The Golden Comic Awards were held recently at the Taipei New Horizon Building. Conducted virtually for the first time ever, this comics’ extravaganza did not disappoint. Entrants competed for a total purse of NT$2.45 million spread out among seven awards. The Grand Prize, with a purse of NT$500,000, went to Xiaodao for Crouching Lion in a Bookstore. The Special Contribution Award went to Ren Zheng-Hua for a lifetime of creating entertaining comics.
Ren came to prominence in comics in the 1980s with her comics for girls, among which Sea of Devil, Ren Rou Bao Zi, Drawn to Life, and Drawn to Life 2 are her best-known works. Through humor and incisive wit, Ren’s thought-provoking comics address many of life’s issues. Her works address a wide variety of issues and showcase both her creative abilities and her keen eye into the window of the human soul. She has described Taiwan’s society in many ways, and her stories run true to life while also being imaginative.
The Ministry of Culture pointed out that Crouching Lion in a Bookstore is interesting for discussing book rental shops, which have largely disappeared from society. The work is both entertaining and very human. Showing off the talent of the rising generation of comics as it does, the work was universally liked by the judges. The youthful author Xiaodao shows maturity and a great deal of potential and through this piece has cast needed light on the contrast between humans and artificial intelligence.
Five works won Comic of the Year this year. Among them were Scrunchy by TaaRo, Hell Parade by Buke, Dutchman in Formosa vol.2 by Kinono and A Trip to the Asylum by Pam Pam Liu. These comics covered such realms as fantasy, history, and psychology, and highlighted the freedom and diversity found in Taiwan’s culture.
The last winner of Comic of the Year—Fantastic Tales of Splendid Blossoms — and Son of Formosa, by Yu Pei-Yun and Zhou Jian-Xin, which took home the Best New Talent Award, were noteworthy for being cross-disciplinary works that introduced new angles. They also showed off the limitless potential of Taiwan’s comic artists.
The Ministry pledged to continue working through its guidance fund to support the creation of original comics and platforms. It will also work through the Creative Content Agency in support of the Taiwan Comics Base, invest in and finance the expanded use of IP based on Taiwan’s original creations, fund cross-disciplinary applications, and improve the environment for the further development of Taiwan’s comic industry.
The GCA Award Ceremony will be broadcast on Taiwan Television Enterprise on Friday, November 12, at 10 p.m. and will also be available for viewing on the GCA YouTube channel. The organizers hope that comics fans will all join in to witness the moving stories and moments of glory captured at the ceremony. Due to COVID-19, this year’s exhibit will be held online through November 30. It features nominees’ works, recommended comics, nearly 100 Taiwanese works that have won international awards, cross-disciplinary creations, winners of the “Taiwan Original IP Cross-media Application Award” at hackathons, and a glimpse of the working environments of the winners of the 11th Comic of the Year Awards. Organizers hope that comics fans will enjoy seeing how comics are woven into their daily lives.