The Slate Book Review and the Center for Cartoon Studies are proud to announce the nominees for the second annual Cartoonist Studio Prize. The winner in each of our two categories will be announced March 7; each winner will receive $1,000 and, of course, eternal glory. The shortlists were selected…
Click on the link to see the shortlist of the 10 best graphic novels and webcomics of the year!
Here’s a few CCS students on their top graphic novels of the year:
Tom O’Brien picks Charles Forsman's TEOTFW (The End of the Fucking World): “It’s awesome,” he says.
Hannah Kaplan's choice is My Dirty Dumb Eyes, by Lisa Hanawalt. Hannah says “It’s hilarious and the art is beautiful and colorful. Much of it is absurd, yet I relate to it.”
Bridget Comeau selects Max Badger's Oak. Here’s her take: “It’s visually stunning and I love the style/medium used. I love comics where you can see the ‘maker’s mark’ and you can’t really see that anymore in a lot of comics these days!”
Ben Gowen's top pick is You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, by Tom Gauld. Ben says, “it was funny. It was clever without being oversmart. The art was clean and professional. The materials felt good in my hands.”
John Carvajal chose Taiyo Matsumoto's Sunny, Vol. 1 as his top graphic novel of the year and he must have thought that the work speaks for itself because he didn’t have anything else to say about it!
Simon Reinhardt on his webcomic of the year, Dylan Horrocks’ Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen:
I didn’t really read a ton of webcomics this year, so consider this endorsement less a statement that this is the best of all the webcomics, and more that it’s a great one and very much worth your time.
Dylan Horrocks has been making comics for a long time—his graphic novel Hicksville is one of my (and I think many others’) favorites—and now he’s serializing his current project for free online. It’s a delightful meta-comic about comics history, fantasy, and creative blockage.
Reilly Hadden on his pick for the book of the year, Michel Fiffe's Copra Compendium, volumes 1, 2, and 3:
Created by Michel Fiffe and published by the new outfit Bergen Street Comics Press, Copra is a completely mindblowing work of psychedelic super-hero genius. Sort of an homage to the old Ostrander (?) Suicide Squad, it quickly shows itself to be its own unique thing and it’s amazing how skilled and fast Fiffe is. My fave comic of the year for sure.
Schulz Librarian Dan Rinylo picks Cole Closser’s Little Tommy Lost for his graphic novel of the year! Here’s what Dan has to say:
Nobody is doing anything like what Cole is doing with Little Tommy. The characters and world he’s created are solid, beautiful, and rich. I can not wait to see what happens next! I only wish it appeared daily in the papers!
Here’s CCS first year Reilly Hadden on Paul Pope’s Battling Boy:
Maybe it’s not cool to like Paul Pope anymore? I still think he’s an amazing storyteller and this is his most readable and exciting book ever. It’s a superhero story that’s okay to like.
We’ve been mostly talking up all the graphic novel submissions we’ve been getting for the Cartoonist Studio Prize, but there’s a webcomics prize as well, and we’ve received over 100 submissions already! Here are a few of the submissions that have stuck out to us, although we’ve gotten so many good ones that we easily could have named twice as many.
Emily Carroll-Out of Skin
Kane Lynch-Aerial Structures
Melanie Gillman-As the Crow Flies
One of my favorite comics of the year so far has been Map of Days, by Robert Hunter, published by Nobrow. The book seamlessly intertwines a coming of age narrative with a much odder story about the history of the universe. Gorgeous drawings and a distinctive color sensibility married to sharp, concise storytelling. Comics with this sort of lush, whimsical aesthetic often risk feeling insubstantial or slight, but Hunter keeps it all grounded with a smart, engaging narrative.
Here’s CCS co-founder and director James Sturm on his nomination for the Cartoonist Studio Prize, Brooklyn Quesadillas by Antony Huchette (Conundrum Press, 2013):
"Part Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, part Sof’ Boy, this French comic is A) incredibly drawn B) very funny and C) poignant!
My favorite graphic novel of the year!!”
We just got a big shipment from Strathmore, one of the sponsors of the Cartoonist Studio Prize. We have eight pads of premium Strathmore boards for each winner. Winners also receive 1000 dollars and a gift certificate for art supplies from Copic. Not a bad haul!