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Jesse Jacobs wins Doug Wright Best Book Award after six previous nominations

Jesse Jacobs was honoured by the Doug Wright Awards for his comic Crawl Space (Images courtesy Jesse Jacobs/Koyama Press).

The sixth time’s a charm? Moncton, N.B.–born comic artist and author Jesse Jacobs has won the 2018 Doug Wright Best Book Award for his graphic novel Crawl Space. after being nominated for the prize six previous times.

The Koyama Press title depicts the power struggles of a group of kids who have discovered an alternate dimension in the dark corners of a basement. The jury for the Doug Wright Awards, which celebrate Canadian comics, compared the work to John Hughes and Terrence McKenna, praising its “masterful visual storytelling,” and calling it “a book that’s hard not to love.”

The Doug Wright Spotlight Award for emerging talent (a.k.a. “The Nipper”) was awarded to Toronto-based illustrator Jenn Woodall for her feminist anime-inspired comic Magical Beatdown Vol. 2 and Marie and the Worrywart, about a comic artist and the blob that trails her, stoking her anxiety.

The Pigskin Peters Award for an experimental comic went to Toronto cartoonist Sami Alwani’s The Dead Father, about a baby contending with the expectations of his father and the world. “Alwani’s debut leaves us with great expectations for his future work,” the judges said in a statement.

Finalist were chosen from among 100 works released in 2017. The awards were presented at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel on May 12 as a featured event at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.