Winners were announced at a public ceremony on June 14th in Toronto with Master of Ceremonies Rick Green (Prisoners of Gravity, The Frantics). The awards were the final event at the Sequential Art Symposium held in the auditorium of the Toronto Public Library’s Lillian H. Smith branch on College Street.
The Symposium featured talks related to comics and the 70th anniversary of the Superman character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, as well as a Superman-themed art exhibit entitled “Visions of an Icon” featuring work by Canadian comic book artists.
Guests for the symposium included Darwyn Cooke, Tom Grummett, Ty Templeton and many more creators. All nominees were invited to attend and participate.
Creator nominees are nominated for their BODY OF WORK during the previous calendar year, not just for one specific work, although they may have only had one specific work published. Winners are selected by a jury. The 2008 jury included:
MIKE ‘NUG’ NAHRGANG
Hall of Fame and Retailer Awards are selected by individual committees after a review and discussion of eligible candidates. Four Hall of Fame candidates were initiated into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame in 2008.
2008 sponsors include: Lionshead Resort, Comic Guaranty LLC (CGC), Sipps Publishing, Diamond Distributors, Quebecor World, comicspriceguide.com and Mirificent Enterprise.
WRITER – Cecil Castellucci
– Ian Boothby for Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #13, Futurama #29, 31-33, Simpsons Comics #126, 128, 130, 134, 136 (Bongo)
– Cecil Castellucci for The P.L.A.I.N. Janes (DC/Minx)
– Maryse Dubuc for Les Nombrils 2: Sale Temps pour les Moches (Editions Dupuis)
– Jim Munroe for Therefore Repent (No Media Kings) Comics Festival! 2007 (Legion of Evil Press)
– phlppgrrd aka Philippe Girard for Danger public (La pastèque)
– Ty Templeton for Howard the Duck #1-3, Marvel Adventures The Avengers #17-19, She-Hulk #20-21 (Marvel Comics)
– J. Torres for The Black Canary Wedding Planner #1, Blue Beetle #15, Wonder Girl #1-4, Wonder Woman #11-13 (DC Comics), Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #1,2,5,6, Teen Titans GO! #39-50, The Batman Strikes #29, 34 (DC/Johnny DC), Ninja Scroll 5-7, 10, 12 (DC/Wildstorm), Degrassi TNG: Extra Credit Vols. 3-4 (H.P, Fenn Publishing Co.)
– Howard Wong for After the Cape #1-3, After the Cape II #1-2 (Image Comics)
ARTIST – Dale Eaglesham
– Dale Eaglesham for Justice Society of America #2-4, 6-7, 9-11 (DC Comics)
– David Finch for Moon Knight #7-8, Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #4: Spider-Man, Legion of Monsters: Morbius #1 (Marvel Comics)
– Tom Grummett for Exiles #100, Thunderbolts Presents Zemo: Born Better #1-4, Mystic Arcana: Black Knight #1 (Marvel Comics)
– Pia Guerra for Y the Last Man #55-59 (DC/Vertigo), Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #13 (Bongo)
– Stuart Immonen for Ultimate Spider-Man #111-117, Marvel Comics Presents #1-4, Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #12 (Marvel Comics)
– Karl Kerschl for All-Flash #1, 52 #47 (DC Comics)
– Thierry Labrosse for Moréa 5: La Brûlure des Ténèbres (Soleil Production)
– Jacques Lamontagne for Les Druides 3: La Lance de Lug, Les Contes de l’Ankou 3: Au Royaume des Morts (Soleil Production)
– Kaare Andrews for Spider-Man: Reign 2-4 (Marvel Comics)
– Pascal Blanchet for Bologne: Contes en 3 Actes Symphoniques (La Pastèque)
– Darwyn Cooke for The Spirit 2-6, 8-11 (DC Comics), Comics Festival! 2007 (Legion of Evil Press)
– Julie Doucet for 365 Days: A Diary (Drawn + Quarterly)
– Faith Erin Hicks for Zombies Calling (Slave Labor Graphics)
– Jeff Lemire for Essex County Vol. 1: Tales From The Farm, Essex County Vol. 2: Ghost Stories (Top Shelf)
– Bryan Lee O’Malley for Scott Pilgrim Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together (Oni Press) Comics Festival! 2007 (Legion of Evil Press)
– Jean-Louis Tripp & Regis Loisel for Magasin Generale 3: Les Hommes (Casterman)
– Scott Chantler for The Annotated Northwest Passage (ONI Press)
– Darwyn Cooke for The Spirit #2 (DC Comics)
– Dale Eaglesham for Justice Society of America #10 Variant (DC Comics)
– David Finch for X-Men #200 (Marvel Comics)
– Stuart Immonen for Ultimate Spider-Man #112 (Marvel Comics)
– Yanick Paquette for Ultimate X-Men #85 (Marvel Comics)
– Steve Skroce for Doc Frankenstein #6 (Burleyman)
– Cameron Stewart for The Other Side #5 (DC/Vertigo)
– Jean-Louis Tripp for Magasin Generale 3: Les Hommes (Casterman)
COLOURIST – Dave McCaig
– Blond for Avengers vs. Transformers #3 (Marvel Comics), Velocity: Pilot Season, Witchblade Manga Vols. 1-10, City of Heroes #18-30, Hunter Killer #11-12, Freshman II: Fundamentals of Fear #2-6, Madame Mirage #1 (Top Cow)
– Chris Chuckry for The Creeper #4-6, The Helmet of Fate – Ibis the Invincible #1, The Helmet of Fate – Sargon the Sorcerer #1, Countdown to Mystery #1-2, Simon Dark #1 (DC Comics), Red Sonja: Vacant Shell #1 (Dynamite), Code #2 (The Guardian Line), Legion of Monsters – Man-Thing #1 (Marvel Comics), The Nightmare Factory OGN (Fox Atomic Comics), L’Histoire Secrete Vols. 8-9 (Delcourt), Empire Vols. 2-3 (Delcourt)
– Maryse Dubuc for Les Nombrils 2: Sale Temps pour les Moches (Editions Dupuis)
– Nathan Fairbairn for Annihilation Conquest – Star-lord #1-4, Marvel Illustrated: The Illiad #1 (Marvel Comics), Witchblade 110-111 (Top Cow Comics)
– Lovern Kindzierski for Hellboy Vol. 7: The Troll Witch and Others (Dark Horse) Joe & Max #4-5, The Seekers #1 (The Guardian Line)
– Francois Lapierre for Magasin Générale 3: Les Hommes (Casterman)
– Dave McCaig for Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E. #12, New Avengers #27-35, Fallen Son – The Death of Captain America #1: Wolverine, Marvel Comics Presents #1-4, Wolverine #50, Avengers Classic #7 (Marvel Comics) DC Infinite Halloween Special #1 (DC Comics), The Other Side #4-5 (DC/Vertigo) Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jensen #1 (ONI Press)
– Ronda Pattison for Fallen Angel 15-16 (IDW), Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures #7-10, Star Wars: Legacy # 8, Star Wars Dark Times # 2-5 (Dark Horse Comics), Atomic Robo #1-3, (Red 5 Comics)
PUBLISHER – Drawn & Quarterly
– Arcana Studio
– Conundrum Press
– Drawn & Quarterly
– Mecanique Generale
– La Pasteque
– Red 5 Comics
WEBCOMICS CREATOR / CREATIVE TEAM – Ryan Sohmer and Lar De Souza
– Michael Cho for Papercut
– Scott Hepburn for The Port
– Karl Kerschl for The Abominiable Charles Christopher
– Gisele Lagace for Penny and Aggie
– Ramon Perez for Kukuburi and Butternut Squash with Rob Coughler.
– Scott Ramsoomair for VG Cats
– Ryan Sohmer and Lar De Souza for Least I Can Do and Looking for Group
– Cameron Stewart for Sin Titulo
ACHIEVEMENT BY A CANADIAN RELATED TO COMIC BOOKS – David Watkins for using comic books as a teaching tool
HALL OF FAME
Edwin R. “Ted” McCall
FAVOURITE CREATOR – ENGLISH LANGUAGE PUBLICATIONS – Faith Erin Hicks – Zombies Calling
FAVOURITE CREATOR – FRENCH LANGUAGE PUBLICATIONS – Philippe Girard aka phlppgrrd – Danger Public
INTERNATIONAL (NON-CANADIAN) CREATOR – Ed Brubaker – Captain America, Criminal, Immortal Iron Fist, Uncanny X-Men
HARRY KREMER OUTSTANDING CANADIAN COMIC BOOK RETAILER
Big B Comics – Hamilton, Ontario
Congratulations to all of the winners, nominees and all of the eligible creators for another memorable year of great comics, both in print and online!
The 2008 Jury
Mark Askwith (born 1956) is a Canadian producer, writer, interviewer (and sometime-publisher/editor), and a familiar name in the fields of science fiction and comics.
Askwith was born into a military household on April 6, 1956. His family moved about before settling in Ottawa, Canada, when he was 6. Here, Askwith’s mother subsequently ran a children’s bookstore called the Bookery, through which he was able to gain access to a wide range of literature. He cites this exposure to all forms of literature – in particular a Tintin album (Explorers on the Moon) aged 4 and a “stash of superhero comics” aged 7 – as a “pivotal event” in his young life, which clearly deeply imbued in him considerable enjoyment of such genres and titles.
He has stated that he “didn’t take comics seriously”, until his friend, Peter, showed him ‘The Tiny Perfect Collection’, bringing to his knowledge a range of different comics (by such greats as Eisner, Steranko, Kaluta and Wrightson), during his first year at University. He graduated with a B.A. in English from Trinity College, University of Toronto.
After working at Oberon Press, and Coach Horse Press, between 1982 and 1987, he managed one of the premiere North American comic book stores – The Silver Snail in Toronto. Situated at that time opposite the Bakka-Phoenix Science Fiction Bookstore, it provided an excellent opportunity to soak up the comics/Sci-Fi atmosphere, and allowed Askwith to meet legendary (and local) Science Fiction and comics authors, including Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz.
Leaving the Silver Snail in 1987, he started work on a Prisoner comic with Dean Motter, and worked in an art directorial supportive role on Ron Mann’s comics documentary Comic Book Confidential (Sphinx Productions, 1988), an overview/history of the comic book medium in the U.S.A, from the 1930s to the ’80s. The documentary featured interviews with such noteworthy individuals as Charles Burns, Art Spiegelman, Françoise Mouly, Frank Miller, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, Harvey Pekar, and William M. Gaines.
In 1989, the success of the documentary inspired Askwith to expand upon some of Mann’s ideas into a television magazine programme which would similarly explore areas of fan interest (comics, Science Fiction, horror, etc.) largely through interviews and commentary. The programme was called Prisoners of Gravity. The brainchild of Askwith, Daniel Richler, and Rick Green (who also hosted the programme), Prisoners of Gravity was a Canadian news magazine program that explored speculative fiction, specifically Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Comics. Produced by TVOntario, the series ran for 139 episodes over five seasons.
The establishing framework for the programme is not dissimilar to that of its similarly-targeted peer Mystery Science Theatre 3000, both featuring a stranded host who ostensibly broadcast the programme themselves from isolation. The similarities largely end there, however. Whereas MST3K focused each episode on a particular film, and provided running commentary on it, Prisoners of Gravity focused each episode on a particular topic, and dissected/commenter on it usually through extensive interviews with key individuals.
Episodes from the first series (broadcast between August 1989 and March 1990) focused on areas including UFOs, Star Trek and Comic book conventions. The subsequent four series (preserved, and available for viewing by appointment at The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy public library located in downtown Toronto, Canada) often featured episodes on much more specific topics. These included “Will Eisner & The Spirit”, “Watchmen”, “Cyberpunk”, “Ray Bradbury”, “The Sandman”, “Tolkien” and Jack Kirby” among many others.
Many of the interviews for these programmes (including specific interviews with Watchmen creators Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, and Sandman author Neil Gaiman) were apparently carried out by Askwith himself.
Prisoners of Gravity first aired on TVOntario and ran for five seasons and 137 episodes before being canceled in 1994. Many of its episodes were subsequently syndicated, and have appeared (briefly) on PBS, the Discovery Channel and Space, of which Askwith is one of the founding producers.
Space is effectively the Canadian equivalent of The Sci-Fi Channel, an English language cable television specialty channel owned and operated by CTVglobemedia. It features mainly sci-fi and fantasy movies, documentaries and television series.
Askwith was one of the founding producers of the channel, which was licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1996, and debuted on October 17, 1997 at 6:00 p.m. EST, under the ownership of CHUM Limited. Askwith is particularly involved in the documentary side of things, and the so-called ‘interstitial’ materials which pepper the channels’ output. The first of which was a comment on the channels first-broadcast film Forbidden Planet by noted Canadian Science Fiction author Robert J. Sawyer.
He has produced – and appeared in – SPACE’s HypaSpace Daily/Weekly, an entertainment news programme which looks specifically at the Science Fiction news.
Having been inducted into the worlds of science fiction, fantasy and comics at a young age (Askwith cites in particular C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books, works by Andre Norton and Robert A. Heinlein, Superhero comics and Tintin), and later rubbing shoulders with Science Fiction and comics authors at The Silver Snail and Bakka-Phoenix, Askwith has dabbled in writing himself, mostly comics.
Most notably, his collaboration with Dean Motter in helping write the authorised “The Prisoner” sequel met with considerable critical and fan-approval. The four-part prestige-format mini-series, serialised between 1988 and 1989 has subsequently been collected in graphic novel format as Shattered Visage, still in print (since 1990) and published by DC Comics/Warner Bros. in the US, and Titan Books in the UK.
Other comics work includes:
Andromeda (Silver Snail Comics, 1986) Written and published under the SSC imprint.
Canadian Comics Cavalcade (Artworx, 1986)
The True North (CLLDF, 1988) Written for the Canadian Comic Legends Legal Defence Fund.
Sheet Music (Fantagraphics, 1988)
“Raising the Roof!” (Bonus Book No. 7) in Justice League International Vol. 1 #18 (DC, Oct 1988) Art by James Webb & Mark Pennington
“Sharks” in Taboo #2 (Spiderbaby Grafix, Jan 1989) Art by R.G. “Rick” Taylor
“Davey’s Dream” in Taboo #4 (Spiderbaby Grafix, Jan 1990) Art by R.G. “Rick” Taylor
Caliber Presents #24 (Caliber, 1991)
Silencers #1-4 (Caliber Comics, Jul-Oct 1991) A mini-series (with Richard G. Taylor), subsequently collected as a limited edition trade, then reprinted in 2007 by Image.
Ken Lashley’s Legends (Draxhall Jump, 2002) Co-writer with Ken Lashley. Art by Ken Lashley, Marvin Mariano & Jason Azevedo
“Joyride” in Batman: Gotham Knights #32 (DC Oct 2002) A short Batman: ‘Black & White’ story with M. W. Kaluta, as a backup to Devin Grayson’s landmark “24/7″ single issue story. Collected in Batman: Black & White 3 (May 2007)
“Moebius: A Sketch” in Negative Burn Vol. 3 #1 (Desperado Publishing/Image May 2006) With Silencers artist Richard G. Taylor
The Comic Eye #1 (Blind Bat, Dec 2007) “The Comic Eye is a unique collection of 50 biographical and fictional comic strips by 50 talented comic makers!”
Garnet Fraser is a writer and entertainment editor at the Toronto Star.
Matt Granger began his film career in 1999 as Videographer on Bryan Singer’s X-Men. Over the next several years, Matt was mentored by such directors as Singer, Alex Proyas, David Hollander and producer Don Murphy.
During this time, Matt directed numerous short films that have become known as “The One Minute Movies”. In summer 2006, Director Mark Helfrich licensed seven of Matt’s films for the Dane Cook feature “Good Luck Chuck”.
In 2008, work began on a television series based on characters from these films entitled “Demented”. The show follows the exploits of nearly twenty characters all played by The Granger Brothers. The show was written by both Matt and his brother Mike, with Matt also tackling directorial duties.
Currently, Matt is in development on his first feature film, a hilarious behind the scenes Mockumentary of a doomed film production entitled “EPIC: The Making of the Sir Arthur P Laymond Story”.
Duane is a Toronto-based writer, director and actor. As a writer and director Duane has consulted on wide-release feature film and feature documentary scripts. He has also co-written and co-directed music videos and short films with Shane Belcourt, two of which, Pookums and The Squeeze Box, have shown at the imaginative Film Festival as well as Moviola. Duane is currently developing a television series with Shane Belcourt as well as other future feature film projects.
Michael ‘Nug’ Nahrgang
Michael ‘Nug’ Nahrgang is an incredibly accomplished comedic and dramatic performer. He has made numerous televion appearances including The Comedy Network’s Puppets Who Kill, Comedy Inc., The Gavin Crawford Show, The A Channel’s The Toronto Show as well as many made for television features. Nug has also appeared on CBC’s The Sean Cullen Show and is currently a series regular on the YTV television series Monster Warriors.
His film experiences include roles in The Tuxedo (alongside Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt), Owning Mahowny (with Philip Seymour Hoffman), and was one of the leads in the popular sci-fi horror Cube: Zero. He played a memorable role as “Nug” in the Canadian Curling comedy Men With Brooms, and recenly shot roles in the feature films The Greatest Game Ever Played (directed by Bill Paxton), Homi Spumoni, Stir of Echoes 2: The Homecoming and The Guru (with Mike Myers).
Nug is a favourite around the comedy scene in Toronto. His sketch duo Nugmutter’s clever writing and strong presence earned them a nomination for the Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award in 1999 (for up-and-coming comic talent in Toronto). Nug continues to perform sketch comedy with his troupe The Minnesota Wrecking Crew winners of the 2003 and 2004 Canadian Comedy Award for sketch comedy. They recently performed on the CBC television special Sketch! With Kevin McDonald.
Nug has been a long-time member of The Second City Touring Company where he has had the privilege of improvising with Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Colin Mochrie and many more. Through Second City, Nug has written and performed in numerous theatre, radio and corporate events and has traveled to exotic places like Marham. Nug also played the role of “Jake” in a highly successful run of the adaptation of Sam Raimi’s cult-classic films, Evil Dead 1 & 2 the Musical, which created quite a buzz at the 2004 Just For Laughs Festival.
Nug is a strong singer, a strong comedic and dramatic actor, and can lift heavy things. When he’s not busy, Nug is probably watching wrestling, in a bar, eating chicken wings.