2021 Siegel & Shuster Award of Excellence winners revealed

Awards created to honor contributors have received their honorees. Readers voted their choice for the 2021 Siegel & Shuster Award of Excellence over the past week. Voting officially closed Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.

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In recognition of the phenomenal talent dailyplanetdc.com has showcased in 2021, we’ll be awarding our talented contributors and collaborators their own prize.

We can’t thank creators enough for their notable efforts to keep the Planet rotating while informing the world on current events and opinion, but I hope this small token of appreciation expresses our gratitude.


Created in 2020, the Siegel & Shuster Award of Excellence is an original accolade put together by the Daily Planet. It’s named after Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and features authentic digitally composited autographs from Noel Neil’s Lois Lane, Jackie Cooper’s Perry White and Clark Kent’s signature featured in a 1940s fan club newsletter.

On Jan. 5, 2022 I published an article containing a series of polls. The polls were my top six pics for last years best articles, poems and other forms of noteworthy works. I chose the picks based on storytelling, efforts and so much more, and I wish all could’ve won. However, I asked the public to vote for a favorite, and they did. Here are the results.


Article of the Year

This award is given to Sam Kent, Mariano Chikko, Jonathan Nordia and Zack Benz in recognition of the article “‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ – Storyboards of the SnyderVerse.” It was the top article of 2021, according to analytics.

Editor’s note: This post truly represents what I want the Daily Planet to be. A group of writers, artists and editors (myself included) joined forces to immortalize the initial plan for the DC cinematic universe by Zack Snyder, among others. I’m honored to have it featured and I’m proud the team involved thought the Daily Planet would be a great home for their finished digital print.


Best Original Art & Design

This award is given to Cristián Arriagada in recognition of the artist’s dedicated work on Zack Snyder’s Birthday Monument. It was voted the top original art and design piece of 2021 by the general public.

Zack Snyder’s Birthday Monument by Cristián Arriagada

An illustration by Cristián Arriagada recognizing Zack Snyder for his work in the DC universe.For Zack Snyder’s birthday, Cristián Arriagada lent a fabulous piece of Zack Snyder in the same pose as the Superman statue in the Heroes Park, which gets destroyed over the course of events in “Batman v Superman” and is replaced by a monument that says “If you seek his monument, look around you.” This art piece, which accompanies an article by Sanjayan Karthikeyan, has a logo of Zack Snyder’s production company, The Stone Quarry, with the same inscription. A very fitting birthday tribute!An illustration by Cristián Arriagada recognizing Zack Snyder for his work in the DC universe.

Editor’s note: Cristián’s artistry has been an honor to feature on our publication and I hope to see more of his work in 2022. This feature celebrated Director Zack Snyder’s birthday and was displayed in our magazine and in a feature by Sam Kent. It truly shows the monumental impact Snyder has had on DC fans and respects the world he built.


Best breaking news story

This award is given to Destiny Ricks in recognition of the article, “‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ trailer drops after serious leaks,” which was voted the best breaking news article of 2021.

Editor’s note: Destiny displayed excellent professionalism when writing this breaking news story. She pooled sources, communicated diligently and conveyed the story in a compelling way. The author recognized how important this subject was to our readers and truly became a Lois Lane by jumping on the opportunity to report.


Best News Feature

This award is given to George Headley in recognition of the news article “The LGBTQ community’s adversity in Afghanistan,” which was voted the best news feature of 2021. 

Editor’s note: George’s report on a subjugated community in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover of the country was extremely well written. It included great sources, quotes and information and really told a story worth telling.


Best Comics feature

This award is given to Jimmy Reno in recognition of “Annette O’Toole talks acting, Superman and ‘Smallville.’” It was voted the top Comic Book feature article of 2021.

Editor’s note: In one of my favorite exclusives, Jimmy displayed a true sense of professionalism while interviewing the great Annette O’Toole. His interview was a fun read on the comic book actresses life and career, including her time in Superman media.


Best feature from The Planet

This award goes to Jainam Turakhia in recognition of “Exploring the Knightmare landscape of the ‘Snyderverse.’” It was voted as the top Planet feature of 2021.

Editor’s note: “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” was the talk of Metropolis last year and continues to capture the imaginations of millions. It inspired countless writers, artists and more and Jainam helped convey that fandom in this opinion piece.


Best from Culture

This award is given in recognition of the article, “Netflix’s ‘Locke & Key’ actress Genevieve Kang shares key details on season 2.” It was voted as the top Culture article of 2021.

Editors note: Culture can mean many things to many people. In this instance, the form of culture discussed is television. This article was well written and Brianna conducted a respectful, yet inquisitive interview with the actress.


Awesome Audio

This award is given in recognition of the podcast “All Star Superfan.” It was voted the top podcast featured on the Daily Planet in 2021.

All Star Superfan

All-Star Superfan Podcast! A show by two Irish guys in their 30s with an encyclopedic knowledge of Superman, and regrettably little else. 

Editors note: I’m a sucker for a good podcast and, even though I wish all would’ve won, the popular vote goes to the fantastic All Star Superfan Podcast. This series is just a couple of Superman fans discussing the Man of Steel with numerous guests and it’s a total blast. Episodes explore every era of Superman and many surprise guests surface throughout.


Best Multimedia story

This award is given to Anthony Desiato in recognition of the article, “Digging For Kryptonite — How Superman Inspired Me – Special Edition.” It was voted as the top Multimedia article of 2021.

Editor’s note: Anthony’s story behind why Superman inspired his career move was heartfelt and honest. I felt like he was discovering more while discussing his inspiration from the character and I loved the journey. The host sharing his story on a Superman inspired podcast of his own design truly conveyed how much the Metropolis Marvel has impacted his life even further.


Best Superman feature

This award is given to Jainam in recognition of the article, “Must there be a Superman?” It was the top Superman related article of 2020, determined by the public.

Editor’s note: Congratulations to Jainam on his second win! His article exploring a question often asked by characters in the Superman mythos was fun to feature and very intriguing. It dived deep into so many different aspects of our favorite hero with such a personal angle from the author.

Award winners will receive a printed certificate later this year.

Zack Benz

Zack Benz has been a fan of the Daily Planet since he was eight years old. The Daily Planet has always been a beacon of hope for him and it’s his life’s mission to make it shine in a similar light to so many around the world. Zack graduated with a degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2019.

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