The Harvey Awards have been a staple at Baltimore Comic-Con for the past 11 years. The only industry awards that are both nominated and selected by comic book professionals, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievement in more than 20 categories.
“Fans, retailers, distributors, and non-creative staff members at publishers do not have a say, so it’s really quite an honor to be recognized by all of your peers in the field,” said Baltimore Comic-Con spokesman Randy Tischler.
This year’s awards will be hosted by graphic novelist Vivek J. Tiwary. In an unprecedented decision, Tiwary was asked to host for a second consecutive year.
“I never would have dreamed of being invited once,” Tiwary said. “So being invited back, I’m overwhelmingly excited.”
Tiwary is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, a Tony award-winning producer and the founder of the arts and entertainment company, Tiwary Entertainment Group. He’s also the author of the graphic novel, The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, which tells the story of the Beatle’s manager Brian Epstein.
Tiwary is best known for his work on Broadway, but he said he thinks of himself as a storyteller, using whatever medium is available. He said he enjoys Baltimore’s Comic-Con because of the passion of the public and the authors, but also the genuine love for comics that rests at the core of the event.
This is the first year Tiwary is bringing his family along. He said his kids have never been to Baltimore and he’s excited to show his family Comic-Con.
“I love Baltimore and can’t wait to show my kids,” he said.
He said though the Harvey Awards are a serious awards ceremony, there’s an element that makes them also feel like a family reunion.
In 2014, the Fifth Beatle was nominated for two Harvey Awards. Tiwary won Harveys for Best Original Graphic Album and Best Biographic, Historical, or Journalistic Presentation. Tischler said his acceptance speeches were so passionate that he really moved the audience.
Tiwary said he was shocked to be invited to host in 2015 and was worried it would be “the worst Harvey Awards ever.”
Tischler said Tiwary’s personality and passion brought a unique presentation to the event, making the choice for this year’s host pretty obvious.
“Knowing that he would bring his trademark style and panache to the dais again, inviting him back was a no-brainer,” Tischler said. “We couldn’t be happier to have him lead our 2016 event.”
Now that he’s back for a second year, he said he knows what he’s doing.
“I’ve done it once, so I know what it’s all about,” he said. “If things work out how I want, it’ll be a little looser, more fun and laid back.”
The 2016 Harvey Awards will be presented Saturday, September 23 beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are available here.