Brown, DeForge, Doucet, Oliveros, Martz lead nominations for 2017 Doug Wright Awards
Neil the Horse cartoonist and journalist Katherine Collins headed to Giants of the North Hall of Fame
April 13, 2017, Toronto, ON — Nominees were announced this morning for the 13th annual Doug Wright Awards, which recognize the best work and most promising talent in Canadian comics. Sixteen comic creators and works are nominated in three categories. In addition, Katherine Collins, author and artist of the groundbreaking comic Neil the Horse Comics and Stories, was named as this year’s inductee to the Giants of the North, aka the Canadian cartoonist hall of fame. The Doug Wright Awards will be a featured event at the 2017 Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), which takes place at the Toronto Reference Library, May 13-14.
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Nominees for the 2017 Doug Wright Best Book Award, presented for the best book published in Canada (in English):
- Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Big Kids by Michael DeForge (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Burt’s Way Home by John Martz (Koyama Press)
- The Envelope Manufacturer by Chris Oliveros (self-published)
- Bird in a Cage by Rebecca Roher (Conundrum Press)
Nominees for the 2017 Doug Wright Spotlight Award (a.k.a. The Nipper), presented to a Canadian cartoonist deserving of wider recognition:
- Jessica Campbell, Hot or Not: 20th-Century Male Artists (Koyama Press)
- GG, “These Days,” “Lapse” (both from š! No. 25 [kuš!]), and an untitled story from Altcomics Magazine 3 (2dcloud)
- Nathan Jurevicius, Birthmark (Koyama Press)
- Laura Ķeniņš, Alien Beings (kuš!)
- Brie Moreno, Dearest, Gift Shop 3D (Oireau), Missy, an untitled story from š! No. 6 (kuš!), various web comics
- Steve Wolfhard, Cat Rackham (Koyama Press)
Nominees for the 2017 Pigskin Peters Award, presented for the most experimental, unconventional or avant-garde comic:
- Carpet Sweeper Tales by Julie Doucet (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Draw Blood by Ron Hotz (self-published)
- Garbage by Matthew Reichertz (Conundrum Press)
- After Land by Chris Taylor (Floating World Comics)
- Palace of Champions by Henriette Valium (Conundrum Press)
This year’s inductee to the Giants of the North Canadian cartoonist hall of fame, which celebrates creators who have made a life-long contribution to the field, is pioneering cartoonist and accomplished comics journalist Katherine Collins.
Ms. Collins was known as Arn Saba before transitioning into a woman in 1993. Saba’s mother and great-grandmother both were published cartoonists and Saba became encouraged to start drawing comics himself at the age of six. Saba spent several years contributing to Morningside, CBC Radio’s popular national morning show, where he carved out a niche as a commentator on comics and cartoonists. In 1979 he produced and hosted The Continuous Art, a five-part documentary series for CBC Radio that explored the cultural ghettoization of comics via interviews with cartoonists Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, Milton Caniff, Walt Kelly, and Gil Kane, among others.
Saba’s character Neil the Horse appeared in newspapers from 1975 to 1982, and in 15 issues of his own self-titled comic book series, published by Aardvark-Vanaheim and Renegade Press, between 1983 and 1988. Neil the Horse Comics and Stories was the first (and according to Collins, last) musical comic book, featuring original songs and a cast of characters that appeared to have stepped out of a Max Fleischer cartoon. Collins will be a featured guest at TCAF this year and will attend the 2017 Doug Wright Awards to accept her honour in person.
Finalists for this year’s awards were chosen from more than 150 works published during the 2016 calendar year. This year’s nominating committee consisted of Sean Rogers, Joe Ollmann and Betty Liang. The jury for the 13th annual Doug Wright Awards includes: Dakota McFadzean, cartoonist and 2016 Doug Wright Award winner; Sue Carter, editor of Quill & Quire and book columnist for Metro.
The winners of the 2017 Doug Wright Awards will be presented at a ceremony held in the Forest Hill Ballroom at The Marriott Bloor Yorkville hotel, 90 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario on May 13. Admission is free, but limited.
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About the Doug Wright Awards
The Doug Wright Awards were founded in 2005 to recognize the best English-language comics (or translations from French) published in Canada by Canadian cartoonists. The awards are named for Doug Wright (1917–1983), creator of Nipper/Doug Wright’s Family, one of the most widely recognized Canadian comic strips of the 20th century.
About The Toronto Comic Arts Festival
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is a weeklong celebration of comics and graphic novels and their creators, which culminates in a two-day exhibition and vendor fair featuring hundreds of comics creators from around the world. Additional festival events include readings, interviews, panels, workshops, gallery shows, art installations, and much more. TCAF is held at Toronto Reference Library in Toronto, Canada, and in the surrounding neighbourhood, and is presented by Toronto Public Library and The Beguiling Books & Art. For more information visit torontocomics.com.