The nominees for this year’s Ignatz Awards, to be presented Saturday, September 15th at the Small Press Expo, have been announced. As usual, it’s an eclectic mix spotlighting some outstanding work from off the beaten path—Inés Estrada— and some from mainstream publishers—My Friend Dahmer.

Nominees were selected by a five-person panel: Edie Fake, Minty Lewis, Julia Wertz, Dylan Meconis, and Lark Pien.

The PR accompanying the nominees notes that this year’s ceremony will star at 9:30—much later than usual. Our guess is that this allows for a nice dinner, a quick awards and then the usual bacchanal.

No overwhelming favorite emerged, although Jaime Hernandez and/or LOVE AND ROCKETS got three nominations—but none for “The Love Bunglers,” the sentimental favorite. Instead, the judges chose “Return to Me” from the same great issue.

Additional information on the nominees and previews (as available) can be found at http://www.spxpo.com/ignatz-awards.

2012 award watcher

Outstanding Artist
Marc Bell – Pure Pajamas (Drawn & Quarterly)
Inés Estrada – Ojitos Borrosos (Self-published)
Jaime Hernandez – Love and Rockets New Stories (Fantagraphics)
Craig Thompson – Habibi (Pantheon)
Matthew Thurber – 1 800 Mice (Picturebox)

Outstanding Anthology or Collection
Big Questions – Anders Nilson (Drawn & Quarterly)
Hark! A Vagrant – Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
The Man Who Grew His Beard – Olivier Schrauwen (Fantagraphics)
Nobrow #6 – Various artists (Nobrow)
Ojitos Borrosos – Inés Estrada (Self-published)

Outstanding Graphic Novel
Big Questions by Anders Nilsen (Drawn & Quarterly)
Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland by Harvey Pekar and Joseph Remnant (Top Shelf)
My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (Abrams ComicArts)
Troop 142 by Mike Dawson (Secret Acres)
A Zoo In Winter by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

Outstanding Story
1 800 Mice by Matthew Thurber (Picturebox)
“Keith or Steve,” Mome #22, by Nick Drnaso (Fantagraphics)
Lucille by Ludovic Debeurme (Top Shelf)
“Return to Me,” Love & Rockets New Stories #4, by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
“The  Weeper,” Papercutter #17, by Jason Martin and Jesse Reklaw (Tugboat Press)

Promising New Talent
Lauren Barnett – Me Likes You Very Much (Hic & Hoc Publications)
Clara Besijelle – The Lobster King (Self-published)
Tessa Brunton – Passage (Sparkplug Books)
Lila Quintero Weaver – Dark Room: A Memoir in Black and White (University of Alabama Press)
Lale Westvind – Hot Dog Beach (Self-published)

Outstanding Series
Black Mass by Patrick Kyle (Mother Books)
EOTMC by Leslie Stein (Self-published)
Ganges by Kevin Huizenga (Fantagraphics)
Love and Rockets New Stories by The Hernandez Brothers (Fantagraphics)
Pope Hats by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books)

Outstanding Comic
Hot Dog Beach #2 by Lale Westvind (Self-published)
Passage by Tessa Brunton (Sparkplug Books)
Pterodactyl Hunters by Brendan Leach (Top Shelf)
The Sixth Gun #17 by Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn (Oni Press)
Pope Hats #2 by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books)

Outstanding Mini-Comic
The Death of Elijah Lovejoy by Noah Van Sciver (2D Cloud)
Hypnotic Induction Technique by Grant Reynolds (Self-published)
The Monkey in the Basement and Other Delusions by Corinne Mucha (Retrofit Comics)
Ramble On #2 by Calvin Wong (Self-published)
RAV #6 by Mickey Zacchilli (Self-published)

Outstanding Online Comic
Amazing Facts…and Beyond! with Leon Beyond by Dan Zettwoch and Kevin Huizenga
Black Is the Color by Julia Gfrorer
Lucky by Gabrielle Bell
Starslip by Kris Straub
SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki


  1. Do we make a distinction between an imprint of a major publisher which produces quality graphic novels (Abrams ComicsArt) and a independent publisher of graphic novels distributed by a major publisher (Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics)?

    There’s nothing in the Ignatz guidelines which states that the Ignatz Awards are connected to the spirit of the Small Press Expo. Section III does define each award, but any publisher could submit work. True, the jurors do select the best works, and tend to favor small press work, but if an issue of Super Amazing Wonder Guy completely reworks the superhero genre, and the techniques of storytelling, it could qualify. (I’m picturing the comics equivalent of “Twelve Angry Men”…)

    Has there been a drift towards larger publishers in the history of the Ignatz?

    What’s most interesting to me:

    Hmmm… how soon we see a table from the Association of American University Presses at conventions, selling the odd title from a variety of university presses? Or tables from an university publisher with a dedicated graphic novel list, such as the University Press of Mississippi?