Monday, 31 March 2014

2014 Doug Wright award finalists announced

The Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning announced their prize finalists for 2014 on Friday. Celebrating 10 years since its founding this year, the awards aim to recognise the best in English-language comics (or translations of French) by Canadian cartoonists, in 3 categories: best book, a 'spotlight' award  bestowed upon cartoonists deserving of wider recognition, and a prize for the best experimental or 'avant-garde' comic. The annual ceremony takes place on the Saturday evening at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Below is a list of nominees in each category:

Best Book: 
  • Palookaville #21 by Seth (Drawn and Quarterly) 
  • Paul Joins the Scouts by Michel Rabagliati (Conundrum Press) 
  • Science Fiction by Joe Ollmann (Conundrum Press) 
  • Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée (Drawn and Quarterly) 
  • Very Casual by Michael DeForge (Koyama Press) 

Spotlight Award (a.k.a. 'The Nipper') recognising Canadian cartoonists deserving of wider recognition
  • Connor Willumsen- Calgary: Death Milks a Cow, Treasure Island, Mooncalf, and Passionfruit 
  • Dakota McFadzean- Other Stories and the Horse You Rode in On 
  • Patrick Kyle- Distance Mover #7 – 12, New Comics #1 - 2 
  • Steven Gilbert- The Journal of the Main Street Secret Lodge 
  • Georgia Webber- Dumb # 1 – 3 

Pigskin Peters Award, recognising the best in experimental or avant-garde comics: 
  • Calgary: Death Milks a Cow by Connor Willumsen 
  • Flexible Tube with Stink Lines by Seth Scriver 
  • Journal by Julie Delporte
  • Out of Skin by Emily Carroll 
  • Very Casual by Michael DeForge 

I generally prefer awards that keep things tight in relation to number of categories, and Canada has a wealth of cartoonists, currently especially those who seem to be at the forefront of the cartooning zietgiest in formative, important, yet different ways: Michael Deforge, Connor Willumsen, Patrick Kyle, Emily Carroll.

The awards have also announced an additional feature component to the programme at TCAF for 2014, which will see the formal induction of the pioneering artists of the Second World War 'Canadian Whites' comics into The Giants of the North: The Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame during the ceremony on Saturday May 10. Here's a little more on the Canadian Whites comics:

'The Canadian Whites were black-and-white comics produced between 1941 and 1946 that contained a host of original (and iconic) Canadian characters such as Johnny Canuck, Canada Jack and Nelvana of the Northern Lights. These characters were created by the likes of Murray Karn, Adrian Dingle, Gerry Lazare, Leo Bachle and Jack Tremblay.'  

Panel from Death Milks a Cow by Connor Willumsen