Ignatz Award

Ignatz Award
Awarded for Outstanding achievements in comics and cartooning by small press creators or creator-owned projects published by larger publishers
Location Bethesda, Maryland
Country United States
Presented by Ignatz Award Committee
Hosted by Small Press Expo
First awarded 1997
Official website http://www.spxpo.com/?page_id=22

The Ignatz Awards are intended to recognize outstanding achievements in comics and cartooning by small press creators or creator-owned projects published by larger publishers. They have been awarded each year at the Small Press Expo since 1997,[1] only skipping a year in 2001 due to the show's cancellation after the September 11 attacks. As of 2014 SPX has been held in either Bethesda, North Bethesda, or Silver Spring, Maryland.

The Ignatz Awards are named in honour of George Herriman and his strip Krazy Kat, which featured a brick-throwing mouse named Ignatz.

Awards criteria

As one of the few festival awards rewarded in comics, the Ignatz Awards are voted on by attendees of the annual Small Press Expo (SPX, or The Expo, its corporate name), a weekend convention and tradeshow showcasing creator-owned comics. Nominations for the Ignatz Awards are made by a five-member jury panel consisting of comic book professionals.[2]

The jury panel remains anonymous (from both the public as well as each other) until the announcement of the awards. Jurors are prohibited from nominating their own work. However, there is no prohibition of one jury member's work being nominated for an award by his or her fellow jurors.


The first comics industry awards given the title "Ignatz" originated at the OrlandoCon,[3] held in Orlando, Florida, from 1974-1994. The current Ignatz Awards are not connected with OrlandoCon. The SPX Ignatz Awards were conceived in 1996 by SPX organizer Chris Oarr and cartoonist Ed Brubaker. Their original mandate, to set the Ignatz apart from "mainstream" awards like the Eisner Awards, was that the work nominated be creator-owned, and focus more on work done by a single writer/artist.

The Award was administered by Jeff Alexander from 1998–2006,[4] when they were taken over by Greg McElhatton.[4] During his tenure as Ignatz Award Coordinator, Alexander drew a strip for the annual award program in George Herriman's style.[4][5]

Award categories

The Ignatz is awarded in the following categories:

Discontinued categories

Award winners and nominees

Outstanding Artist

Outstanding Anthology or Collection

Outstanding Graphic Novel

Outstanding Story

Promising New Talent

Outstanding Series

Outstanding Comic

Outstanding Minicomic

Outstanding Online Comic

Outstanding Graphic Novel or Collection (discontinued)

Outstanding Debut Comic (discontinued)

Ignatz Awards Jury

Ignatz Awards Committee


  1. "Small Press Expo Initiates First Festival Prize for Comic Books: Ignatz Award," Comics Buyer's Guide (Sept. 12, 1997), p. 8
  2. Hahn, Joel (2006). "Ignatz Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  3. Harvey, R. C. ""Blood & Thunder: Two for Cho, The Comics Journal #219 (Jan. 2000), p. 3.
  4. 1 2 3 McElhatton, Greg. "Goodbye, Jeff," GregMcE.com (Jan. 30, 2011).
  5. MacDonald, Heidi. "RIP: Jeff Alexander," The Beat (Jan. 31, 2011).
  6. "Your 2015 Ignatz Award Winners!". The Comics Reporter. 20 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Millikin, Eric and staff. "Journal Datebook: August, 2008 — October, 2008", pp. 26-27, The Comics Journal Seattle, January 2009.
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