Shuster Award 2012 Win

I was sitting on my sofa watching some Wonder Years to pass the time while a friend of mine live tweeted the Shuster Awards as they were announced. I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous and anxious. I’d felt a sense of pride at being nominated alongside some amazing Canadian talent and I was more than happy to  nominated. That’s what everyone says, right?

It was true for me but, of course, deep down I wanted to win.

More awards were announced, more were tweeted, and then I got a text from my friend the second it happened. Best writer goes to…

You.

My exact text back was: Bullshit.

I never expected to win. That’s the truth, not some false attempt at modesty. Since Saturday I’ve had a bit of time to think about the year that led to the Shuster award and despite wavering confidence in my writing, I know now that Green Wake was an important book. Not just for me, but for a lot of readers.

Green Wake meant something.

Of course, this award wouldn’t have even been possible without the talents of my co-creators. Riley Rossmo is one of the nicest, most creative people I know. He’s a good friend and our journey together on Green Wake was an interesting one. Riley’s seen my life transition in many ways over the last few years and he’s always been there to offer advice, on life and in creativity, and that friendship poured into the pages of Green Wake.

When we set out to create the series, we were relative acquaintances, but by the end had become good friends. I’m very proud of that.

So, Riley. Thank you. You’ve been a huge support in some very difficult times. This award is equally yours.

I also want to thank Jim Valentino. It’s been his support that has gotten me this far and he continues to encourage me, both in my writing and my personal life and he’s become a professional mentor and friend. There have been a few occasions where I was so frustrated with my writing and with my career, to the point of throwing in the towel, and Jim has sent an encouraging email or gave me a quick call to keep me focused. I don’t know many publishers that take such a personal approach to creators, and it makes him one of a kind.

To my other artistic collaborators, mainly Aluisio, Tyler and Scott, you guys have made me laugh and feel sadness for the characters I’ve created, bringing out the emotion in ways that are distinctly your voice. I appreciate your talent and friendship and you each have amazing things ahead of you. It’s been an honour to work with you.

To my friends and family, you’ve also seen the whirlwind of my life. The last few years have been very trying and I haven’t always been that available. Whatever the circumstances, you’ve been there to pick me up or to celebrate with me when I’ve had a small victory. Best of all, you see me as I am and keep me honest and real.

Thank you to the Shuster Awards committee that enjoyed my work and gave me such special recognition. It’s such a massive honour and has made 2012 a very wonderful year.

Finally, to my readers. Where to begin? The encouraging emails, the supportive tweets, the amazing fan art and all the help getting the word out about my comic series’. I wouldn’t be anywhere without you.  Some of my best memories of the last year have been meeting you at conventions after having small conversations on Twitter or meeting you for the first time when you’ve come to thank me for what I do. Those little moments are what have made this career so valuable to me and I always look forward to meeting all the wonderful people who have helped bring me to this amazing place in life.