I. The Ignatz Jury Selection
The previous year’s Jurors are responsible for helping select the next jury. The Jurors’ final duty is to each nominate two comic artists or writers whom they feel would be best suited for the job.
Jury selection is then up to the availability and/or willingness of the nominees. In the event that five Jurors cannot be found amongst the list of nominees by January 31st, or should a Juror be unable to fulfill his or her duties, the vacancies in the jury panel will be filled from a pool of alternates selected by the Ignatz Awards Committee.
Once all Juror positions have been accepted, the new jury will be provided with a copy of the guidelines for the award and its categories.
II. Conduct of the Jury
1. All Jurors are to remain anonymous, including within the Ignatz Jury, until the ballot is announced to the public. This is to insure that no one can be accused of having their votes influenced in any way. It also protects the Jurors from people campaigning for a nomination.
2. Ignatz Award eligible books are published between June 1st of the previous ballot year and May 31st of the current ballot year. Publication date is generally determined by date of distribution. Submissions postmarked by May 31st will be accepted. If a question arises regarding the publication date of a prospective nomination, please consult the Ignatz Awards Committee. The final submissions will be mailed to the Jurors by June 14th.
3. All submissions by artists and publishers for Ignatz Award consideration will be forwarded to the Jurors. Jurors are reminded that these are courtesy copies provided to them by the artists and publishers to ensure that the Jurors have read them. Nominations are not restricted to submitted books. Should a Juror know of a book that he or she feels should be nominated but was not in the submission packet, the Juror is encouraged to do so. All Juror nominations are to be submitted by the third Saturday of August.
4. Jurors are prohibited from nominating their own work. However, since Jurors are not informed of the identities of the other Jury members, there is no prohibition from one Juror’s work being nominated for an award by his or her fellow Jurors.
III. The Award Categories
Nominations for each category, unless otherwise noted, are to be submitted as follows; name of the individual, title and issue number and publisher (if known).
1. Outstanding Artist: Nominations for this category should reflect, in the Jurors’ opinion, the best execution of graphic skill by an individual within the comic medium.
2. Outstanding Anthology: This award recognizes a book or other collection of selected writings by various writers usually in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject. e.g. a book of comics by various cartoonists selected from several books by many cartoonists.
3. Outstanding Collection: This award recognizes a book of selected writings from various sources by an author of the same theme or various themes. e.g. a book of selected short comics from various books by the same cartoonist.
3. Outstanding Graphic Novel: A nomination for this category is for previously unpublished material of substantial length intended to be read as a single work. Graphic novels are distinguished from individual comics by being generally over 48 pages and are usually case or perfect bound. A nomination in this category should represent what the Juror feels is the best overall use of art and story within the format.
4. Outstanding Story: This category is for outstanding storytelling in a comic. This may be an individual issue within a series, a one shot or a single story within an anthology. Nominations for a story within an anthology should also include the story title.
5. Promising New Talent: A person nominated in this category should be someone relatively new to the industry whose work a Juror feels deserves more recognition then it currently receives. Past nominees for the Ignatz Award cannot be nominated in this category (a list of past nominees will be provided to the Jurors). Nominations should include the title of the individual’s latest work.
6. Outstanding Series: A nomination in this category should be for a series that the Juror feels exhibits a consistent level of quality as a whole. A good individual story does not necessarily translate into a nomination for the entire series.
7. Outstanding Comic: A comic nominated in this category should represent what the Juror feels is the best marriage of both art and story in a single issue of a comic.
8. Outstanding Minicomic: This category includes both one-shots and series. Minicomics are best defined as comics that are not “professionally” published. Minicomics are usually printed at the local copy store, hand stapled, and predominantly self-distributed. Minicomics are typically not solicited through major distributors.
9. Outstanding Online Comic: This category is for web based comics. A nominee in this category can be an individual comic, continuing storyline comic or strips. For a work to be eligible in this category it must be published on the web prior to appearing in print format. Nominated sites must also adhere to the same publishing timeline as the categories for print material.
Works posted on web pages outside the timeline are not eligible. Nominated sites can utilize animation but should still be recognizable as a comic (“If you read it, it’s a comic. If you watch it, it’s animation.” is the best guide for how much animation is too much). Links to submissions in this category will be forwarded to the Jurors.
IV. The Nomination Process
Each Juror makes three selections for each category. The selections are submitted in order of preference (first, second, and third choice) and are subject to the approval of the Ignatz Awards Committee (strictly to ensure the selections meet the criteria for their category; no Juror selection that is appropriate to the category will be rejected by the Ignatz Awards Committee).
The selections are then assigned a number value: 5 points to the first choice, 3 points for the second choice, and 1 point for the third choice. These points are tallied and the five nominations with the highest number of points are placed on the ballot to be voted on by the attendees. In the event of a tie, a run-off vote will be held among the Jurors until the tie is broken.
Once the ballot is final, the Ignatz Award nominees are released to the public along with the names of the Jurors.
V. The Voting Process
The Ignatz Award is a festival prize. Ballots are provided by SPX and are open to all persons in attendance, exhibitors and general public alike. After all the ballots have been collected on the day of the Awards, they are counted at SPX.
Once the final ballot has been counted, all materials pertaining to the voting process are locked up until they are ready to be presented at the Awards Ceremony.
VI. Discontinued Categories
Occasionally, categories will be discontinued and/or replaced. The following Ignatz Award categories are no longer functional.
Outstanding Graphic Novel or Collection: This category was replaced in 2005 by two new categories, Outstanding Anthology or Collection and Outstanding Graphic Novel.
Outstanding Debut Award: With the Ignatz Awards no longer at the conclusion of the show, coupled with increased publicity channels for people’s books debuting at SPX, this category was discontinued after the 2008 awards.
Ignatz Submission Guidelines
Submissions are not a requirement for eligibility. All submissions are copies provided by the artist or their publisher to ensure that our Jurors have seen and read the work in question. To submit books, send six copies of each title/issue you wish to submit. One for each of our Jurors and one to be kept on file by SPX for Ignatz Award promotional purposes only.
The deadline for submitting your books is May 31 of the current ballot year. Submissions postmarked by this date will be accepted but must arrive by June 7. Submissions that do not meet the publishing window or are postmarked after the deadline will not be returned.
The publishing date of the books must be between June 1st of the previous ballot year and May 31st of the current ballot year. This means that the book must have been released in this time period. If you are not sure if your book qualifies, you may e-mail the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions should be sent to the following address:
SPX Ignatz Awards
c/o Dan Stafford
5010 Quebec St.
College Park, Maryland
Submissions for the Outstanding Online Comic category must have been published on the Web between June 1st of the previous ballot year and May 31st of the current ballot year. It can be an individual comic, continuing story-line comic, or strips.
For a work to be eligible in this category, it must be published on the Web prior to appearing in print format. The site can utilize limited animation but should still be recognizable as a comic vs. straight animation. A rule of thumb is if you read the work (eligible) vs. watching it (ineligible).
To submit your site, e-mail the url to email@example.com.