The American Library Association’s yearly awards highlight the best books for child and teen readers, and the awards encompass not just graphic novels, but also illustrated and prose works. It wasn’t clear that graphic novels could be eligible, but two came out with big awards this year: El Deafo by CeCe Bell, her work about growing up deaf, won the Newbery Honor for outstanding contribution to children’s literature, and Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer won the Caldecott Honor for a distinguished work in illustrated works for children. This One Summer also received the Printz Honor as the best book for teens. This is a BIG deal for these two books–they’re going to get those shiny medals printed on their covers–and it’s awesome to see mainstream literary awards recognizing graphic novel contributions.
Mike Gagnon, Editor-in-Chief for Boom Studios for the last fives years, gives a very interesting interview about his vision for the publisher and its venture to Push Comics Forward in what is aiming to be an industry-wide conversation about the importance of diversity and inclusivity in stories and creators. He talks about a movement going on in comics to push in that direction, and I think it’s good (and business savvy) for Boom to state it outright and try to build a reputation around those ideas. For my money, Boom Studios is a publisher coming out with some of the most varied and interesting independent series on the market today, so it’s great to hear their Editor-in-Chief talk frankly about what they want to be as a publisher and that they’re committed to producing interesting, inclusive stories.
Known for his critically acclaimed work on The End of the Fucking World and Celebrated Summer, Chuck Forsman is best recognized for his stripped down, clean cartooning. His new work Revenger is a turn in a different direction with more realistic, dramatic style that is saturated in color instead of his usual black and white. It can be hard to gain traction in small press comics and Foreman was becoming well-known for his style, so it’s interesting to see him take a leap in a new direction rather than stick to what had gained him accolades in the past.