The judges for this year’s third British Comic Awards have just been announced and include comics writer and TV chat show host Jonathan Ross, film director Jonathan Entwistle and Suzy Varty, a comics creator and tutor known for her work in the British Women’s Comic movement of the 1970s.
The judges will decide the winning title from the Best Comic, Best Book and Emerging Talent categories.
Jonathan Ross was quick to respond to the announcement on Twitter, although perhaps not as the organisers might have hoped…
@BritComicAwards better send me some books to judge! I haven’t seen any yet!!
— Jonathan Ross (@wossy) October 13, 2014
The shortlists for all categories will be chosen by the BCA Committee and announced on Friday 17th October.
The BCA say the Judges were selected by the BCA Committee and chosen for their interest or involvement in comics. They were also chosen for their ability to view the medium critically as works of art and entertainment from their point of view as successful professionals in their respective creative fields.
Selected by Screen International as a ‘Star Of Tomorrow’ for 2010, Jonathan is a director who likes trench coats, smoke, swearing, skateboards, comics and loads of other stuff. He is a graduate of Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art and MA Filmmaking at the London Film School.
Jonathan is currently developing a live action adaptation of Charles Forsman’s comic The End Of The F**king World, which is being shot in the UK (You can view some shots from the pilot on cinemaphotographer Justin Brown’s site here). Bringing the nihilistic vision of America to the UK. The film stars Craig Roberts (Submarine) and Jessica Barden (Hanna) as James and Alyssa. As well as drama, Jonathan has directed commercials for GEOX, Nike & NatWest
Jessica Hynes – An award winning actor and writer known to many as Daisy Steiner from the influential sitcom Spaced
Jessica Hynes is an actor and writer who has worked in television, film and theatre for over 20 years, known professionally as Jessica Stevenson until 2007 her first major role came as Cheryl in hit sitcom The Royle Family. Hynes was one of the creators, writers and stars of the hugely influential Spaced. She’s has made multiple appearances in Doctor Who and co-wrote the pilot Phoo Action (BBC Three, 2008) based on the Jamie Hewlett comic Get the Freebies.
Her film resume includes Shaun of the Dead, Bridget Jones’ Diary: The Edge of Reason, Son of Rambow and she provided the voice of Mafalda Hopkirk inHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Hynes has been nominated for a Tony, a BAFTA, a Laurence Olivier Award and won two British Comedy Awards for Spaced. Hynes is also a celebrity ambassador for the charity Action for Children. Her new sitcom for BBC 2 Up the Women is airing in January 2015 and she is developing JUSTINE, which began as an idea for a comic, as a series for Sky Atlantic.
Danny John-Jules – An actor, singer and dancer who has appeared in numerous musicals and films who is best known for his role as Cat in Red Dwarf
Danny John-Jules is an actor, singer and dancer. best known for portraying Cat and Cat’s geeky alter ego Duane Dibbley in the sitcom Red Dwarf. He also starred in the hit children’s series M.I.High and Maid Marian And Her Merry Men.
His first acting experience was in a crime prevention film called Seven Green Bottles at the age of fourteen. After playing a dancer in the 1981 movie The Great Muppet Caper, he supplied the voice for two characters in Jim Henson’sLabyrinth. His other film credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Blade II and Arthur Christmas.
Before his television and film work, he was a dancer in many productions in West End productions, a member of the original cast of Starlight Express and who has appeared in Cats and Soul Train, among many others. He was also a choreographer for the band Wham.
Along with Craig Charles, John-Jules is the only other cast member to appear in every episode of Red Dwarf to date. In 1993, billed as “The Cat”, he released a song from Red Dwarf, ‘Tongue Tied’ which reached number 17 in the charts. John-Jules produced and directed the video and thus began his KMBA production company.
An avid motorcycle fan (his character Dwayne rides one in the current BBC One drama, Death In Paradise) KMBA has had four different motorcycle documentaries Broadcast on TV. His other passions include writing, film-making and comic books.
Jonathan Ross – Television and radio presenter, comic book writer and former comic shop co-owner
Jonathan Ross, OBE is a television and radio presenter; best known for his chat shows Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (BBC One) and The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV).
Ross’ début as a television presenter was for The Last Resort with Jonathan Ross on Channel 4 in 1987. A year later, his documentary series The Incredibly Strange Film Show introduced many to the works of cult filmmakers like Sam Raimi, David Lynch, and Ed Wood Jr. Over the next decade, he had several radio and television roles, many through his own production company, Channel X. In 1999, Ross took over presenting the BBC’s long-running Film programme from Barry Norman, and also began presenting his own show on BBC Radio 2. Two years later he began hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for which he won three BAFTA awards in 2004, 2006 and 2007. By 2006 Ross was believed to be the BBC’s highest paid star. In 2005, Ross was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to broadcasting.
In 2007, Ross presented the BBC Four series Comics Britannia, about the history of British comics which included his acclaimed documentary In Search of Steve Ditko in which Ross and his pal Neil Gaiman tracked down the elusive comics legend. Ross is also greatly interested in Japan, presenting a BBC series on many different aspects of Japanese culture, Japanorama, for three series between 2002–07.
Ross is married to the screenwriter, author and producer Jane Goldman and together established the production company Hotsauce TV. Ross is known as an avid fan and collector of comic books and memorabilia, and has written his own series, Turf and America’s Got Powers.
Suzy Varty – Comics creator and tutor known for her work in the British Women’s Comic movement of the 1970s
Suzy Varty has been keen on comics her whole life. In the 1970’s she was part of the Arts Lab Comics Collective in Birmingham, first published in the imprint ‘Street Comics’ in 1975 and instigating and producing the first British women’s comic in 1978. Exhibitions of visual diaries and being part of a seminal women’s postal art event ‘Feminsto’ were other highlights of the era.
Comics work for Virago and Penguin Books, Wimmins Comix in the USA, the Finnish publication Suuri Kurpitsa and Fanny comics at Knockabout in the UK followed.
A women’s community arts experience led to cartoon workshops and artists residences using the comics medium to express, explore and entertain. She has designed and delivered cartooning courses in various settings including Newcastle University (accredited), The Salvation Army and Frankland Jail.
Varty also directed and managed an International Comic Art Festival as part of the Art Council’s Visual Arts Year in the North East in 1996.
The winners will be announced at the 3rd Annual British Comics Awards Ceremony on Saturday 15th November as part of the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds.
• More info on all the judge: http://britishcomicawards.com/judges
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.