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2008 GRAPHIC SHORT STORY PRIZE

There were 240 entries for the 2008 Graphic Short Story Prize, now in its second year, and the standard was superb. The judges were unanimous in awarding the prize to Julian Hanshaw for his haunting, evocative and beautifully drawn story, Sand Dunes and Sonic Booms.

 

WINNERS:

Short Story Prize Winner:
Sand Dunes & Sonic Booms by Julian Hanshaw

Joint Runners-Up:
What Do Other Married People Talk About by Emily Haworth-Booth
Cheer Up, Love, It’s Only A Credit Crunch by Isabel Greenberg

 

JUDGES:

Mark Haddon (author)
Rutu Modan (Exit Wounds)
Rachel Cook (The Observer)
Dan Franklin (Jonathan Cape)
Paul Gravett (Comica Festival Director)
Suzanne Dean (Random House Creative Director)

 

ARTICLES:

RACHEL COOK
The Observer, 9 November 2008
There were 240 entries for the 2008 Observer/Cape Graphic Short Story Prize, now in its second year, and the standard was superb. The judges (novelist Mark Haddon; graphic novelist Rutu Modan; Paul Gravett, director of the Comica Festival; Dan Franklin, publisher of Jonathan Cape; Suzanne Dean, creative director of Random House; and myself) were unanimous in awarding the prize to Julian Hanshaw for his haunting, evocative and beautifully drawn story, Sand Dunes and Sonic Booms, which will be published here in The Observer Review next Sunday.

We loved Hanshaw’s sense of time and place - an effect he achieved partly through a series of sepia frames illustrating the south coast. Hanshaw is an animator by training, and moved to Winchelsea, East Sussex from London three years ago. Since then he has become ‘mildly obsessed’ with the area, particularly the spectral and strange Dungeness. The idea for Sand Dunes and Sonic Booms came after a visit to one of the south coast’s sound mirrors - primitive devices designed to detect and track military aircraft before the First World War (though the ones in Kent date from the 1930s). Spurred on by his win, Hanshaw, whose influences include Daniel Clowes and Herge, will now try to find a publisher for his graphic novel, The Art of Pho, a book inspired by the food of Vietnam.

The judges, torn between the very funny What Do Other Married People Talk About by Emily Haworth-Booth - a story about a self-absorbed husband that makes innovative use of stick people - and the ultra-topical Cheer Up, Love, It’s Only A Credit Crunch by Isabel Greenberg , made them joint runners-up. You can see these marvellous tales on the Observer website from next Sunday. On the same day, the £1,000 prize will be presented to Hanshaw at the Comica Festival - which this year features appearances from, among others, Art Spiegelman, Posy Simmonds and Alan Moore - at the ICA in London.

WILLIAM SKIDELSKY
Literary Editor of The Observer, 10 August 2008:
As the career of Raymond Briggs demonstrates, graphic fiction has been around a good while. But only in the past few years has the form finally shaken off its association with geekiness and become mainstream - even positively cool. These days the best graphic novelists - Neil Gaiman, Marjane Satrapi, Jamie Hewlett, Chris Ware, Bryan Talbot - are regarded as serious artists, fully the equal of their conventional novel-writing peers. Graphic novels sell in healthy numbers, and in some cases, such as Satrapi’s Persepolis, do spectacularly well.

The Observer has been a faithful champion of the form, running a regular graphic fiction round-up, and last year launching a graphic short-story competition in association with Jonathan Cape and Comica. The competition got such a good response, both from artists and readers, that we had no hesitation in sponsoring it again. This year’s judges include Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night, and we will be running online features in the run-up to the prize. The winning story will be printed in The Observer on 16 November and the £1,000 prize awarded at the Comica Festival at the ICA, London on 15 November.

 

LINKS:

Observer: Graphic Short Story Prize Winners 2008 (Nov 2008)
Observer: Comics For Cash (Aug 2008)
Random House: Graphic Short Story Prize 2008
Random House: Graphic Short Story Prize 2008 - Entry Form pdf

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