EVEN FOR THE Small Press Expo’s Ignatz Awards, which have celebrated women cartoonists since their late-’90s inception, Saturday night’s ceremony set a precedent.
For the first time, SPX says, all the night’s presenters were women.
That was the idea of this year’s Ignatz host, special guest and longtime New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly.
“I was given the opportunity ahead of time to select the presenters for each award to be given,” Donnelly tells Comic Riffs, “and I decided to choose all cartoonists who are women. More and more of us are now in the business, unlike previous years, and I wanted to celebrate that fact by bringing attention to it.
“Many cartoonists came up to me afterwards — men and women — to thank me for doing that, it was great.”
The presenters included Kate Leth, Ulli Lust, Rutu Modan, Mikhaela Reid, Raina Telgemeier, Carol Tyler and Jen Vaughn. Lust also won an Ignatz for Outstanding Graphic Novel — a category in which all five nominees, including Modan and Tyler, were women.
Donnelly — whose upcoming book, “Women on Men,” is due out late this year — says she enjoyed the scene and the experience.
“It was an honor and pleasure to host the Ignatz Awards,” she tells us. “The crowd was warm, welcoming and rowdy — it was ... terrific.”
SPX Executive Director Warren Bernard noted to Comic Riffs that Ignatz nominations were up by roughly two-thirds over last year.
The night’s top winner was “Lose” cartoonist Michael DeForge, who picked up three Ignatz “bricks” Saturday at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in North Bethesda.
The Ignatz Awards, named for George Herriman's famed “Krazy Kat” character, rewards achievement in indie and small-press comics.
Here’s the list of 2013 winners (all the nominees were announced last month):
Outstanding Minicomic: The End of the F****** World, by Charles Forsman
Outstanding Story:Gold Star, by John Martz
Outstanding Comic: Pope Hats #3, by Ethan Rilly
Outstanding Anthology Collection:“Very Casual,” by Michael DeForge
Outstanding New Talent Sam Alden, for Hawaii 1997 & Haunter
Outstanding Online Comic: SuperMutant Magic Academy, by Jillian Tamaki
Outstanding Series: Lose, by Michael DeForge
Outstanding Graphic Novel: “Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life,” by Ulli Lust
Outstanding Artist: Michael DeForge (Lose #4).