Cape/Comica/Observer Graphic Short Story contest – round-up

This Sunday, the winner of the 10th annual Cape/Comica/Observer graphic short story contest will be announced — the (extra long – I’m sure it’s only been 6 previously?) shortlist can be seen on Paul Gravett’s Facebook page or in Orbital Comics in London, and is as follows:

(Edited to add)
The winner: If You’re So Wise, How Come You’re Dead? by Tor Freeman

Runner-up: Dennis and June by EmilyBob


My first thought? That there are more professional and previously-published comic artists that previously. Also — why do artists never update their blogs? Only one of the above has actually mentioned being on the shortlist as far as I can see.

(Edited to add: I’ve now heard from two of the shortlisted artists that they didn’t know they were on the shortlist – and in one case, only found out when it was too late to see their work on display).

The non-shortlisted entrants

I like to recognise the not insubstantial amount of work and hope that has gone into every entry, even those that didn’t dent the shortlist. In previous years, this exercise has brought to light a wonderful, long list of diverse and highly readable strips that might never otherwise have been evident to many readers. It’s also brought invitations to artists for at least one (that I know of) collaborative comic.

Here are the entries I know about so far. I’ll add more as I find them — and if you would like me to add yours to the list, please send me the link.

Published by Myfanwy Tristram

I am an illustrator, situated in Brighton on the south coast of England, and with a special interest in comics and graphic memoir. I also work for a non-profit which encourages people to be active in democracy and to exercise rights such as the right to information through FOIA.

12 thoughts on “Cape/Comica/Observer Graphic Short Story contest – round-up

  1. Hello Myfanwy.
    Thank you for this. I saw your comment in the Guardian, followed the link, and to my surprise saw my name on the list (Peter Duggan). I had no idea. I called Jonathan Cape today and they said a group email had gone out to the finalists on the 28th of Oct. But obviously something’s gone wrong as I know of another finalist who also didn’t realise. Anyway, thanks again. Really appreciate your efforts. If it wasn’t for you I may never have known.
    All the best, Peter
    Oh, and I have updated my blog now :)

    1. Hi Peter, thanks for the comment and wow – it does sound like there’s been a significant lapse in communications this year. How disappointing, although you must be pleased that you were shortlisted!

      1. It’s funny. Entering contests in the past, if I didn’t hear, I would worry that perhaps there might have been some mistake, that they were trying to contact me but were ringing the wrong number or perhaps had a letter wrong in the email address. The more mature me just accepts that if I haven’t heard then that’s it. But this time it actually happened! A very pleasant surprise. Thank you again.

  2. All the non shortlisted entries are great. The Stillbirth story was very moving, plus the drawing details were amazing and I loved ‘dodo knows!’ I’m surprised those never made it, but I love that you have created a platform, where everyone’s works get seen. They should make it an online submission contest.

  3. Hi Myf! It’s Emilybob here, this years runner-up. I’d like to tell you how awesome your site is and how it was a brilliant way for me to research all the previous shortlisters of the comp before I got to work on mine. Excellent work! I thought I could give you the link to my website too if you wouldn’t mind? You probably haven’t been able to find me online cos i’m completely useless at understanding websites and how to make them visible to the public! But here it is anyway…
    Keep up the awesome work!

    1. Hey, thanks Emilybob – well done on your runner up position! I’m glad the site was useful. I must say I’ve also looked through the archives to try and discern what makes a winner but I clearly haven’t cracked it yet! ;) I’ll stick that link in the blog post.

      1. Thank you so much! I can’t say i figured out what makes a winner either! Especially as I’ve read some of the comics that didn’t even make the shortlist and have thought they were fantastic. I guess you just have to do what is right and true to your style – that’s what i did anyway. Good luck for next year! :D

    1. Hi Peter, thanks for that. Sorry not to have replied sooner; I’ve been away and am just on my way home! Will be sure to add your link in to the post tomorrow.

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