Each year a panel of Judges generously give their time to read all the shortlisted titles and select a winner for the Best Comic, Best Book and Emerging Talent categories.
The Judges were selected by the BCA Committee and chosen for their interest or involvement in comics and for their ability to view the medium critically as works of art and entertainment from their point of view as successful professionals in their respective creative fields.
“My name is Gareth David and I am lyricist and singer in the band Los Campesinos!. I am also a goalkeeper and a part-time sexton. Once described by Pitchfork.com as being “a sadsack of Steven Patrick Morrissey proportions”. Nominated for Sexiest Vegetarian at the PETA awards 2009 and Sexiest Male at the NME awards 2012. Didn’t win either.”
Lenny Henry has risen from being a cult star on children’s television to being one of Britain’s best known and loved personalities – who has had a crucial influence on the creation of black-centred comedy and characters. In 1989, Lenny was the first British comic to make a live stand-up comedy film, Lenny Henry Live and Unleashed, in the tradition of American comedians such as Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy and Robin Williams. Lenny was awarded the Lifetime Achievement – Performance Award at the 2003 British Comedy Awards.
Lenny devised the TV series Neverwhere with author Neil Gaiman which aired on BBC Two in 1996. Gaiman later adapted the series into a novel.
November 2003 marked Lenny’s first live appearance in London’s West End with So Much Things to Say. Lenny made his debut as a playwright in April 2011 with a Radio 4 production Corrinne Come Back and Gone exploring the problems facing Caribbean immigrants returning to their homeland. Henry is currently playing the role of Troy Maxson in August Wilson’s FENCES at The Duchess Theatre, London.
Lenny collects rare Marvel, DC and indie comics, cufflinks and old vinyl.
(Bio adapted from LennyHenry.net. Photo by John Swannell.)
Stephen L. Holland is the co-creator, co-owner and manager of Page 45 which was judged Best Independent Retailer in Nottingham 2012 and in 2004 won the only ever Diamond Comics Award for Best Retailer in the UK. For 18 years Page 45 has successfully promoted quality and diversity in comics and graphic novels regardless of publishing status, writing weekly reviews redressing the stranglehold which corporate comics have held over the industry in the US and UK. Stephen has a degree in English Literature and History of Art.
Jamillah Knowles is a writer and broadcaster. She’s the host of the @BBC_Outriders web culture show on BBC Radio 5Live and a life long comic book fan. She like robots, technology and coffee and hopes to never really grow up. You can follow her on Twitter at your own risk @Jemimah_Knight.
Graham Linehan is an Irish comedy writer and director, as well as actor and comedian, and creator of highly popular series’ ‘Father Ted’, ‘The IT Crowd’ and ‘Black Books’. Graham began collaborating with writer Arthur Mathews on many high profile comedy sketch shows including ‘Alas Smith and Jones’, ‘Harry Enfield and Chums’, and the Ted and Ralph characters in ‘The Fast Show’. It was Linehan and Matthews’ creation of ‘Father Ted’ in 1995 that brought their greatest success of their early years. The programme won countless awards, including two BAFTAs for best comedy, and is today regarded as one of the greatest British sitcoms ever produced.
Linehan and Matthews then wrote the first series of the sketch show ‘Big Train’, which Graham also directed. Linehan has since written for other shows, including ‘Brass Eye’.
2000 saw his next success with his co-creation of ‘Black Books’ with Dylan Moran. Graham also co-directed many episodes with Nick Wood. In 2003 Graham directed the pilot episode of ‘Little Britain’.
Linehan went on to create, write and direct the 2006 Channel 4 sitcom ‘The IT Crowd’, starring Chris O’Dowd and Richard Ayoade, which went on to win multiple awards including the BAFTA TV Award for ‘Best Situation Comedy’ in 2009, ‘Best TV Sitcom’ at the British Comedy Awards in 2009, and ‘Best Script for Television’ at the Irish Film and Television Awards.
In November 2011, Graham’s stage adaptation of the Ealing Studio classic ‘The Ladykillers’ debuted at The Liverpool Playhouse before moving to The Gielgud Theatre in London starring Peter Capaldi and Ben Miller, where it received rave reviews and was a sell out show. It then toured and is due back in the West End this summer.
Most recently Graham has been co-writing and directing his new sitcom ‘Count Arthur Strong’ for BBC2. Co-written with its star Steve Delaney, and co-starring Rory Kinnear, the show will bring the much-loved Radio 4 character to our television screens this year.
Josie Long is an award winning comedian, writer & actress. Following Josie Long’s third consecutive Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination for Romance & Adventure she made a film of the same name with Douglas King and toured the show to great acclaim in Australia and New Zealand. She also made the short Let’s Go Swimming, and was a guest on The Alternative Comedy Experience, Have I Got News For You and Dara O’Briain’s School of Hard Sums. Josie currently presents Short Cuts for BBC Radio 4, which reached no.2 in the iTunes podcast download chart, and is developing her charity Arts Emergency which works to make arts & humanities degrees accessible to all who want to study them. She is additionally writing a book for Harper Collins about how to live a more political life, as well as writing a regular column for the Guardian.
Sarah McIntyre provides a bridge between the worlds of comics and children’s picture books. While drawing and talking with kids in events around the country, she’s seen the way comics set children’s imaginations on fire, not only to read but to create their own stories. She’s made it her mission to get comics into very school in Britain and have teachers and librarians cherish them as a vital medium in starting kids on a lifetime of loving to read and draw. Her books have won several awards, including the Leeds Graphic Novel Award (as voted by children) for ‘Vern and Lettuce’. Her comic strips have run in The Guardian and The Sunday Times. While at the moment, she’s mostly working on picture books and highly illustrated chapter books (including. ‘Oliver and the Seawigs’), she loves making travel comics, cartoons and drawings which she posts on her website and frequently updated blog: www.jabberworks.co.uk.