First winners of Comic Creators’ Prize revealed

First winners of Comic Creators’ Prize revealed

The five winning entries has been announced for the inaugural Comic Creators’ Prize, a call-out for Black creatives to get editorial feedback.  

Organised by Jonathan Cape, comic festival Thought Bubble and Black Lives Matter (BLM) Leeds, the initiative was launched at the end of 2020 and the winners were selected “from a large number and broad range of submissions”, organisers said. 

The winning entries came from Bimpe Alliu and Folarin Akinmade, Manon Wright & Frankie Mcintosh, Daniel Lucas, Sarah Ushurhe and Rumbidzai Marilyn Savanhu. 

Entrants, from all stages of their career, could submit up to 20 pages of a long-form project, such as a graphic novel, or up to 20 pages of a selection of unfinished projects or proposals. These were then looked at by the Thought Bubble and Cape Graphic Novels teams in the first steps to offering wider support for early-career applicants to be rolled out next year by Thought Bubble Festival and BLM Leeds. 

Michal Shavit, publishing director of Jonathan Cape and Cape Graphic Novels, said: “Our winners are born comic creators and reviewing their portfolios has been a joy for all of us in the Cape Graphic Novels team. The standard of submissions was extremely high, and within each one of these portfolios is an astounding display of artistic and narrative flair: some with detailed plans for a single show-stopping graphic novel; others transported us to several different worlds, sowing seeds for stories with an impressive range of experiences, scopes, styles and genres.” 

Martha Julian, Thought Bubble assistant director said: “We want to do all that we can to elevate and amplify Black artists — this prize is just the start of our work, with plans to support and encourage the careers of BIPOC [Black, indigenous and people of colour] writers and artists in Yorkshire and further afield.” 

Marvina Newton, of BLM Leeds, said: “Through this process we are able to highlight the voices, narratives and amazing creative minds of our community. This platform has raised the bar and given these creatives the ability to shine. We hope this opportunity is something that is sustained and repeated, highlighting the inequalities in our society while positively showing Black excellence.” 

For more information, visit the Thought Bubble website.