Ireland's first Graphic Short Story Prize, run by the Comics Lab in partnership with The Irish Times, rewards excellence in sequential storytelling. The shortlist and winners were selected from nearly 100 submissions by the award-winning authors Lisa McInerney (The Glorious Heresies, The Blood Miracles) and Kevin Barry (City of Bohane, Dark Lies the Island) and the cartoonist Dan Berry (The Three Rooms in Valerie's Head, Sent/Not Sent, Make It Then Tell Everybody podcast).
The winning story is Stephen Morton's Sunshine. Morton is a comic author and artist from Kilkenny. He coauthored a graphic novel, Sea of Cortez, with the musician John Murry and runs the Irish music label Moot Tapes with Peter Lawlor. He is now working on the graphic novel Jobseeker.
The story below, which takes the runner-up place, is Echoes, by the artist-and-writer team of Eoin Whelehan and Dara T Higgins.
Dublin Comic Arts Festival, an ongoing series of quarterly small-press comic-book events, will present the prizes today, at the Chocolate Factory in Dublin, and launch Slice, an anthology of the shortlisted submissions to the prize.
The Comics Lab was founded in 2015 by Debbie Jenkinson and Sarah Bowie, two cartoonists from Dublin. It aims to explore and promote sequential storytelling, to create platforms for Irish comics and to foster a vibrant comics community in Ireland. The Comics Lab brings drawing activities, book swaps, live readings, and guest speakers quarterly to Dublin Comic Arts Festival.