Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic short story prize 2019 launched

The Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic short story prize, which celebrates its 12th birthday this year, is now open for entries.

Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic short story prize 2019

As usual, all entrants must do (admittedly, vastly more difficult than it sounds) is to draw and write a four-page comic designed to run over a double-page spread in the Observer New Review.

The winner receives a cheque for £1,000 and his or her work will appear in the Observer in print and online. The runner-up will receive £250 and have their work published online.

The competition’s guest judges this year are the playwright, actor and director Patrick Marber and the cartoonist (and a former winner of the prize) Isabel Greenberg.

Several past winners, and even some runners-up, have gone on to land publishing deals, among them Stephen Collins (The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil) and Fumio Obata (Just So Happens).

In 2009, Joff Winterhart was runner-up. His funny and sad 2012 graphic novel, Days of the Bagnold Summer, a longer version of his original entry, has now been made into a movie starring Monica Dolan and Rob Brydon that is set for release next year.

“This competition really can make a big difference to the life of an aspiring cartoonist,” says judge Rachel Cooke, “so why not have a go? What have you got to lose?”

Entry forms and terms and conditions for Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic short story prize can be downloaded here on the Penguin Books web site. The deadline for entry is Friday 11th October 2019

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

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