The Ledger Awards, established to acknowledge and promote excellence in comic book arts and publishing in Australia, will be held in Sydney for the first time, this Friday June 16 from 7pm at the St James Hotel (114 Castlereagh St, Sydney). Since their inauguration in 2005, previous awards events have been held in Melbourne. Fully independent and run as a not-for-profit annual celebration, they are named after the pioneering Australian cartoonist Peter Ledger (1945 – 1994). Sponsors of this year’s event include Kings Comics, Media Arts Lawyers, Jeffries Printing, Impact Comics, All Star Comics, The Periodic Table of Awesome.com and the Australian Cartoonists’ Association. The event is free to attend but capacity is limited; free tickets are available via the Ledger Awards’ facebook page and on Eventbrite.
Gold, Silver and Bronze Ledgers will be presented for outstanding comics work published in the calendar year January 1 to December 31, 2016. A single Platinum Ledger will be presented to acknowledge an individual's contribution to the comics making community in Australia, someone who selflessly helps to further the form and advance its creators. Two Ledgers of Honour (a “hall of fame” award) will also be announced, in recognition of those from the rich past of Australian comics who helped shape the art form in a meaningful way.
The awards are open to any individual comics/sequential art projects, print and/or digital/web, that are produced (all or in part) by an Australian creator (who identifies as Australian or lives in Australia). The Ledger Awards are not a popularity vote, with the judges being asked to consider each project on its own merits in creativity, craft and execution.
Each year’s judging panel is comprised of industry experts. This year’s panel is: Philip Bentley (writer, editor and historian), W. Chew ‘Chewie’ Chan (comics, storyboard & concept artist and comics consultant), Sophia Parsons Cope (artist and illustrator), Ben Kooyman (academic and popular culture expert), Mark Selan (comics creator and retailer), and Sarah Wignall (illustrator, comics artist, programmer and systems engineer; former Ledger Award recipient).
"In my thirty years of involvement in the Australian comics scene, I have never seen such an exciting and productive time as now. Quality and quantity are at their highest levels and I believe we're truly in a new golden age for home-grown comics. They deserve wider recognition, celebration and promotion; that’s the purpose of the Ledger Awards," says Ledgers organising committee member, Tim McEwen.
The Judges’ Short List for the 2017 Awards is as follows:
Amusing stories of photocopy toner on white parchment comics. Neale Blanden. (self published)
The Ash Cloud Magazine. Gregory Mackay. (self published)
Australi #1. Timothy Wood, writer. Pius Bak, artist. (self published)
Burger Force Vol. 1. Jackie Ryan. (Parentheses Press)
The Demon #1. Matt Kyme. (self published)
The Disappearance of Melody Dean. Alexis Sugden. (self published)
Double Negative. Scott Fraser. (self published)
Fabled Kingdom Vol 2. Queenie Chan. (Bento Books)
Hail #1-3. Miranda Richardson, writer/letterer/project manager. Rosanna Lam, lead artist/penciller/cover artist. Mala Kerr, Tom Murton, backgrounds penciller/inker/colourists. Maddy Deane, Rhianna Carr, Sarah Lloyd, Terri Arnold, inker/colourists. Ethan Robertson, inker. Sandeson Gonzaga, Jasmine Woolcock, Luke Bartholomew, Christopher Genovese, colourists. Philippa Lawrie, inker. (self published)
- Harry Potter and My Childhood Obsession. Georgina Chadderton. (self published)
- The Invisible War: A Tale on Two Scales. Ailsa Wild, writer. Ben Hutchings, illustrator. Briony Barr, Gregory Crocetti, creator/storyboarders. Dr. Jeremy Barr, co-writer. (Scale Free Network)
- Medicine Cabinet. Frank Candiloro. (FrankenComics)
- Monsters. Karen Beilharz, writer, artist. Peter Fairfax, Mike Barry, Kathleen Jennings, Greg Lamrock, René Pfitzner, Nathan Seabolt, Belinda Stead, EmmJ, Jordan Taia, Jemima Trappel, artists. Paul Wong-Pan, cover artist. (self published)
- Mr. Unpronounceable and the Infinity of Nightmares. Tim Molloy. (Milk Shadow Books)
- Negative Space. Ryan K Lindsay, script. Owen Gieni, art. Ryan Ferrier, letters. (Dark Horse)
- Past the Last Mountain #1-4. Louie Joyce, art and colours. Gannon Beck, layouts. Paul Allor, writer and letterer. (Comics Experience)
- Raw Feels. Leonie Brialey. (self published)
- Small Things. Mel Tregonning. (Allen & Unwin)
- The Spider King. Josh Vann, writer. Simone D’Armini, artist. Adrian Bloch, colourist. Nic J. Shaw, letterer. (self published)
- Winding up the Window: the End of the Australian Auto Industry. Sam Wallman. (SBS online)
Award recipients will be announced at the ceremony, which runs from 7:30 to 9pm on Friday 16 June 2017.