The nominees have been announced for the inaugural British Comic Awards, held in conjunction with Thought Bubble, the Nov. 17-18 Leeds comic art festival. Recognizing “the finest examples of creativity, ingenuity, skill and originality in sequential storytelling” by U.K. creators over the past year, the awards don’t distinguish between print and digital or published and self-published.
The Hall of Fame inductee will be selected by the BCA committee and announced shortly before the Nov. 17 awards ceremony. The nominees for the Young People’s Comic Award, presented in association with the Leeds Book Awards and Leeds Library, were selected by that same committee, and will be voted upon by children at participating schools. The winner will be announced Nov. 16 in a ceremony at the Leeds Library.
The nominees for the first British Comic Awards are:
More corroboration emerges for my theory that the United Kingdom is quietly undergoing a Golden Ages of comics publishing: The return of that foundation stone of the mid-’80s U.K. indie scene, Escape Books, came last month with the publication of The Great Unwashed, a compilation of work from assorted ’80s and ’90s anthologies by the Pleece Brothers. Now current U.K. indie staple Paul Rainey has announced that Escape will be collecting his previously self-published kitchen sink sci-fi epic No Time Like the Present.
That work luxuriated in the minutia of just how time travel would realistically alter the lives of its cast of pop-culture obsessives. Rainey’s currently running webcomic Thunder Brother: Soap Division will give you a hint of the earlier work’s tone: As before, things start realistically enough before escalating quickly into the surreal as genre elements get introduced in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. Plus, a working knowledge of U.K. television is fairly essential in both cases.
And the first installment of David Lloyd’s start-studded new digital anthology Aces Weekly has gone live. Designed to work just as well on the screen of a home PC as on a tablet, it’s a fine-looking interface. The digital edition of Lloyd’s graphic novel Kickback also showed how canny the man is when it comes to producing comic work for new media, and the man should know a thing or two about launching an anthology — his work appeared in the first issues of Hulk Weekly, Warrior, plus the second issue of A1 — and they all turned out to be important milestones in the development of the format.
All this recent talk of defunct DC Thomson girls’ and kids’ comics, plus the release this week of the latest issue of Mudman from Image Comics, has prompted The Dandy‘s Lew Stringer to post some of Paul Grist’s early work for the historic Scottish publisher. These pages show how Grist’s style was born almost fully formed, remaining fairly unchanged to this day.
Grist isn’t the only familiar name to today’s U.S. comics audience to have worked there, of course: Grant Morrison wrote and drew some Starblazer digests; Sean Phillips also used to draw for DC Thomson’s girls comics, simultaneously to the period Grist was working at Nikki, while just out of art college, and was even drawing strips for Bunty in 1982, while just 17 (Sean blogged extensively on the subject in 2007); and Dan McDaid was once a sub-editor on a women’s magazine at the Dundee giant(!).
A new U.K. street-press comics anthology announced itself Tuesday by simultaneously launching a website and a Twitter account making an open call for submissions. Intrigued by this approach, we contacted editor Daniel Humphry to discuss his ambitions for the new title.
Robot 6: How far on are you with your plans for issue 1?
Daniel Humphry: Everything seems to be coming together pretty well so far. The first call for artists went out two days ago, along with our site and Twitter going live, and already we’ve had plenty of strong submissions, though deadline isn’t until Aug. 24. The next stage is approaching advertisers, and after that we’ll be aiming for a mid-September launch date.
Any contributors you’re ready to name, or are you still recruiting?
I probably shouldn’t name any just yet, as we’re only a few days in to recruiting, but I can say I’ve been surprised by some of the names who’ve submitted, given their experience on more established anthologies or magazines.