The nominees for the third annual British Comic Awards were announced last Friday, and it's a noticeably more mixed bunch of books than previous years. The awards are divided into five categories: Best Book, Best Comic, Young People's Comic Award, Emerging Talent and Hall of Fame; the latter is decided upon by the members of the committee, whilst the Young People's Comic Award is voted upon by children in participating schools. Winners for the remaining 3 categories are chosen by a panel of judges. The award ceremony takes place on the Saturday evening of Thought Bubble comic convention, one of the UK's premier festivals.

I'm especially happy to see Martin Stiff's The Absence on the list, and hope that the nomination leads to more people picking up the book, which has been rather overlooked to my mind. It's a fantastic story about a man who returns to his village after war, facially disfigured, knowing he's not welcome there for events that occurred prior to his leaving. It's pleasing, too, to see both Becca Tobin and Briony Smith in the emerging talent- excellent artists who I've been following for a while, and I'm glad Robert Ball's and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell's wonderfully inventive Dangeritis is up for 'best comic;' for some reason, I thought that may be a little too manic and fun a romp for people to appreciate, but it's made the cut. This is the third -and well deserved- straight nomination for Luke Pearson in the young people's award, which he won in 2012.

Posy Simmonds was selected as the third entrant into the Hall of Fame. One of Britain's finest cartoonists, Simmonds is best known for her long-running newspaper strip in the Guardian, Mrs. Weber, which is ostensibly pitched as a light satire on middle-class England, a collection of which was published last year. She is also the author of several graphic novels: Literary Life, Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe (which was adapted into a film of the same name), as well as comics beloved by children: Fred, Baker Cat, Lulu and The Babies.

A full list of all nominees can be found below:

Best book

The Absence  by Martin Stiff (Titan Books)
Celeste by I.N.J. Culbard (Self Made Hero)
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg (Jonathan Cape)
Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green (Jonathan Cape)
Sally Heathcote: Suffragette by Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot (Jonathan Cape)

Best Comic

Dangeritis: A Fistful of Danger by Robert M Ball and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (Great Beast)
In The Frame by Tom Humberstone (
Raygun Roads by Owen Michael Johnson, Indio!, Mike Stock and Andy Bloor (Self published)
Tall Tales & Outrageous Adventures #1: The Snow Queen & Other Stories by Isabel Greenberg (Great Beast)
The Wicked + The Divine #1 by Kieron Gillen, Jaime McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)

Emerging Talent

Alison Sampson (Genesis, Shadows (In The Dark) – artist)
Briony May Smith (Tam Lin, The Courting of Fair Spring and Red-Nosed Frost, The Mermaid)
Rachael Smith (House Party, One Good Thing, Flimsy, Vicky Park (Leicester Mercury), The Amazing Seymore (Moose Kid Comics))
Becca Tobin (Eye Contact, Peppermint Butler’s Peppermint Bark (Adventure Time #30), numerous short comics)
Corban Wilkin (Dreams of a Low Carbon Future – artist, Breaker’s End, If Not Now Then When (Offlife #6))

Young People's Awards

Bad Machinery Vol 2: The Case of The Good Boy by John Allison (Oni Press)
BOO! by Paul Harrison-Davies, Andrew Waugh; Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Jonathan Edwards, James Howard, Gary Northfield and Jamie Smart (Self published)
Corpse Talk: Season 1 by Adam Murphy (David Fickling Books)
Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson (Flying Eye Books)
The Beginner’s Guide to Being Outside by Gill Hatcher (Avery Hill Publishing)

Hall of Fame: Posy Simmonds


pages from Posy Simmonds' 'Fred'