by BK Munn
The 2019 Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning were awarded at a ceremony in Toronto last night as part of TCAF, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, with the jury honouring 5  artists who have produced some of the best comics of recent times.

Best Book

Hartley Lin took home the big Best Book trophy for his graphic novel Young Frances (Adhouse Books). Originally serialized in his anthology comic book series Pope Hats, Lin’s Young Frances chronicles the increasingly complex reality of a law clerk struggling with office politics and bicoastal roommates in a sublimely beautiful clearline cartooning style. Lin beat out popular favourites Michael DeForge, John Martz, and Fiona Smyth.

Doug Wright Spotlight Award

Ariane Dénommé for 100 Days in Uranium City (Conundrum Press). Dénommé took home the “Nipper Award” (named for Doug Wright’s popular child character) for an empathic book that renders the twilight world of her miner father in soft coloured pencils. Dénommé was chosen for the award that recognizes creators “deserving of wider recognition” by the jury of cartoonists and comics scholars over a field of nominees that included Aminder Dhaliwal
(Woman World), Al Gofa (Dark Angels of Darkness), Victor Martins
(Stay and You Don’t Have To be Afraid of Me), Sylvia Nickerson
(All We Have Left Is This), and Eric Kostiuk Williams
(Our Wretched Town Hall).

Pigskin Peters Award

The avant garde award went to Xiaoxiao Li for Retomber, an intense autobiographical comic rendered in virtuoso pen scratches. The other nominees included William Dereume, Michael Comeau, Ron Hotz, and Mushbuh.

Giants of the North

In a pair of moving ceremonies, cartoonists Alootook Ipellie and Fiona Smyth were inducted into the Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame.