Nominees for the awards were chosen by a jury of five creators and voted on by attendees at the show. This year’s jury included Edie Fake, Minty Lewis, Dylan Meconis, Lark Pien and Julia Wertz.
The 2012 Ignatz award winners are:
Outstanding Artist: Jaime Hernandez – Love and Rockets New Stories (Fantagraphics)
Outstanding Anthology or Collection: Hark! A Vagrant – Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
Outstanding Graphic Novel: Big Questions by Anders Nilsen (Drawn & Quarterly)
Outstanding Story: “Return to Me,” Love & Rockets New Stories #4, by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
Promising New Talent: Lale Westvind – Hot Dog Beach (Self-published)
Outstanding Series: Love and Rockets New Stories by The Hernandez Brothers (Fantagraphics)
Outstanding Comic: Pterodactyl Hunters by Brendan Leach (Top Shelf)
Outstanding Mini-Comic: The Monkey in the Basement and Other Delusions by Corinne Mucha (Retrofit Comics)
Outstanding Online Comic: SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
Awards | Big Questions by Anders Nilsen has won the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize for 2012, the second such award given by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book. The organization also named four honorees: Freeway by Mark Kalesniko, Habibi by Craig Thompson, Life with Mr. Dangerous by Paul Hornschemeier and Zahra’s Paradise by Amir and Khalil. The awards will be presented during a ceremony at Penn State later this year. [Pennsylvania Center for the Book]
Publishing | IDW Publishing has promoted Dirk Wood to vice president of marketing. Wood joined IDW in 2010 as director of retail marketing. [IDW Publishing]
Conventions | Misha Davenport previews this weekend’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly column where we successfully answer the question in the title. Our special guest this week is Janice Headley, events coordinator, publicist and “ambassador of awesome” for Fantagraphics.
To see what Janice and the Robot 6 crew have been reading this week, click the link below.
Any Empire (Top Shelf) Nate Powell’s follow-up to 2008’s well-received Swallow Me Whole is similar in tone and subject matter. The former is a palpable sadness borne of masterfully communicated verisimilitude is the former, and the latter is troubled lives of young people.
The effects of various forms of militarism on young boys, and the lives that can result, accounts for much of Powell’s focus, as two of the three principal characters grew up with real soldiers in their families, and the boys devote much of their imaginative lives to war fantasies inspired by G.I. Joe comics and toys and Hollywood movies like Platoon.
A third character, a young girl, is similarly affected by her fantasy life, although she plays at girl detective thanks to Nancy Drew novels, rather than dealing with the anxieties the boys suffer trying to live up to their society’s narrow notion of manliness.
All three share a school and exposure to a weird neighborhood mystery—turtles are being found badly wounded, their shells smashed intentionally—but they drift into radically different directions as they reach adulthood and, eventually, they reunite.
It’s pretty heartbreaking stuff, but it’s never hard to read, as Powell infuses the narrative with occasionally quite startling fantasy sequences that seem to ebb and flow from the lives of the characters; initially these sequences seem summoned by them in order to deal with boredom or escape stressful situations, but later they seemingly have a life of their own, coming unbidden.
“It’s my newest book, but it’s also my oldest.”
Big Questions was Anders Nilsen’s first comic. That was 1999. Twelve years later, the epic series is finally finished and ready to come out in a massive 600-page collected edition from Drawn & Quarterly. What’s it like to have the entire dozen-year breadth of your career as a cartoonist exist as a single story between two covers? CBR’s Alex Dueben asked Nilsen about it. I’m lucky enough to own every single issue of the series, including those early minicomics, and it’s an absolute beast — half Achewood-style character-driven funny-animal comic, half nightmarish and shocking exploration of violence and fanaticism, and half document of Nilsen’s startling progress as an artist. Okay, that’s three halves, but hey, it’s a big book. You should read it, and this interview.