Welcome back to another heaping helping of international awards news – we have the shortlist for the first Sophie Castille Award; a new Hall of Fame in British comics; judges for the forthcoming Comic Arts Awards of Australia; Shun Umezawa manga Darwin Incident picks up French critics award; we dig through the Singapore National Book Awards finalists to spot the comics up for a prize; and Emily Carrington‘s Our Little Secret‘s Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize win. Read on!

[FULL DISCLOSURE: The author of this article, Beat contributor Dean Simons, was recently called up as a substitute jury member for the Sophie Castille Award]


The Sophie Castille Award for comics in translation announced shortlisted titles in the running for the first edition of the prize on July 10. Fifteen books were selected from 90 submissions. The winner will be declared at this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival taking place the weekend of Friday September 29 to Sunday October 1.

Shortlisted titles:

  • All Princesses Die Before Dawn, by Quentin Zuttion; translated by M.B. Valente (Europe Comics)
  • Always Never, by Jordi Lafebre; translated by Montana Kane (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Amazona, by Canizales; translated by Sofía Huitrón Martínez (Graphic Universe)
  • Animal Castle, by Xavier Dorison & Felix Delep; translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger (Ablaze)
  • Artist, by Yeong-shin Ma; translated by Janet Hong (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Golden Boy, by Mikael Ross; translated by Nika Knight (Fantagraphics)
  • He Who Fights with Monsters, by Francesco Artibani & Werther Dell’edera; translated by Micol Beltramini (Ablaze)
  • I Want To Be A Wall, by Honami Shirono; translated by Emma Schumacker (Yen Press)
  • The Nightmare Brigade, by Franck Thilliez, Yomgui Dumont & Drac; translated by Joe Johnson (Papercutz)
  • Plaza, by Yokoyama Yuichi; translated by Ryan Holmberg (Living the Line)
  • Tales of the Kingdom, by Asumiko Nakamura; translated by Lisa Coffman (Yen Press)
  • The Philosopher, The Dog and the Wedding, by Barbara Stok; translated by Michele Hutchison (SelfMadeHero)
  • The Sisters Dietl, by Vojtěch Mašek; translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood (Centrala)
  • Upside Dawn, by Jason; translated by Jason (Fantagraphics)
  • Walk Me To The Corner, by Anneli Furmark; translated by Hanna Stromberg (Drawn & Quarterly)

The Sophie Castille Award was set up in memory of the late Sophie Castille who – as international rights director and V. P. of licensing for Mediatoon as well as cofounder and director of digital-only publisher Europe Comics – was instrumental in bringing more books from Europe to the English-language comics world. Sophie passed away suddenly in 2022. The Sophie Castille Award was established by VIP Brands, Comica and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival to spotlight non-English work being translated and made available in English.

The jury for the inaugural Sophie Castille Award is Karen Green, Curator for Comics and Cartoons, Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library; Peter Kessler MBE, former TV producer and chair of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival; and comics journalist and regular Beat contributor Dean Simons. (Note: artist and former UK Comics Laureate Charlie Adlard – who was previously announced as a member of the judging panel – had to withdraw due to work commitments).


Earlier this year UK Showmasters event London Film and Comic Con announced a series of changes to the structure and running of the comics aspect of the event – with an intent to improve things, saying there would be “more exposure, panels and launches from the exhibitors planned, and signage and promotional material will also be increased”. As part of these changes a new Hall of Fame was announced – two inductees for services to the comics industry, the Alison Brown Cartoon Award (named after fondly remembered front of house manager of the London Cartoon Museum), and a media-leaning award for an inductee linked to the world of film, TV, and games.

At the most recent LFCC weekend event, July 7 to 9, the first four inductees were declared: comics writer Dan Slott, artist Brian Bolland, British underground cartoonist and satirist Hunt Emerson (who also received the Alison Brown Cartoon Award), and actor and author Claudia Christian – who has, alongside Chris McAuley and Staz Johnson, created the Dark Legacies comic that funded on Kickstarter in 2022.

Hunt Emerson, one of the first LFCC Comics Hall of Fame inductees and recipient of Alison Brown Cartoon Award

Emerson had posted on Facebook following the award:

“Hot times here at the London Film and Comics Convention in the heatwave. Olympia is full of media- related merchandise (I was going to say tat but that would be rude).
“I’ve been given an award! I’ve been inducted into the Comic Zone Hall of Fame, much to my surprise and pride.
“The award is also in memory of Alison Brown, of the Cartoon Museum, which makes it extra special.”


Comic Arts Awards of Australia announced the judges for this year’s awards – set to take place September 15, in Adelaide, before the Papercuts Comics Festival. The judges are No Man’s Land skating comic creator Sheydin Brooke Dew; Killeroo creator, founder of comics production business OzComics and community hub OzComics.com Darren Close; Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Graphic Novels Committee member Marissa King; Graphic Nature comics podcaster Zoran Ilievski; Heroes HQ comic store owner Jeannine le Vaillant; creator, publisher, co-convener of the Comic Arts Awards of Australia Gary Chaloner. Tim McEwen, also a co-convener of the awards, will act as reserve judge for any project an acting judge chooses not to assess based on content or subject matter.

The Comic Arts Awards of Australia were formerly called The Ledger Awards. The first Ledger Awards took place in 2005. The remit of the awards: “to acknowledge excellence in Australian comic art and publishing”. Patrons include comics writer Christy Marx (widow of Peter Ledger), original Ledger Awards coordinator Gary Chaloner, and Tim McEwen. 


Associate of French Comic Critics (ACBD) announces Shun Umezawa’s Darwin Incident winner of 17th Critics Prize for work from Asia (Prix Asie de la Critique ACBD). The first book in the series was published in French by Kana Editions in July 2022. The series had already won the 15th Manga Taisho Award – beating such luminaries as Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Look Back, Yukinobu Tatsu’s Dandadan and more. The English translation of the manga will be published by Vertical September 5, 2023.

The synopsis for the forthcoming Vertical edition:

“The Animal Liberation Alliance, an eco-terrorist organization, rescues a pregnant chimpanzee from an animal testing lab—only for it to give birth to a half-human, half-chimpanzee “humanzee” named Charlie! Fifteen years later, Charlie’s human foster parents are finally ready to send him to a normal high school, where he makes his first friend: a human girl named Lucy. In the meantime, however, the ALA’s stance has become ever more extreme, and now they’re here to drag Charlie into their terrorist plot…”

The other nominees for the Prix Asie de la Critique ACBD were:

  • Adieu Eri [Goodbye, Eri], by Tatsuki Fujimoto, (Crunchyroll) —- English edition published by Viz, June 2023
  • Box – Qu’y a-t-il dans la boîte? [tr. Box: What’s in the Box?], by Daijirô Morohoshi (Le Lézard noir) — surrealist mystery series, not available in English
  • Les Enfants du rêve chinois [tr. Children of the Chinese Dream], by Luxi (Sarbacane) – Chinese coming home drama, not available in English
  • Hirayasumi, by Keigo Shinzô (Le Lézard noir) – slice of life manga, not available in English


Singapore National Book Awards announced their shortlists July 13. There is no separate comics category but we were able to spot some titles across three of the nine categories.

Comics works are scattered in the Singapore National Book Awards finalist categories

Best Young Persons’ Title (two comics of four titles):

  • Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma (Vol. 2): Coming of Age, by Melanie Lee & Arif Rafhan (Difference Engine)
  • Screen Smart: Growing Up in the Digital Age, by May O Lwin, Wonsun Shin, and Alan Bay (World Scientific)

Best Educational Title (one comic of four titles):

  • The Intertidal Adventures of Biogirl MJ, by Man Jing Kong and Raye Ng (World Scientific)

Best Illustrated Non-Fiction Title (one comic of five titles):

  • The Pandemic Cookbook, by Hsu Li Yang and Sonny Liew (Epigram Books)


May 1, it was announced that Emily Carrington’s debut graphic memoir Our Little Secret won the 2023 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize. Judges also placed Kate Beaton’s Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands as an Honor Book. Both graphic novels published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Our Little Secret, a graphic memoir about sexual abuse, trauma and Carrington’s fight for restitution was published March 2022 by Drawn & Quarterly to much acclaim. It was nominated for a Doug Wright Award (Best Emerging Talent) and made the New York Public Library’s Recommends for Best New Comics for Adults.

The judges said about Carrington’s book:

“In this graphic memoir, Emily Carrington takes readers through her traumatic story of childhood abuse. While the novel begins with a warning, it only partially prepares the reader for the powerful narrative and emotional rollercoaster that they are about to be taken on. Throughout the journey, Carrington expertly uses the graphic novel format to set the tone and pace the narrative. The story is clear and engaging and invites readers to witness the author’s futile quest for redress through the courts. This cultivates empathy and performs a kind of grassroots justice without sacrificing literary and artistic excellence. Carrington’s visuals are confident and original. She uses metaphor beautifully, and seamlessly weaves surrealist threads throughout the narrative. Our Little Secret is fluid, utterly engaging, and evokes empathy and compels action.”

Honor Book for 2023 went to Kate Beaton’s Ducks: Two in the Oil Sands, which judges said:

“On the surface, the topic of this book may seem uncompelling, however Beaton has created a work that is anything but. Ducks is the story of its author’s experiences in the Oil Sands, far from home, and in an environment where men vastly outnumber women. Beaton opens and closes doors, compartments, and boxes; she knows how to show ingenuity and resilience with a convincing display. The art ranges from beautiful landscapes to expressive faces to detailed looks at heavy machinery. While providing a look into a small slice of life, this book engages with a range of heavy topics such as environmentalism, sexism, and the high cost of education. In other places it is a quiet story of growing up, of leaving home, of growing confidence. Throughout, Beaton pulls the reader through with rich images and a personal but relatable touch.”

Judges for this year’s Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize included graphic storyteller/independent scholar Maureen Burdock; designer and Penn State scholar Megan Dale; Schlow Centre Region Library’s head of patron services Ben Drain; and architectural historian Nico Verdejo. The jury chair was Penn State Brandywine’s Vairo Library head librarian Teresa Slobuski.

The Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize (also known as the Lynd Ward Prize for the Best Graphic Novel of the Year) is an annual award that began in 2011. It is sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and administered by Pennsylvania Center for the Book. Eligible books can be fiction or non-fiction, and must be published in the last calendar year by a living North American (i.e. US or Canadian) resident or citizen. While the winner is announced in the spring, the ceremony tends to take place in fall. Prize winners receive $2500, and both winning and honor authors received a two-volume box set of Lynd Wards: Six Novels in Woodcuts from the Library of America. Last year’s awardee was Lee Lai’s Stone Fruit (Fantagraphics), with honor books How to Pick a Fight, by Lara Kaminoff (Nobrow) and R. Kikuo Johnson’s No One Else (Fantagraphics).

We at the Beat are endeavouring to improve our coverage of international awards and news. If there is an award (especially those not in the English language) that we might have missed – do let us know at either [email protected] or [email protected].