We are proud to offer our readers this amazing selection of submissions from our 3rd year of Graphic Lit (Comic Narrative) work. We are also extremely lucky to have had, Eisner-nominated cartoonist, Jess Ruliffson as a guest judge. Jess’ work includes her debut graphic novel, Invisible Wounds, nominated for an Online Journalism Award in 2023.
Jess had this to say about her winning selection, Untranslated, by Dennis Madamba,
Often when I read comics or teach comics to others I ask, “Does this need to be a comic?” Once the thorny issues of story and design are put to bed, one wonders whether one story must be inherently made for comics. The peril of working with words and pictures together is that if one part, either the writing or art, is lifting an unfair part of the burden of narrative, the other part withers on the vine. It’s a truly fine accomplishment when both story and drawing can be evenly yoked to the cart of narrative. The best stories in any medium put a fastidious listener at ease: explanation and description fall away and suddenly the reader is flying, as if they are there living right on the page with the narrator. This winning entry (Untranslated) sparkles with clarity and warmth, and contains depths despite its short length, a marvel at four pages.
We encourage you to explore the varied stories and voices featured in the other featured selections, share, and comment.