‘They Called Us Enemy’ wins the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics

The graphic novel by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker adds another award to its shelf.

They Called Us Enemy, the graphic novel that recounts the experiences of actor George Takei and his family when they were interned by the United States government during World War II, has added another award to its already long list of accolades — the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics.

The sixth annual Dwayne McDuffie Award was presented over the weekend in a virtual ceremony hosted by actor Phil LaMarr and broadcast on Facebook.

Takei made the book with Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker, and it was published by Top Shelf Comix.

“… we built the story around his speeches, interviews on the subject, as well as his autobiography, To The Stars, which goes into even greater detail on this tragic event,” Scott told Smash pages’ Alex Dueben back in 2019. “This laid the ground work for what would become They Called Us Enemy, telling the story of the internment from his perspective, and George was an amazing collaborator, spending hours on the phone with Justin and I, answering questions we had about certain events, recalling other details of that experience which didn’t make it into his speeches that we were able to work into the script. He has very vivid memories of that time and we strived to give readers the most accurate depiction of what it was really like going through that experience, especially for such a young boy who didn’t fully grasp what was happening until later in life.”

Other nominees for the award this year included Excellence, written by Brandon Thomas and illustrated by Khary Randolph; From Truth With Truth, written and illustrated by Lawrence Lindell; Angola Janga: Kingdom of Runaway Slaves, written and illustrated by Marcelo D’Salete; and Iyanu: Child of Wonder, written by Roye Okupe and illustrated by Godwin Akpan.


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