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2023 Christmas Wrap-Up

23 December 2023

Monarchs, painters, runners, starmen! And not to mention some stars newly rising as we speak…Thank you all for joining us for this holiday wrap-up of 2023! And without further ado:
Created by Francisco de la Mora and endorsed by the Frida Kahlo Museum, this year’s first new title was Frida Kahlo: Her Life, Her Work, Her Home.

2023 also saw another Kleist crack at a musical icon with STARMAN: Bowie’s Stardust Years. Gosh! Comics even hosted this amazing launch event!

April was a regal month, with Teresa Tobertson and Leo Schulz bringing us The Comical Eye’s British Monarchy. (This would later make it to the US in time for the finale of The Crown…)

We went into the next month Armed with Madness thanks to Bryan and Mary Talbot’s surreal portrait of Leonora Carrington. Special thanks to the Cartoon Museum and Gosh! (again) for helping us share that madness with the world.

The Cartoon Museum had us back soon after, with a flood of curious souls coming to see Jurga Vilé discuss Siberian Haiku with LDComics’ Rachael Ball.

Who better to tell an oft-forgotten artist’s story than an award-winning legend like Oscar Zarate? Thomas Girtin: The Forgotten Painter was launched  in June with a colourful splash at Camden Image Gallery.

Ironically, things really heated up in September, starting with SPX! We got to show off Zarate and Kleist, and also debut Mylo Choy’s Middle Distance!

Soon after, we started on one of the highlights of the year. The First Graphic Novel Award brought in 170 entrants, twice more than the last competition… And then on to LICAF (after wrangling Oscar, the Talbots, and the Rickards into coming)!

There, on International Translation Day, Michele Hutchison scored her own accolade: the inaugural Sophie Castille Awards for Comics in Translation, earned through her work on The Philosopher, the Dog and the Wedding.

As November rolled in, we celebrated Middle Distance arriving in the US with a talk and a signing at P&T Knitwear!

Meanwhile, back in October the FGN judges had managed to whittle 170 entries down to a healthy longlist of 30. When Thought Bubblerolled around the FGN wheels kept turning with the 7-strong shortlistbeing announced live and in person!

Then we returned to Sophie’s World with the second volume of Vincent Zabus and Nicoby’s graphic adaptation of Jostein Gaarder’s groundbreaking classic!

The capstone on our 2023 was the First Graphic Novel award ceremony at Waterstones Piccadilly! Seven shortlisters, seven judges, a sold-out crowd, and one winner: Alexander Taylor’s Bone Broth!

Everyone involved in FGN is still reeling from all the enthusiasm and support we’ve found at every step – not to mention the amazing coverage, like the live on-air announcement from Radio 4!

So this wraps up 2023 for us here at SelfMadeHero. For now, thank you for an amazing year, we wish you all the happiest holidays, and watch this space to see what 2024 might bring!

- The SelfMadeHero Team