The Observer/Cape/Comica Prize, considered one of the critical awards in the UK comics scene, having proved and established a great many writers and artists over the last few years, today announced that this year’s winner is Alexis Deacon. Fionnuala Doran and Beth Dawson were named as runners-up. Which is ace news particularly because Fionnuala is one of my friends, so.
The River by Alexis Deacon
Deacon is a well-known writer already, but entered the competition because he wanted to prove that he could make comics as well. A lifelong fan of comics, his story ‘The River’ is a somewhat spectrally tale which flips into a particularly unexpected twist by the end. You can see it here.
Awarded for a single four-page story and open to anybody, the prize has seen a number of notable names enter the running – Isabel Greenberg won last year, for example, and one of Luke Pearson’s best-known stories ‘Some People’ was an entry previously too (and more on that later this week).
Runner up Beth Dawson’s story ‘After Life’ can be found here. It’s a sad little tale of loss and understanding, with some rather neat tricks in the lettering which allow her plenty of space to really explore her lead character.
And finally, Fionnuala Doran’s biographical story ‘Countess Markievicz’ can be seen here. She’s done a number of biographical pieces over the last few years, and has another longer-term projects currently in the works about Roger Casement. Following the eponymous aristocrat-turned rebel from her journey through violence to prison, you can see that she’s really starting to come out as a distinctive artist. I’m properly chuffed for bits for her that she’s been named as a runner-up.
But! Congratulations are due for all three of the named nominees here. This has been a leaping off point for several writers/artists over the years, and hopefully we’ll be seeing more of all three in future.