2017 Ignatz Award Winners
The winners of the 2017 Ignatz Awards were announced tonight at the Small Press Expo (SPX) in Bethesda, Maryland. The Ignatz is a festival prize, with winners determined by voting by those who actually attended the show today. The ballot is created by a jury of five people; this year those members were Neil Brideau, Glynnis Fawkes, Sara Lautman, Trungles, and David Willis. The Ignatz Award nominees can be seen at the show website.
Diana’s Electric Tongue by Carolyn Nowak (who won Outstanding Minicomic last year for Radishes)
Tender Hearted by Hazel Newlevant
Elements: Fire – An Anthology by Creators of Color edited by Taneka Stotts
Chester 5000 by Jess Fink
Outstanding Online Comic
The Meek by Der-shing Helmer
Promising New Talent
Bianca Xunise for Say Her Name
Your Black Friend by Ben Passmore
Outstanding Graphic Novel
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris (making her print comic debut at the age of 55)
Emil Ferris for My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (also up for Outstanding Story but didn’t win)
Johnny Wander: Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota
Several of the works — Say Her Name, Your Black Friend, Elements: Fire — explicitly dealt with issues facing people of color or highlighted their contributions, and the speeches reflected that as well. (There were no white male winners.) The final award winners, Hirsh and Ota, talked about being encouraged to make comics when they first attended the show many years ago, even though no one else at that time looked like them, while Passmore’s speech was more explicitly political, with exhortations against the police and the president. The other main thread of the remarks dealt with the community of comics, how we all have something in common being here and loving the medium. That kind of approach is what keeps people coming back to the show year after year.