The ICN Awards 2020, Some Thoughts
2020 has been a weird year for everything and Irish independent comics were not exempt. I have kind of been looking at the year from the perspective of last year’s ICN awards so I thought I’d do a quick analysis based on that. I am actually wondering if we should have all the categories or even have the vote at all. Having gone through these categories, I think we will have one.
BEST ARTIST (SMALL PRESS)
Of the seven 2019 nominees, I’ve seen stuff from three. All of them were published online (so far). Anna Fitzpatrick is working away on Alien Heart and I hope to have a physical copy in my hands in 2020 via the Kickstarter (Kickstarter seemed to be an even bigger deal this year). Hugh Madden started producing a Treasure Island adaptation on Twitter, which has a good chance of making it on to the webcomic list (nothing is confirmed for me until 2020 is over). Lastly, Leeann Hamilton had work on Sonic The Comic, which would probably come under MAJOR PUBLISHER. I know the others are all working away on books and are waiting for events to return to debut them. I think this category will veer more towards webcomic creators as there hasn’t been a whole lot of physical independent books produced.
BEST WRITER (SMALL PRESS)
Kind of the same deal with the same names except Leeann’s STC story was written by Stuart Gipp so she wouldn’t be nominated for writer in that case.
BEST IRISH ARTIST (MAJOR PUBLISHER)
One area where all the nominees still had stuff published and where there’d be a new candidates for people to ponder over. Nick Roche (Scarenthood) and Charlot Kristensen (What We Don’t Talk About) are two new candidates that need to be added for consideration in 2020.
BEST IRISH WRITER (MAJOR PUBLISHER)
This one is kind of a ditto to the artist category.
BEST COLOURIST (SMALL PRESS)
Mixed again. John Cullen continues his NHOJ run. Again, Anna Fitzpatrick returns. Hugh Madden’s Treasure Island is black and white but may get the nod for “Hammer Of The Witches”
BEST COLOURIST (MAJOR PUBLISHER)
This continues to be a competitive category and 2020 doesn’t seem to have affected it at all.
Most of last year’s nominees have work that qualifies for 2020.
A category that will definitely need to be expanded for 2020 with a lot of webcomic creators getting nods in other SMALL PRESS categories (I have been considering them in the last few years). I wrote a piece on webcomics if you want more detail.
BEST IRISH CREATOR COMIC (SMALL PRESS)
A tough category this year. It will depend on what Kickstarters get to me by December 31st. This category is usually for physical books.
BEST IRISH CREATOR COMIC (MAJOR PUBLISHER)
See the BEST IRISH ARTIST (MAJOR PUBLISHER) category.
BEST NEWCOMER / BREAKTHROUGH
Always the toughest category to figure out. I can see at least one or two. I have mentioned one.
BEST IRISH COMIC RELATED EVENT
I think I might have to skip this one for 2020 as I don’t think it is fair to compare the events that did happen this year.
BEST IRISH COMIC SHOP
All the shops have been working hard during the current situation so this category will continue to be competitive.
BEST IRISH ANTHOLOGY
Sector 13 produced an issue towards the beginning of the year. I haven’t noticed other candidates. Please let me know if I missed one.
OVERALL BEST IRISH COMIC
This category will probably lean more into webomics.
BEST IRISH COMIC COVER
This category will probably lean more into the MAJOR PUBLISHER comics.
Another category that may skip a year. I haven’t decided. There may be one or two nominees. The major independent publishers seem to have decided to push publishing dates into 2021.
BEST COMIC RELATED/FEATURED ONLINE CONTENT
As this is an online category, it hasn’t really been impacted by 2020. A lot of the same “faces” will appear for 2020.
BEST IRISH WRITER (NON-FICTION)
Depends on what happens between now and the end of the year. I think I have a few candidates.
HALL OF FAME
This will continue to be excluded from the public vote. When I took over ICN, I noticed that this category had become “what have you done lately” votes. I haven’t had any complaints about our inductees so far. You can check out the list of existing inductees here.
I’m thinking of adding a best Kickstarter category for 2020.