Rebecca Roher wins best book prize at Doug Wright Awards

Rebecca Roher(Photo courtesy of Rebecca Roher)

Rebecca Roher took home top honours at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, winning the Doug Wright Best Book Award for Bird in a Cage.

The Doug Wright Awards annually celebrate the best in Canadian comics.

Roher's Bird in a Cage is a work of nonfiction about the artist's grandmother, who suffered from early-onset dementia. It portrays Roher's grandmother's slow decline, interspersed with family memories and revelations about her youth.

"Somebody said to me that when somebody dies, the book of their life falls open, and that was what I wanted to capture," Roher said to CBC Books in a 2016 interview. "She's an unlikely protagonist, an elderly lady - often their stories are overlooked."

Bird in a Cage is Roher's debut book. In 2016 she was named one of CBC Books' writers to watch.

Past winners of the prize include Seth, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Jeff Lemire and Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki.

The Doug Wright Spotlight Award, given to a Canadian cartoonist who is believed to deserve wider recognition, was awarded to Steve Wolfhard for his book Cat Rackham.

Henriette Valium received the Pigskin Peters Award for The Palace of Champions. The prize is given to the best avant-garde or unconventional comic.

Katherine Collins was inducted into the Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame. Collins, formerly known as Arn Saba, was recognised for her contribution to field of Canadian cartooning. Her comic, Neil the Horse, ran in Canadian newspapers from 1975 until 1982. She also frequently appeared on CBC, as a performer and as a cultural commentator on comics and cartooning.

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