Alexis Deacon Wins Observer/Cape/Comica Prize; Fionnuala Doran and Beth Dawson Runners-Up

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.cape2

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).

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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.

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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.

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