Canadian cartooning awards tap newcomers, past stars

Ethan Rilly, who won the 2012 Doug Wright Spotlight Award for Pope Hats, about the give and take of career success, is nominated again at this year's awards for the best in Canadian cartooning.

Ethan Rilly, who won the 2012 Doug Wright Spotlight Award for Pope Hats, about the give and take of career success, is nominated again at this year’s awards for the best in Canadian cartooning.

His Pope Hats #3, the third in a series which follows Frances Scarland as she tries for a perfect balance in her career as a law clerk, is finalist for best book at the Doug Wright Awards.

He joins other past winners such as  Michael DeForge and Michael Comeau among the contenders for the annual awards.

DeForge is nominated for best book for his quirky social critique Lost #4, a mix of horror and humour. Comeau is a finalist in the experimental cartooning category for his Hellberta #2, described as a trip across Canada as a descent into hell wrought by intolerance and greed.

George Walker’s graphic novel about the artist who inspired the Group of Seven, The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson, is a finalist in the Spotlight category. The story of Tom Thomson's drowning death is told with a series of engravings by Walker, an artist who is a first-time nominee.

The full list of finalists for the 2013 Doug Wright Award for best book are:

  • Lose #4 by Michael DeForge (Koyama Press).
  • By This Shall You Know Him by Jesse Jacobs (Koyama Press).
  • The Song of Roland by Michel Rabagliati (Conundrum Press).
  • Pope Hats #3 by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books).
  • Wax Cross by Tin Can Forest (Koyama Press).

The nominees for the 2013 Doug Wright Spotlight Award, which recognizes Canadian cartooning talent:

  • Nina Bunjevac for Heartless (Conundrum Press).
  • Brandon Graham for King City (Image Comics).
  • Patrick Kyle for Black Mass, Distance Mover, Wowee Zonk #4.
  • George Walker for The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson (The Porcupine’s Quill).
  • Eric Kostiuk Williams for Hungry Bottom Comics.

Nominees for the 2013 Pigskin Peters Award, which recognizes the best in experimental or avant-garde comics are:

  • Hamilton Illustrated by David Collier (Wolsak & Wynn).
  • Hellberta #2 and "Sir Softly" from š! #12, by Michael Comeau.
  • Michael DeForge, Larry Eisenstein, Jesse Jacobs, Mark Laliberte (editor), Marc Ngui, Ethan Rilly, Tin Can Forest and Magda Trzaski from 4PANEL, a special comics features in Carousel Magazine.
  • Ginette Lapalme for "So, what should we do with ourselves?..." from Wowee Zonk #4 and  "Little Stump" in š! #12.

The awards will be presented at Toronto Comic Arts Festival on May 11.

The cartooning awards are named for the late Doug Wright, creator of The Nipper cartoon series that was syndicated across North America. 

Late Quebec cartoonist Albert Chartier will be posthumously inducted into the Giants of the North: The Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame.