After the exceptional 12 months we have been through, there really could only be one choice for this year’s winner of best indie and small press comic 2020:
Rachael Smith’s Quarantine Comix
Editor Alex Thomas: Quarantine Comix have been a ray of sunshine in the gloom of 2020. During a year when I completely lost my mojo for comics this was the one comic I kept reading throughout, and gets the comics candle burning in the darkness. Her insightful and intimate comics were released daily throughout the pandemic, and so reflect all the major moments and as such they make a wonderful relfection on the year, from the major moments, to just how people were feeling during this whole experience.
It’s not secret that Rachael’s work has been a perennial favourite here at Pipedream (from The Rabbit to Wired Up Wrong and Stand In Your Power), but this is one of the most significant and important comics we will read in our time. Chronicling the key moments from absent loved ones, to the fear and uncertainty of the world, right through to the ridiculousness of humanity – all interspersed with the most sublime full page images that really sum up the world of 2020 – Rachael manages to captures the quintessential essence of these moments, making you laugh one minute and cry the next. When we look back on 2020 it will be via documentaries like this that will help us remember the strange and surreal world that we inhabited.
James Blundell writes: In a year that has seen our collective ebb reach its lowest in quite some time, Rachael Smith’s Quarantine Comix has been ever the perfect tonic to get us through. A daily (and later weekly) comic strip which Rachael posted on her Twitter page, Quarantine Comix has been an honest look into Smith’s life as she, like many of us, has faced the troubles of COVID, lockdown, furloughing and more besides. However, thanks to a combination of light hearted dialogue and Smith’s signature adorable art style, Quarantine Comix has been anything but dark and instead offers a joyful, humourous but always honest look at the problems we’ve all faced this year. In a year where darkness has seemingly reigned, Quarantine Comix has been there to offer just a little bit of light and a little bit of hope. For those reasons and many more, there is little doubt that Rachael Smith and her webcomic deserves to be at the top of this list.
Rachael responds to her win: “I’m absolutely over the moon and flabbergasted to have won. I’d been watching the countdown with interest and had been trying to guess who would be top dog…I’d never in ten billion years imagined it would be me! The fact that Quarantine Comix is getting accolades like this before it’s even been published in a ‘real’ book is just amazing. I’m very, very humbled.”
You can read Quarantine Comix by searching #QuarantineComix on twitter, instagram or facebook, Or you can be the first to hear news of when the Quarantine Comix BOOK is coming out by signing up to Rachael’s mailing list here.