2020 Wright Award Winners
by BK Munn
The Wright Awards were presented in an online ceremony Saturday night hosted by film director and actor Don McKellar. The ceremony was quite the change from usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. In previous years the highlight of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival on Saturday night, and held in a hotel ballroom, this year, with TCAF and a live version of the awards cancelled, the Wright organizers cooked up a slick online event that turned out looking more professional than most network tv late-night talk shows these days. McKellar was a witty host and the show was rushed along by taped segments from Fiona Smyth, David Collier in a kayak, and eerie, David-Lynchian trophy presentations from awards co-founder Seth.
The highlight of the show was a heartfelt thank you speech from Best Emerging Talent trophy winner Sylvia Nickerson, who won for her debut graphic novel Creation. Other winners were Nina Bunjevac (Best Book), Freddy Carrasco (Pigskin Peters Award), and Elise Gravel (Egghead Award for Kids’ Comics).
Here’s the full list of nominees and winners. Watch the full ceremony below, as well.
The Doug Wright Award for best book
This Place: 150 Years Retold by various (HighWater Press)
The Cursed Hermit by Kris Bertin, Alexander Forbes (Conundrum Press)
Bezimena by Nina Bunjevac (Fantagraphics Books)
Agnes, Murderess, by Sarah Leavitt (Freehand Books)
Death Threat, by Vivek Shraya, Ness Lee (Arsenal Pulp Press)
Bradley of Him by Connor Willumsen (Koyama Press)
The Nipper: The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent
D. Boyd, Chicken Rising (Conundrum Press)
Jason Bradshaw, Things Go Wrong (Paper Rocket)
Sylvia Nickerson Creation (Drawn & Quarterly)
Ben O’Neil, Apologetica (Popnoir Editions)
Cole Pauls, Dakwäkãda Warriors (Conundrum Press)
The Pigskin Peters: The Doug Wright Award for best small- or micro-press book
Boumeries, Vol. 9, Boum (Self-published)
Gleem, Freddy Carrasco (Peow Studios)
Baby in the Boneyard, Jesse Jacobs (Hollow Press)
Curb Angels, Lisa Mendis, Christopher Ducharme, Lucas C. Pauls (At Bay Press)
Dejects, Jay Stephens (Black Eye Books)
The Egghead: The Doug Wright Award for best kids’ book
Brick Breaks Free, David Craig (Self-published)
The Worst Book Ever, Elise Gravel (Drawn & Quarterly)
Lunch Quest, Chris Kuzma (Koyama Press)
Dakwäkãda Warriors, Cole Pauls (Conundrum Press)
Alma and the Beast, Esme Shapiro (Tundra Books)
Giants of the North: The Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame
Walter Ball (1911–1995), Toronto Star cartoonist of Rural Route comic strip.