Tamaki, Valero-O’Connell and more win 2019 Ignatz Awards

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:

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Support The Nib in their summer fundraiser

After losing funding, political cartoon site The Nib is back — but needs your help.

After losing funding support from First Look media, The Nib has returned as “an independent comics publication” that relies on reader support. That’s where you can help.

The popular editorial/long-form nonfiction comics site is running a fundraiser to “re-establish our regular lineup at The Nib and pay for web design costs of a new site while going independent.” They’re hoping to raise $15,000 before the end of August.

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‘The Nib’ loses funding support from First Look Media

Site editor Matt Bors says he plans to continue The Nib with member support.

First Look Media, which has funded The Nib for the past three years, will drop its support for the political/non-fiction comics site and lay off its staff at the end of July. Editor Matt Bors said he is working with First Look so they can “hand the publication over to me so that I can continue The Nib.”

In addition to the website, Bors also oversees a print edition of The Nib, with the fourth issue scheduled for July. He said a fifth issue is in the works, and he plans to print it independently.

“This will be a major setback but I will be devoting all my time to continuing this publication with contributions from all the editors and cartoonists who have made this publication what it is,” Bors said.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Ben Passmore on ‘Daygloayhole’ and more

The creator of ‘Your Black Friend’ discusses his work for Fantagraphics’ ‘Now’ anthology, The Nib, his influences and much more.

Ben Passmore’s short comic Your Black Friend was a sensation when it was published in 2016. It was nominated for an Eisner Award, won an Ignatz Award, was on NPR’s 2017 list of 100 Favorite Comics and Graphic Novels, and was turned into an animated short film. Passmore has become a regular contributor to The Nib and many other outlets, but for people who have been reading Passmore for years, this recent political work has been something of a departure for him. He first came to notice with Daygloayhole, which is a very different kind of comic, but shares a lot of the same sensibilities and ideas that motivate his political and essayistic comics.

This year saw the publication of Your Black Friend and Other Strangers, which collects a number of short comics by Passmore. Silver Sprocket is publishing a print version of Daygloayhole, the second issue of which is out this summer. Passmore has a comic in the current issue of the Fantagraphics anthology Now and has a comic in the June/July issue of The Believer.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sophie Goldstein on ‘House of Women’

The creator of ‘The Oven’ discusses her new book from Fantagraphics, as well as science fiction, her next book and much more.

Sophie Goldstein is best known as the cartoonist behind the book The Oven, and the co-writer and artist of the webcomic Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell. She’s received multiple Ignatz Awards and her work has appeared in Best American Comics.

Fantagraphics has just released House of Women, the collection of Goldstein’s Ignatz Award-winning series. Goldstein and I have been meeting each other at comic shows for years and I last interviewed her when The Oven was released, shortly after House of Women Part 1 won an Ignatz Award. The new book, which Goldstein designed, is beautiful, and we spoke about the changes in her artwork over the course of making it, science fiction and her next book, An Embarrassment of Witches.

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Smash Pages Q&A: The Nib’s Eleri Harris on ‘Reported Missing’

The deputy editor of The Nib discusses her new project for the site, a long-form comic about Tasmania’s most controversial murder conviction.

Eleri Harris is the deputy editor of The Nib. The publication has emerged as one of the best and most important comics publishers in recent years — not just for its political cartoons but for long-form comics. Harris has a unique background, having worked as an editor and journalist before she went back to school and earned an MFA at the Center for Cartoon Studies.

Harris’ new project launches today on The Nib, which according to the site is about:

What’s it like to have your Mum charged with murder? In 2010, a yacht was found sinking on its moorings, Sarah’s step-father was missing and her Mum was charged with his murder. There was no body, no murder weapon, no witnesses and no motive. In The Nib’s first serialized work of comics journalism, Eleri Harris explores the emotional nightmare behind Tasmania’s most controversial murder conviction — releasing just one week before the Supreme Court appeal that could change everything.

I spoke with Harris about politics, editing, Australia, The Nib and this project.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Eli Valley on ‘Diaspora Boy’

The political cartoonist discusses his first book from OR Books.

Eli Valley has been making comics for just over a decade. Unlike most political cartoonists, though, most of his work aren’t single panel comics, but rather long page-size comics intended for a broadsheet publication. In The Forward, +972 Magazine, The Nib and other publications, Valley has been skewering politics and individuals in hilarious, grotesque and inventive ways.

In these longer comics, which show the influence of EC Comics and other horror artists, Valley shows himself a gifted artist, though sometimes his own exaggerations aren’t nearly as grotesque as the actual words spoken by actual people that he’s skewering. Some of his comics have their own shock and awe, as Valley is not afraid to offend people or worry about people’s sensibilities. This has led to problems with some editors, he’s been denounced by individuals, but he refuses to shy away from controversy.

His first book Diaspora Boy has just been released by OR Books with an introduction by Peter Beinart. He took time out to talk about the book and how his work has changed in the past year.

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Sunday Comics: ‘Father’s Day at Sea’ and more

A father learns to relax on a cruise with his daughter, a cartoonist adjusts to Parkinson’s disease, and refugees struggle to survive

Every Sunday, we round up the best comics we’ve seen online in the past week. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

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Sunday Comics: Wonder Woman and comics retailing

Check out new comics by Lucy Bellwood, Sarah Mirk, Big Nate and more.

Every Sunday, we round up the best comics we’ve seen online in the past week. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

We’ve got a short post this week to leave you more time to read New York Stories, a sampler of great short comics about New York City from some top-drawer talents.

However, we’d be remiss in not mentioning What Does Wonder Woman Actually Represent? by Lucy Bellwood and Sarah Mirk, a look at how Diana has changed over the years.

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