Comics Workbook Composition Competition Winners 2016


Congratulations to ALL who created and submitted work for this year’s contest!


First Place – $500 cash prize

Cameron Nicholson – For a Lack of Better Words


Second Place – $250 credit at Copacetic Comics

Shee Phon – I Know It’s Not About Me, But I Don’t Want To Die


Third Place – $100 credit at Copacetic Comics

Cameron Arthur – Oasis


Honorable Mention – $50 credit at Big Planet Comics

Lisa Wilkinson – The Last Time I Saw Tate

Janne Marie Dauer – Blame It On the Night Moves

Luke Howard – Extragalactic

Niall Breen – Śūnyatā


Special Prize – $25 credit at Copacetic Comics

Lina Madöry – Reflection


No Prize Shout Out!

Jillian Fleck – I Got A Job.

Phillip Dokes – Falling


This competition saw more entries than the last three years combined, proving once again what we have said from the beginning: that comics is THE ascendant art form. The sheer amount of energy and talent that poured into this competition during its relatively brief window provides ample testimony to this.

It is our belief that artistic creation is a two way street.  An artist, or any other creator, grows in the process of creating; the greater the efforts, the greater the growth. By this measure, comics creators in general – and those who submitted work to this competition in particular – are growing by leaps and bounds, and so, by definition, is the comics form; as in the final analysis, the value of a form is coincident with the work that it contains.

It is our hope that all of the makers who participated in this contest have been TRANSFORMED in some way – artistically, personally, spiritually, and/or physically – by the time and energy dedicated to the creation of their submissions. Everyone who took part in this exercise has completed a hero’s journey.


What I liked about the three winners is a strong sense of reflection and duality. and how those feelings are expressed visually as a journey and a portrait. I see this aspect in the work of the honorable mentions and the special prizes. This year the judges looked at the entries and tried to frame the winners in a way that reflects the multifaceted jewel that is the world of comic book making in 2016.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s contest. And to everyone who may have begun their comic but did not finish it or enter it, please finish it and post it, and we will do our best to get it seen.

xoxo Frank Santoro, Pittsburgh PA


The restrictions placed upon the contest entries were derived from The Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers. It is my firmly held belief that restrictions such as the grid are ultimately freeing. I also believe that timing is the essential ingredient to making great comics. How do you study and practice timing in comics? You use the grid.

Thank you to Copacetic Comics, Big Planet Comics, and the judges for contributing their efforts and financial support to make this contest possible. (Extra thanks to RM Rhodes for making the lists!)

P.S. Please reblog. Thank you.


Please check out the complete list of entries for 2016 below:

$100 by Katelyn Haugdahl

(Blame it on the) Night Moves by Janne Marie Dauer

‘Coach?’ by Tanya Guryel

2 Frogs on a Log by Alex Williams

42 by Alexey Sokolin

A Boy’s Guide to Wilderness Survival by Ron Hotz

A POOL by Amy Wang

A Quick and Easy Guide to Finding a Husband by Hannah Kaplan

A Tale by mLenaghan

Abandoned by Preston Pettigrew

Aerial Boundaries by Andy Rench

All Imp a Days Work by Jeff Schwartzbauer

Any Mood From the Feel Cart by Joan Reilly

APPLE EXPLODES by John McGuire Olsen

At the Base of the Statue of God by Drew Lerman

Bad Smell by Fion Fitzgerald

Bananas by Amanda Kay Baker

Beauty is Eveywhere by Corey Bechelli

Between Water and Air by Jason Hart

Bloom by Evan M Cohen

Body Work by Harry Deane Willmott

Breach by R. Adams

Carbon by Mike Shea

Carnivalence by Graeme Shorten Adams

Carrion Cheese by Jayro Lantigua

Catnip Mice by ZEKM

Cedar Grove Community Hall Circa 2002 by Josh Hicks

Cock of the Walk by Erik Nebel

Cold Sands by James and Adam Norfolk

Congress by Oliver East

Crazy Straw by Paul Daniel

CYMKA by Matthew McDaniel

Death Mask by Ioan Morris

Diamond Comix by Danny Ceballos

Did it hurt… by Mark Wang

Dim Sum by li xu (disqualified)

Disappoint by Jonx Rainer (disqualified)

Dr. Dracula by Kalen Knowles (disqualified)

Dream Sequence by Nicole Johnson

Dry Season by Heron Prado

Enjoy by Spencer Hicks

Extragalactic by Luke Howard

Eyes Out On Stalks by Karneeleus

eyes wide shut // the intangible beauty of dreaming by Dennis Stratmann

falling by Phillip Dokes

First Performance by Ann Lewis

FISH IN A TUB by Serene Lusano

for a lack of better words by Cameron Nicholson

Frisky in a Godless Universe by JOMM

Frog.TV by Mateus Gonzales

Fulfillment by Veronika Hanáková

Gathering Dust by Wesley Russell (disqualified)

GLGLGL by Pablo Selín

glos·so·la·li·a by Louis Deux

Half the Fun by Chris Anderson (disqualified)

Hammer Lock by John Shields

Heavy Mettle by Nicole Pergue & Jackie Kirby

Hibiscus Vigilate by Nicolás Méndez Palacios

I Called You My Peony by Tor Brandt

I Got a Job by Jillian Fleck

I know it’s not about me, but I don’t want to die. by Shee Phon

I Love Trees by Rui Soares

Imperative by Nilas RD

In The Grass by Reilly Hadden

Jeremy Meets the Forest Cow by Sienna Cittadino

Kiddie Pool Bummer by Alicia Rose Obermeyer

Kissing Scrapes by John Hexer

La Petite Mort by Guarazú

lo priestess by Courtney Loberg

MAD DOG by Michael Kennedy

Man in a Furnished Cell By Jon Aye

MANNI by Daniel Isles

mister poppers came running by emil brahe

MOON CHILD by Carlos Bergfeld

Muse by Alex Idei (deleted)

Mute by Jesse Rimler

Mxgical Gurl Xhristina by Tommy Kempen

My Only Remembered Dream by Sam Meister

New Beginnings by Ephameron

Night Swimming by Shannon Durbin

NO COPS by Alisha Rae

Notes for Improvement by Mark Wang

Oasis by Cameron Arthur

Odds by R. Feiereisel

Ojoroido by Matt Aucoin

Old Friend by Kimball Anderson

Patience by Shannon Durbin (disqualified)

Pest, written by Zach Buil and drawn by Robert Rusch

Post Sappy Update by Patrick Allaby

RECOVERY by Elisa Mask

reflection by lina madöry

Respawn by Amanda Hamilton

Sapa by Brandon Meged

Self by Mariana Yatsuda Ikuta

Shell Creature by Faith Wiley

Shellacking by Jackson J Edge

Soap Star Joe by Juan Fernandez

Sombra by Sebastian Valbuena

Splitting Heirs by Finn Jordan

stashed by Rick Chillot

Static by Jakob Streiff

SUB  OMNI  TROPICA by daniel tuucaan starflower (disqualified)

Summer Session by Steven Arenius

Summer’s Cauldron. Story by Jason Das (disqualified)

Śūnyatā by Niall Breen

Super by Oliver East

Sweet Success by Alexis Johnson

Swimmer’s Dilemma by Casey Kolodin

The Blue Framework by Louis Deux and Graymoon

The Child by Cesar Erhard

The Devourer of Kingdoms by Carla Acácio

the Eating of the Wolves by Ward Zwart

The Grass Eater by Emy Peyret

The Investigation by Graham Mason

The Kind Of Cat I Am by Lauren Flinner

The Last Time I Saw Tate by Lisa Wilkinson

The Legend of the Nipple Story by Devon (age 27)


The Rialto Variations by Louis Deux

The Savage State by Alice Blank

The Story About The Succulent, The Suspect, The Sailor, The Ants And Me by Ronja Paffrath

The Sword of Souls by Ryan Holgersen

The Tontine Ten by Sara Sarmiento

The Toxic Land by Maya Templer

Twenty Eight by Drew Lerman

untitled by Louise Aleksiejew

Urania’s Atelier by Rachel M Thornton

VERTICAL ZERO by Lucas S. Teixeira

Vintage Violence by Paul

Vueltas by ErzE

Waiting Room by Ghadi Ghosn

Warsan the Warrior by Hugh Madden

Where am I? by stc019

Where Does Your Money Go? by Stella Salumaa

White Bones by Clarissa Hart (disqualified)

X by Shanita Wannapat


Check out past competition winners and entries: 201320142015


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Juan Fernández

Juan Fernández

Juan José Fernández is a Pittsburgh comics community organizer, most recently named as one of “Pittsburgh’s Creative Forces: 12 People to Meet in 2017” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and one of seven 2016 Fuerza awardees by Café Con Leche for providing Pittsburgh Latinx leadership. He co-organizes the annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair, leads the Pittsburgh Comics Salon, and provides educational outreach for the Comics Workbook and the ToonSeum. He currently works at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.
Juan Fernández

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