Dustin Harbin Has a Smart Take on Awards

Dustin Harbin has posted a set of diary comics he created based on attending the 2011 Doug Wright Awards, which aim to recognize achievement in Canadian comics.

Dustin Harbin at Doug Wright Awards

Dustin makes a funny

It’s a neat example of comic journalism taking you somewhere you might otherwise not go, complete with thoughts on what it means to be an award-winning cartoonist and why awards exist. Dustin’s cartooning is, as always, exceptional, but it’s his observations that bring the comics far beyond the usual diary strips.

Dustin Harbin at the Doug Wright Awards

Nervous at meeting an idol

Dustin also includes an afterword essay that ponders the problems with comic awards. As someone who has been involved with many of the major industry awards except the Eisners (helped with the Harveys for two years, judge for the Glyphs and Isotope, Ignatz presenter, ran the Squiddies a long while back — I dream of being an Eisner judge someday, but I doubt it will ever happen, mainly because I don’t go to San Diego Con that often), I found his points on target. Anyone who manages an award program has my sympathies.

I agree with Dustin that there are too many categories, but which do you eliminate? Whose feelings do you hurt by saying their field of endeavor is no longer worthy of recognition? Do you reward the works (best comic, best character, etc.) or the creators (best artist, best writer, etc.)? How much attention do you pay to the traditional assembly-line method of work (best editor, best letterer, etc.)? Who do you let determine the winners? If you’re wondering about those questions as well, don’t worry, Dustin goes on to answer the questions by proposing his own award system. Which I really admire — it’s easy to pick at the existing, but proposing a positive solution goes above and beyond.

One Response to “Dustin Harbin Has a Smart Take on Awards”

  1. Brian clopper Says:

    Really enjoyed this dairy comic. Thanks for steering me to Dustin’s work.




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