‘Flake’ Is The First Graphic Novel To Win The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize

by Olly MacNamee

Up until this morning I had never known that there even was a literary sponsored by the elite champagne brand Bollinger, but I do now. That’s because, for the first time, a graphic novel has won this year’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, as reported by The Guardian newspaper.

This prestigious prize is awarded for works of comedic value with the winner getting – amongst other prizes – a rare breed pig named after the winning title. So, somewhere on a farm in the UK there is now a pig called Flake, after the graphic novel by the award-winning cartoonist Matthew Dooley.

Described, by The Observer newspaper as a combination of the playwright Alan Bennett and graphic novelist Chris Ware, Dooley would have ordinarily picked up his prize – and met his pig – at the Hay Literary Festival, but we all know why any festival this year, literary or otherwise, have had to be cancelled.
Set in the North West of England, it’s story of family feuds and ice-creams, and is available now.

“A stunning first graphic novel by a Cape/Comica/Observer graphic short story competition winner – a tale of a skirmish in the ice-cream wars that is worthy of Alan Bennett
In the small seaside town of Dobbiston, Howard sells ice creams from his van, just like his father before him. But when he notices a downturn in trade, he soon realises its cause: Tony Augustus, Howard’s half-brother, whose ice-cream empire is expanding all over the North-West…
Flake, Matthew Dooley’s debut graphic novel, tells of how this epic battle turns out, and how Howard – helped by the Dobbiston Mountain Rescue team – overcomes every obstacle and triumphs in the end.”

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