I’m excited to announce that my 2008 graphic novel Swallow Me Whole is in early stages of development as an indie film. It’ll be directed by Luke Slendebrook based on a screenplay I’ve written, and with my participation and input all the way down the line.

Expect more news later in the summer– in the meantime, you can follow developments for the film on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also contact me directly at seemybrotherdance@yahoo.com, and check my site for updates.




It’s time to submit your comics for consideration in Small Press Expo’s festival prize, the Ignatz Award!  Nominees are selected by a jury of creators and voted on by attendees and exhibitors of the Small Press Expo. 

(Ignatz Illustration by 2014 Promising New Talent Winner Cathy G. Johnson.) 

The Ignatz Categories

All work will be eligible in all applicable categories:

  • Outstanding Artist 
  • Outstanding Anthology or Collection 
  • Outstanding Graphic Novel 
  • Outstanding Story 
  • Promising New Talent 
  • Outstanding Series 
  • Outstanding Comic 
  • Outstanding Minicomic 
  • Outstanding Online Comic 

How To Submit Your Work

1. Complete this quick online form

2. Send SIX review copies of each work to:

SPX Ignatz Awards c/o Big Planet Comics
4849 Cordell Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 

(Links to online comics should be emailed to



Material published between June 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015 sent is eligible for 2015 Ignatz Award nomination.  

All submissions must be received by June 7, 2015. 

Full guidelines are available at spxpo.com/ignatz-guidelines.

Have Questions?

All questions should be sent to Ignatz Award coordinator, Eden Miller, at spxignatz@gmail.com

The 2015 Ignatz Awards is once again sponsored by Comixology Submit - the “easiest way to self-publish comics and graphic novels.”  Get more info on Submit right here.

As English language readers await Michael DeForge’s A Body Beneath, which collects issues 2-5 of his multi-award winning one-person anthology series Lose, French language readers also have a Lose collection to look forward to! Featuring a stunning new cover, Lose is set to be published by the wonderful Swiss-based publisher Les Éditions Atrabile. Look for both collections in 2014!

Read all about the French edition at Les Éditions Atrabile’s site here!


How about THAT! I’m very excited about this! The Ignatz awards are maybe the most significant in independent or small-press comics, and I am in really excellent company. I will be at SPX in Bethesda this year (table W33!) where the winners will be announced!

Some other work that’s been nominated that I love:

Sam Bosma’s Fantasy Basketball! The Qu33r anthology! This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki! A story from Octopus Pie by Meredith Gran! Cathy G. Johnson’s entire ouevre! House of Women by Sophie Goldstein! aaaaaa!!!!

Thank you to the jury for making such excellent choices and including my work among them.


2014 Ignatz Awards Submissions Are Open!

Tis the time to submit your comics for consideration in Small Press Expo’s festival prize, the Ignatz Award. Submissions are open to all independent comics creators and publishers. 

Note: You do not need to be an SPX 2014 exhibitor to submit, nor do you need to attend Small Press Expo to win. Fame, fortune, glory and drink tickets galore await you! Ignatz nominees are selected by a super-secret jury of creators (a new group each year) and voted on by attendees and exhibitors of Small Press Expo 2014.   As a part of the SPX Permanent Collection at the Library of Congress, all Ignatz nominees will automatically be sent to the LOC for permanent preservation.
Previous Ignatz winners include Kate Beaton, Michael DeForge, Lisa Hanawalt, Jaime Hernandez, Kevin Huizenga, Jillian Tamaki and Craig Thompson to name just a few!

The Ignatz Categories All work will be eligible in all applicable categories, which include:
  • Outstanding Artist
  • Outstanding Anthology or Collection
  • Outstanding Graphic Novel
  • Outstanding Story
  • Promising New Talent
  • Outstanding Series
  • Outstanding Comic
  • Outstanding Minicomic
  • Outstanding Online Comic
Dat Rat Speaking of “Promising New Talent,” starting in 2012 we began asking the winner of this particular award to create their own version of George Herriman’s brick-throwing rat (thank you Daryl Ayo and Lale Westvind!). Last years’ well-deserved winner, Sam Alden produced the wonderful illustration above for our use in 2014. The Ignatz Submission Process

In order to be considered for an Ignatz nomination, six copies of a work published between June 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014 should be sent to:

SPX Ignatz Awards
c/o Big Planet Comics
4849 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814 USA

** Please note this is a different address from last year. ** 

Links to comics eligible for the Outstanding Online Comic category should be emailed to spxignatz@gmail.com.   All submissions must be received by June 7, 2014. Full guidelines are available at http://www.spxpo.com/ignatz-guidelines.
All questions should be sent to the Ignatz Award coordinator, Eden Miller, at spxignatz@gmail.com.

The 2013 Ignatz Award nominees have been announced!

Michael DeForge has three nominations, with his work in Lose #4 (9780987963000 | September 2012 | $8.00 | Trade Paper) garnering him an Outstanding Artist nod. His second nomination goes to the Lose series itself, which is nominated for Outstanding Series. DeForge’s third nomination is for his superb smorgasbord of the strange Very Casual (9780987963079 | May 2013 | $15.00 | Trade Paper), which is nominated for Outstanding Anthology or Collection.

Nathan Bulmer, the comical cartoonist behind the hilarious Eat More Bikes (9780987963048 | November 2012 | $10.00 | saddle-stitched), has been nominated for Promising New Talent.

The Ignatz Award is named after the character in George Herriman’s classic Krazy Kat comic strip, and has been nominated each year at the Small Press Expo (SPX) since 1997.

Check out the rest of the well-deserved nominations here!

I am back from SPX where my comic book Gold Star won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Story.

It is very strange to stand on stage, accepting an award for a story about a character accepting an award. And even stranger to affix a gold sticker to a book with that title.

Big thanks to Box Brown and everything he does for Retrofit Comics. I wouldn’t have written this story had he not asked me to be a part of Retrofit.

Thanks also to everyone who voted, and a tip of my hat to my fellow nominees, Dan Zettwoch, Lilli Carré, Tom Hart, and Joanna Hellgren.

2012 Ignatz Nominations!
The Ignatz Awards, named for the character in the classic comic strip Krazy Kat by George Herriman, is a festival prize that recognizes outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning. The ballot is created by a panel of five cartoonists and is voted on by the attendees of the SPX festival. This year’s jurors are Edie Fake, Minty Lewis, Dylan Meconis, Lark Pien and Julia Wertz.
The only place to cast a ballot for the Ignatz awards is at SPX 2012! Come on out and be heard (also, you’ll have a fabulous time!). The 2012 Ignatz award nominees are:
Outstanding Artist
Marc Bell – Pure Pajamas (Drawn & Quarterly)
Inés Estrada - Ojitos Borrosos (Self-published)
Jaime Hernandez - Love and Rockets New Stories (Fantagraphics)
Craig Thompson - Habibi (Pantheon)
Matthew Thurber – 1 800 Mice (Picturebox)

Outstanding Anthology or Collection
Big Questions - Anders Nilson (Drawn & Quarterly)
Hark! A Vagrant - Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
The Man Who Grew His Beard - Olivier Schrauwen (Fantagraphics)
Nobrow #6 - Various artists (Nobrow)
Ojitos Borrosos - Inés Estrada (Self-published)

Outstanding Graphic Novel
Big Questions by Anders Nilsen (Drawn & Quarterly)
Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland by Harvey Pekar and Joseph Remnant (Top Shelf/Zip)
My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (Abrams ComicArts)
Troop 142 by Mike Dawson (Secret Acres)
A Zoo In Winter by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

Outstanding Story
1 800 Mice by Matthew Thurber (Picturebox)
“Keith or Steve,” Mome #22, by Nick Drnaso (Fantagraphics)
Lucille by Ludovic Debeurme (Top Shelf)
“Return to Me,” Love & Rockets New Stories #4, by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
“The  Weeper,” Papercutter #17, by Jason Martin and Jesse Reklaw (Tugboat Press)

Promising New Talent
Lauren Barnett - Me Likes You Very Much (Hic & Hoc Publications)
Clara Besijelle - The Lobster King (Self-published)
Tessa Brunton - Passage (Sparkplug Books)
Lila Quintero Weaver - Dark Room: A Memoir in Black and White (University of Alabama Press)
Lale Westvind - Hot Dog Beach (Self-published)

Outstanding Series
Black Mass by Patrick Kyle (Mother Books)
Eye of the Majestic Creature by Leslie Stein (Self-published)
Ganges by Kevin Huizenga (Fantagraphics)
Love and Rockets New Stories by The Hernandez Brothers (Fantagraphics)
Pope Hats by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books)

Outstanding Comic

Hot Dog Beach #2 by Lale Westvind (Self-published)
Passage by Tessa Brunton (Sparkplug Books)
Pterodactyl Hunters by Brendan Leach (Top Shelf)
The Sixth Gun #17 by Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn (Oni Press)
Pope Hats #2 by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books)

Outstanding Mini-Comic
The Death of Elijah Lovejoy by Noah Van Sciver (2D Cloud)
Hypnotic Induction Technique by Grant Reynolds (Self-published)
The Monkey in the Basement and Other Delusions by Corinne Mucha (Retrofit Comics)
Ramble On #2 by Calvin Wong (Self-published)
RAV #6 by Mickey Zacchilli (Self-published)

Outstanding Online Comic

Amazing Facts…and Beyond! with Leon Beyond by Dan Zettwoch and Kevin Huizenga: http://leonbeyondfacts.blogspot.com/
Black Is the Color by Julia Gfrorer: http://studygroupcomics.com/main/black-is-the-color-by-julia-gfrorer/
Lucky by Gabrielle Bell - http://gabriellebell.com/
Starslip by Kris Straub - http://starslip.com/
SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki: http://mutantmagic.com/


By Zainab Akhtrar

The Small Press Expo (SPX) announced the full list of nominees for the 2014 Ignatz Awards this week; with an aim to celebrate outstanding achievements in independent and alternative comics and cartooning, the awards are named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse from his Krazy Kat comic strip, recognising exceptional work within the medium. Nominees are determined by a panel of cartoonists, this year comprised of Whit Taylor, Melissa Mendes, Thien Pham, Darryl Ayo, and Austin English, with votes cast only by attendees during SPX to decide the eventual winners.

This year’s slate of nominees is a pretty wide range of books and authors, which is an indicator of how encompassing the terms and area of independent and alternative comics have become. I’m especially pleased to see Sophie Goldstein recognised for the superb House of Women, Sophie Yanow for War of Streets and Houses, John Martz’s Destination X (which I thought had gone largely unnoticed upon release last September), Cathy G. Johnston in the promising new talent category, Jason Shiga for his online comic, Demon -- which is simply one of the best comics this year and you should be reading — and Farel Dalrymple‘s It Will All Hurt #2. This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki makes the list, too — I expect that book to win a whole host of awards — along with Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet, as it’s the only 2014 book about which I’ve heard unanimously good to excellent things across the board.

Regardless of what you think about awards, the one thing I love about them is that they always introduce me to a host of new artists and work, and I’d urge you to check out at least a couple of the excellent authors and books from the complete list of nominees.



The book I edited, QU33R (2014, Northwest Press) has been nominated for an Ignatz Award, in the Outstanding Anthology or Collection category, at SPX this weekend! If you’re attending SPX, consider a vote for QU33R! The awards ceremony will be held Saturday night, 9/13. 

Here’s the last of the excerpts I’ve been running this week to celebrate the book and the nomination. Naturally a lot of the comics in QU33R focus on romance, sex, & longing, as in these pages from Carrie McNinch, Sina Sparrow, Justin Hall, Kris Dresen, and me, Rob Kirby. Once again, major props to Michael Fahy for his gorgeous face-of-QU33R cover. Ignatz hype aside, I’m very proud of this book and grateful to all the creators who helped make it a success.

QU33R will be on sale at SPX both days from the great ED “Wuvable Oaf” LUCE at table K7!  

(via The Heavy Hand by CCillaSpinnerRack on Etsy)

One of the things I enjoy about selling my comic books is I can plow the profits into buying other peoples comix. I’m an old “liner notes” junkie from the days of vinyl LPs, and while rereading one of Peter Bagge’s “Neat Stuff"s (1989?), Chris Cilla’s name popped up in the liner notes. And that led me to purchase his 2011 Ignatz nominated book. Can’t wait to see it!


Ignatz Nominees! Note the keen new silver nominee badges, designed by Chris Pitzer, publisher of AdHouse Books!

John Martz’s Gold Star (conveniently about winning an award) is nominated for Outstanding Story, and is now available for free online! We have a very few copies left to buy too. http://johnmartz.com/work/gold-star

Arid by Tom Hart is also up for Outstanding Story! Published in Secret Prison #7 http://www.tomhart.net/

The Teacup Tree by Angie Wang is a fine mark of her Promising New Talent! Also in Secret Prison #7! http://okchickadee.com/

We have lots of Secret Prison #7 left but don’t wait until SPX to get one!

All the Ignatz Award nominees are here, there are a LOT of great books nominated this year, check them all out! Don’t forget to vote at SPX!

The Small Press Expo and Ignatz award nominating committee listed it’s list of nominees for this year’s awards. For those attending the show onSaturday and Sunday, September 13-14th please make sure to vote on Saturday! Whom should you vote for? Well, your favorite comics of course but here are some *cough cough* suggestions! 

Best Artist: Kim Deitch Ed Piskor Jesse Reklaw  

Outstanding Graphic Novel: Kim DeitchThe Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley
  Anthologies: Anders NelsonThe End Leslie SteinEye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2 Tony MillionaireTony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey Treasury

Outstanding Comic: Dash ShawCosplayers (Issue #2 is out now!!!) 

This year’s nominees were picked by casting some runestones, encircling all the books with a blood circle and then chanted at by judges Darryl Ayo, Austin English, Melissa Mendes, Thien Pham and Whit Taylor. Congrats to our other Fanta cartoonists nominated for their other works like Simon Hanselmann and Noah Van Sciver. Both of the guys will be at SPX as well, Simon’s debuting Megahex so be sure to stop by the Fantagraphics’ booth. Just check for the glitter cannons.  

Small Press Expo Announces 2014 Ignatz Award Nominees

The Small Press Expo the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons, is pleased to announce the 2014 nominees for the annual presentation of the Ignatz Awards, a celebration of outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning.

The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse from his long running comic strip Krazy Kat, recognizes exceptional work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression.

The Ignatz Awards are a festival prize, the first of such in the United States comic book industry.  Only those present at the Small Press Expo may cast a vote to decide the winners.

The nominees for this year’s ballot were determined by a panel of five of the best of today’s comic artists, Darryl Ayo, Austin English, Melissa Mendes, Thien Pham and Whit Taylor, with the votes cast for the awards by the attendees during SPX.

The Ignatz Awards will be presented at the gala Ignatz Awards ceremony held on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 9:30 PM, to be followed by libations, chocolate fountains, our first SPX Prom and a few as yet unannounced surprises. 

Last year’s winner of the Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent - and also a 2014 nominee - Sam Alden created this year’s rendition of Ignatz the mouse featured at the top of this post.


By Zainab Akhtar

The 2014 Ignatz Awards took place on Saturday evening, and were, by all accounts, a lively affair, topped off with a wedding in which Australian comics star Simon Hanselmann was betrothed to the medium itself!

While what’s referred to as the independent/small press comics scene is by no means perfect, it is certainly more progressive, with the changes, representation, and greater equality that’s rallied for in mainstream comics already present here to a significant degree, as can be seen reflected in the comics nominated, the nominees themselves, and the winners.