And The Winner Is: Paul Rainey Gets The 2020 Observer Cape Comica Graphic Short Prize…

by Richard Bruton

Congratulations to the great Paul Rainey from us at Comicon following his win of the 13th Observer Jonathan Cape Comica Graphic Short Story Prize – a worthy, worthy winner!

I’ve been a follower of Paul Rainey‘s comics since the time of Memory Man (early/mid ’90s) and have gone on to enjoy his work through the years in Love Bomb, Book of Lists, Thunder Brother, and his magnum opus There’s No Time Like The Present. More recently, we’ve shown you his great Starman comic and I’m going to tell you of his new works Journey Into Indignity and Why Don’t You Love Me? when I carve out a spare moment.

Pretty much everything he does always intrigues, is always a good read, will invariably make you laugh and make you think, so it’s great to see him getting just a little bit of the attention and praise he deserves!

(Paul Rainey at his home in Milton Keynes. Photo credit – Sophia Evans/The Observer)

So, seeing him win this year’s Observer Jonathan Cape Comica Graphic Short Story Prize was a very good thing indeed. As well as having an overly unwieldy name, the Observer/Cape/Comica annual competition exists as a showcase for the best examples of comic makers around, with the winner getting to see their work in the Guardian’s sister Sunday publication, The Observer News Review. It’s also something of a new talent showcase for artists looking to get a gig with Jonathan Cape, as you can see from the list of previous winners and their Cape books – Stephen Collins, Julian Hanshaw, Isabel Greenberg, Matthew Dooley, Edith Pritchett, Catherine Brighton, Richard Woods, Tor Freeman, Alexis Deacon, Emily Haworth-Booth, Vivien McDermid, and Corban Wilkin.

Rainey’s entry, that you can see below, is such a great example of everything Rainey’s so good at, mixing the everyday and the fantastical to such wonderful effect – here in Similar To But Not, it’s a daydream turned into comics, with a young Rainey meeting a particularly popular pop star back in the ’80s – with Rainey saying this on his website… “My strip is called ‘Similar To But Not’, about a chance encounter I had in 1985”. It’s that ridiculousness meeting the very down to earth and dry humour of watching a 17-year-old Rainey having a drink with Madonna.

To see more from Rainey, head to his store here. You can read the interview with Rainey here, see the runner-up entry by Ellie Durkin here, and enjoy the winning strip below…

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