The 20th annual Ignatz Awards, honoring the year’s best small press and self-published comics, were held last night at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland. Via ComicOn, here are the winners:
Richie Pope – “The Box We Sit On:” Artist Richie Pope is an illustrator and cartoonist based in Dallas, Texas, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Scientific American, TIME, and The Washington Post, as well as Google. “The Box We Sit On” follows two boys trying to uncover the point of the titular strange metal box.
“Sex Fantasy” – Sophia Foster-Dimino: Published by Koyama Press, this anthology by San Francisco-based artist Sophia Foster-Dimino collects a variety of strips which “are esoteric and immensely personal. Covering a span of four years, the comics collected here build a relationship that is deeper than their elegantly drawn surfaces.”
“Comics for Choice” – edited by Hazel Newlevant, Whit Taylor and Ø.K. Fox: “Comics for Choice” is a charity anthology, the proceeds from which raises funds for National Network of Abortion Funds. Over 60 artists and writers collaborated with lawyers, activists, medical professionals, historians, and abortion fund volunteers to contribute to the book, which combines personal stories with educational segments “about the history of abortion, current political struggles, activism, and more.”
Newlevant (an editor at Lion Forge) and Taylor (a New Jersey-based cartoonist) are among 11 creators facing a defamation lawsuit from an indie publisher. You can read more about the case and donate to the Small Press Expo’s fundraiser for the defendants here.
Outstanding Graphic Novel:
“Frontier” – Youth in Decline: “Frontier” is a quarterly series begun by publisher Youth in Decline in 2013, which places the spotlight on a newly popular indie artist in each issue, showcasing a new original story, and an interview with them.
“Say It With Noodles: On Learning to Speak the Language of Food” – Shing Yin Khor: Shing Yin Khor (aka Sawdust Bear) is a sculptor, cartoonist and installation artist whose work has appeared on The Nib, The Toast, and HuffPost. “Say It With Noodles” was a comic strip published in Catapult magazine, where Khor reflected on her late grandmother’s cooking.
“How to Be Alive” – Tara Booth: “How to Be Alive” is a series of painted vignettes by Philadelphia-based artist Tara Booth, which follow her as she struggles to do small things like picking out matching socks, watering her plants, or cutting her hair.
Outstanding Online Comic:
“Lara Croft Was My Family” – Carta Monir: This comic, published by the ZEAL project on Medium, is a reflection by Michigan-based cartoonist Carta Monir on why her father loved playing Tomb Raider on PC so much.
Promising New Talent:
Iasmin Omar Ata – “Mis(h)adra:” Iasmin Omar Ata is “a Middle Eastern / Muslim / epileptic comics artist, game designer, and illustrator who creates art about coping with illness, understanding identity, dismantling oppressive structures, and Arab-Islamic futurism.” Their work has appeared in PEN America, CollegeHumor, and has been exhibited by Art Palestine International. Their debut graphic novel, “Mis(h)adra,” followed an epileptic Arab-American struggling with his illness at college.
“How the Best Hunter in the Village Met Her Death” – Molly Ostertag: Ostertag’s seven-part comic, available here, is “about a hunter and a beast, and pride and ferocity and the parts of oneself that must be met and fought in the darkest parts of an unfamiliar forest.”
For the rest of the year’s nominees, check out the SPX’s list here.