The British Comics Awards were held for the first time last year, and this year a steering committee has put together perhaps the first comic book awards judging panel with groupies: Gareth David (lyricist and singer in the band Los Campesinos!), Lenny Henry (actor, writer and comedian), Stephen L Holland (co-owner and manager of Page 45 comic shop), Jamillah Knowles (writer and broadcaster), Graham Linehan (comedy writer and director), Josie Long (comedian, writer and actress) and Sarah McIntyre (cartoonist and children’s book illustrator).

According to the pr , the judges were “selected by the BCA Committee and chosen for their interest or involvement in comics and for their ability to view the medium critically as works of art and entertainment from their point of view as successful professionals in their respective creative industries.” They are also totally cool. (Linahan alone is assured god status for all times for creating both Father Ted and The IT Crowd.) But they aren’t just celebs, but genuine comics loving celebs.

To put this in US terms, this would be like comics-loving media figures Bill Hader and Rachel Maddow judging a comics award.


The BCA’s recognize the best in British Comics in these categories: Best Comic, Best Book, Young People’s Comic Award, Emerging Talent and Hall of Fame, in conjunction with Thought Bubble and will be held on Saturday 23rd November 2013 as part of the festival.

The awards committee selected short lists for each category and judges select the winner in Best Comic, Best Book and Emerging Talent. The nominations are still open with ends end of July the cut off date for books suitable for younger readers and the end of August is the deadline for all other releases.


  1. Why are most of these judges comedians, or comedic writers? I wonder what the creators think of having their work judged by people outside of the industry.

  2. I’d imagine it’s what they’re used to – having their comics judged and rated by comic book fans. It’s refreshing to have a comics award decided by somebody who isn’t personally connected to the winners.

  3. Difficult in smaller comics industries as people end up being judged by their friends or not-friends. Being judged by those you may already work with is a bit of a conflict of interests at best.

  4. I think it’s good that the judges are for the most part not part of the comics industry. It allows them to be a bit more impartial and objective. With any award given from within the industry there is bound to be some pettiness, and clique-iness going on. External voices give an interesting viewpoint.

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