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Ulli Lust, Gene Luen Yang win LA Times Book Prizes

Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life The winners of the LA Times Book Prizes were announced Friday night, and not one but two graphic novels took top honors.

Ulli Lust won the Graphic Novels/Comics prize for Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, which also picked up an Ignatz Award and won an award at Angouleme in 2011 for the original edition. The other finalists were David B.’s Incidents in the Night: Vol. 1, Ben Katchor’s Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories, Anders Nilsen’s The End, and Joe Sacco’s The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme, so it was a tough field.

In the Young Adult category, Boxers & Saints was up against four prose books: Elizabeth Knox’s Mortal Fire, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Joyce Sidman’s What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings, and Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase. Yang’s earlier book, American Born Chinese, was nominated for a National Book Award and won a Printz Award; both honors usually go to prose books.

Glyph Comics Awards unveils 2014 nominees

molly danger

The nominees have been announced for the 2014 Glyph Comics Awards, which recognize “the best in comics made by, for, and about people of color from the preceding calendar year.” The winners will be announced May 16 at the 13th annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in Philadelphia.

The nominees are:

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National Cartoonists Society reveals 2013 Reuben nominees

"Daredevil," by Chris Samnee

“Daredevil,” by Chris Samnee

The National Cartoonists Society has announced the divisional nominees for the 68th annual Reuben Awards. They join the finalists for the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year Award — Wiley Miller (Non Sequitur), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Hilary Price (Rhymes With Orange) and Mark Tatulli (Heart of the City, Lio) — revealed in late February.

The winners will be announced May 24 at the annual NCS Reuben Awards dinner in San Diego.

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Finalists announced for 2014 Doug Wright Awards

Very Casual

Very Casual

The finalists have been announced for the 2014 Doug Wright Awards, which recognize the best in English-language comics by Canadians. The awards are named for Doug Wright, the late cartoonist whose strip Doug Wright’s Family appeared for more than 30 years in newspapers across the country.

The winners will be announced at Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) on May 10.

Best Book:

  • Palookaville #21 by Seth (Drawn and Quarterly)
  • Paul Joins the Scouts by Michel Rabagliati (Conundrum Press)
  • Science Fiction by Joe Ollmann (Conundrum Press)
  • Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée (Drawn and Quarterly)
  • Very Casual by Michael DeForge (Koyama Press)

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Kanigher, Mantlo and Mendelsohn to receive Bill Finger Award

finger-recipients

Robert Kanigher, Bill Mantlo and Jack Mendelsohn have been named the recipients of the 2014 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Writing, named in honor of the uncredited co-creator of Batman.

Although the committee typically selects one posthumous and one living honoree, this year it voted to recognize two living creators, Mantlo and Mendelsohn.

“This year, the judges couldn’t decide between two living recipients so one said, ‘Why don’t we just give it to both of them?’ And we decided to give it to both of them,” committee chair Mark Evanier explained in a statement. “They’re two men who deserve the honor and we figured, why make one of them wait until next year, especially in light of the fact that Bill Finger would have turned 100 this year? And as for our posthumous recipient, Robert Kanigher, that one’s long overdue.”

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Taiyo Matsumoto and Emily Carroll win Cartoonist Studio Prize

"Out of Skin," by Emily Carroll

“Out of Skin,” by Emily Carroll

Taiyo Matsumoto and Emily Carroll are the recipients of the second annual Cartoonist Studio Prize, presented by The Slate Book Review and the Center for Cartoon Studies.

The two were selected by The Slate Book Review editor Dan Kois, the faculty and students of CCS and this year’s guest judge, Chris Butcher, manager of The Beguiling in Toronto and co-founder of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Each winner receives $1,000.

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‘Fifth Beatle,’ ‘Artifice’ among Lambda Literary Award finalists

Fifth BeatleThe finalists have been announced for the Lambda Literary Awards, which this year debuts a graphic novels category. No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics was selected in 2013 as best anthology, marking the first time a graphic novel had one in that division.

Now in their 26th year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender writing for books published in the previous. The finalists in the graphic novel category are:

  • Artifice, by Alex Woolfson and Winona Nelson (AMW Comics)
  • Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir, by Nicole J. Georges (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Duck! Second Chances, by Tana Ford (Bang A Left)
  • The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, Kyle Baker and Steve Dutro (Dark Horse/M Press)

The winners will be announced June 2 during a ceremony held in New York City.

Cartoonist Jen Sorensen first woman to win Herblock Prize

jen-sorensonThe Austin Chronicle cartoonist Jen Sorensen on Monday became the first woman to win the Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning.

Established in 2004 by the Herb Block Foundation, the award is design “to encourage editorial cartooning as an essential tool for preserving the rights of the American people through freedom of speech and the right of expression.” Block, aka Herblock, was a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist.

“Winning the Herblock is one of the finest moments in a political cartoonist’s life,” Sorensen, who was a 2012 finalist, told The Washington Post. “Being the first woman to win the prize makes it an extra-special thrill. I’m so grateful that this generous award exists for our profession.”

As the newspaper notes, Sorensen is also the third consecutive alt-cartoonist to win the Herblock Prize, following Matt Bors and Dan Perkins (aka Tom Tomorrow). The award comes with a tax-free $15,000 cash prize and a sterling silver Tiffany trophy.

“Jen Sorensen’s strong portfolio addresses issues that were important to Herblock, such as gun control, racism, income inequality, healthcare, and sexism,” the judges stated. “Her style allows her to incorporate information which backs up the arguments she presents. Her art is engaging and her humor is sharp and on target.”

You can see a few of Sorensen’s winning cartoons below.

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Finalists announced for 2013 Bram Stoker Awards

fatale-v3The Horror Writers Association has announced the final ballot for the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards, which recognize “superior achievement” in horror writing. The graphic novel nominees are:

  • Fatale, Vol. 3: West of Hell, by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Dave Stewart and Bettie Breitweiser (Image Comics)
  • Alabaster: Wolves, by Caitlin R. Kiernan, Steve Lieber and Rachelle Rosenberg (Dark Horse)
  • Witch Doctor, Vol. 2: Mal Practice, by Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner (Image Comics)
  • Sin Titulo, by Cameron Stewart (Dark Horse)
  • Colder, by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra (Dark Horse)

Voting is open for eligible HWA members through March 31. The winners will be presented May 10 during a ceremony held at the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon.

The graphic novel award was first presented in 2012, although there was a best illustrated narrative category from 1998 to 2004. Previous graphic novel winners are: Neonomicon, by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows; and Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, by Rocky Wood, Lisa Morton and Greg Chapman.

David B., Nilsen, Sacco among L.A. Times Book Prize finalists

incidents in the nightThe finalists have been announced for the 34th annual L.A. Times Book Prizes, which for the fifth year include graphic novel/comic among the 10 categories. Those nominees are:

  • David B., Incidents in the Night: Vol. 1 (Uncivilized Books)
  • Ben Katchor, Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories (Pantheon)
  • Ulli Lust, Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life (Fantagraphics)
  • Anders Nilsen, The End (Fantagraphics)
  • Joe Sacco, The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme (W. W. Norton & Co.)

The winners will be presented in an awards ceremony held April 11, on the eve of the L.A. Times Festival of Books.

The finalists, and the winners, are selected by panels of judges — nine panels with three judges each (the fiction panel also handles the first fiction category).

Evans, Hasen and Moldoff named to Eisner Hall of Fame

hall of fame

The Eisner Awards judges have selected trailblazing publisher Orrin C. Evans and Golden Age artists Irwin Hasen and Sheldon Moldoff for automatic induction this summer into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame.

Evans, who passed away in 1971, edited and published the first all-black comic book, 1947′s All-Negro Comics. Hasen, who created the comic strip Dondi with Gus Edson, drew the Golden Age adventures of such heroes as Green Lantern, Wildcat, the Flash and the Justice Society. One of Bob Kane’s primary ghost artists, the late Moldoff co-created such Batman characters as Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Bat-Mite and the original Batwoman and Bat-Girl.

The judges also chose 14 nominees from which voters may select four to be inducted into the 2014 Hall of Fame:

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2013 Cartoonist Studio Prize shortlists announced

boxers-and-saints2-croppedThe Slate Book Review and the Center for Cartoon Studies have announced the shortlist for their second Cartoonist Studio Prize, which honors one graphic novel and one webcomic released in 2013.

The shortlists were selected by Slate Book Review editor Dan Kois; the faculty and students at the Center for Cartoon Studies, represented by CCS Fellow Nicole Georges; and this year’s guest judge, Christopher Butcher of the Toronto comic book store The Beguiling and co-founder of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

Best Graphic Novel of the Year Shortlist

  • Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang. Published by First Second.
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg. Published by Little, Brown.
  • The Initiates: A Comic Artist and a Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs, by Étienne Davodeau. Published by NBM.
  • Julio’s Day by Gilbert Hernandez. Published by Fantagraphics.
  • Map of Days, by Robert Hunter. Published by Nobrow Press.
  • Paul Joins the Scouts, by Michel Rabagliati. Published by Conundrum Press.
  • The Property by Rutu Modan. Published by Drawn and Quarterly.
  • Sunny Vol. 1 and Sunny Vol. 2, by Taiyo Matsumoto. Published by VIZ Media.
  • Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée. Published by Drawn and Quarterly.
  • Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust. Published by Fantagraphics.

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American creator takes silver in Japanese manga competition

ParisThe Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced the winners of its seventh International Manga Award, a competition established in 2007 to encourage non-Japanese artists working in the manga style. In case you think the manga bubble has burst, consider that there were 256 entries from 53 countries this year, up from 245 entries for the 2013 contest.

The top winner was Bokbig, by Thai artist Prema Jatukanyaprateep, but the name that caught my eye is George Alexopoulos, who won the Silver Award for Paris. He’s been making comics and publishing them online since 2005, and his Go With Grace was one of the original Tokyopop OEL manga. You can read the first 28 pages of Paris on Alexopoulos’ website, and the whole book is available in print-on-demand format. It would be nice to be able to buy the whole book digitally, either via direct download or comiXology Submit. (Here’s an interview and some samples of his work, if you want to see more.)

Anyway, the list of winners is a good reminder that the manga market remains strong in Asia and Europe; the three top countries submitting entries were Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia, and there were winners from Belgium and Spain as well.

Bill Watterson wins Grand Prix at Angouleme

ANDREWS MCMEEL PUBLISHING CALVIN AND HOBBESCalvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson received the Grand Prix award this weekend in France at the 41st annual Angoulême International Comics Festival, honoring his lifetime achievement.

The prize is awarded to a living comics creator, and traditionally the winner serves as president of the jury for the following year’s festival; previous honorees have included Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman. Watterson, Alan Moore and Katsuhiro Otomo (who incidentally received a lifetime achievement award of his own this weekend) were the three finalists this year, with Alan Moore stating late last week that if he won, he would decline the prize. It will be interesting to see if Watterson accepts the prize or attends next year. Tom Spurgeon has some additional commentary on the win.

Other winners, also courtesy of the Comics Reporter and as noted on the Angouleme site, include:

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Comics nominees announced for 25th GLAAD Media Awards

young-avengers1-kiss

The nominees have been announced for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s 25th annual Media Awards, which honor outstanding portrayals of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

The nominees for outstanding comic book are:

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