Ottawa comic book artist Von Allan is one of three artists shortlisted for the Peter Honeywell Mid-Career Artist Award by the Ottawa Arts Council. The Ottowa Arts Council established the award to recognize local artists of all disciplines in the professional stage of their careers. Fellow nominees for the award that we're going to call the Eisner of the Great White North are AM Dumouchel and Rebecca Noelle.
Allan was nominated in part for his ongoing creator-owned comic book series Wolf's Head, described as about "a newly created artificial intelligence (AI) on the run from its creators with the unexpected help of a janitor, her ex-police officer daughter, and their dog. 'Wolf's Head' features Lauren Greene, a young woman who quits her job as a police officer after becoming frustrated with growing police violence. At the same time as Lauren is quitting, a secretive corporation across town has managed to create a seemingly perfect AI for war and profit; however, before the corporation can use the AI, Lauren's mother, Patty, a janitor at the corporation, finds it."
Von Allan Responds
In response to the nomination, Allan said, "In general, I try to measure my artistic achievements against my own goals and dreams. In the arts and, I think, in life, the only real competition is against yourself. To push yourself. To grow stronger. To always be learning. For a long time that has been a difficult struggle for me. My learning curve and development as an artist was long and slow, with a lot of frustrating and discouraging reversals along the way. The key, at least for me, was to always keep trying to grow into the artist I imagined I could be. From that point of view, art awards are not something an artist 'wins' or 'loses,' but rather a signpost or waypoint along the journey. And I'm very pleased with this signpost!
"Being shortlisted for the Peter Honeywell Mid-Career Artist Award is a significant step in my art career and a huge honour," he added. "I've been aware of this award for awhile but it has always seemed out of reach. To be here now, nominated with two other amazing artists, is humbling. It's also wonderful to be here as a comics creator. I am deeply grateful to the judges for their consideration."
If Allan wins the award, he'll receive a $5,000 prize. All nominees receive at least $1,000. You can find out more about the award here. Wolf's Head can be purchased here, and Allan tells us it will soon be coming to ComiXology.