This year’s ninth Etna Comics Festival in Sicily saw the launch of the new Coco Awards, celebrating the very best of Italian comics and creators – among them, Ultimate Spider-Man artist Sara Pichelli.
Launched in memory of Sicilian cartoonist and illustrator Giuseppe Coco, the Awards aim to honour personalities, works and artistic and professional excellence in Italian comics.
The awards were presented at a special Gala Evening earlier this month, along with the Efesto and Uzeta awards.
The winners included writer Lorenzo Calza, for his original and outstanding work, noting his scripts for the Julia, a series created by Giancarlo Berardi and edited by Sergio Bonelli Editore and the web comic, She.
Also honoured was artist Werther Dell’Edera, noting his powerful and original art on series such as Il Corvo: Memento Mori, scripted by Roberto Recchion and published by Edizioni BD, Le voci dell’acqua, published by Feltrinelli Comics, and his work on the Dylan Dog tale Dylan Dog: Il sangue della Terra.
The award for Best Colourist went to innovative creator Giovanna Niro, while writer Fabrizio Dori was awarded for his work for Il Dio Vagabondo, published in Italy by Oblomov,
The award for best comic series went to the manga-styled Cosma & Mito: L’antro dei Lupiminari, the work of writer Nicola Zurlo and artist Vincenzo Filosa, published by Coconino Press, while the team at the anthology title published by Feltrinelli Comics, Post Pink: Antologia di Fumetto Femminista – Josephine Yole Signorelli, alias Fumettibrutti, Margherita Tramutoli, known by the stage name of La Tram, Sara Menetti, Alice Milani, Margherita Morotti, Sara Pavan, Cristina Portolano, Silvia Rocchi and Alice Socal – were also honoured for Best Title.
The jury praised them for creating a book delivering visceral realism and abstract art, drama and irony, tenderness and strength, truth and aspirations.
Finally, the Award for “Italian Excellence” went to artist Sara Pichelli, for her stunning work on Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man written by Brian Michael Bendis, which the jury felt not only contributed to making the African-American hero Miles Morales a new icon of entertainment, but also delivered a book that reached out to an entirely new generation of readers.
The presiding jury from all over Italy, was brought together for their expertise and knowledge of the medium by comic journalist and critic Alessandro Di Nocera, included the editors of the online publications Comicus.it, Lo Spazio Bianco.it, N3rdcore.it, Popcore.it and L’ Antro Atomico by Dr. Manhattan, together with the WoW cultural centres Spazio Fumetto – Comic Strip Museum in Milan, the “Andrea Pazienza” Comics Center and Fumettomania Factory, the latter represented by its Chairman, Mario Benenati.
Also participating were writer Nadia Terranova, journalist and presenter of Sky TG24 Vittorio Eboli and Gianmaria Tammaro , journalist of La Stampa and Esquire.
It’s hoped the Coco Awards will now be an annual event to mark the very best in Italian comics.
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.