August 18, 2011

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2011 Ignantz Award Nominees Announced

The Small Press Expo is happening again this year, on September 10th and 11th, 2011 in Bethseda, Maryland. This will be my fourth year attending, and I have come to really look forward to it every fall.

Part of the fun of the Expo is the Ignantz awards, named of course for everyone's favorite brick-throwing mouse from the comic strips. While I've never attended the awards themselves (I feel like that's more for the artists than a reader-blogger), I'm aways excited to learn who comes away with a brick.

While I have voted the past three years in a row, I almost certainly won't be making the show on Saturday, and therefore won't get to participate. However, anyone planning to go to the show--and really, if you live anywhere relatively close to the Washington, DC area and are willing to experiment beyond capes comics, you should go--definitely needs to not only look out for the nominees but also have your vote count!

I admit that this time around, I am less familiar with the nominees. (I'll be sure to fix that before the day is through when I go on Sunday!) Carol Tyler's work is excellent, though fellow Paneler Erica is far more familiar with her work than I am. Box Brown is very highly regarded, and of course, the Kate Beaton popularity machine (seriously, her popularity at SPX is not only well deserved, it's unbelievably high) should net her another win. I'm fond of Gabrielle Bell's work, too, but Beaton is a special talent. I don't think I need to sing the praises of another Erica favorite, Jaime Hernandez.

It's also nice to see that the judges were not shy about online comics in the regular awards, with the inclusion of the quite good Box 13, published by Comixology. I did not read that particular issue, but the ones I have read are of a high quality.

Lastly, I am always impressed by the variety of sources for the nominees. While there are some familiar, repeating names like Fantagraphics, overall the choices are scattered among over two dozen publishers, if you count each indie published book as its own thing (and why not?).

When I go to SPX, I'll be looking for these creators and comics, and you should be, too. The list of nominees is below, courtesy of the SPX website.

2011 Ignatz Award Nominees

Outstanding Artist

Outstanding Anthology or Collection

Outstanding Story

Outstanding Series

Outstanding Comic

Outstanding Online Comic

Outstanding Graphic Novel

Promising New Talent

Outstanding Mini-Comic