The Graphic Medicine International Collective, a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to guide and support the uses of comics in health, has opened the submission process for their second annual Graphic Medicine Award, with two separate categories this year, to cater for long form and short form work.
This award is meant to recognise and honour outstanding health-related comic projects published in 2022, and is made possible by a generous matching gift in Honour of Nancy and Herbert Wolf.
The winning comics will be awarded $1000 (US dollars) and a keepsake suitable for display
Graphic Medicine is the utilisation of the comics form to depict, describe, explore and understand the physical and mental ailments that affect our health – whether it be autobio, fiction or documentary non-fiction.
Comics of any length that emphasise one or more health-related topics and were completed or published in 2022 are eligible for this award.
Graphic medicine comics take as their theme (or meaningfully include) topics that impact health. The team define the term “health” here broadly, based on the World Health Organisation definition: a state of physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Comics can be fiction or nonfiction, memoir or biography, educational and/or entertaining. Both print and web-based comics are eligible for this award.
The judging panel for the Graphic Medicine Award 2023 will be a diverse mix of backgrounds and specialisms, “both shortlisting and final judges are a diverse group consisting of at least five persons, each representing one or more of these categories: cartoonist, academic, clinician, librarian, person with lived experience of illness, caregiving, and/or disability, and comics critic/reviewer.”
The Graphic Medicine Award – also referred to as the Graphic Medicine International Conference (GMIC) Award – debuted in 2022. From a ten book shortlist – which included Zara Slattery’s Coma (published by Myriad Editions), Niki Smith’s PTSD story The Golden Hour (Little Brown), and the Rebecca Ollerton-edited autistic comics anthology Sensory: Life on the Spectrum (Andrews McMeel Publishing) – emerged Élodie Durand’s Parenthesis (Top Shelf), a graphic memoir about tumour-related epilepsy.
Funds for the GMIC to run the award are donated via a $5000 annual gift guaranteed through to around 2031, in the memory of late activists Nancy and Herbert Wolf.
The Graphic Medicine Conference has taken place annually since 2010. The first conference took place London, UK, but it has since shifted to other parts of the world – predominantly various cities in the US and Canada. It will take place next in Toronto over the weekend of 13th – 15th July 2023, and the organisation has made a Call for Submissions (details here).
Nancy and Herbert Wolf were married for 61 years, raising four children and enjoyed their two grandchildren. Nancy was an artist, especially skilled at needlepoint, and a medical records administrator who chaired the medical records department of a Chicago-area hospital. Herb was a consulting actuary specializing in life insurance. In 2010, he received the lifetime achievement award from the Conference of Consulting Actuaries.
As college students in the late 1940s, Nancy and Herb fought racial discrimination, sitting-in at segregated lunch counters. They supported anti-racist, anti-war, and economic social justice causes throughout their lives. They performed numerous plays with friends for over 45 years. Nancy died in 2010. Herb died in 2018. The Graphic Medicine Award is intended to honour and carry on their legacy of service and care.
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.