The 2014 Ignatz Awards took place on Saturday evening, and were, by all accounts, a lively affair, topped off with a wedding in which Australian comics star Simon Hanselmann was betrothed to the medium itself!  While what's referred to as the independent/small press comics scene is by no means perfect, it is certainly more progressive, with the changes, representation, and greater equality that's rallied for in mainstream comics already present here to a significant degree, as can be seen reflected in the comics nominated, the nominees themselves, and the winners.

There was a 50/50 split between female and male winners this year, with the QU33R anthology nabbing the Outstanding Collection or Anthology award.  As predicted (and hoped), Jillian and Mariko Tamaki won the Best Graphic Novel award for the superb This One Summer, Sophie Goldstein Best Mini-Comic for her sci-fi nun tale, House of Women, and Sam Alden best comic for Wicked Chicken Queen (some confusion over those respective comics and categories; Goldstein's 'mini-comic' is much longer in length than Alden's Wicked Chicken Queen). It was fantastic to see Most Promising Newcomer go to Cathy G Johnston, who's been garnering acclaim for a variety of comics such as Until It Runs Clear and Jeremiah that honestly discuss sexuality, identity, and more, while Sam Bosma deservedly won Best Artist for the immensely fun Fantasy Basketball. Jason Shiga triumphed in the outstanding series category for Demon, his story of a man who commits suicide but the finds himself alive once again, and again, and again -- another comic I expect to win at least a few more awards (incidentally Shiga's Demon is serialized online and if you haven't got around to reading it yet, you need to get onto it).

Announcements were made, too, regarding next year's SPX festival, with executive director Warren Bernard stating that the 21st year of the show will focus on artists who have worked during the 21st century only, with Michael DeForge, Matt Bors, Lilly Carre and Luke Pearson in attendance as guests. Bernard also announced that the festival will be joining forces with the Society of Illustrators to co-host an exhibit of the work of alt-weekly cartoonists, which will be held in March at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.

A full list of this year's nominees, with winners in bolded italics, can be found below:

Outstanding Artist
Sam Bosma, Fantasy Basketball
• Kim Deitch, The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley
• Sophie Goldstein, Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell, Edna II, House of Women
• Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1
• Jesse Reklaw, Couch Tag

Outstanding Anthology or Collection
• Amazing Facts and Beyond, Kevin Huizenga and Dan Zettwoch
• The End, Anders Nilsen
• Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2, Leslie Stein
• Sock Monkey Treasury, Tony Millionaire
• QU33R, Various (edited By Robert Kirby)

Outstanding Graphic Novel
• The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley, Kim Deitch
• The Boxer, Reinhard Kleist
• Boxers and Saints, Gene Luen Yang
• This One Summer, Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
• War of Streets and Houses, Sophie Yanow

Outstanding Story
Brownout Biscuit from Octoups Pie: Dead Forever, Meredith Gran
• Destination X, John Martz
• The Grassy Knoll, Nick Drnaso
• Jobs from Life Zone, Simon Hanselmann
• Mom from Viewotron #2, Sam Sharpe

Promising New Talent
• Luke Howard for Trevor
• Cathy G. Johnson for Jeremiah, Boy Genius, Until It Runs Clear
• Nick Offerman for Orange, Onions
• Keiler Roberts for Powdered Milk
• Daryl Seitchik for Missy

Outstanding Series
• The Black Feather Falls, Ellen Lindner
• Demon, Jason Shiga
• Powdered Milk, Keiler Roberts
• Sky in Stereo, Sacha Mardou
• Towerkind, Kat Verhoeven

Outstanding Comic
• Blammo #8, Noah Van Sciver
• Cosplayers, Dash Shaw
• It Will All Hurt #2, Farel Dalrymple
• Misliving Amended, Adam Buttrick
• Wicked Chicken Queen, Sam Alden

Outstanding Minicomic
• The Grassy Knoll, Nick Drnaso
House of Women, Sophie Goldstein
• Never Forgets, Yumi Sakugawa
• Test Tube #1, Carlos Gonzalez
• Up to the Top, Ian Sampson

Outstanding Online Comic
• Band for Life, Anya Davidson
• Big Dogs at Nite, Dane Martin
• Demon, Jason Shiga
• On Hiatus, Pete Toms
• Vattu, Evan Dahm