Vivek Shraya & Ness Lee among finalists for 2020 Doug Wright Awards, recognizing the best in Canadian comics

The 2020 Doug Wright Awards will be broadcast online on May 9, 2020.
Death Threat is a comic by Vivek Shraya (right) and Ness Lee. (Arsenal Pulp Press, Tanja Tiziana)

Death Threat, a comic by writer and musician Vivek Shraya and illustrated by Ness Lee, is among the finalists for the 2020 Doug Wright Awards, which celebrate Canadian comic creators.

This year, 151 books by Canadian authors and artists, including three dozen self-published works, were up for consideration in four categories: best book, emerging talent, small- or micro-press book and kids' book.

Death Threat is shortlisted for the Doug Wright Award, which is given annually to the best Canadian book.

Death Threat is an autobiographical work that explores Shraya's experience of receiving abuse online.

Also nominated for the Doug Wright Award is Agnes, Murderess by Sarah Leavitt. Agnes, Murderessis inspired by the legend of Agnus McVee, a 19th century roadhouse owner in B.C. The legend, which hasn't been substantiated by historians, suggests that McVee murdered several gold miners and sex workers who stayed at her inn. 

Cole Pauls, a Tahltan comic artist, is shortlisted for best emerging talent and best book for kids for his debut graphic novel Dakwäkãda Warriors.

Dakwäkãda Warriors, translated into two dialects of Southern Tutchone, tells the story of Two Earth Protectors tasked with saving the planet from evil pioneers and cyborg sasquatches. The book serves as an allegory for colonialism.

The Doug Wright Award shortlist includes:

The Nipper Award is awarded to the best emerging talent. The shortlist includes:

The Pigskin Peters Award recognizes the best small or micro-press book. The shortlist includes:

  • Boumeries, Vol. 9 by Boum
  • Gleem by Freddy Carrasco
  • Baby in the Boneyard by Jesse Jacobs
  • Curb Angels by Lisa Mendis, Christopher Ducharme and Lucas C. Pauls
  • Dejects by Jay Stephens

The Egghead Award is for the best book for kids aged 12 and under. The shortlist includes:

In 2019, the Doug Wright Award introduced a new annual honour of inducting one living and one deceased member of the Canadian comics community to the Giants of the North hall of fame. 

Walter Ball, longtime Toronto Star cartoonist and art department supervisor, best known for the strip Rural Route, is this year's Giants of the North posthumous nominee. 

The induction of the living Giants of the North nominee has been delayed to 2021, when a live public ceremony is expected to take place.

Nominees and winners are chosen by a panel of three judges per category.

This year's judges include Shanda Deziel, Deborah Dundas, Meags Fitzgerald, Jesse Jacobs, Calum Johnston, Alison McCreesh, Serah-Marie McMahon, Noah Van Sciver, Todd Stewart, Philip Street, Maurice Vellekoop and Kat Verhoeven. 

The 2020 Doug Wright Awards will be broadcast online on May 9, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET.

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