British Comic Awards

This year I was on the committee for the British Comic Awards. I designed the logo, which I’m very proud of, and made the awards (200gsm cold pressed acid free watercolour paper, 3 colour screen print, hand lettering in recessed black frame) which I’m also very proud of. I can’t tell you how many variations in layout, colour, typography, print processes I went through whilst working on this. I really enjoyed it.

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Still, I won’t be on the committee next year. I’m stepping down, resigning.

I read Phillippa Rice’s thoughts on the awards and spoken to her about it and I think she makes a good point. I don’t think that creators should be on the committee, especially if people think that they may have biases based on their own work, the publishers they work with and the other creators that they are friends with. So I’m leaving. I hope that the place I vacate on the committee gets filled by someone who can redress the balance between genders, biases and vested interests. If you have suggestions or want to volunteer, get in touch with Adam Cadwell and the committee.

I think next year could be amazing. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2013. If the work produced in the uk next year is anything like it was this year they’ll have a very hard job again of making that short list.

2 comments

  • It’s such a small scene, it’ll be hard to find someone knowledgeable enough to make informed decisions who isn’t connected somehow. To complicate matters moreso, it seems that many of the groups of people you’d probably expect to be in awards contention (i.e. those with the comics making the most impact) are particularly close-knit socially. That’s neither a surprising or necessarily a negative thing, but it does make picking such a jury difficult.

    There’s a small but growing collection of non-comic creators who comment critically on UK independent comics (often through podcasts), but even they quickly make friends and contacts within the scene.

    While it would be fairly straightforward to create a jury of people with minimal potential for connections within UK comic talent (the odd newspaper journalist who’s expressed an interest in comics, maybe some comicers from outside the UK etc.), it would be sorting the huge number of comics created in the UK into shortlists that would be the tricky part.

    I can’t really offer any solutions. Popular vote would probably be chaos, and creating some sort of broad “academy” of UK comics people would just be politics city.

    For what it’s worth, of the nominees that I’ve read I’d have probably placed all but one in my top comics for the year, and I’m quite assuredly outside of the social circles that these guys and girls operate within.

  • I admire your motives in stepping down, Dan, though I think it was unnecessary. Anyone in that position is going to have some kind of bias, with or without recognising that fact (or caring). But your decision’s made and I applaud you for all you put into the awards this year. I was very glad to say hello to Adam on the Sunday at Thought Bubble so that I could tell him what a triumph I thought the awards were. Whatever your worries, you were part of a process that picked good winners from good shortlists and gave a bit of extra exposure and praise to some deserving creators. This is A Good Thing.

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