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SPX Ignatz Award nominees: Books tackling bigotry top ‘the Spirit Awards of comics’

A panel from “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters,” by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)

EMIL FERRIS continues to have a breakthrough year. Her debut graphic novel “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” has just received three Ignatz Award nominations, Small Press Expo is announcing Thursday.

The Chicago-sprung creator’s coming-of-age “sketchbook” tale, published by Fantagraphics, has already been called “one of the most profound, ambitious and accomplished creative works to appear in any medium this decade” (Forbes) that “speaks to the current political climate in chilling ways” (AV Club).

Another lauded work that speaks to prejudice past and present is also being recognized: Rep. John Lewis’s (D-Ga.) latest installment in his civil rights graphic memoir, “March: Book Three” (Top Shelf), co-written by Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell, received twin Ignatz nominations. Last fall, it became the first graphic novel to win the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Rep. John Lewis’s National Book Award win is a milestone moment for graphic novels

Besides those works, also nominated in the outstanding graphic novel category are two more Fantagraphics books — Cathy Malkasian’s “Eartha” and Anya Davidson’s “Band for Life” — and Box Brown’s “Tetris” from First Second.

Also a multiple nominee is Keren Katz, who received nods for both outstanding artist (“The Academic Hour”) and outstanding minicomic (“Our Tale of Woe,” with Geffen Refaeli).

As a champion of indie works, the esteemed Ignatz Awards have been considered “the Spirit Awards of comics.”

“This year, we had nearly 600 submissions, which is pretty incredible,” Ignatz director Dan Stafford tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs. “About one-third of the print submissions are self-published work, which shows the vibrancy and strength of the indie comics community.”

The Ignatz Award, named for the legendary brick-hurling “Krazy Kat” character, honors excellence specifically for independent comics. The jurors for this year’s nominations were Neil Brideau, Glynnis Fawkes, Sara Lautman, Trungles and David Willis.

The winners will be announced during this year’s Small Press Expo, Sept. 16-17 at the Marriott North Bethesda Hotel and Convention Center in suburban Washington. The Ignatz ceremony is co-sponsored by Amazon-owned comiXology. (Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Post. But then, you knew that.)

Here is the full list of 2017 Ignatz Award nominees:

Outstanding Artist
Keren Katz — “The Academic Hour” (Secret Acres)
Emil Ferris — “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” (Fantagrahpics)
Manuele Fior — “The Interview” (Fantagraphics)
Barbara Yelin — “Irmina” (Self Made Hero)
Pablo Auldadell — “Paradise Lost” (Pegasus Books)

Outstanding Anthology
“ELEMENTS: Fire — An Anthology by Creators of Color” — edited by Taneka Stotts (Beyond Press)
“POWER & MAGIC: The Queer Witch Comics Anthology” — edited by Joamette Gil (P&M Press)
“Spanish Fever: Stories by the New Spanish Cartoonists” — edited by Javier Olivares & Santiago Garcia (Fantagraphics)
“Comic Book Slumber Party’s Deep Space Canine” — edited by Hanhah K. Chapman (Avery Hill)
“ALPHABET: The LGBTQAIU Creators,” from Prism Comics — edited by Jon Macy and Tara Madison Avery (Stacked Deck Press)

Outstanding Collection
“The Complete Neat Stuff” — Peter Bagge (Fantagraphics)
“Johnny Wander: Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us” — Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota (Oni Press)
“Time Clock” — Leslie Stein (Fantagraphics)
“Boundless” — Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)
“Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 2″ — Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)

Outstanding Graphic Novel
“Eartha” — Cathy Malkasian (Fantagraphics)
“March: Book 3″ — John Lewis, Nate Powell, Andrew Aydin (Top Shelf)
“My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” — Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
“Band for Life” — Anya Davidson (Fantagraphics)
“Tetris” — Box Brown (First Second)

Outstanding Story
“March: Book 3″ — John Lewis, Nate Powell, Andrew Aydin (Top Shelf)
“My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” — Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
“Small Enough,” from “Diary Comics” — Dustin Harbin (Koyama Press)
“Too Hot to Be Cool” — Maddi Gonzales
“Diana’s Electric Tongue” — Carolyn Nowak (self-published)

Promising New Talent
Isabella Rotman — “Long Black Veil” (self-published)
Margot Ferrick — “Yours” (2D Cloud)
Aud Koch — “Run,” from the Oath Anthology (Mary’s Monster)
Bianca Xunise — “Say Her Name” (self-published)
Kelly Bastow — “Year Long Summer” (self-published)

Outstanding Series
Chester 5000, by Jess Fink (self-published)
The Old Woman, by Rebecca Mock (self-published)
Maleficium, by Sabin Couldron (self-published)
Frontier, edited by Ryan Sands (Youth in Decline)
Crickets, by Sammy Harkham (self-published)

Outstanding Comic
“Public Relations #10″ — Matthew Sturges, Dave Justus, Steve Rolston, Annie Wu (1First Comics)
“Libby’s Dad” — Eleanor Davis (Retrofit/Big Planet)
“Canopy” — Karine Bernadou (Retrofit/Big Planet)
“Your Black Friend” — Ben Passmore (Silver Sprocket)
“Sunburning” — Keiler Roberts (Koyama Press)

Outstanding Minicomic (self-published)
Tender Hearted — Hazel Newlevant
The Man Who Came Down the Attic Stairs — Celine Loup
Reverse Flaneur — M. Sabine Rear
Same Place Same Time — Ann Xu
Our Tale of Woe — Keren Katz & Geffen Refaeli

Outstanding Online Comic
Disability in the Age of Trump — Amanda Scurti (The Nib)

That’s Not Who We Are — Mike Dawson (The Nib)

The Meek — Der-Shing Helmer (self-published)

Woman World — Aminder Dhaliwal (self-published)

Normal Person/Maine Vacation — Lauren Weinstein (Village Voice and Mutha Magazine)