Portland's comics pedigree continues to grow. Local cartoonist (and my coworker) Chris Cilla was nominated for the Ignatz Award for Best Graphic Novel. His book, The Heavy Hand, was published by Sparkplug Comic Books last November. Brett Warnock of Top Shelf says, "I recently read his feature-length mind-fuck of a book, The Heavy Hand. If you like indy comics, you owe yourself to check out the fine work of Chris Cilla."

Cilla hails from Arizona and has been drawing comics for years. He's been published in the Kramer's Ergot anthology and has exhibited work at the Pony Club and Floating World Comics.

The Ignatz Awards are announced yearly at the Small Press Expo in Maryland. This years Expo features artists such as Craig Thompson, Johnny Ryan and Chester Brown. It's nomination puts Cilla in the company of notable past winners like Chris Ware, Sammy Harkham, and Anders Nilsen. The award panel includes Theo Ellsworth and John Porcellino.

Read a review of The Heavy Hand over the The Comics Journal. Meantime, here's a comic about hot dogs.