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Comics A.M. | Nominees announced for Cartoonist of the Year

Heart of the City

Heart of the City

Awards | Wiley Miller (Non Sequitur), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Hilary Price (Rhymes With Orange) and Mark Tatulli (Heart of the City, Lio) has been nominated for the 2013 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. The winner will be announced May 24 during the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Awards dinner in San Diego. [National Cartoonists Society]

Political cartoons | Cartoonist Majida Shaheen refused an interview recently, saying she continues to feel “threats and pressure” over a cartoon she posted on her Facebook page depicting he military wing of Islamic Jihad as a dog. However, Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab says his organization isn’t behind them. “No one attacked her officially from the part of the movement. I followed up on the comments on Facebook, and these comments do not express our point of view. We consider her to be merely an unknown artist seeking fame,” he said, adding, “Every person has the right to express their convictions. Yet, we were upset with the indecent approach, which is not part of freedom of expression.” [Al Monitor]

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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).

Comics A.M. | Two Japanese men arrested for uploading manga

Gin Tama

Gin Tama

Legal | The Hiroshima, Japan, police arrested a 36-year-old man on Monday for illegally uploading the manga series Gin Tama to the Internet; he was charged with copyright infringement. This comes just a few days after the arrest of another unemployed man for uploading a volume of Berserk. In both cases, the publisher and the creator of the manga involved have sued the suspects. [Crunchyroll]

Creators | Batman writer Scott Snyder talks about the women of Gotham City. [Comicosity]

Creators | In the first part of a two-part interview conducted at WonderCon, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick discusses how she grew up reading comics in the 1970s, her work for Tokyopop and Marvel, and what Carol Danvers means to her fans. [Toucan]

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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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Comics A.M. | Artists rally in support of jailed Tunisian cartoonist

"Free Jabeur"

“Free Jabeur”

Legal | Artists from around the world are drawing in support of Tunisian cartoonist Jabeur Mejri, who is serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for posting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad online. Just two weeks after Tunisia adopted a new constitution that protects freedom of expression, Jabeur’s supporters have launched a “100 Cartoons for Jabeur” website and released a statement saying, “While freedom of expression and conscience are guaranteed in this founding text, the continued detention of Jabeur Mejri is contrary to the spirit and the text of the constitution.” [Yahoo News]

Publishing | Andrews McMeel’s AMP! division will publish Reading With Pictures: The Graphic Textbook, a collection of graphic stories on a number of topics, including math, history and social studies, that is designed to fit into the Common Core standards. The creators involved include Roger Langridge, Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey. While this is big news for Reading With Pictures, the organization behind the book, it’s also an interesting move for AMP!, which has been focusing on kid-friendly reprint collections of its parent company’s newspaper strips. [The Beat]

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Deadline for Will Eisner library grants approaching

New York The Big City

New York The Big City

The deadline for the new Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries is fast approaching — any library that would like to apply has until Feb. 7 to turn in their applications.

The pair of grants were announced in December by The American Library Association and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant will provide support to a library that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs, while the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant will provide support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service, program or initiative.

“The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries is a significant grant award that recognizes libraries for their contributions to the growth of graphic literature, sequential art, and comics as a literary medium. We are excited to give more opportunities to libraries to shape new ideas about graphic novels at their library,” said Carl Gropper, the President of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, in a press release. “Will Eisner is recognized as one of America’s most influential comic artists. But this was not always the case. Will Eisner stayed true to his passion that sequential art served a wide range of needs. Today, graphic novels are one of the fastest growing categories in publishing and bookselling. These novels are more complex and varied in content than the comics that preceded them. They are subject to academic study, library and museum exhibits and prestigious literary awards.”

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Comics A.M. | ComiXology updates app with Wish List, more

comiXology

comiXology

Digital comics | ComiXology has released an update for its Comics iOS app with a few fixes and a new feature: a Wish List. The app also now supports Manga Fixed Format. [App Advice]

Digital comics | Rob Salkowitz takes a look at the issues surrounding digital comics platforms for libraries and discusses one possible solution, iVerse’s Comics Plus Library Edition. [ICv2]

Digital comics | Tyler James offers some solid advice for creators planning to use comiXology Submit. [Comix Tribe]

Conventions | Steve Duin has a largely tepid assessment of last weekend’s Wizard World Comic Con, declaring, “Thank God for Emerald City.” [The Oregonian]

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Comics A.M. | American Library Association honors ‘March,’ ‘Relish’ and more

March: Book One

March: Book One

Awards | March: Book One, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, was honored this morning at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia with the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults. Other youth media winners include: Lucy Knisley’s Relish, the Alex Award as one of the 10 best adult books that appeal to teens; Chip Kidd’s Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design, a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults; and Brian Selznick, recipient of the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award. [press release]

Passings | One of Fiji’s best-known cartoonists, Laisiasa Naulumatua, was remembered by his former editor as someone who relied on humor rather than venom to make his point. A number of former government officials, including a former prime minister, came to pay their respects to the cartoonist, who used the pen name Lai, at his funeral on Saturday. [The Fiji Times]

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Comics A.M. | Small Press Expo table lottery begins Friday

SPX

SPX

Conventions | Registration begins Friday for the Small Press Expo 2014 Exhibitor Table Lottery, a new system designed to both bring the old process into the 21st century and address rapidly increasing demand. Online registration will continue through Feb. 14, with lottery winners announced on Feb. 21. There’s a good deal of information to absorb, but convention organizers have created a lottery FAQ. [SPX]

Publishing | Reports of the demise of Ape Entertainment turns out to have been premature. The company, which had one of the bestselling digital comics a few years ago with Pocket God, has been quiet of late and recently canceled a number of outstanding orders. However, COO Brett Erwin emerged Tuesday to say the publisher is simply going through a period of reorganization after the departure of CEO David Hedgecock, who now works for IDW. Ape will release a new Fruit Ninja comic at the end of the month. [The Beat]

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Comics A.M. | Author’s crusade to get Bill Finger credit

Bill Finger, by Ty Templeton

Bill Finger, by Ty Templeton

Creators | Author Marc Tyler Nobleman tells Michael Cavna about his crusade to gain recognition for Bill Finger as one of the co-creators of Batman — including a push to have Google honor him with a Google Doodle on his birthday: “As it currently stands, even the mighty Christopher Nolan could not legally credit Bill as co-creator. However, prior to The Dark Knight, I asked DC if they could use non-subjective language to acknowledge Bill. I proposed: ‘Batman was first called “the Dark Knight” in Batman #1, in 1940, in a story written by Bill Finger.’ DC publications already regularly credit Bill for that story, and the movie’s title doesn’t even include the word ‘Batman’ — it is wholly a phrase coined by Bill Finger. Alas, they said no.” [Comic Riffs]

Passings | Tulsa, Oklahoma, cartoonist Larry Pendleton, who created the syndicated single-panel cartoon Graphic Nature, has died at the age of 59. [Tulsa World]

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Grand Prix shortlist announced for Angouleme

Angoleme 2014The Angoulême International Comics Festival is just around the corner, and the shortlist for the Grand Prix de la Ville d’Angoulême was announced on Tuesday:

Binet, Christophe Blain, Charles Burns, Pierre Christin, Daniel Clowes, Richard Corben, Bernard Cosey, Étienne Davodeau, Nicolas de Crécy, Edika, Emmanuel Guibert, Hermann, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Manu Larcenet, Milo Manara, Lorenzo Mattotti, Alan Moore, Katsuhiro Otomo, Quino, Marjane Satrapi, Joann Sfar, Jiro Taniguchi, Jean Van Hamme, Chris Ware et Bill Watterson.

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, but the award usually goes to someone working in French-language comics.

There was a bit of controversy last year when juror Lewis Trondheim leaked the finalists on Twitter: Alan Moore, Katsohiro Otomo, Akira Toriyama, Chris Ware, and the eventual winner, Willem, who is well known in French-speaking countries but less so in the rest of the world (the poster above is his work). The Grand Prix winner is chosen by a combination of votes from French creators and a jury of past winners (l’Académie des Grands Prix), and the word on the street last year was that Toriyama was the creators’ choice but the jury overruled that and went with Willem. Toriyama was given a special prize commemorating the 40th anniversary of Dragon Ball.

If I’m reading the French article right, the process will be different this year, with the list being narrowed down to three names in a preliminary round of voting and the winner being determined by a second round in which the creators and the jurors will have an equal say.

Stan Lee Excelsior Award unveils 2014 shortlist

indesctructible hulk-agent of shieldThe shortlist has been announced for the 2014 Stan Lee Excelsior Award, whose winners will be selected by students from 77 secondary schools across the United Kingdom.

Established in 2011 by Paul Register, a school librarian in Sheffield, the awards are designed to promote comics and to encourage children and teenagers to read. The winners — first, second and third place — will be announced in July. The nominees are:

  • Indestructible Hulk: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., by Mark Waid and Leinil Yu (Marvel)
  • Quantum and Woody: The World’s Worst Superhero Team, by James Asmus and Tom Fowler (Valiant)
  • The Judas Coin, by Walter Simonson (DC Comics)
  • Aliens: Inhuman Condition, by John Layman and Sam Kieth (Dark Horse)
  • Earth 2: The Gathering, by James Robinson and Nicola Scott (DC Comics)
  • Sherlock Bones, by Yuma Ando and Yuki Sato (Kodansha)
  • Captain America: Castaway in Dimension Z, by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr. (Marvel)
  • The Halloween Legion, by Martin Powell and Thomas Boatwright (Dark Horse)

Comics A.M. | ‘Attack on Titan’ closes in on ‘One Piece’ in Japan

Attack on Titan, Vol. 10

Attack on Titan, Vol. 10

Manga | While Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan has been burning up the bookstore sales charts in the United States, the dystopian manga is also giving the smash-hit One Piece a run for its money in Japan. According to market research firm Oricon, Attack on Titan sold more than 15.9 million copies in the past year, just behind One Piece‘s 18.1 million (Kuroko’s Basketball is a distance third with about 8.8 million). Of course,  Eiichiro Oda insanely popular pirate manga has little to fear: The 72-volume (and counting) series has 300 million copies in print in Japan, and 345 million worldwide. Kodansha’s Attack on Titan, meanwhile, is on its 11th volume. [ICv2]

Auctions | Select titles from Don and Maggie Thompson’s collection of rare comics — among them, The Avengers #1, Journey Into Mystery #83 and The Incredible Hulk #1 — sold at auction last week for a combined $835,384. A 9.6 copy of Tales of Suspense #39 alone fetched $262,900. [Heritage Auctions]

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‘Hawkeye’ and ‘Saga’ among Angoulême official selections

hawkeye-v1Hawkeye, Vol. 1, by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Javier Pulido, and Saga, Vol. 1, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, are among the 35 official selections for the 41st annual Angoulême International Comics Festival, to be held Jan. 30-Feb. 2.

Other titles familiar to North American audiences include: Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert; Attack on Titan, Vol. 1, by Hajime Isayama; Are You My Mother?, by Alison Bechdel; Goliath, by Tom Gauld; My Friend Dahmer, by Derf; and The Property, by Rudu Modan.

In addition, the French-language editions of Paul Pope’s Battling Boy and Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl are among the nominees for the Sélection Jeunesse (books for young readers), while the eighth volume of Scalped, by Jason Aaron, R.M. Guera, Jason Latour, David Furno, received a nod for Prix Polar (crime). The reprints category also has several books readers should recognize.

The full list can be found on the Angoulême website.


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