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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 01/21/2011

BEST COMICS CONTEST: And the winners of your 2011 Riffy Awards are...

By Michael Cavna

For some artists and fans, it seems, 2010 was the Year of the Muhammad Cartoon.

Yes, Swedish illustrator Lars Vilks and Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and The Artist Formerly Known As Molly Norris attracted headlines and death threats over their hot-button work. But then there was one continual "Muhammad"-depicting cartoon that never sparked more than a relative flicker of fury.

And that webcomic -- "Jesus and Mo" -- is officially the readers' choice winner of the 2011 Riffy Award for Best Comic of Any Medium.


The 2011 Riffy Awards drew more than 15,000 reader votes in five categories. And "Jesus and Mo" certainly seemed able to mobilize its many online converts: The twice-weekly cartoon by the pseudonymous Mohammed Jones won both the Best Comic and Best Webcomic categories in our nonbinding reader poll -- a result that left the Scottish cartoonist "very surprised," he tells Comic Riffs.

"I got a little bit of hate mail a few years ago -- I don't get any at all now," the cartoonist tells us. "Maybe this Riffy Award will change that."

The religiously satiric "Jesus and Mo" -- which the creator says depicts Jesus but not Mohammed, instead using a "body double" for the Islamic prophet -- received more than 60-percent of the nearly 2,000 votes to win Best Comic. Randall Munroe's "xkcd" was second; the other reader-picked finalists were "Cul de Sac," "Pearls Before Swine," "Doonesbury" and "Dilbert."


"Jesus and Mo" also received roughly half the 8,000-plus votes to win the Best Webcomic category from among 12 finalists; finishing second again was "xkcd," the highly popular stick-figure webcomic "of romance, sarcasm, math, and language."

Scott Adams's "Dilbert" polled more than 20-percent of nearly 3,000 votes to win Best Comic Strip of 2010, trailed closely by Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury," with Stephan Pastis's"Pearls Before Swine" and Tim Rickard's "Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!" not far behind.


Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story 3" won the Riffy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. The Oscar favorite -- directed by Lee Unkrich and co-written by Michael Arndt -- received about 40-percent of the more than 1,700 votes, outdistancing DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" -- from Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders -- and Universal/Illumination's "Despicable Me."

Four of the five nominated animation finalists -- including Disney's "Tangled" -- were released in 3-D.


And the Riffy winner in the Best Comic Book/Graphic Novel category was "Batwoman: Elegy" by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III. The DC book received about one-third of the vote. Knotted in the second spot were "Chew" by John Layman and Rob Guillory, and Sarah Glidden's "How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less."

Congratulations to all the 2011 Riffy Award winners and finalists.


You have only yourselves to congratulate.

The massive response by Comic Riffs readers to political cartoons -- from New York Post controversies to Palin comics to such collections as the Best of the BP Oil Spill Cartoons -- compelled me to make a pitch to my Post editors last year. The idea: We really should reach out to more readers who want to create their own political cartoons -- or at least deliver their own ideas. Draw Obama or Boehner, Palin or Pelosi, and see what political wit and bite and satire the Post readers might write themselves.

(I was partly encouraged by the countless would-be entrants who wanted to submit editorial cartoons into last year's Comic Riffs "America's Next Great Cartoonist Contest." I also was heartened by the many people who entered Comic Riffs's Create-Your-Own-Political-Cartoon Contest and this blog's other caption contests.)

So thus arrives this week the Inaugural Tom Toles Cartoon Caption Contest. Some Comic Riffs readers had clamored for this very thing, and the Post's Pulitzer-winning Toles is just the man to do it. So far, the contest has more than 700 caption entries, and personally, I'd really like to see the submission field top 1,000, at least.

So if you've haven't submitted a caption yet and feel inspired, I encourage you to click over and give it a shot. You can check the full rules for deadline and prize money.

Good luck! And may the wittiest caption win.

By Michael Cavna  | January 21, 2011; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Animation, The Comic Book, The Comic Strip, The Graphic Novel, The Riffy Awards, The Webcomic  | Tags:  2011 Riffy Awards, Batwoman: Elegy, Dilbert, Jesus and Mo, Toy Story 3  
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