The Shortlist for the 2014 British Comics Awards has been Announced

Here we go! Officially we enter Thought Bubble season, with the announcement of the shortlist for the 2014 British Comic Awards. Collected together and whittled down by a selection of super-secretive comic monks over the last few months, the British Comic Awards recognise only a small group of comics every year. It’s an extremely well-regarded award to win, as a result, with last year seeing awards go to people like Glyn Dillon and Will Morris.

This year’s awards shortlist will be read and voted on by a panel of judges, whose names were announced at the start of the week: Jonathan Ross, Jessica Hynes, Danny John-Jules, Suzy Varty and Jonathan Entwistle. They’ll be picking out the winner for: Best Book, Best Comic,and Best Emerging Talent. Alongside, there’ll also be a Hall of Fame Inclusion, and the announcement of the Young Person’s Comic Award.

Here’s the shortlist for each category:

Best Comic

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  • Dangeritis: A Fistful of Danger – Robert M Ball and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (Great Beast)
  • In The Frame – Tom Humberstone (newstatesman.com)
  • Raygun Roads – Owen Michael Johnson, Indio!, Mike Stock and Andy Bloor (Self published)
  • Tall Tales & Outrageous Adventures #1: The Snow Queen & Other Stories – Isabel Greenberg (Great Beast)
  • The Wicked + The Divine #1 – Kieron Gillen, Jaime McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)

Best Book

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  • The Absence – Martin Stiff (Titan Books)
  • Celeste – I.N.J. Culbard (Self Made Hero)
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth – Isabel Greenberg (Jonathan Cape)
  • Lighter Than My Shadow – Katie Green (Jonathan Cape)
  • Sally Heathcote: Suffragette – Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot (Jonathan Cape)

Young People’s Comic Award

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  • Bad Machinery Vol 2: The Case of The Good Boy – John Allison (Oni Press)
  • BOO! – Paul Harrison-Davies, Andrew Waugh; Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Jonathan Edwards, James Howard, Gary Northfield and Jamie Smart (Self published)
  • Corpse Talk: Season 1 – Adam Murphy (David Fickling Books)
  • Hilda and the Black Hound – Luke Pearson (Flying Eye Books)
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Being Outside – Gill Hatcher (Avery Hill Publishing)

Emerging Talent

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  • Alison Sampson (Genesis, Shadows (In The Dark) – artist)
  • Briony May Smith (Tam Lin, The Courting of Fair Spring and Red-Nosed Frost, The Mermaid)
  • Rachael Smith (House Party, One Good Thing, Flimsy, Vicky Park (Leicester Mercury), The Amazing Seymore (Moose Kid Comics))
  • Becca Tobin (Eye Contact, Peppermint Butler’s Peppermint Bark (Adventure Time #30), numerous short comics)
  • Corban Wilkin (Dreams of a Low Carbon Future – artist, Breaker’s End, If Not Now Then When (Offlife #6))

With the Hall of Fame being a pre-decided award, this year going to Posy Simmonds.

So that’s an interesting mix of people, there. It’s a little more populist than last year, perhaps with a few Image titles getting a look-in as well as more genre-based comics like Dangeritis and Raygun Roads. The people who always get nominated for these sort of awards… have been nominated for these awards, as tends to be the case. The day Bryan Talbot doesn’t receive a nomination for a new comic is the day the British comic industry curls itself up into a ball and hurls itself into the Atlantic.

I could talk about “snubs and flubs”, of course, but that’s all pretty subjective. I was surprised not to see Dungeon Fun in there, after it won all the Scottish Independent Comic Awards earlier in the year. Also absent is any material from 2000AD – Brass Sun would’ve been the series I might have expected to see show up, out of all the comics they put out this year. But everything’s down to personal taste.

The emerging talent lineup is a pretty strong one, with a group of artists who have massively different styles and ideas going on. I won’t say any of my personal choices for who should win – anybody here would be pretty deserving. I enjoyed a lot of these comics over the last year.

So anyway – congratulations to everybody nominated this year! The Awards will be held at Thought Bubble in November (with the Young Person’s Award being held earlier on, at Leeds Library).

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