It’s plaudit season and winners and nominees are coming at us fast. Here’s a round-up of recent winners, nominees and short lists – apologies for cramming them all into one post.
§ Darrin Bell won the Pulitzer Prize for Cartooning, one of the the highest US honors for a cartoonist. Bell has a strip at his Candorville site, and his political cartoons can be seen on Twitter and elsewhere. Bell won
For beautiful and daring editorial cartoons that took on issues affecting disenfranchised communities, calling out lies, hypocrisy and fraud in the political turmoil surrounding the Trump administration.
In an interview with NPR, Bell talked more about how making cartoons about Trayvon Bell’s death inspired him to return to cartooning and speaking out against the current regime:
BELL: Well, artwork and cartoons have always been used to help us think things through. We’re hardwired to respond to images. It began with the first cave paintings. Written language began with hieroglyphics. There is something called art therapy that I think a lot of people know about. And sometimes I think that’s what cartooning is for me. When an issue is too hard to think about, I just start drawing and see what happens. And I just hope that if it’s not funny, at least it’s therapeutic. And if it’s therapeutic for me, I figure it’s going to be that way for readers as well.
The other finalists for the Pulitzer were Ruben Bolling and Rob Rogers.
§ The LA Times Book Prizes were awarded this weekend and Tillie Walden won for On a Sunbeam. Originally published as a webcomic, the print edition was put out by First Second. The judges were Darryl Ayo Brathwaite, Angie Wang and Mickey Zacchili.
§ The National Cartoonist Society has announced the finalists for their top award, the “Reuben” and they are Lynda Barry, Stephen Pastis, Hilary B. Price , Mark Tatulli and Brian Basset. The winner will be announced May 18th as part of the very first NCS Fest, a very ambitious and wide ranging event that will be held May 17-19 in Huntington Beach, CA. I’ll be writing more about that in a bit.
§ The Cartoonist Studio Prize, presented by Slate and CCS, has announced its 2019 winners and both explore the sometimes difficult intersection of motherhood and creativity.
Print: Keiler Roberts, Chlorine Gardens
Web: Lauren Weinstein, “Being an Artist and a Mother”
The winners were selected by Dan Kois, Keren Katz and Gil Roth.
§ The Doug Wright Award nominees have been announced! These awards will be presented May 11th as part of TCAF and honor the best in Canadian comics.
Finalists for the 2019 Doug Wright Best Book Award, presented for the best English-language book published in Canada, are:
A Western World (Koyama Press) Michael DeForge
Young Frances (Adhouse Books) Hartley Lin
Evie and the Truth About Witches (Koyama Press) John Martz
Somnambulance (Koyama Press) Fiona Smyth
Nominees for the 2019 Doug Wright Spotlight Award (a.k.a. The Nipper), presented to a Canadian cartoonist or team deserving of wider recognition, are:
Ariane Dénommé 100 Days in Uranium City (Conundrum Press)
Aminder Dhaliwal Woman World (Drawn & Quarterly)
Al Gofa Dark Angels of Darkness (Peow Studio)
Victor Martins Stay and You Don’t Have To be Afraid of Me
Sylvia Nickerson All We Have Left Is This
Eric Kostiuk Williams Our Wretched Town Hall (Retrofit Comics)
Each year, the Doug Wright Awards nominating committee chooses to honour the year’s most experimental, unconventional, or avant-garde comic with the Pigskin Peters Award. This year’s nominees are:
Eggshell 2 (ddogg) William Dereume
Winter’s Cosmos (Koyama Press) Michael Comeau
Promising Jupiter Ron Hotz
310, 310 (Peow Studio) Mushbuh
Retomber Xiaoxiao Li
The nominating committee for this year’s awards was Ehab Arafeh, Alex Hoffman, Betty Liang, and Sabrina Scott. The Jury consisted of Rotem Diamant, president and librarian of the Canadian Comics Open Library; Rebecca Roher, winner of the 2017 Doug Wright Best Book Award for her full-length debut, Bird in a Cage; Joe Ollmann, also a past winner of the Best Book Award, for This Will All End in Tears, in 2007, and a 2018 Best Book Award nominee, for The Abominable Mr. Seabrook; and Dalton Sharp, a cartoonist and long-time wrangler for the Toronto Comic Jam.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.