Monday, May 09, 2005

New Award Recognizes Canadian Graphic Novels

Caroline Skelton at Quill & Quire covers the Wright Awards:

"May 6, 2005

Until this year, Canadian comic-book creators in search of award recognition had to rely on foreign prizes, like the Will Eisner Awards in the U.S. This spring, though, not one but two new Canadian comic-book award programs have sprung up, independently of each other. The inaugural Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards were presented April 30, and the first Doug Wright Awards will be presented May 28.

The Wright Awards will feature two categories: Best Book (any comic book,
graphic novel, or collected work), and Best Emerging Talent (a category that
honours new or improving cartoonists from these three mediums). Winners will
be decided by a panel of judges, including Globe and Mail books reporter
Rebecca Caldwell and cartoonist and Louis Riel author Chester Brown.

The ceremony, says organizer Brad Mackay, should be a "low-key" affair, taking
place during the Toronto Comics Art Festival. (There is a trophy, but no cash prize.)
The shortlist for the Best Book category includes Seth's Clyde Fans Book One
(Drawn & Quarterly/Raincoast), Marc Bell's Worn Tuff Elbow #1
(Fantagraphics/Raincoast), Genevieve Castree's Pamplemoussi (L'oie de
Cravan), David Collier's The Frank Ritza Papers (D&Q/Raincoast), and Darwyn
Cooke's The New Frontier Vol. 1 (DC Comics/H.B. Fenn).

Though both the Wrights and the Shusters have been in the works for some
time, there was no co-ordination of the two. "It was a complete coincidence," Mackay says. Where the Wrights focus on new talent and completed books, the Shusters also recognize various areas of behind-the-scenes work, including publishers and retailers as well as writers and artists. "The Doug Wright Awards pick up where the Shusters leave off," writes Shusters organizer Kevin Boyd in an e-mail.

Joe Shuster, the artist and co-creator of the Superman character, moved from
Canada to Cleveland, Ohio, at age 10, and achieved success through the
support of mainstream audiences. Doug Wright, however, succeeded within a
Canadian market by depicting scenes of day-to-day Canadian life. He is known for the syndicated comic strip Nipper (later dubbed Doug Wright's Family), which ran for three decades. Mackay says Wright is "an example of a Canadian artist who managed to succeed while staying in Canada, which is the point of the awards as well.""

Quill And Quire