Nominees for the 14th annual Doug Wright Awards, recognizing the best work and most promising talent in Canadian comics in three categories, were announced this morning.
Duncan Macpherson (1924–1993), editorial cartoonist at the Montreal Standard, Toronto Star and Maclean’s magazine, is this year’s Giants of the North inductee. He will be inducted into the Canadian cartoonist hall of fame on the evening of the awards ceremony.
Nominees for the 2018 Doug Wright Best Book Award, presented for the best graphic novel book published in Canada (in English), are:
Hostage (Drawn & Quarterly)
I’m Not Here (Koyama Press)
Crawl Space (Koyama Press)
The Abominable Mr. Seabrook (Drawn & Quarterly)
Anti-Gone (Koyama Press)
Nominees for the 2018 Doug Wright Spotlight Award (a.k.a. The Nipper), presented to a Canadian cartoonist (or writer-cartoonist team) deserving of wider recognition, are:
Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes
The Case of the Missing Men (Conundrum Press)
All-Inclusive Fully Automated Vacation and House of Strays
Eric Kostiuk Williams
Condo Heartbreak Disco (Koyama Press)
The Pitiful Human-Lizard Nos. 12, 13 and 14 (Chapterhouse Comics)
Magical Beatdown Vol. 2 and Marie and Worrywart
Each year, the Doug Wright Awards nominating committee chooses to honour the year’s most experimental, unconventional, or avant-garde comic with the Pigskin Peters Award. This year’s nominees are:
The Dead Father
The Death of the Master
Crohl’s House Nos. 1 & 2
Alexander Laird, Jamiel Rahi and Robert Laird
Creation: The First Three Chapters
Wavering Line Collective
Duncan Macpherson, this year’s Giants of the North inductee, was born in Toronto in 1924, and served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He studied at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Ontario College of Art, and began his career at the Montreal Standard in 1948. Over the next five decades, Macpherson’s cartoons became a fixture of the political scene in English Canada and his wickedly wrought black-and-white work helped define the country’s political conversation in such publications as the Toronto Star and Maclean’s.
Terry “Aislin” Mosher, once referred to Macpherson as “the king of the third wave” of Canadian editorial cartoonists while a journalist colleague described his work as a combination of “Mary Poppins, Mark Twain and Attila the Hun.” Though he took on politicians of stripes and affiliations, his caustic portraits of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker helped make him famous, with Pierre Berton citing them as being “the beginning of the country’s disillusionment with the Diefenbaker government.”
MacPherson received six National Newspaper Awards, the Royal Academy Medal, was a Member of the Order of Canada, and his work was exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario. He died, in Beaverton, Ontario, in 1993.
Finalists for this year’s awards were chosen from nearly 100 works published during the 2017 calendar year. The nominating committee consisted of Adrian Doran, Alexander Hoffman, Betty Liang, and Conan Tobias.
The jury for the 14th annual Doug Wright Awards includes: Bo Doodley, a Toronto-based artist; Jim Munroe, a writer, producer, and creator of games, comics, movies, and novels, living in Toronto; Marc Ngui, a Windsor, Ontario–based sequential artist and speculative designer; and Pamela Marie Pierce, Pamela Marie Pierce, a multi-disciplinary visual artist and illustrator based in Saint John, New Brunswick, whose work has appeared in Heavy Metal and elsewhere..
The Doug Wright Awards will be announced at a ceremony on May 12, 2018, hosted by cartoonist Dustin Harbin. The awards will be a featured event at the 2018 Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), which takes place in and around the Toronto Reference Library, May 12 and 13.