Annual awards presented at the Small Press Expo honor excellence in independent comics, graphic novels and minicomics.
The winners of the 2019 Ignatz Awards were announced this weekend at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland.
The big winners of the night were Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, who took home three awards between them, including “Outstanding Graphic Novel.” The political cartoon site The Nib also continued its recent winning streak, taking home the award for “Outstanding Series.”
The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse from the classic comic strip Krazy Kat, recognizes exceptional work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression. The awards have been presented annually since 1997.
The awards presentations were hosted by cartoonist Keith Knight:
Continue reading “Tamaki, Valero-O’Connell and more win 2019 Ignatz Awards”
The Ignatz Award-winning creator discusses her latest project from Top Shelf.
Carolyn Nowak might be known to many comics readers for her work drawing Lumberjanes, but she’s also the Ignatz Award-winning creator behind comics like Radishes and Diana’s Electric Tongue. Those two stories, plus two more, along with a brand new story, have been collected in the new book Girl Town, which was just released from Top Shelf.
My feelings to the stories were similar to when I read Nowak’s comic Girl Town years ago. It was a beautifully drawn and thoughtful tale of three women who “got kicked out of astronaut school for being too good-looking to be sent to space. Now we try to make a living raising beans and cabbages, cleaning houses and curating erotic zines about staying on Earth.” It’s a funny opening, but the story itself is strange in a different way. It’s complicated and fraught, about trying to understand the emotions someone else causes in us. About getting older and trying make sense of whether this feeling is love or lust, hate or loneliness, and complexity of relationships and friendship. Nowak half-jokingly described the book as “my twenties” and for those of us who survived those years, that description will resonate in so many ways.
Besides the Lumberjanes collections that Nowak drew, she also wrote and drew the new book Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare, but Girl Town is the work of a masterful artist who has found her voice. Nowak was kind enough to answer a few questions about her work.
Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Carolyn Nowak’s ‘Girl Town’”