Awards | Big Questions by Anders Nilsen has won the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize for 2012, the second such award given by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book. The organization also named four honorees: Freeway by Mark Kalesniko, Habibi by Craig Thompson, Life with Mr. Dangerous by Paul Hornschemeier and Zahra’s Paradise by Amir and Khalil. The awards will be presented during a ceremony at Penn State later this year. [Pennsylvania Center for the Book]
Publishing | IDW Publishing has promoted Dirk Wood to vice president of marketing. Wood joined IDW in 2010 as director of retail marketing. [IDW Publishing]
Conventions | Misha Davenport previews this weekend’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, where each week we talk about what comics, graphic novels, books and what-have-you we’ve been reading lately. This week our special guest is Brian Ralph, creator of Daybreak, Cave-In and Reggie 12.
To see what Brian and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.
Legal | The judge in the trial of former retailer Michael George banned note-taking in the courtroom on Friday out of concern that two women were sharing information with George’s wife Renee. George is on trial for the 1990 murder of his first wife Barbara, and Renee George has been barred from hearing the testimony of other witnesses because she may be called to the stand herself. Also, on Friday a witness testified he had called George’s store at around 5:30 on the day of the murder to ask why an Amazing Spider-Man comic had jumped in value from $5 to $40. Michael Renaud said he spoke to George for about five minutes and that George seemed to be in a hurry to get off the phone; the testimony places him at the crime scene rather than at his mother’s house, where he claimed to be at the time of Barbara’s murder. [The Detroit Free Press]
Conventions | Nearly 5,000 people turned out over the weekend for the second annual Detroit Fanfare, held at the Cobb Center. That’s slightly more than the number who attended the first event at the Dearborn Hyatt Regency, but half what organizer Dennis Barger Jr. had hoped for this year. [The Detroit News]
AdHouse Books announced on their blog yesterday that Duncan the Wonder Dog, by Adam Hines, has won the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize. This is the first year for the prize, which is sponsored by the Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, which is affiliated with the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. The judges award the prize, which consists of $2,500 and a copy of the Library of America’s two-volume set of Lynd Ward’s graphic novels, to the best U.S. or Canadian graphic novel published in the previous calendar year by a living author.
Duncan sold out in print back in January, and AdHouse has published it as a digital graphic novel while waiting for the new books to arrive. Hines has also posted Show One at his blog, although he mentions plans to take it down this month when the print edition becomes available again.
Fantagraphics notes on their blog that Drew Weing’s Set to Sea is a runner-up for the prize. The Center for the Book people haven’t sent out an official announcement yet, but the internet runs faster than the printing press. On that note, it’s interesting that both these book awards went to graphic novels that have significant digital releases—and in fact, are both available in their entirety online. It seems like the opposite of Ward’s handmade, low-tech ethos, but really it isn’t—handmade by their creators with minimal editorial interference, webcomics really are the new woodcuts.
(Via The Beat.)
This year’s panel of Eisner judges have named four creators to the Will Eisner Awards Comics Hall of Fame: Ernie Bushmiller, Jack Jackson (Jaxon), Marty Nodell, and Lynd Ward. Traditionally, the judges pick two automatic inductees, but in the official press release, Eisner Awards administrator Jackie Estrada said, “The judges felt that some significant contributors to comics’ history were being consistently overlooked by the regular voter. Choosing only two creators to induct was proving too difficult this year. The solution they chose was to single out individuals from four aspects of the medium.”
The quartet certainly is eclectic. Nancy, originally a spinoff of the flapper comic Fritzi Ritz, has been a staple of the funny pages since the 1930s, and although it seems trivial to look at (Art Spiegelman once commented that it was easier to read Nancy than to not read Nancy), Bushmiller has his admirers. Jaxon was one of the first underground cartoonists and co-founded Rip Off Press with Gilbert Shelton (creator of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers). Nodell, a comics artist from the Golden Age, worked for DC and Marvel before they were DC and Marvel and was the co-creator of the Green Lantern. And Ward has just returned to public notice with the Library of America’s new edition of his wordless graphic novels, which were created entirely as woodcuts.
Voters (who must be active in the comics industry in some way) will get to choose four more inductees from a list of 14: Bill Blackbeard, Chris Claremont, Kim Deitch, Rudolph Dirks, Mort Drucker, Jenette Kahn, George McManus, Dennis O’Neill, Harvey Pekar, Cliff Sterrett, Roy Thomas, Rodolphe Töpffer, George Tuska, and Marv Wolfman. The last day to vote is March 25, and the results will be announced at Comic-Con in San Diego next July.