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The annual Doug Wright Awards, honoring the best in Canadian comics, were handed out in a virtual ceremony last Saturday. Normally these are a highlight of TCAF but…well, you know the drill.

However, the event organizers seem to have made the best of sheltering in place, with a very lively streaming ceremony which you can watch right here on YouTube!

Don McKellar returned as host but there were several new wrinkles to the pageantry, For the first time, winners get a cash prize of $100. The winner of the Nipper Award, recognizing emerging talent, also gets a week-long retreat in Caledon, Ontario, courtesy of Valleyview Artist Retreat.

ALSO for the first time, a new award was presented: The Egghead, presented to the best kids’ book. As Doug Wright Awards are traditionally accompanied by some kind of ceremonial headgear, you can see what a fertile field this is.

Below is a completely list of nominees, with winners marked with ***. Best book winner Nina Bunjevic scored her THIRD DWA and second for best book. She is a champion!

The Doug Wright Award for best book

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•••Bezimena Nina Bunjevac, Fantagraphics Books

This Place: 150 Years Retold 
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, David A. Robertson, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Jen Storm, Richard Van Camp, Katherena Vermette, Chelsea Vowel, Tara Audibert, Kyle Charles, GMB Chomichuk, Natasha Donovan, Scott A. Ford, Scott B. Henderson, Ryan Howe, Andrew Lodwick, Jen Storm, Donovan Yaciuk, Alicia Elliott
HighWater Press

The Cursed Hermit, Kris Bertin, Alexander Forbes, Conundrum Press

Agnes, Murderess, Sarah Leavitt, Freehand Books

Death Threat, Vivek Shraya, Ness Lee, Arsenal Pulp Press

Bradley of Him, Connor Willumsen, Koyama Press

 

The Nipper: The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent

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***Sylvia Nickerson, Creation, Drawn & Quarterly

D. Boyd, Chicken Rising, Conundrum Press

Jason Bradshaw, Things Go Wrong, Paper Rocket

Ben O’Neil, Apologetica, Popnoir Editions

Cole Pauls, Dakwäkãda Warriors, Conundrum Press

The Pigskin Peters: The Doug Wright Award for best small- or micro-press book

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***Gleem, Freddy Carrasco, Peow Studios

Boumeries, Vol. 9, Boum, Self-published

Baby in the Boneyard, Jesse Jacobs, Hollow Press

Curb Angels, Lisa Mendis, Christopher Ducharme, Lucas C. Pauls, At Bay Press

Dejects, Jay Stephens, Black Eye Books

 

The Egghead: The Doug Wright Award for best kids’ book

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***The Worst Book Ever, Elise Gravel, Drawn & Quarterly

Brick Breaks Free, David Craig, Self-published

Lunch Quest, Chris Kuzma, Koyama Press

Dakwäkãda Warriors, Cole Pauls, Conundrum Press

Alma and the Beast, Esme Shapiro, Tundra Books

Giants of the North: The Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame

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Walter Ball (1911–1995), the longtime Toronto Star cartoonist and art department supervisor, best known for the strip Rural Route.

Our thanks to this year’s judges: Shanda Deziel, Deborah Dundas, Meags Fitzgerald, Jesse Jacobs, Calum Johnston, Alison McCreesh, Serah-Marie McMahon, Noah Van Sciver, Todd Stewart, Philip Street, Maurice Vellekoop, and Kat Verhoeven. You can read more about each of our judges on the Doug Wright Awards Web site.

Thanks as well to this year’s sponsors, the Beguiling/Little island/Page & Panel, Broken Pencil, and Taddle Creek, and our sponsor in absentia, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (come back soon!).

As you can see, the usual DWA crew was out in fine, if socially distanced, form.

This year’s judges were: Shanda Deziel, Deborah Dundas, Meags Fitzgerald, Jesse Jacobs, Calum Johnston, Alison McCreesh, Serah-Marie McMahon, Noah Van Sciver, Todd Stewart, Philip Street, Maurice Vellekoop, and Kat Verhoeven. You can read more about each of our judges on the Doug Wright Awards Web site. Sponsors included the Beguiling/Little island/Page & Panel, Broken Pencil, and Taddle Creek, and TCAF. Poster art by Hartley Lin.

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