Many know that the awards ceremony for Spectrum 27: The Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art was supposed to take place in Kansas City March 20 during Planet Comicon, but COVID-19 turned everything topsy-turvy and everything was cancelled or postponed or shutdown as the world began battling the pandemic. With shelter-in-place and social-distancing the rule for, well, maybe the next month (at least), it seemed that the awards and honoring the nominees and recipients was going to sadly be limited to a press release and some notices on social media.

“Not so fast!” said Lauren Panepinto, Marc Scheff, and Dan dos Santos. “We’ve got the know-how! We’ve got a trunk full of costumes! We’ve got a virtual barn out back: let’s put on a show!” Faster than a jackrabbit on a date, this trio of superheroes coordinated with John Fleskes and Kathy Chu at Flesk Publications, wrangled a star-studded group of presenters, melted down my phone with a jillion texts, and in short-order organized a virtual awards ceremony. Jointly sponsored by Drawn & Drafted, Muddy Colors, Flesk Publications, and SFAL, the gala will be hosted by Lauren (who promises a multitude of surprises as the ceremony progresses) and will feature such luminaries as Cynthia Sheppard, Scott Gustafson, Karla Ortiz, George Pratt, Yuko Shimizu, Iain McCaig, and more! (I had to insert the exclamation point there.) You can bet this is going to be a wonderful evening that will give us a much-needed break from the CoronaVirus Blues.

And you’re all invited!

Since its inception 27 years ago, Spectrum‘s credo has always been to respect the past, celebrate the present, and to embrace the future. Please plan to join us at

Saturday, April 4th at 8pm to toast our community and the Fantastic Arts. It’s absolutely free and it will absolutely be fun. And to remind everyone who this year’s awards finalists are, visit the Spectrum website to view all of the nominees.

If you want to stay up to date on the event, and receive a reminder before it goes live, simply click here and signup for the mailing list:

Thanks to Lauren, Marc, and Dan for making this possible! Please feel free to grab the announcement graphic, share, and spread the word. And we definitely hope everyone will join us April 4th!