Rebecca K Jones has been announced as the winner of this year’s £1000 Observer/Faber graphic short story prize 2022, and Ed Firth and Michael Lightfoot as runners up in the annual challenge.
Some 200 creators entered strips for the award for emerging cartoonists this year, and it was seventh time lucky for Rebecca Jones, with her story, “Midnight Feast”, of three girls camping out in a suburban garden. Its upbeat nature made it stand out against more downbeat entries, ascribed, the Observer suggests, to pandemic introspection.
In an interview for the Sunday paper, an “amazed” Jones, who had to keep her win secret at Thought Bubble last week, says she will spend her prize money on pens.
“It’s honestly a dream come true,” says Jones, who hopes the win will now help her gain a publisher for her semi-autobiographical novel, Boomerang she has been publishing in instalments for several years. “To have such a platform, to be published in a national newspaper. It’s the biggest break I could have. I was in a state of shock when I got the call.
“When I first started getting into comics at university, Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine [one of the judges for this year’s prize] was about the third book I read, so to know that he liked my story really means something.”
Rebecca K Jones is an illustrator and comic artist / writer based in London. She studied Drawing at University of the Arts London and later completed an MA in Illustration at Falmouth university in 2012.
She has taken part in 24 hour comic events and has self-published her own zines, Cat Disco parts 1 & 2, and ‘Let’s Go Home‘. Her short story, “Lazy Sunday” was shortlisted for the Observer / Cape / Comica Graphic Short Story Prize.
Her comics have been published in Tiny Pencil, Dirty Rotten Comics and the Corbyn Comic Book, published by Self Made Hero.
The runners up in the challenge were Ed Firth, with “The Lift“, and Michael Lightfoot, with “Autumn 2014“.
Runner-up Ed Firth is an East London-based portrait artist, zine maker and founder/facilitator of East London Life Drawing. His career includes creating books and playing cards in his childhood, drifting into clubs and theatres, VJing after an animation degree, and later becoming a portrait artist and zine maker.
Ed recently released the second volume of Horny & High, the adults-only graphic novel series prising the lid off the London chemsex scene in the 2010s. His illustration work is sought after by collectors from all over the world, featured on sites such as AccidentalBear.com and name-checked on the website for the American Mustache Institute.
Runner-up Michael Lightfoot is a storyboard artist, illustrator and fine artist based in Brighton, and was one of the creators involved in the Lakes International Comic Art Festival’s “Breakthrough: Our Time” project last year, a project showcasing some of the newest and most exciting talents emerging in British comics. He has created storyboards for a wide variety of films and advertising campaigns, and his illustrations and comic work has been published in a wide variety of publications.
His strip for the Breakthrough anthology, “Looking for Love in Brexit Britain” was part-subversion of classic Romance comics tropes and part-political and social satire, “But ultimately, it’s a heartfelt plea that we respect diversity of thought and freedom of speech,” Michael said.
“I’m delighted to have my rather existentially gloomy comic ‘Autumn 2014’ published in the Guardian,” says Michael. “I hope people enjoy the story! This has been a much needed confidence boost for the graphic novel I’m working on.”
- Read winner Rebecca K Jones’s “Midnight Feast” here
- Read an interview with Rebecca Jones
- Read runner-up Ed Firth’s “The Lift” here
- Read runner-up Michael Lightfoot’s “Autumn 2014” here
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.