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Spectrum Has Issues with the Best Artist Hugo

The folks over at Spectrum – a group devoted to showcasing fantasy, science fiction, and horror artwork – have posted their thoughts on the Best Artists Hugo award:

Benefits to artist-winners…are a bit more nebulous. Perhaps part of the reason is that, unlike the fiction categories, the Best Artist Hugo has never been for a specific work: there’s never a singular piece you can point to and say “that’s the winner.” Though it could be argued that the Best Editor Hugo is similarly non-specific, it’s also just as fair to point out that it’s not the same either: an artist is a creator on par with the writers, responsible for producing original works. Editors fulfill many valuable and laudable functions – but they’re not creating content.

So the generic “body-of-work” nature of the Best Artist Hugo often has led to votes being cast for familiar names, not particular covers or illustrations.

The Hugo shouldn’t be a “nice guy” award, presented because this artist or that was “so friendly” when encountered at a convention: it should be for the work.

Good points. There’s no reason why individual works of visual art should not be held at the same level as that of written art.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

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