The deadline is 6th October 2010, with a first prize of £1000 and a runners-up prize of £250. The competition, now in its fourth year, usually creates a bit of a buzz on the British comics scene and is a good opportunity for aspiring cartoonists. The winner will see their strip published in the Observer Review (the arts section of broadsheet newspaper, The Observer), while the runner-up will have their work published at the Guardian website and on the Vintage website.
The winner (and the runners-up) of the 2008 competition can be found here. The winner (as well as the runner-up) of the 2009 competition, meanwhile, are here.
"I'm not proud of this but, for years and years, I thought that graphic novels were only read by geeky guys with long hair, fetid bedrooms and a serious fondness for thrash. Yes, I had read Maus by Art Spiegelman (just in case you don't know, it tells the story of Spiegelman's father, Vladek, a Polish Jew; Spiegelman draws the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats). And I thought it was amazing, of course. But still, it seemed to me to be one of a kind. After all, graphic novels are basically comics, aren't they? And there's only so much a writer can do with a comic, and only so much pleasure a reader (at least a grown-up reader) can take in one."
And, finally, last year, the Forbidden Planet International blog, did a series of posts on the various 'non-winners' of the 2009 that had posted their strips online. These are well worth reading and can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.