The Sabin Award for Comics Scholarship

The Sabin Award for Comics Scholarship is awarded annually to the best paper presented by a postgraduate student at the IGNCC conference. This is intended to recognise and encourage comics researchers at an early stage in their career and to honour Professor Roger Sabin’s dedication to furthering the cause of comics study. It’s open to any student delegate registered on a postgraduate degree and will be judged anonymously by a voluntary committee.

We would like to invite any delegate not eligible for the award to join this committee – please do contact the email address below if you would like to take part in the judging.

The award process is intended to be completely transparent and submissions will be judged against the following criteria:

– originality and innovation of content

– clarity of structure and argument

– appropriate theoretical or methodological framework

Each paper will be marked out of ten in each category to produce a shortlist. The judging committee will then agree on the best paper.

Entrants should submit their abstract and paper in a single anonymised written document with a maximum word-count of 4,000 words (excluding references). This can include images if desired. Please use any standard referencing system.

After the conference, please email your entry to before the deadline of 1 October. Please also direct any queries to this address. The winner will be announced at the start of the following year. They will receive a certificate, free registration for the next IGNCC, a free personal subscription to the journals, and a small prize.

2023 winner: Alex Fitch, ‘Portrayals of Occupation and Identity in Sabba Khan’s Graphic Novel The Roles We Play’

2022 winner: Abhilasha Gusain, ‘Reader-Participation and Visual Dialogue: Understanding Ethics, Empathy, and Hospitality through Clément Baloup’s Vietnamese Memories

2021 winner: Dona Pursall, ‘Why are you laughing?: Mischievous Forms of Humour in British Children’s Comics’

2020 winner: Dorothee Marx, ‘”Don’t worry. It’s just the baby blues”: Representations of New Motherhood in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs’

2019 winner: Shromona Das, ‘The Perfect Victim: Reading Victimhood in Rape Narratives in Indian Comics’

2018 winner: Lisa Macklem, ‘A Taste of a Life: Lucy Knisley’s Life with Food’​

2017 winner: Lauranne Poharec, ‘Focalized Split Panels: Bridging the Borders in Comics Form’

2016 winner: Dragoș Manea, ‘Manifest Destiny and the Ethics of the Weird’

We are delighted to honour Roger by naming this award after him, and give him the final words:

‘The work of emerging scholars represents the future of comics studies, and that future is bright. The annual International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference has always been a hub for incubating talent, and every year my intellectual horizons are expanded by seeing amazing papers by newcomers. I am honoured to have an award named after me, but have declined the kind offer to have it appear in the form of a 3D miniature of me in a superhero costume.’