The 18th Doug Wright Awards nominees were announced yesterday, alongside the news of a return to an in-person ceremony for 2022 – after two years of pandemic induced digital exclusive events. The late children’s book author Margaret Bloy Graham was also announced as the latest Giants of the North hall of fame inductee.

The Awards on their website said,

This year, 153 entries by Canadian authors and artists were submitted to the Doug Wright Awards in four categories. Nominees and winners were chosen by a panel of three judges per category. Books from approximately 40 publishers were submitted, along with more than three dozen self-published works.

Nominations were selected by a twelve-strong judging panel – Sami Alwani, David Craig, Jamie Coville, Inderjit Deogun, Mike Donachie, Ebony Flowers, Napatsi Folger, Jamie Michaels, Peter Phillips, Veronica Post, Shea Proulx, and Sherwin Tija. You can find their bios here.

The winners in all categories will receive a small cash sum and the Nipper (Emerging Talent) awardee will receive the opportunity of a week at Valleyview Artist Retreat, Caledon, Ontario.

The ceremony for the 2022 Doug Wright Awards will take place in an open air venue at Harold Town Park, Toronto, 7pm Saturday June 18th – as part of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. It will also be livestreamed.

The publisher with the most nominations this year is Conundrum Press, at three noms, closely trailed by Drawn & Quarterly, Tundra Books, and Candlewick Press with two apiece.

Brigitte Archambault received two nominations for The Shiatsung Project – for Best Book and The Nipper (Emerging Talent). A fine and sculptural artist and animator from Montreal, Archambault’s debut graphic novel, according to the publisher:

“explores surveillance culture and authoritarian control, and how they disrupt our very human need for connection, intimacy, and a meaningful life.”

Two self-published creators also received double nominations – in Nipper debuts and Pigskin Peters for Best Small- or Micro-Press Book. Sofia Alarcon with Endsickness No. 1, and Alexander Laird for Sleemor Gank: Burg Land No. 1.

One anthology got a nomination – The Northern Gaze, from Hecate Press in the Pigskin Peters category. The anthology features nine artists from the northern Canadian regions and is edited by Kim Edgar.

Canadian Hall of Fame inductee children’s book illustrator Margaret Bloy Graham (1921–2015) spent the majority of her career in the USA. Bloy Graham’s first children’s book was All Falling Down (1951) with her first husband Gene Zion (1913-1975) as writer, earning her the first of two successive Caldecott awards. Her most famous work is Harry the Dirty Dog (1956). As a picture and children’s book author she worked as both an illustrator and solo author.

Congratulations to all nominees!

The 2022 Doug Wright Award for Best Book

  • The Shiatsung Project, Brigitte Archambault (Conundrum Press)
  • Cyclopedia Exotica, Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • The Rock From the Sky, Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press)
  • Stone Fruit, Lee Lai (Fantagraphics)
  • Fictional Father, Joe Ollmann (Drawn & Quarterly)

The Nipper: The 2022 Doug Wright Award for Emerging Talent

  • Sofia Alarcon, Endsickness No. 1 (Self-published)
  • Sami Alwani, The Pleasure of the Text (Conundrum Press)
  • Brigitte Archambault, The Shiatsung Project (Conundrum Press)
  • Alexander Laird, Sleemor Gank: Burg Land No. 1 (Self-published)
  • Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen, Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’ and Pass Me By: Electric Vice (Renegade Arts Entertainment)

The Pigskin Peters: The 2022 Doug Wright Award for Best Small- or Micro-Press Book

  • Endsickness No. 1, Sofia Alarcon (Self-published)
  • Fruit/Soil, Kim Edgar (Moniker Press)
  • The Northern Gaze, Akeeshoo Chislett, Chris Caldwell, Cole Pauls, Andrew Sharp, Juliann Fraser, Esther Bordet, Alison McCreesh, Keith Verbonac, Princess J; edited by Kim Edgar (Hecate Press)
  • Sleemor Gank: Burg Land No. 1, Alexander Laird (Self-published)
  • Dwellings No. 2, Jay Stephens (Black Eye Books)

The Egghead: The 2022 Doug Wright Award for Best Kids’ Book

  • Simon and Chester: Super Sleepover!, Cale Atkinson (Tundra Books)
  • Otter Lagoon, Mike Deas and Nancy Deas (Orca Book Publishers)
  • Living with Viola, Rosena Fung (Annick Press)
  • Shirley and Jamilla’s Big Fall, Gillian Goerz (Dial Books for Young Readers)
  • Over the Shop, JonArno Lawson and Qin Leng (Candlewick Press)
  • Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem, Lauren Soley (Tundra Books)