Exciting news today for fans of Demon. The Ignatz committee has just announced their nominations for 2014 and Demon has been nominated for 2 Ignatz awards!!! The categories are “Outstanding Series” and (most exciting for me), “Outstanding Online Comic”. I’ve mentioned before that when I was a judge myself, this category was the most inspirational and played a major role in me deciding to release Demon independently as a webcomic. To have it come 360 degrees for me and see Demon on the nomination list itself is an amazing and incredible honor.
Of course, the timing is great too. As my readers know, Demon has started to descend into the most depraved and tasteless section of the story. I love the idea of some librarian reading about this year’s Ignatz nominations on The Beat, clicking on the link and being treated to a naked Jimmy slurping up his own vomit while his testicles dangle over the reference desk of Denver Public Library. I can’t imagine a better introduction to Jimmy than a one month long sequence of him trying to escape from a box via increasingly desperate and disgusting methods slowly building to an insane, filthy climax. SPOILER literally.
The Ignatz has always been my favorite comics award. It captures for me what is great about the medium. Namely, anyone can make a comic. You don’t need to own the license to Batman. You don’t need business connections, marketing teams, agents or even a publisher. You can literally walk into an Office Max and for $5 buy the raw materials it takes to make an Ignatz Award winning comic. And it’s great to see so many of those types of comics on the list this year. Plus, on a purely selfish level, the Ignatz nominees are a great starting point. There’s so many comics being made today it’s hard for me to get a good handhold into what is good or where to start especially when it comes to the younger generation.
Another great aspect about the Ignatz aesthetic is it really leans towards the idiosyncratic. Unlike the Eisner judges who are populated by librarians, retialers and critics, the Ignatz judges are comprised solely of other cartoonists. This gives it a wonderfully weird slant. I do feel there is such a thing as a cartoonist’s cartoonist. Things that look hard can be easy. Things that look easy can be hard. For example the Mark Kalesniko book, Freeway is a graphic novel set in a traffic jam. I think most readers would consider that a pretty boring setting. Every cartoonist I know who’s seen that book pees in their pants just a little. Additionally because of the way the judging is done, I feel the personality of the judges can really show up in the nominations. If there’s one judge on the Ignatz committee who likes weird comics about melty faces morphing into open wounds, then you see a bunch of weird comics about melty faces morphing into open wounds on the list. Not really the best type of comics in my opinion but so much more interesting than seeing House of Sand in 9 different Eisner categories.
Anyway, I can’t in good conscience recommend anyone vote for me this year, at least not without checking out the other nominees as well. I haven’t read all of them myself, but the nominees in my categories I have read are amazing. And again, it’s the webcomic category that I find the most inspiring. Aside from Evan Dahm, I hadn’t even heard of any of them. It’s been great going through their work and hopefully you get a chance to as well.