The winning works of the main categories are awarded € 300 each and receive a GINCO trophy in the form of our avatar, Artie the "Bildkröte".
Initially, Artie had been 3D-printed from recycled materials. This year, Artie is again made from hand-poured artisanal concrete, to serve as a mini planter, a keeper of soaps or clutter collector. Original Artie design by Kami Wallner, trophy by Lisa Rau and 2023 illustrations by s0s2. (Discover the collaborative nature of Artie here.)


The Salt Lick Wife

by Niki Smith


"At the heart of this experimental comic, there’s an adventurous quest: the search for the salt of life. Humans and animals alike strive to reach a cave that becomes accessible only over time and through continuous work. In the grotto, the protagonist feels completely connected to herself. Experimental elements notwithstanding, the comic is confidently narrated and illustrated. It offers poetic text elements and open page designs. Above it all, there is the search for the life-sustaining salt cave, which simultaneously represents the life-giving uterus and lesbian sexual gratification. Niki Smith is embedding the delicate suggestion of these symbols skillfully within a mysterious, prehistoric setting and a slightly creepy narrative tone. She leads her audience into her experiment, rather than leaving them on the outside. We are pleased to recognize such versatility with a Ginco Award in the “Experimental” category." – Judith C. Vogt / GINCO Committee 2023

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Being Monsters

by Julia Beutling

"We encountered the monstrosity of the everyday, the monstrosity of what once seemed ordinary, in many works among this year's submissions. Returning to a once familiar surrounding which is now continuously commenting on hairstyles and asks to smile more, which seems and perhaps is more narrow than the identity one found elsewhere – this is what Julia Beutling tells of in "Being Monsters." But, through panels in focused colors, we also travel beyond the thresholds of the known into the truly monstrous, where all colors become more garish: to a monster-ruled castle of devouring, wild vegetation, where the only companion gets lost that did not care about hairstyles and lacks of smile – the dog.

But it also takes a village to bring comics into the world: 'Being Monsters' is a yet to be completed indie comic that has been given life by both Patreon crowd-support and three grants; including grants tied to the Corona-Pandemic. However, the livelihoods of comic artists have not become easier even after the official end of the pandemic, and in order to preserve the diversity and existence of stories, we would like to see more government support and solidarity with art creators regardless of global disasters. The “Ongoing Series” category thus also represents our hope that the comics we nominated and especially this recognized work can continue to tell their stories." – Lisa Frühbeis / GINCO Committee 2023

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Honorable Mention: Die Suche nach Kwik

by Julia Steinmetz

"The medicine of the Middle Ages is creepy. Even mummies were ground up and administered as supposed miracle remedies. What sorts of strange creatures might have walked these apothecaries' shops? Well, in the case of Julia Steinmetz's comic “The Search for Kwik,” it's Cosmas van Zwavel. His appearance is reminiscent of a skeleton, but he is by no means creepy. In fact, Cosmas is a very nice guy who is very worried about his friend Kwik who hasn't sent any news for a long time. Thus, Cosmas sets out on the titular search for his missing friend. His journey leads him into dark taverns, across wild seas, and through dark alleys. Contrary to the fearsome world of this Dutch-flavored vision of the dark Middle Ages, the beings who inhabit it are strikingly friendly, supportive, and compassionate. This stark contrast between likeable characters and an uneasy environment, between gloomy shadows and warm colors, creates an enormous pull – one doesn't want to put down the book. Julia Steinmetz deserves special praise for creating a solidary take on the Middle Ages, in which skeletons and frogs, sailors and lesbian couples, women in medical professions and unlabeled, friendly relationships can coexist. For this we would like to recognize ‘The Search for Kwik' in the category ‘Ongoing Series' with a special mention." – Lisa Frühbeis / GINCO Committee 2023


Bisher kein Tiger in Sicht

by Julia Zejn


"This comic presents an episode from the life of a person we don't know much about in the tried and tested short-story style. In the Siberian loneliness she waits for a tiger and writes short messages to a partner at home. But the tiger is not in sight – and the relationship is probably also not going so well. Soon it will all be over, so the assurance! But when the tiger finally shows up, life in solidarity seems suddenly more promising.

In elegant and elegiac images, combined with only a few words, Julia Zejn tells her story which nevertheless grabs our interest from the beginning and keeps it over the course of its pages. Despite the sparse information, we learn a lot about the main character's inner life through skillful, never flat texts in letter form, and through the expert interweaving of metaphors represented by the tiger and the snowy landscapes. During all of this, Julia Zejn gently guides us toward an ending which manages to surprise despite its consequentiality. We are pleased to recognize this story with a GINCO in the category ‘Shortform Narrative Comic'." – Verena Maser / GINCO Committee 2023

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Honarable Mention: Zucker

by Frank Suess

"It's a challenge and at times quite agonizing to read this comic. The lines seem to resist us, the drawings are anything but captivating; sometimes they seem to tip out of frame, sometimes they seem intended to burst out of it with all their brattiness. This is about the hard topics: about memories, about emotions, about repression and childhood traumas. Franz Suess's comic 'Zucker' takes us into the life of a teenager who has been scarred for life by a childhood accident. A chance encounter and an olfactory stimulus suddenly bring up memories that apparently lay buried deep in the unconscious.

‘Sugar' tells of loving relationships, of empathy and care. The comic reminds us not to judge people by their appearance, but to ask questions and look more closely. It recounts, very drastically, sufferings of the childhood: caused by a lack of empathy, by the pressure and obligation to adapt to the everyday life of adults, and by the inevitable failure of these conformities. ‘Sugar' counters such suffering through a gesture of companionship: drinking a nice, sweet cocoa (with lots of sugar!) while sitting together, talking to each other, being there for each other. 'Sugar' by Franz Suess is a remarkable comic in several respects. With its restrained narration and its evocative drawings, it is able to communicate and create strong emotions. It also ventures deep into the big topics of trauma and memory, but not in order to educate readers, but rather to encourage them to explore these issues themselves.

It is worth mentioning that this comic was created during the event '24 Hour Comic at Wannsee 2022' of the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin. For this annual comic spectacle, cartoonists have to meet the challenge of creating a distinct 24-page comic within just 24 hours on a topic that is not known in advance. The theme in 2022 was ‘My Kindergarten’ and one has to admire the profound depth with which Franz Suess handled the topic without any preparations or follow-ups. For this extraordinary achievement we would like to highlight this comic from the shortlist within the category 'Shortform Narrative Comic'." – Verena Maser / GINCO Committee 2023



by Anne Zimmermann


"In the ‘Non-Fiction Comic’ category, the jury was especially impressed by ‘Straßenfunde’ (Street Findings) by Anne Zimmermann which we are thus pleased to award with a GINCO. The book was originally commissioned by Gangway e.V., one of the largest social streetwork organizations in Berlin, on the occasion of their 30th anniversary. The empathetic portrayal of the characters, however, and also the author's hands-on immersion in the subject matter testify to a commitment that goes far beyond a mere commission. Anne Zimmermann creates an extremely lively picture of the everyday life of social work in Berlin.

She accompanies social workers during their routines, recounts memories and stories, and puts them down on paper with virtuosity. She anecdotally tells authentic stories that, without being voyeuristic, present a very accurate picture of the challenges for both the social workers as well as for those they take care of.

Anne Zimmermann succeeds in turning the complex topic of social streetwork and associated socio-pedagogical concepts into a sophisticatedly drawn comic worth reading, which recounts this important topic to outsiders and thus opens it up to a broad general audience." – Verena Maser / GINCO Committee 2023

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Trip mit Tropf

by Josephine Mark


"'Health is the most important thing,' one likes to say, but what if your body is no longer cooperating? Based on her own experiences, Josephine Mark created 'Trip mit Tropf' (‘Trip with drip’), the story of an unusual road trip of a critically ill rabbit and a lonely wolf who feels obliged to protect the rabbit. The mismatched duo is compelling – in warm colors and quick dialogues full of warmth. Josephine Mark creates an animal world in which caring companionship prevails and where the suffering of illness and loneliness is juxtaposed with an unusual and deep friendship. Despite the gravity of the subject matter, the story brims with wit and lightness. Josephine Mark succeeds almost playfully in generating sympathy for her characters. Already awarded the ‘Max-und-Moritz’ for the best children’s comic at the 2022 Comic-Salon, we would also like to recognize ‘Trip mit Tropf’ with the GINCO in the ‘Longform Narrative Comic’ category. We think this comic is not only for children, but for everyone who loves comics." – Lisa Frühbeis / GINCO Committee 2023

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Honorable Mention: Hort

by Marijpol

"'Hort' (published by Edition Moderne) revolves around the shared flat of three misfits: a bodybuilder who is supposed to acquire breasts as a model for an action figure; a yoga teacher with body elements of a snake; and a huge, fat restorer. The three outsiders are increasingly devoted to three lost children from the apartment next door. ‘Hort’ shows that it is possible to care for children without being maternal, to be different without judging each other, and to be at peace with oneself as a woman without being integrated into society.

Marijpol depicts the everyday lives of her protagonists over a lush 360 pages in purple on white, allowing each of them to have their say and creating space to a non-normative plurality of femininity on her stage. The unusual but memorable imagery suits the unique narrative style well which takes the audience seriously and thus expects quite a lot from us. The characters become thoroughly ambivalent but are ultimately narrated in ever-endearing ways. Language and form are thus skillfully exploited to their potentials. We would like to acknowledge the comic 'Hort' by Marijpol (on the shortlist of ‘Longform Narrative Comics’) with a special mention." – Judith C. Vogt / GINCO Committee 2023