2009 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics Submissions Open!

The past few years have shown a boom in people wanting to break into comics.  No creators story is the same and there are few tried and true ways to break into the industry.  But there is one avenue to get into comics that has a proven track record that includes creators getting published and even getting nominated for Eisner awards!  It’s the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics and recently it was announced that the door is open for submissions as well as one of the best panel of judges in history!

A while back, we had a little contest here at iFanboy that challenged you to create a short comic about a Fable.  Well guess what? Everyone who entered, you could totally enter this the competition for this award.  All you need to do is create and print up a few copies of a mini-comic and you’re on your way.  And what’s even better is that when you do enter your mini-comic, it will be seen by some of the industry’s best including Brett Warnock, publisher at Top Shelf Comics and comics industry pundit Tom Spurgeon, of The Comics Reporter.

The deadline to enter is October 1st, all the details are below in the press release.  Seriously though people, if you have any desire to make comics and become a comics professional, you have no excuse not to enter.  Better yet, it would be fantastic to hear that this year’s winner is a member of the iFanbase!  So make sure you start working on your mini-comic and get it submitted while you still can!


Bring Your Best for the Seventh Annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics

SAN FRANCISCO (August 11th, 2009) San Francisco comics retailer James Sime, proprietor of Isotope – the comic book lounge, announced today that submissions for the 2009 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics will be accepted until October 1st at midnight. “It’s our seventh annual award, and I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be especially lucky and help discover an amazing new talent this year!”said Sime, “In 2009 one mini-comic creator’s career will be forever changed, so fire up your xerox machines and get ready to submit your minis!”

The five comic professionals who will serve as this year’s Isotope Award judges include:

Brett Warnock– Co-publisher and art director of the amazing Top Shelf Books. Brett’s great taste in comics and enthusiasm for the artform are legendary. His shrewd eye for discovering new talent has played no small part in unearthing and introducing some of indy comics greatest talents to the industry. We love Brett, don’t you?

Tom Spurgeon – The editor of The Comics Journal during its best years (1994 to 1999), Tom has gone on to become the industry’s most esteemed comics scholar, historian, and journalist. Often referred to as “the smartest man in comics” by at least one comic book retailer, there simply is no better place for interviews and news from the world of independent comics than on Tom’s website www.comicsreporter.com.
(Tom will, no doubt, disagree with some, if not all, of the above statements. But it would prove to only make him that much more endearing)

Eva Volan – Supervising children’s librarian for the Alameda Free Library in Alameda, California, the chairperson of the ALA/YALSA 2010 Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee, a former judge of the 2008 Eisner Awards, and also a writer for www.graphicnovelreporter.com. She is amazing!

Kirsten Baldock – The Isotope’s Special Projects Director, acting manager of the Oakland Main Library’s Magazines and Newspapers Department, and Kirsten is also the author of the warring-gangs-of-cigarette-girls graphic novel Smoke & Guns.

James Sime – Proprietor of Isotope – the comic book lounge in San Francisco.

The award, which comes with a particularly dangerous-looking carved ebony fossil stone and satin silver trophy by famed designer Frank Crowe, has been instrumental in bringing attention to mini-comic creators the world over and launching the professional comic careers of Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (ASTONISHING TALES: IRON MAN 2020), and two Eisner Award Nominated cartoonists Joshua Cotter (SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST), and Danica Novgorodoff (SLOW STORM).

Entry to this competition is five copies of your mini-comic sent to Isotope’s address (326 Fell St. San Francisco, CA 94102) before the October 1st deadline. The award will be given out at a grand ceremony during APE AFTERMATH at the Isotope in conjunction with San Francisco’s ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO. The APE convention has been a forum for small and independent publishers in the industry for many years. Because of the nature of this award, the winner will be contacted in advance and must be present at the Isotope at 9 PM on Saturday, October 17th for the award presentation ceremony.

“I consider each year’s winner of this award to be the Isotope’s Miss America for the year and always love helping to get their work under the noses of the entire industry!” Sime said, “Oh… and speaking of which, don’t forget to place your preorders for two previous winners of this award who both have new original graphic novels coming out this September, Danica Novgorodoff‘s Refresh, Refresh from First Second and Joshua Cotter‘s Driven By Lemons from AdHouse Books!”

For more information contact the Isotope at (415) 621 – 6543 or at isotopeaward@gmail.com


  1. I am definitely doing this, though not with my iFanboy submission. Thanks!

  2. Sounds fun but I’m not sure what seperates a mini comic from a regular comic.  Is it just the fact that I stapled them myself? 

  3. @Bebop I had same question in mind.

  4. there are no hard and fast rules about mini-comics – just create something! it can be any shape or size.  Mini comic is just a decriptor for a category of an underground comic.

    Here’s wikipedia’s definition:

    A minicomic is a creator-published comic book, often photocopied and stapled or with a handmade binding. In the United Kingdom and Europe the term "small press comic" is equivalent with minicomic reserved for those publications measuring A6 (105 mm × 148 mm) or less. See also: British small press comics

    These are a common inexpensive way for those who want to make their own comics on a very small budget, with mostly informal means of distribution. A number of cartoonists have started this way and gone on to more traditional types of publishing, while other more established artists continue to produce minicomics on the side. Comparable with indie music the phenomenon shares equal ideas about autonomy of the artist because of the DIY aspect. Minicomics can be even less mainstream than alternative comics.


  5. if i can find an artist, im in!

  6. Thanks for posting this. Aspiring creatives thrive on these opportunities. Keep ’em coming!

  7. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I have basically no excuse not to do this. Drat!