Ginco Award 2020

The 2020 Award-Winners

The winners of the 2020 GINCO-Awards have been announced on Comic Solidarity’s Youtube channel on November 29, 2020.

The award committee, comprised of Anna Beckmann, Marc-Oliver Frisch, Christina S. Zhu and Niki Smith, has honored the following works with 250,-€:

Bester Shortform Comic

ZU HAUSE by Ilka Flanze (self published)

With Zu Hause, Ilka Flanze tells a sincere LGBTQ+ story about interpersonal relationships and new beginnings. The comic shines not only with atmospheric color moods and a calm pace that grants time to reflection and attentive details, but also with a distinctive, natural characterization of all the characters. Readers get to know vivid, complex protagonists. We can easily identify with the many difficulties of young adults entering uncharted territories and searching for their places in life: What do we expect from our friendships and relationships? How do we deal with feelings? What does independence mean? Ilka Flanze succeeds in presenting all these uncertainties and hopes delicately.
Christina S. Zhu (illustrator and comic artist)


Best Longform Comic

JEIN by Büke Schwarz (Jaja Verlag)

Clear and immediate, yet playful in her drawings, Büke Schwarz tells the story of artist Elâ Wolf in her comic Jein. The ambivalence of the title permeates the narrative itself. Does art have to be political? Do artists have to position themselves politically? Does one's own background or that of one's parents play a role? “Jein”!? A position between yes and no. A position that remains ever ambivalent. An ambivalence that not only forms the title of this great comic, but also runs deep within the narrative, revealing different sides and arguments by developing comic-specific equivalents in its self-reflexive aesthetics á la Krazy Kat. This interplay of form and content is why Büke Schwarz wins the category "Best Longform Comic" with her work Jein.

– Anna Beckmann (comics researcher and political activist)


Best Continuing Comic

OBSCURUS, Band 1: SCHLAFENDER HUND by Giske Großlaub (Schwarzer Turm)

The inaugural volume of Giske Großlaub’s horror series Obscurus is an inventively made, at times visually spectacular comic. The mischief of this story germinates in grievances and hubris, it sprouts in tenements and laundry rooms and finally blossoms in nightmarish phantasmagorias of glowing black. As its genre demands, the world of Obscurus can be anxious and violent, yet it always revolves around the very human concerns of a fascinating, finely balanced cast of characters. We want to know what happens next.
– Marc-Oliver Frisch (comic book critic and translator)


Best Nonfiction Comic

MILCH OHNE HONIG by Hanna Harms (self published)

Milch ohne Honig by Hanna Harms thoughtfully reflects on the role of bees in nature and on the harsh impacts of industrial insecticides and climate change on their fragile lives. The restrained story transforms her comic into a work of stunning visual poetry, with abstract patterns carefully layered and splintered to coalesce back into narrative. Every aspect feels intentional, from the black, white, and yellow color range to the subtle blemishes of the fully recycled paper on which the book was printed. Milch ohne Honig is an adorable work of nonfiction.

- Niki Smith (comic artist, GINCO-Spotlight award winner 2019)



In addition to the winners of the main categories, other entries have impressed the committee for different reasons. The GINCO Spotlights shed their light on a work's specific aspects.

The Spotlights have been awarded with 125,-€ each.

The 2020 spotlights shine on:


Ahh… das Gras auf der anderen Seite ist nicht immer grüner by Karina Tungari is a boldly painted memoir about the artist's arrival in Germany as an au pair girl. Tungari must suddenly learn to navigate the intimate family dynamics of complete strangers while immersed in a foreign language far away from everyone she knows. This sense of disorientation is reflected in her drawings, where each page is painted in rich colors and patterns. Tungari artfully captures the complex blend of the dream of a new life, of culture shocks, and of homesickness that so often characterize the immigration experience. For this we recognize this book with a GINCO Spotlight.

- Niki Smith (comic artist, GINCO-Spotlight award winner 2019)


AUF UND AB by Anna Backhausen (self published)

With Auf und Ab, Anna Backhausen created a youth comic about jealousy between two childhood friends. With much empathy and nostalgia, the author perfectly captures feelings of childhood rivalry: Readers can easily relate to how this feeling slowly grows and eventually takes over everything. Particularly outstanding are her gentle images and the coordinated layout, which perfectly reflect ups and downs between the characters on a visual level. An authentic story, resonating deeply with empathy and friendship.

- Christina S. Zhu (illustrator and comic artist)


FUNGIRL by Elizabeth Pich (self published)

It's a laughter that builds slowly and then finds its way through your whole body. It's a laughter that makes you clasp your hands over your mouth. This is the kind of laughter that Fungirl incites. It bursts out in surprise, but it also has a sad side, as the situations Fungirl finds herself in are often not funny at all, revealing real grievances instead. Dark, satirical, critical, but above all funny, Elisabeth Pich tells in short anecdotes about the girl who could also be the Rebel Girl sung about by the band Bikini Kill, because she is strong, restless, brave, and admirable. 'That girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood. I got news for you, she is!' This is why we turn our spotlight on Fun Girl by Elisabeth Pich.

- Anna Beckmann (comics researcher and political activist)


SUMPFLAND by moki (Reprodukt)

In moki's comics fable Sumpfland, people and other curious creatures have to deal with growth: in the world that surrounds them; in the society of which they are part; in their bodies and minds. Should they submit to the omnipresent sprawl, or resist it? Is it all for the purpose of the gross national product in the end, anyway? Metaphorical and literal, natural and artificial growth have long since grown together, inseparably, and the boundaries between a soothing sense of safety and the fear of being devoured can blur. Sumpfland finds emotionally precise images for anxieties and entanglements that affect, and most of the time overwhelm, all of us.

- Marc-Oliver Frisch (comic book critic and translator)


Once again, we would like to congratulate all award winners and thank the 2020 Committee for reviewing all submissions.