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Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and whatever else we’ve been checking out lately. Today we are joined by guest Evan Young, an “influential pioneer” of digital literature and creator of the digital graphic novel The Carrier. He’s currently raising funds for his next project, The Last West, via Kickstarter, so head over there and check it out.
To see what Evan and the Robot 6 team have been reading, click below.
Finalists and winners are selected by panels of three judges composed of published authors who specialize in each genre or category. The winners will be presented April 29 in a ceremony at the Chandler Auditorium in Los Angeles as a prelude to the 16th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
The finalists in the graphic novel category are:
• Adam Hines, Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One (AdHouse Books)
• Dash Shaw, Bodyworld (Pantheon)
• Karl Stevens, The Lodger (KSA Publishing)
• C. Tyler, You’ll Never Know, Book Two: Collateral Damage (Fantagraphics)
• Jim Woodring, Weathercraft (Fantagraphics)
For the full list of finalists in all categories, visit the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes website.
Over the last couple of weeks Tim O’Shea and I have been reaching out to various folks around the comics industry, asking them one simple question: What are you excited about for 2010? We asked them to mention something they were anticipating, as a fan, and also something they were working on (if, of course, it wasn’t top secret). So we’re ending today with the first of three of these round-ups; watch for the other two to be posted sometime tomorrow.
I’m excited by a NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL from Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover that is coming out from Top Shelf this year, that I don’t think I can name because they haven’t formally announced it yet. But really, those two names and a full length work should be all you need to hear to know I’m right.
What I’m most excited about that I’m involved with comes out in just a few weeks, it’s AVENGERS VS. ATLAS from Marvel, where I think my collaborators Gabriel Hardman, Elizabeth Breitweiser and I have really gelled. Even if you’ve never read an Agents of Atlas story, I bet you’ll enjoy seeing the original lineup of The Avengers back on the scene.
Or you’ll at least want in for the LAVA MEN.
Jeff Parker writes a whole bunch of great comics for Marvel, including all the Agents of Atlas projects and Thunderbolts. He also helped us out last year with our Robot Love posts at Valentine’s, in a post titled I ♥ learning from comics. Tim O’Shea also interviewed him about Underground earlier this year, along with artist Steve Lieber.
C. Tyler‘s graphic memoir (the first book of three), You’ll Never Know (Book 1): A Good and Decent Man, has been getting a great deal of praise as of late. Our own, Chris Mautner, noted (in his review of Tyler’s book) that it “certainly deserves any accolades it receives”. The memoir (as described by Fantagraphics): “tells the story of the 50-something author’s relationship with her World War II veteran father, and how his war experience shaped her childhood and affected her relationships in adulthood. ‘You’ll Never Know’ refers not only to the title of her parents’ courtship song from that era, but also to the many challenges the author encountered in uncovering the difficult and painful truths about her Dad’s service — challenges exacerbated by her own tumultuous family life.” Even though she’s quite busy, she was generous enough to recently entertain a few of my questions via email.
C. Tyler: Before we get started, I have to say this first: Bill Murray, I love you and I’m ready to go on that date, so please call.
Now what were those questions?
Tim O’Shea: Are you annoyed, pleased or indifferent when reviewers of the book liken it on some level to Maus?
Tyler: Maus is such an important work. To be likened on some level to Maus: unbelievable. However, my answer comes more from a personal place.
When I first read the New York Times Review by Douglas Wolk, I was ready to bust out cryin’ with joy. You see, Art Spiegelman was one of the first official cartoonists I met. I was part of the fan team that helped with the first Raw promotions, hanging up fliers all over Manhattan. This was 1982 maybe? It felt so cool to be part of his inner circle and close to the early excitement he was feeling about Maus. I remember we were in a cab once on the way back from a Raw party and I was thinking how my Dad was over there, too, as part of the armed effort that eventually liberated his Dad. And his Mother. But I never believed that I could ever produce a work that would be mentioned in the same sentence.