions to Midsouth literacy, including the novel _the sleeping and the dead_, the first book in his recently-launched series about Jackie Lyons, a former Memphis Police Department vice detective who sees ghosts; as well as his many fantasy novels and his 2003 anthology, The Best of Memphis.

Congratulations to Jeff Crook !

Please check back here in March for the list of Finalists for the 2015 Darrell Awards. They will be invited to join Jeff at the Saturday afternoon Darrell Awards panel at MidSouthCon 33, as well as the Banquet that evening, where the Winners in each category will be presented.