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Los Angeles Times creates Graphic Novel category for its 2009 Book Prizes

3071829184f05008b883ij2I’m old enough to still find it absolutely delightful when a mainstream publication recognizes excellence in comics, particularly when the comics it deems excellent really are excellent. And that’s certainly the case with the finalists for the LA Times’ inaugural Graphic Novel Book Prize:

Luba by Gilbert Hernandez
GoGo Monster by Taiyo Matsumoto
Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco

That’s a pretty outstanding group. In other comics-related Book Prize news, McSweeney’s publisher Dave Eggers will be presented with the Times’ first-ever Innovators Award, while cartoonist Shaun Tan’s Tales from Outer Suburbia is a finalist for the Young Adult Literature Book Prize.

According to the announcement of the finalists in all categories — which, again to my delight, treats the addition of the Graphic Novel category like a major selling point — the winners will be announced April 23. My sincere congratulations go out to all the finalists.

(via Bryan Lee O’Malley)

McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama takes comics stars to the streets

James Stokoe's poster for the San Francisco Panorama

James Stokoe's poster for the San Francisco Panorama

Wow, newspaper nostalgia is quite the hot ticket for comics these days, huh?

First there was Kramers Ergot 7, Sammy Harkham and Alvin Buenaventura’s avant-garde anthology, printed at a massive size meant to emulate Winsor McKay’s full-page Little Nemo in Slumberland newspaper strips. Then there was Wednesday Comics, DC’s 12-issue anthology title, published on fold-out newsprint. And now there’s the San Francisco Panorama, a one-time-only “21st-century newspaper prototype” that doubles as the 33rd issue of author/publisher Dave Eggers’ McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern.

Boasting 320 pages of original content, the broadsheet-format Panorama contains full-color comics from Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Seth, Jessica Abel, Adrian Tomine, Kim Deitch, Ivan Brunetti, Gene Yang, Alison Bechdel, Erik Larsen (still can’t get over that) and more. It also features prose contributions of varying stripes from such comics-relevant authors as Michael Chabon, Chip Kidd, Stephen King, Junot Díaz and Michelle Tea, and a poster of the 49ers’ Patrick Willis drawn by Wonton Soup‘s James Stokoe. And there’s all the other stuff you’d expect from a newspaper — journalism, sports, features, a magazine, a book section and more. Only, y’know, all fancy-pants.

The New York Times reports that the paper has already sold through the limited run made available for sale on the San Francisco streets yesterday at the low price of $5, but it’s still available (or will be soon, that is) at the full $16 pricetag at bookstores and at the McSweeney’s site. Click here for an extensive preview.

(Times link via Pop Candy.)

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