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2017 Doug Wright Awards name three first-time winners

Rebecca Roher

Rebecca Roher

It was a year of firsts at this year’s Doug Wright Awards, with all three winners being honoured by the Wrights for the first time.

Toronto author Rebecca Roher won the Doug Wright Award for best book for Bird in a Cage (Conundrum Press), her graphic novel depicting her grandmother’s struggle with dementia and memory loss.

Midland, Ontario cartoonist Steve Wolfhard received the Spotlight Award, given to a Canadian cartoonist deserving of wider recognition, for Cat Rackham (Koyama Press), his comic about an existentially distraught cat who perpetually manages to get into trouble.

Montreal comic creator Henriette Valium was awarded the Pigskin Peters Award for the top experimental, unconventional or avant-garde comic for The Palace of Champions (Conundrum Press), which explores physical and mental decay through eye-popping, complex illustration and patterns.

Also at this year’s ceremony, Katherine Collins, who, as Arn Saba, created the character of Neil the Horse, was inducted into the Giants of the North Canadian cartoonist hall of fame.

The 13th annual Doug Wright Awards took place on Saturday, May 13, during the Toronto Comic Arts festival. The awards recognize excellence in Canadian comics from the previous calendar year.