Best Cartoonist - 2011
Kevin Cannon draws great buildings and animals and landscapes and maps. And people—gangly, quick-moving, dynamic, simple-featured yet empathetic and expressive people. There's an unpredictable sort of spirit to Cannon's work, like the cheery aesthetics of a late '50s/early '60s commercial illustrator given free reign to tinker with whatever comes to mind. That's something the wider comics world discovered in 2009 on the publication of his full-length, Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel, Far Arden, which started out as a rollicking Arctic adventure story and bloomed into a narrative that was surprisingly affecting and devastating. Since then he's put his playful yet weighty line work to inventive use in a number of versatile projects, ranging from a witty minicomic about an intrusive coffeehouse typewriter jockey (Serial Typist) to a kids' storybook about Minnesota's favorite DIY winter sport (Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey) to a book on evolution (Evolution: the Story of Life on Earth), the latter with his Big Time Attic partner and non-relative Zander Cannon. Whether he's helping an author's vision come to life or letting his own imaginative weirdness guide the story that sets the pen moving, Kevin Cannon has established himself as one of the most evocative ink-slingers in the Cities.