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A Thank You from the BCA Committee 2013

2nd Annual Logo

The BCA Committee 2013 would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in this year’s Awards and helped us expand and improve what we’re trying to do.

None of this would be possible without the hundreds of suggestions for quality British comics that we get from YOU, the general public via our suggestion form. The more people we hear from the bigger picture we have of the breadth of British comics scene, so thank you to each and every person who suggested a title this year. The suggestion form for next year’s awards will be up soon.

We’d also like to thank all our young judges who decided the winner for Young People’s Comic Award. A special ceremony was held on Friday 22nd November at the Leeds Town Hall and 4 of our nominees plus BCA judge, cartoonist and children’s book illustrator Sarah McIntyre were there to talk to the judges about their work. Here’s a few photos:

YPCA Nominees 2013

Photo “borrowed” from Sarah McIntyre’s superb write up of the Thought Bubble Festival weekend.

Four of our five nominees, from L to R: Jim Medway, Dan White, Viviane Schwarz and Garen Ewing with their fantastic books. Thanks for coming and making it such a special afternoon.


Sarah McIntyre spoke first about the books she had worked and the various ways young people can make comics. She then led a ‘Draw Your Own Sea-Monkey’ workshop with the whole room. Beth, one of our young judges, claimed the McIntyre original and it is proudly displayed in her school along with memories of their day.

Beth and the Seamonkey

YPCA school display

YPCA Dan White

Dan White spoke eloquently about his inspirations for Cindy & Biscuit and why a girl can smash up robots just as well as boys can.

YPCA Garen Ewing

Garen Ewing revealed the process and meticulous research that went into The Complete Rainbow Orchid.

YPCA Jim Medway

Jim Medway explained why he writes about real life situations and why he draws people as cats.

YPCA Viv Schwarz

Another photo taken from Sarah McIntyre’s blog.

Viviane Schwarz talked about which nightmares in The Sleepwalkers were based on her own dreams and those of her friends.

Luke Pearson, who had been nominated for Hilda & The Bird Parade couldn’t make the ceremony but his publisher NoBrow sent a box of Hilda toys for each reading group and a spare Hilda which was raffled off to one lucky winner! Thanks to Doug Wallace at NoBrow for his generosity.

Hilda Toy

YPCA Winner Garen Ewing

Photo courtesy of Sarah McIntyre.

When it was time to open the golden envelope, The Complete Rainbow Orchid was revealed as the winner, much to the surprise of Garen who later wrote a great blog post about his win.

YPCA team

A massive thank you has to go to Debbie Moody (on the left above) who co-ordinates the all the schools and libraries, and big thanks to the Leeds Library team for their help on the day.

Saturday 23rd November saw the main BCA Ceremony quickly roll around and I, Adam Cadwell, would like to thank all of the Committee who helped stuff 250 of our BCA Goody Bags with just 15 minutes before the show began! Thanks to Thought Bubble’s Martha Julian and sound technician Jim and everyone in the sound booth for making the show go without a hitch.

BCA Party Rings

A handy photo montage, again, from Sarah McIntyre.

The highlight of the show for many was simply the handmade BCA Party Rings we had made specially for the event. A big thanks to the Sarah Besson aka New Adventures in Cake, the very talented cakemaker who made the biscuits. When mentioned in the introduction to the ceremony there was a spontaneous round of applause! Thanks to Sarah’s other half Simon too, who delivered 250 of the treats directly to us in Leeds.

Photo by Richard Bruton.

Yum! Photo by Richard Bruton.

The ceremony went very smoothly and that was mostly due to the professionalism of our host and Committee member David Monteith who did a great job and added many laughs to the proceedings. Thanks David! The winners were announced (full summaries of all the winning and nominated books can be found here) and after I (Adam Cadwell) presented a short retrospective of Leo Baxendale‘s career his friend and fellow cartoonist Jacky Fleming came on stage to read a few words on behalf of Leo. She revealed that Leo had refused an invitation to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his work in cartooning, which made it a real honour that he accepted his place in our Hall of Fame. Thanks to Jacky for attending and to Leo for a lifetime of brilliant comics. A look back at Baxendale’s impressive career can be read here.

BCA Winners 2013

Another photo courtesy of Sarah McIntyre.

Here I am standing in for Garen Ewing who couldn’t attend the main ceremony with winners Glyn Dillon, Will Morris, Robert Ball and Jacky Fleming with Leo Baxendale’s award.

Thanks to our brilliant panel of Judges; Lenny Henry, Graham Linehan, Josie Long, Gareth David, Stephen L Holland and especially Jamillah Knowles and Sarah McIntyre for making the event and representing all the hard work put in by our judging panel.

MASSIVE thanks to Lisa Wood, Clark Burscough and the entire team at Thought Bubble for not only hosting our event but for making the entire festival the best in the country. From young new readers to grizzled industry veterans everyone can feel the genuine sense of frantic excitement about comics that Thought Bubble generates and for that we thank you most.

Thanks to all our nominees and everyone who attended the ceremonies. Thanks to everyone who has helped support and promote the BCAs this year either on Twitter or Facebook or word of mouth and thanks to everyone who has given us much needed feedback along the way, it’s all very much appreciated.

I think that wraps things up for this year! Bring on 2014 (but let us have a rest first, okay?).


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Host Festival

Thought Bubble is the UK's largest annual event which celebrates sequential art in all its forms, including everything from superheroes to independent and small press comics. They are an non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting comics and graphic novels as an important cultural art form. Taking place at a variety of venues across the city of Leeds, their aim is to cater to both long-term comic book fans and those who have never picked up a graphic novel before!