Awards ceremony streams on October 9
The manga competed against Gou Tanabe's H.P. Lovecraft's At The Mountains Of Madness, Yoshiharu Tsuge's The Man Without Talent, Moto Hagio's The Poe Clan, and Kousuke Oono's The Way of the Househusband.
The Witch Hat Atelier manga's story centers on Koko, a girl who lives in a little village, and who has always dreamed of becoming a wizard. But being born without magical aptitude meant that she could never become a wizard, and could never hope to witness magic's spark. She gave up on her dream. But one day, a traveling wizard named Kiefley came to her village, and she happened to see him performing magic.
The series was nominated for the Best Comic award at Angoulême International Comics Festival in January 2019. The manga was also nominated for the 11th Manga Taisho awards in 2018. The series ranked in the top 10 on the list of the best manga for male readers in the 2018 edition of Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! (This Manga Is Amazing!) guidebook. The manga ranked on American Library Association's (ALA's) Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens list this year.
The Harvey Awards added the Best Manga category in 2018. Kabi Nagata's My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness manga won the first award in this category. Kōhei Horikoshi's My Hero Academia won the award last year. Witch Hat Atelier was also nominated last year.
In previous years, manga were nominated alongside other comics in the "Best American Edition of Foreign Material" category. The last manga to win the category was Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan in 2014. One-Punch Man and Showa: A History of Japan (1953-1989) were nominated in 2016 but did not win. "Best American Edition of Foreign Material" is no longer a category.
Unlike the Eisner Awards and other awards in the North American comic book industry, the Harvey Awards are nominated and selected by the comic book professionals themselves.
The Harvey Awards will have a digital event this year, and the ceremony will have a livestream on Friday during New York Comic Con's Metaverse digital event on Thursday-Sunday. This year's awards will induct "God of Manga" Osamu Tezuka into its Hall of Fame.