Kate Beaton, Jonathan Dyck + more win at the 2023 Doug Wright Awards

Henriette Valium was inducted into the Giants of the North hall of fame.

The winners of the 2023 Doug Wright Awards were announced during the Toronto Comic Arts Festival last night, in an in-person ceremony that was also livestreamed from the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto.

In what could become a common refrain during this year’s award season, Kate Beaton’s Ducks took home the award for best book. The critically acclaimed graphic novel details Beaton’s time working in Fort McMurray during Alberta’s oil rush. Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth’s You Know, Sex from Triangle Press received multiple nominations, and took home the award for best kids’ book.

The Doug Wright Awards annually honor “the best work and most promising talent in Canadian comics.” Here’s the complete list of winners:

The Doug Wright Award for best book
(Sponsored by Strange Adventures)
Kate Beaton 
Drawn & Quarterly

The Nipper: The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent 
(Sponsored by Koyama Provides)
Jonathan Dyck
Conundrum Press

The Pigskin Peters: The Doug Wright Award for best small- or micro-press book 
(Sponsored by Broken Pencil
Where Have You Been?
Ivana Filipovich (t: Ivana Filipovich/Andrea Hankinson)

The Egghead: The Doug Wright Award for best kids’ book 
You Know, Sex
Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth
Triangle Square

The Palace of Champions by Henriette Valium

In addition to the awards that were presented, the Doug Wright Awards also inducted Henriette Valium (1959–2021), a comic book artist, painter and the winner of the 2017 Pigskin Peters award, into the Giants of the North hall of fame. Valium was inducted by Marc Tessier, author, publisher and photographer, and a member of the Montreal comix community. Valium’s children accepted the award on his behalf. Andy Brown of Conundrum Press also announced a crowdfunding campaign to reprint a box set of Valium’s work.

Speaking of crowdfunding, Doug Wright Award founders Brad Mackay and Seth took the stage last night to announce a crowdfunding campaign for the publication of The Collected Doug Wright Volume 2. The book will cover the second half of Wright’s cartooning career and include hundreds of examples of his strip Doug Wright’s Family (a.k.a. Nipper), one of the most beloved Canadian comic strips of all time. 

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