Comics / Comics News

The Doug Wright Awards 2010

By Hervé St-Louis
April 17, 2010 - 09:45

The Doug Wrights Awards announced their new short lists for 2010 about a month ago and this year seems to have nominees than before. The Doug Wright Award is a Canadian award covering Canadian cartoonists. Their focus is less on all types of Canadian creators, unlike the Shuster Award. That makes the Doug Wright Awards a more intimate celebration of Canadian comic books. In the larger North American industry there is already this type of demarcation between the types of comic books that reach the public. On one hand, there are more commercial products and those based on licensed properties. And then there is work of the smaller team with more personal types of stories. They are often referred to as alternative comics, but at The Comic Book Bin, we don’t like that word because it reduces a comic book as being the antithesis of something else. We believe all comics should be defined positively and without having to be compared to other genres and types. All comic books should stand proud on their own.

Having said that this year features a first for the Doug Wright Awards. They’ve included a comic book in native French that was not translated in their line up. Bébête (The Bug) by Quebec cartoonist Simon Bossé features a bug on the cover. The nomination categories include the Doug Wright Awards finalists for Best Book, Doug Wright Awards finalists for Best Emerging Talent and Pigskin Peters Award (for unconventional, "nominally-narrative" comics). Nominees include several cartoonists and authors published by Drawn and Quarterly . Other publishers include Douglas and McInTyre, The Porcupine’s Quill, L’Oie de Cravan, Topatoco, Conodrum Press. Most other works are by cartoonists that self publish their own work. One must note that the Doug Wright Award also lists The Collected Doug Wright Volume One by Doug Wright edited by the award’s director Brad Mackay. It should have been omitted from the nominations.

The Doug Wright Awards seem willing to experiment with differing format but sometimes the real question is are whether or not they are starving for Canadian talents to honour. One such case is John Martz’s It's Snowing Outside. We Should Go For a Walk. It’s a 12 page mini-comics that can be read entirely online. While the strip is quite entertaining, it’s hard to compare such short project with other longer works. This is something that happens often in Canada and smaller polities like Quebec. There is such a drought of talent in some industries, that any entrant is treated as a great creator on par with those creating longer works.  I believe that for Canada to evolve that the standard should push for more and not be complimentary. The opposing argument to this competitive approach to creativity is that in the world of say poetry, a poet is not honoured for the length of his poem and the number of verses, but for his insight and talent in as few a word or as many as he wishes. The compromise to this would be what the literary world already does. It separates long novels from short stories.  Hartz’s It’s as a mini-comics would be the equivalent of a short story in comic book form and perhaps that would redress the imbalance in weight I perceive.

The 2010 Doug Wright Awards will occur as part of the TCAF comic book convention in Toronto, which our course is already listed in the Comic Book Bin’s iPhone app.

The Doug Wright Awards finalists for Best Book are:

    * Back + Forth by Marta Chudolinska (The Porcupine's Quill)
    * George Sprott: (1894-1975) by Seth (Drawn and Quarterly)
    * Hot Potatoe by Marc Bell (Drawn and Quarterly)
    * Kaspar by Diane Obomsawin (Drawn and Quarterly)
    * Red: A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (Douglas and McIntyre)

The Doug Wright Awards finalists for Best Emerging Talent are:

    * Adam Bourret I'm Crazy
    * Michael DeForge Lose #1 (Koyama Press), Cold Heat Special #7 (Picturebox)
    * Pascal Girard Nicolas (Drawn and Quarterly)
    * John Martz It's Snowing Outside. We Should Go For a Walk.
    * Sully The Hipless Boy (Conundrum Press)

The finalists for the 2010 Pigskin Peters Award (for unconventional, "nominally-narrative" comics) are:

    * Bébête Simon Bossé (L'Oie de Cravan)
    * Dirty Dishes by Amy Lockhart (Drawn and Quarterly)
    * Hot Potatoes by Marc Bell (Drawn and Quarterly)
    * Never Learn Anything From History by Kate Beaton
    * The Collected Doug Wright Volume One by Doug Wright (Drawn and Quarterly)

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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