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DeForge, Fake, Harkham lead the 2011 Ignatz Award nominations

Lose #3 by Michael DeForge, Gaylord Phoenix by Edie Fake, Crickets #3 by Sammy Harkham

The nominees for the 2011 Ignatz Awards have been announced on the website for the Small Press Expo. Awarded every year at SPX and named after the brick-throwing mouse from Krazy Kat, the Ignatzes are selected by an anonymous jury of five creators and voted on by attendees of the show. There’s nothing in comics quite like lugging around the actual, honest-to-god bricks awarded as trophies to the winners.

This year, cartoonists Michael DeForge, Edie Fake, and Sammy Harkham top the list of nominees with three nods apiece. DeForge’s Lose, the third issue of which was released this year by Koyama Press, earned him nominations for Outstanding Artist, Outstanding Series, and Outstanding Comic. Fake received an Outstanding Artist nomination for his Secret Acres graphic novel Gaylord Phoenix, which is also up for Outstanding Graphic Novel, while the the fifth issue of the series collected in the GN earned an Outstanding Mini-Comic nod. Harkham’s self-published Crickets is up for Outstanding Series thanks to its third issue, which is nominated for Outstanding Comic and contains “Blood of the Virgin,” nominated for Outstanding Story.

On the publishing side, Fantagraphics leads the pack with five nominations, split between Joe Daly (Outstanding Series, Dungeon Quest), Joyce Farmer (Outstanding Graphic Novel, Special Exits), Jaime Hernandez (Outstanding Story, “Browntown,” from Love and Rockets: New Stories #3), and Carol Tyler (Outstanding Artist and Outstanding Graphic Novel, You’ll Never Know, Vol. 2: Collateral Damage).

Secret Acres and Sparkplug tie for the silver with four nominations each. Secret Acres boasts the two nods for Fake’s Gaylord Phoenix graphic novel, plus another two for Joe Lambert’s I Will Bite You (Outstanding Artist and Outstanding Anthology or Collection). Sparkplug was tapped for editor Annie Murphy’s Gay Genius (Outstanding Anthology or Collection), Elijah Brubaker’s Reich (Outstanding Series), Dunja Jankovic’s Habitat #2 (Outstanding Comic), and Chris Cilla’s The Heavy Hand (Outstanding Graphic Novel).

Not to tip my own hand here, but as with the Harveys, it’s refreshing to see that Hernandez’s “Browntown” and Chris Ware’s Lint, arguably two of the best comics of all time, are nominated in the relevant categories for best comics of the year. You’d think you could take that for granted, but you’d be surprised! Moreover, DeForge, Fake, and Harkham’s books really are excellent, and Fantagraphics, Secret Acres, and Sparkplug are high-quality, gutsy publishers. Not a lot to be unhappy about with this list!

Hosted by cartoonist Dustin Harbin, the Ignatz Awards gala will take place on Saturday, September 10 at SPX in Bethesda, Maryland. See the entire slate of nominees after the jump.

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What Are You Reading?

Batgirl #17

Welcome to a long holiday weekend (at least here in the United States) edition of What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Doug Zawisza, who writes reviews and the occasional article for Comic Book Resources.

To see what Doug and the Robot 6 gang are reading, click below.

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Harkham cancels Crickets

Crickets

Crickets

OK, this is officially getting depressing now. Hot on the heels of Kevin Huizenga’s announcement that he is pulling the plug on his D&Q pamplet series Or Else, cartoonist and Kramer’s Ergot editor Sammy Harkham says on his blog that he is canceling his D&Q-published pamphlet series, Crickets after only two issues. Unlike Huizenga, he minces no words abou the reason why:

Wanted to just let those favorite few of you out there to know that my comic book, Crickets, has been cancelled due to changes made by the major comics distributor that effectively made it impossible to continue in the comic book format. Crickets #3 will come out in some DYI form in the next couple months…after that, I dont know exactly. While I am really bummed about this, as I feel I never even really got started on it, I appreciate all the people who supported it when it was coming out. Thanks. To the future.

Man, I really liked that comic too. Should we start some kind of Drowning Pool and take bets as to what series is next on the chopping block?

(found via)


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