Just announced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the winner of the inaugural 9th Art Prize is The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, by Stephen Collins.
A much-praised story, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is about a regular chap called Dave, who lives in a very neat and orderly society. But one day, he starts growing a beard, and it races through his home and starts creating instability in what used to be the most calm and organised place in the world. It’s about conformity and change, as the beard forces the locals to challenge themselves – and also causes some property damage (well, it IS evil, after all).
This is the first year of the 9th Art Awards, whose title comes from the belief that comics are “the ninth form of art” put forward by my uncle Morris (in actuality the nickname of Belgian Cartoonist Maurice De Bevere). Celebrating the best English-language graphic novels, the other nominees for the award were Chris Ware, Joff Winterheart, Hannah Eaton and Glyn Dillon.
Many congratulations to Stephen Collins on his win!