British Comic Awards – Nominations Announced

Published On October 12, 2012 | By Richard Bruton | Awards, Comics

The first British Comic Awards will be held in partnership with the annual Leeds Thought Bubble Comic Art Festival in November, with the inaugural ceremony on the evening of Saturday 17th November.

The awards are designed to be simple, streamlined, focusing on great British comic work in just 5 categories; Best Comic, Best Book, Emerging Talent, Hall Of Fame, and Young People’s Comic Award.

Best Comic, Best Book, and Emerging Talent will be chosen by the Judging Panel from a list of nominations chosen by the BCA committee (of which I am a member). The Hall Of Fame award recipient is chosen by the committee (and that will be announced at the awards). But today is all about those nominations….

 

Best Book

Don Quixote Volume 1 by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)

Goliath by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)

Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)

Nelson, edited by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix (Blank Slate Books)

Science Tales by Darryl Cunningham (Myriad Editions)

 

Best Comic

Accidental Salad by Joe Decie (Blank Slate Books)

Bad Machinery: The Case Of The Fire Inside by John Allison

Girl & Boy by Andrew Tunney

Hemlock Issue 3 by Josceline Fenton

Tuk Tuk Issue 1 by Will Kirkby

Emerging Talent Award

Kristyna Baczynski

Josceline Fenton

Will Kirkby

Louis Roskosch

Jack Teagle

 

Young People’s Comic Award 

Chosen by local Leeds schools, from a nomination list chosen by the BCA committee. And because we needed to get the schools choosing early, we announced those nominations back in September. Here’s a quick reminder….

Bad Machinery: The Case of The Fire Inside, John Allison, http://scarygoround.com

Dinopopolous, Nick EdwardsBlank Slate Publishing (Chalk Marks)

Gum Girl Volume 1 Catastrophe CallingAndi WatsonWalker Books

Hilda and the Midnight Giant, Luke PearsonNobrow Press

The Lost Boy, Kate BrownThe Phoenix Comic

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

15 Responses to British Comic Awards – Nominations Announced

  1. Oo, what fabulous choices!

  2. BPP says:

    Good to see 2000AD so well represented! A turd heir to the Eagles is Born! Oh, sorry, I mean ‘true’!

    • Richard says:

      Oh. I see what you did there BPP. That’s clever.

      So your point seems to be that because we haven’t put up any 2000AD strips, you are completely writing off what we have chosen. Okay, what would you have put in and what would you have left out?

  3. BPP says:

    Well Richard, thank you for the question. First of all lets modify the question you ask by my not suggesting what should go out of the list. I congratulate each and every one of the above named creators on both their professional success and their inclusion on the list. I didn’t curate the list so it would be immodest for me to prune it. Of the works named I have purchased several, looked at others and decided they weren’t to my taste and not seen a few. Lets blame that state of affairs on living in the boon-docks.

    To move to what should have been included, I’ll just mention in brief a few things I think could have had a case for inclusion without relentlessly going through Prog and Meg to ferret out or promote everything that I thought was ‘superior’ amongst the Rebellion output in the last year.

    Before we go further lets not quibble over selection criteria, I’ve not gone to see what your publication dates are, I’m taking a ‘rough last 12 months’ guideline and ‘British’ as the guidelines. You can take these suggestions as within the spirit of those or you can go research each yourself to see if you can bowl some of them ‘out’. After mentioning a few 2000AD related comics I’ll also address what I think is a problem with the list that 2000AD seems to be the spearhead of.

    Comic – 2000AD itself, if you are including anthologies. If not well, you should. There are enough of them out there, from small press to the glossily promoted Clint. Now should I bore everyone with an argument about why 2000AD has been better than every other comic, go into detail about its output through the year or just leave it at that 2000AD should have been in ‘Best Comic If We Are Including Anthologies.’

    And if we are not – Individual stories from the last 12 months
    – Dredd: The Day of Chaos (Wagner, Wilsher, Flint, Gallagher et al)
    – Dante: The Wedding of Jena Makarov, The Dante Gambit, Sympathy for the Devil (Morrison, Fraser, Burns)
    – Shakara: Avenger (Morrison, Flint)

    Again details? If you wish but obviously briefly as we’ve all things to be doing on a cold Saturday…

    Dredd – Wagner. All Wagner. A majestic slow burn twisting of the knife into the guts of the most famous city and rich tapestry of accumulated references, characters, story strands and continuity. Each week engaging, completely open to ‘new’ readers and told with a mastery voice. There are many great comics writers out there but Wagner is in the pantheon of comic greats. The artists did a great job but the DoC stands as one of the best written comics the UK has ever produced.

    Dante – Again much like the DoC a sort of ending, a different path – the operatic and swashbuckling. Slinky, melodramatic, funny and heroic. And then a willingness to destroy your most bankable asset. Sure the ending was open but to get there most of the story-world of the last 15 years was destroyed. No ‘return of professor X’ here. Morrison’s writing has been great, the final chapter lifting the exact text from the very first was a majestic final flourish but unlike DoC here he is greatly aided by the beauty of Simon Fraser’s unique action art. I could write four paragraphs on his ability to convey facial expression alone before we get to his beautiful panoramic splash pages and unique bendy limbs.

    Shakara – Unlike the last two, Shakara’s astounding force is the art of Henry Flint. The UK’s gonzo Moebius whose S Clay Wilson meets Carlos Ezquerra style found its spiritual home in a comic where you can drive planets through intergalactic armadas. In a year where Dr Who mouthed ‘Dinosaurs!On a Space Ship!’ if you had read Shakara you would have been thinking, ‘meh, they aren’t Commando Attack Dinosaurs with huge guns fighting in Zero-G on a Spaceship as drawn by the UK’s best artist bar none.’

    There’s three, am sure readers could counter with others.

    As for emerging talent? Tiernen Trevallion? Edmund Bagwell? James Mackay? (I’ll accept the latter got a little photo reference cheesecake this year, however his inking is sublime and a beautiful unique take that echo’s past masters but never copies).

    Thats probably enough suggestions. I could joke that Mike Carroll’s Dredd has been clearly written for kids but we’ll leave that category aside. However in the kids category I would suggest the Warpaint by Hester / McCrea. Which nicely moves to my wider point which is that this list appears to reject totally the more commercial sector of action comics – 2000AD, StripUK, CLiNT, DrWho or the commercial kids sector – The Dandy, The Phoenix (I’ll even say Ben10 but I have to confess I know nothing about Ben 10 (same caveat actually for CLiNT and Dr Who) . It is, in the adult categories, a very ‘indie’ list. Not that there is anything wrong with that and of course again there is little point in quibbling over categories such as ‘commercial’, ‘indie’ ‘action’, you get my point I’m sure. In a very small world such as comics I’d doubt any list that composed ‘purely’ action adventure anthologies as being the ‘best’ of the year and likewise I’ll doubt any that says all the good stuff came from the new-wave/indie/alt. scene. Its just when you look at that list it says ‘we like a very specific sector of the scene’. Was stuff like Elephant Man or The New Deadwardians considered? Maybe, its just from that list there is no sign of it.

    None of us can read everything that comes out, you yourself admitted a complete blank slate to 2000AD before you undertook reading it this year. Maybe the composition of the judges had something to do with how the list came out, or maybe given all I’ve said you / they still attest that the selections above are ‘Best’ book/comic/emerging talent. That’s fine, its just opinion. But if you really do think that then we’ll just have to disagree while saluting those that made it.

    • Richard says:

      So the “turd heir to the Eagles” line wasn’t exactly justified is what you’re saying? Good to know.

      I don’t want this to descend into debating the choices, as the basic issue is that we’ll ALL have a different 5 that way. Hell, all the nomination committee had a different 5 and we had to debate to get down to a final list. I just think your choices and ours aren’t going to match up – which is fair enough and always bound to happen. Basically what we’re trying to do with the British Comic Awards is create something we can be genuinely proud of.

      The Eagles descended into a joke; too many categories, too much US influence in the choices, too much potential for dubious decisions etc etc. We want to create something that showcases some of the best in British comics. And in our nominations this year we think we’ve done it. Is it the same list everyone would come up with? Of course not. But is it a quality list representing the best of the UK? We think so.

      Yes, of course the nominations list is dependent upon the people deciding upon the make-up of the list. But that’s always the case. There’s certainly a good argument to be made regarding Day Of Chaos and Dante, but in the end they didn’t make it. Shakara in 2000AD was outside the aug 2011-sept 1st 2012 window, and I personally haven’t read the collection (like you say, we can’t read everything – and no-one put it in their suggestions mailed in to the website). As for the inclusion of 2000AD as a nominee or not, well if you look at the categories we have you’ll notice that 2000AD doesn’t really fit into Best Book or Best Comic. So it would have to get in through individual stories. And this year, nope. However, next year I can certainly imagine me putting Day Of Chaos in as Best Book (for the collection) and Brass Sun as Best Comic – although that’s right now – things may change. And that’s just my opinion, the other committee members may disagree.

      The Emerging Talent award really is designed to be for really new artists. As we say on the BCA website: “This creator will have shown irrepressible talent, ingenuity, and potential over the previous year and will be early on in their career as a comic creator”. So possibly we’re looking for artists earlier in their careers than you list.

      As for the “indie” accusation, that rather depends on how you class it. You could look at the “best book” list and say we have a non-fiction (Science tales), a couple of classic adaptations (Don Quixote, Goliath), a drama (Nelson), and a fantasy (Hilda). Maybe next year we’ll have an action title in there, or a straight sci-fi, or a superhero, or autobiog, or romance, or comedy, or any of the myriad different genres within the medium of comics.

      In the end, everything you and I have said over this comes down to opinions. And I’m glad we’ll stimulating debate on the issue, because that’s something else we’re hoping the awards will do.

      Just to correct you on one thing regarding 2000AD – I never said I was a blank slate for it, merely that I’d never been a weekly reader (http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2012/2000ad-a-novice-writes/). I’ve read a fair bit in collection form over the years, but this was the first time I made the decision to experience the comic the way so many people told me I should.

  4. Matt Badham says:

    Well, how pleasant…

    I don’t entirely disagree with your position, BPP, but your ‘turd heir’ comment made me not want to listen to you.

    I think that’s called an own goal.

    And I think you owe Richard an apology.

  5. Max Wimbledon says:

    BPP:

    Why do awards exist? Surely to reward talent, and to promote deserving work. There may be plenty of deserving work in 2000AD, but given that it has been just about the only game in town for 15 years, maybe it was time to open up the doors of British comics to talent from outside the closed shop of futuristic, aggressive sci-fi dystopia.

  6. Matt Badham says:

    I can think of lots of 2000 AD creators who deserve wider recognition.
    Al Ewing, for example, is one of the most interesting writers to emerge in comics in the last decade or so.

    I think there’s a very good argument to be made that 2000 AD has been a bit ignored and marginalised… a situation that has been somewhat remedied in the last couple of years. (Including here at this blog, which gives excellent, wide-ranging coverage to all aspects of comics.)

    (And, yes, disclaimer… blah, blah, blah, I have written posts for the FPI blog, so my impartiality could be questioned. And, yes, contributed to the Judge Dredd Megazine…)

    I remember one guy at a prominent comics mag (now defunct) telling me that 2000 AD readers aren’t comic fans…

    Erm… okay.

    The Prog isn’t perfect. It does run stories I don’t like. But it’s crammed full of wild and inventive talents, some of whom suffer from a real lack of attention from the comics press and awards peeps.

    Having said that, I think everything on the BCA list deserves to get an award, so by that definition…

    …good list!

    • Richard says:

      Al was nominated by email by a member of the public for Best Emerging Talent at the British Comic Awards. Nice sentiment, but we had to say no, don’t think he could classed as emerging.

  7. Matt Badham says:

    And, another thing, it’s got us thinking, talking and debating comics and comics award processes, which has got to be a good thing!

  8. Richard says:

    As for the whole “process” involved to even get to this stage….. bloody hell, you wouldn’t believe some of the conversations we’ve had over this, trying to tie everything possible down before nominations!

    I think Adam will be putting something on the BCA site about the whole process once the awards are handed out.

  9. Matt Badham says:

    Interesting insight, Richard… cheers.

    I would be very interested to know what the process was when it came to coming up with the various categories and the number of categories.

    I must keep an eye on the BCA site…

    Thanks for your replies.

  10. Cliodhna says:

    the ‘turd heir’ comment was really uncalled for. The reality of things is you are never going to please everyone and there will always be quibbles but I think the British Comic Awards looks very promising and I say this as someone who isn’t always super positive about awards of this nature. I look at that short list for best book and see books that are firstly of a high quality, secondly complete works of a fairly substantial size, books showing a range of styles and genres, books that feel ‘british’ for lack of a better term and good examples of what is current and relevant to the British comics scene [and I stress British there] and books that have had both national and international praise since their release. And I agree with Richard regarding the new talent noms, all super talented folks who are at the start of their careers, at least one of whom has self published a tribute comic to 2000AD so they may well be the 2000AD stars of the future. These are exactly the kind of talents who these awards will help with developing their careers which for me at least is the whole point.

    Can I name other books that I think should have been on that list, of course, but as Richard has said it does have to eventually come down to personal choice and a compromise between those on the jury. Speaking of which looking through the list of those on the jury I think that to is well balanced, the whole thing was open for public input to suggest nominations and the mess that the Eagle awards was in the last few years shows that leaving it 100% up to a public vote just results in a joke of an award that no one in the industry or the general public takes seriously.

  11. BPP writes:
    “I could joke that Mike Carroll’s Dredd has been clearly written for kids but we’ll leave that category aside.” Ha ha! Good one, BPP! I… Wait, what?

    I’m not eligible for an award in any of the categories, given that I’m not British, nor is Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos, because writer John Wagner is American: “Nominees for the British Comic Awards must be the work of a wholly British creative team.”

    (This does bring up an interesting question: what happens if – or when – Scotland gains independence? Will the Scots still be British? That’s a whole big chunk of massively talented creators who might no longer be eligible!)

    Anyway, well done to all the nominees! It is to my shame that I have never heard of most of them – I shall attempt to rectify this!

    — Mike

    • Richard says:

      The Scottish Independence thing is something we’ll get to if and when it’s needed. But to be honest I’m personally offended that no-one at the SNP has been in touch to discuss the implications of this.