“The best awards presentation I’ve ever attended. For anything. Worth the trip to Toronto alone” - Dan Nadel, The Comics Journal
“Two hours of pure comic book entertainment that kept the entire audience captivated. Quite, simply the best comic awards show in the world.” - Peggy Burns, Associate Publisher Drawn and Quarterly
“I wish there was an American comics awards that took itself as seriously as the Doug Wright Awards, but there isn’t.” - Dustin Harbin, cartoonist
Founded in 2005, The Doug Wright Awards were established as a way to honour the legacy of the iconic Canadian cartoonist Doug Wright (1917-1983) by publically recognizing the best in Canadian comics and graphic novels. Wright, whose strip Doug Wright’s Family graced newspapers from the late 1940s to the early 1980s, was arguably the most recognized Canadian cartoonist of the mid-twentieth century. A proud Canadian, Wright managed to reflect the aspirations and anxieties of a generation through his wordless panels.
Although Canada has long been fertile ground for comics, the non-profit Wright Awards quickly became a way to bring wider recognition to the art form while fostering a larger sense of community.
In the past decade more than 40 Canadian creators have been recognized for their work, from established cartoonists such as Seth, Michel Rabagliati and Guy Delisle, to younger up-and-coming talents like Kate Beaton, Michael DeForge and Bryan Lee O’Malley. The Wright Awards are also dedicated to honouring the rich history of cartooning in Canada, which it does every year by inducting one cartoonist into The Giants of the North, the Canadian Cartooning Hall of Fame which includes the likes of Terry “Aislin” Mosher, Lynn Johnston, David Boswell, Jimmy Frise, Albert Chartier and Peter Whalley.
Each year in May the Doug Wright Awards presents its annual awards at a public ceremony in Toronto, Ontario. A feature event of the Toronto Comics Art Festival (TCAF), the ceremony is free to the public and is fuelled by hourse of hard work by a team of volunteers and dedicated organizers — all of whom do it out of a sense of good will and a sincere love for Canadian comics.
For the past nine years we’ve has honoured the country’s comics community in a unique ceremony that has gained a reputation as one of the best – and most memorable -- awards ceremony in comics. (Who can forget David Collier’s 2013 acceptance speech?) Peggy Burns, Dan Nadel, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Xaime Hernandez, amongst others have praised its restrained format and dignified approach to the medium. It’s even inspired a thoughtful comic essay by American cartoonist Dustin Harbin.
But here’s the thing: bringing our acclaimed annual awards ceremony to life every year takes more than just persistence and hard work. It takes money too. So we’ve decided to reach out to the comics community for a hand to help make our 10th anniversary year the best yet!
Our ceremony this year will take place on May 10, 2014 at the Ballroom of the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel, as a feature event of the Toronto Comics Art Festival (TCAF). Our host will be Kids in the Hall alum and Hannibal actor Scott Thompson, and we will be honouring the surviving artists of “The Canadian Whites” by inducting them into the “Giants of the North, the Canadian Cartooning Hall of Fame.” The Whites were black-and-white comics produced between 1941 and 1946 that contained a host of original (and iconic) Canadian characters such as Johnny Canuck, Canada Jack and Nelvana of the Northern Lights. These characters were created by the likes of Murray Karn, Adrian Dingle, Gerry Lazare, Leo Bachle and Jack Tremblay. The event will also serve as the official launch of a new collection of the complete Nelvana of the Northern Lights (by Adrian Dingle) being published by CGA Comics.
As a special thank you for those who decide to support our Kickstarter this year we've decided to put together a collection of work showcasing great Canadian artists and their interpretation of a Doug Wright's Family or "Nipper" comic. This collection will also have fun stuff the Doug Wright Awards has accrued over the last few years such as Dustin Harbin's comic essay about the awards as well as DWA posters and other ephemera.
This campaign will not only raise funds for this fantastic collection, but will also make this year’s ceremony the best yet! You can see our new list of nominees for the year and the ceremony will take place on May 10th! Join us for this momentous occasion!
To really make this year a success we've got some excellent contributors on board supporting the project including Seth, Chester Brown, Joe Ollman, Michael Cho, Pascal Girard, Michael DeForge, Diana Tamblyn, Dave Collier, Alex Fellows, John Martz, Ann Marie Fleming, Michael Comeau, Katherine Verhoven, Matthew Daley, Tin Can Forest, Chris Kuzma, Dakota McFadzean, Georgia Webber, Kate Leth and Eric Kim. Much of these creators also donated their original art which we're making available to you! Join us in bringing Doug Wright to the forefront and remembering 10 great years of awards with strips, essays, art, and posters!
There are also other great incentives, including original art by Seth and Chester Brown, and original For Better or For Worse art from the great Lynn Johnston!
What will $6135 pay for?
This is pretty straight forward. Essentially the funds raised will cover the costs of the awards ceremony, which includes production costs (i.e. video), host fees, travel costs and accommodations for our guests. It will also help cover the costs of printing the commemorative collection and shipping fees.
Here are the available posters!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we face is time. We would love to have this project achieved in time for TCAF and the Doug Wright's this year which is why we are tirelessly editing and promoting this book. We have a lot of contributing artists so we're keeping track of time and energies!
Finally, one of the main priorities behind the awards themselves is to promote cartooning and cartoonists. Don't forget to let everyone know and share this everywhere!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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