Though perhaps not at the level of Eisner or Ignatz Awards in terms of notoriety, the Broken Frontier Awards are nonetheless a reasonably solid honor for many cartoonists, having been established over a decade ago. They follow in much the same mold as those other awards, with judges narrowing the finalists down to a handful in each category, with a wider population weighing in on the final vote. This year, one of the noteworthy changes to the Awards is the addition of a (long overdue) Webcomics category.
While the addition of a webcomics category here comes seemingly rather late to the game (both the Ignatz and Eisner Awards added such a category in 2001 and 2005 respectively) where the Broken Frontier Awards seem to succeed is in keeping only webcomics in a webcomics category. As I’ve noted in previous columns, both of the other awards seem to have fuzzy descriptions of “webccomics” and have allowed digital comics into those categories. Even this year, with the Eisners making a distinct category for digital comics separate from webcomics, they still managed to cross-pollinate nominees (i.e. they had webcomics nominated in the digital comics category, and digital comics in the webcomics category). By contrast, the Broken Frontier webcomics category only has webcomics. Tillie Walden’s On a Sunbeam is, for example, one of the comics that was nominated in the Eisner digital comics category, despite clearly having “webcomic” right on the title page.
For the record, the Broken Frontier webcomics nominees are:
- As the Crow Flies (Melanie Gillman)
- Cafe Suada (Jade Sarson)
- Draw the Line: Over 100 comics artists present positive political actions anyone can take (Various creators, edited by Myfanwy Tristram)
- Leaving Richard’s Valley (Michael DeForge)
- On a Sunbeam (Tillie Walden)
It’s also worth noting that Walden is also nominated for Best Artist and her recent book, Spinning, has been nominated for Best Graphic Non-Fiction. Other creators who’ve worked on webcomics that have nominations this year (not necessarily for webcomics) include: Warren Ellis, Gabrielle Bell, Julia Wertz, Ben Passmore and Sophia Foster-Dimino. (Although the work they’re nominated for here is all print-based.)
Voting for these ends today, so if you want to help ensure the Broken Frontier Awards sees some positive results for adding a webcomics category, you don’t have much time to weigh in, so take a few moments to cast your vote now!