Julie Doucet, Montreal-based creator of the comic book series Dirty Plotte, and Ann Marie Fleming, a Vancouver filmmaker who created a graphic novel based on the life of her great-grandfather, have been nominated for Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning.

Doucet's 365 Days: A Diary and Fleming's The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam are among four graphic works nominated for best book of the year.

The others are Spent by Joe Matt, a Los Angeles-based artist who specializes in neurotic cartoons parodying himself, and Southern Cross, which depicts life on southern Pacific islands affected by nuclear testing, by Canadian woodcut artist Laurence Hyde. 

Fleming's story of her Chinese grandfather who was a headliner on the vaudeville circuit of the 1920s is a graphic novel based on her 2003 film about him, also called The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam.

The Doug Wright Awards, established in 2005, honour the best graphic novels, comics and cartooning in Canada.

A new category, The Pigskin Peters Award (named after a character in the Canadian comic strip Birdseye Centre ) has been introduced this year to recognize progressive works that are more experimental or lack a traditional narrative structure.

The nominees in that category are:

  • Milk Teeth by Vancouver's Julie Morstad.
  • Little Lessons in Safety by Toronto's Emily Holton.
  • Excelsior 1968 by Toronto's John Martz (self-published).
  • Fire Away by Vancouver's Chris von Szombathy.

The nominees for best emerging talent include three self-published books:

  • Pope Hats by Ethan Rilly.
  • Kieffer #1 by Jason Kieffer.
  • The Experiment by Nick Maandag.

Also nominated in this category is Essex County Vol.1 Tales From The Farm & Vol. 2 Ghost Stories by Toronto cartoonist Jeff Lemire

The finalists for the Fourth Annual Doug Wright Awards were chosen by a nominating committee that included cartoonists Chester Brown and Seth, Canadian director Jerry Ciccoritti, comics historian Jeet Heer and writer and blogger Bryan Munn.

The winners will be announced in Toronto in August.