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Another year, another Eisners completed! Check out the full list of nominees below. Winners have been bolded. Congrats to everyone who helped make this year the best in comics yet!
Best Short Story
“Beginning’s End,” by Rina Ayuyang, muthamagazine.com
“Corpse on the Imjin!” by Peter Kuper, in Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World (Simon & Schuster)
“Rule Number One,” by Lee Bermejo, in Batman Black and White #3 (DC)
“The Sound of One Hand Clapping,” by Max Landis & Jock, in Adventures of Superman #41-42 (DC) “When the Darkness Presses,” by Emily Carroll
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Astro City #16: “Wish I May” by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo/DC) Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson (Dark Horse) Madman in Your Face 3D Special, by Mike Allred (Image) Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1 (Marvel) The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (DC)
Best Continuing Series
Astro City, by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo) Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain) Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction, David Aja, & Annie Wu (Marvel) Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image) Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour (Image) The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, & Stefano Gaudiano (Image/Skybound)
Best Limited Series
Daredevil: Road Warrior, by Mark Waid & Peter Krause (Marvel Infinite Comics) Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW) The Multiversity, by Grant Morrison et al. (DC) The Private Eye, by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate) The Sandman: Overture, by Neil Gaiman & J. H. Williams III (Vertigo/DC)
Best New Series
The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Image) Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box) Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona (Marvel) Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel) The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (Image)
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
BirdCatDog, by Lee Nordling & Meritxell Bosch (Lerner/Graphic Universe) A Cat Named Tim And Other Stories, by John Martz (Koyama Press) Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories, edited by Traci N. Todd & Elizabeth Kawasaki (VIZ) Mermin, Book 3: Deep Dives, by Joey Weiser (Oni) The Zoo Box, by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke (First Second)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)
Batman Li’l Gotham, vol. 2, by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen (DC) El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams) I Was the Cat, by Paul Tobin & Benjamin Dewey (Oni) Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW) Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse, by Art Baltazar & Franco (DC)
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
Doomboy, by Tony Sandoval (Magnetic Press) The Dumbest Idea Ever, by Jimmy Gownley (Graphix/Scholastic) Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box) Meteor Men, by Jeff Parker & Sandy Jarrell (Oni) The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew (First Second) The Wrenchies, by Farel Dalrymple (First Second)
Best Humor Publication
The Complete Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson (Andrews McMeel) Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. by Jim Benton (NBM) Groo vs. Conan, by Sergio Aragonés, Mark Evanier, & Tom Yeates (Dark Horse) Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel) Superior Foes of Spider-Man, by Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber (Marvel)
In the Dark: A Horror Anthology, edited by Rachel Deering (Tiny Behemoth Press/IDW) Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, edited by Josh O’Neill, Andrew Carl, & Chris Stevens (Locust Moon) Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It, edited by Anne Ishii, Chip Kidd, & Graham Kolbeins (Fantagraphics) Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World, edited by Monte Beauchamp (Simon & Schuster) To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)
Best Reality-Based Work
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury) Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories, by MariNaomi (2d Cloud/Uncivilized Books) El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams) Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 2, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics) Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood, by Nathan Hale (Abrams) To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)
Best Graphic Album—New
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, by Stephen Collins (Picador) Here, by Richard McGuire (Pantheon) Kill My Mother, by Jules Feiffer (Liveright) The Motherless Oven, by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero) Seconds, by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Ballantine Books) This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki (First Second)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint
Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands Omnibus (Magnetic Press) How to Be Happy, by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics) Jim, by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics) Sock Monkey Treasury, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics) Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll (McElderry Books)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips (at least 20 years old)
Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo, edited by Alexander Braun (TASCHEN) Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan: The Sunday Comics, 1933–1935, by Hal Foster, edited by Brendan Wright (Dark Horse) Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, by Tove Jansson, edited by Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly) Pogo, vol. 3: Evidence to the Contrary, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly & Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics) Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, vols. 5-6, by Floyd Gottfredson, edited by David Gerstein & Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old)
The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, edited by Gary Groth, with Mike Catron (Fantagraphics) Steranko Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW) Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics) Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Son, by Don Rosa, edited by David Gerstein (Fantagraphics) Walt Kelly’s Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics, vols. 1–2, edited by Daniel Herman (Hermes) Witzend, by Wallace Wood et al., edited by Gary Groth, with Mike Catron (Fantagraphics)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material
Beautiful Darkness, by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët (Drawn & Quarterly) Blacksad: Amarillo, by Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse) Corto Maltese: Under the Sign of Capricorn, by Hugo Pratt (IDW/Euro Comics) Jaybird, by Lauri & Jaakko Ahonen (Dark Horse/SAF) The Leaning Girl, by Benoît Peeters & François Schuiten (Alaxis Press)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
All You Need Is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Takeshi Obata & yoshitoshi ABe (VIZ) In Clothes Called Fat, by Moyoco Anno (Vertical) Master Keaton, vol 1, by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika, & Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ) One-Punch Man, by One & Yusuke Murata (VIZ) Showa 1939–1944 and Showa 1944–1953: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly) Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki, by Mamoru Hosada & Yu (Yen Press)
Jason Aaron, Original Sin, Thor, Men of Wrath (Marvel); Southern Bastards (Image)
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Captain Marvel (Marvel); Pretty Deadly (Image)
Grant Morrison, The Multiversity (DC); Annihilator (Legendary Comics)
Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image); Private Eye (Panel Syndicate)
G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel) Gene Luen Yang, Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse); The Shadow Hero (First Second)
Sergio Aragonés, Sergio Aragonés Funnies (Bongo); Groo vs. Conan (Dark Horse)
Charles Burns, Sugar Skull (Pantheon)
Stephen Collins, The Giant Beard That Was Evil (Picador)
Richard McGuire, Here (Pantheon)
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse) Raina Telgemeier, Sisters (Graphix/Scholastic)
Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
Mike Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)
Frank Quitely, Multiversity (DC)
François Schuiten, The Leaning Girl (Alaxis Press) Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
Babs Tarr, Batgirl (DC)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Lauri & Jaakko Ahonen, Jaybird (Dark Horse)
Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
Mike Del Mundo, Elektra (Marvel)
Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad: Amarillo (Dark Horse) J. H. Williams III, The Sandman: Overture (Vertigo/DC)
Best Cover Artist
Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics Darwyn Cooke Month Variant Covers (DC)
Mike Del Mundo, Elektra, X-Men: Legacy, A+X, Dexter, Dexter Down Under (Marvel)
Francesco Francavilla, Afterlife with Archie (Archie); Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight (Dark Horse); The Twilight Zone, Django/Zorro (Dynamite); X-Files (IDW)
Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
Phil Noto, Black Widow (Marvel)
Alex Ross, Astro City (Vertigo/DC); Batman 66: The Lost Episode, Batman 66 Meets Green Hornet (DC/Dynamite)
Laura Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)
Nelson Daniel, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, Judge Dredd, Wild Blue Yonder (IDW)
Lovern Kindzierski, The Graveyard Book, vols. 1-2 (Harper)
Matthew Petz, The Leg (Blue Creek Creative/Top Shelf) Dave Stewart, Hellboy in Hell, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, Shaolin Cowboy, Aliens: Fire and Stone, DHP (Dark Horse)
Matthew Wilson, Adventures of Superman (DC); The Wicked + The Divine (Image), Daredevil, Thor (Marvel)
Joe Caramagna, Ms. Marvel, Daredevil (Marvel)
Todd Klein, Fables, The Sandman: Overture, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC); Nemo: The Roses of Berlin (Top Shelf)
Max, Vapor (Fantagraphics)
Jack Morelli, Afterlife with Archie, Archie, Betty and Veronica, etc. (Archie) Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows) Comic Book Creator, edited by Jon B. Cooke (TwoMorrows)
Comic Book Resources, edited by Jonah Weiland & Albert Ching, www.comicbookresources.com Comics Alliance, edited by Andy Khouri, Caleb Goellner, Andrew Wheeler, & Joe Hughes, www.comicsalliance.com tcj.com edited by Dan Nadel & Timothy Hodler (Fantagraphics)
Best Comics-Related Book
Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas (4 vols.), edited by M. Keith Booker (ABC-CLIO) Creeping Death from Neptune: The Life and Comics of Basil Wolverton, by Greg Sadowski (Fantagraphics) Genius Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, vol. 3, by Dean Mullaney & Bruce Canwell (IDW/LOAC) What Fools These Mortals Be: The Story of Puck, by Michael Alexander Kahn & Richard Samuel West (IDW/LOAC) 75 Years of Marvel Comics: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen, by Roy Thomas & Josh Baker (TASCHEN)
Best Scholarly/Academic Work
American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife, by A. David Lewis (Palgrave Macmillan) Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics, by Andrew Hoberek (Rutgers University Press) Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books, by Michael Barrier (University of California Press) Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews, edited by Sarah Lightman (McFarland) The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay, by Thierry Smolderen, tr. by Bart Beaty & Nick Nguyen (University Press of Mississippi) Wide Awake in Slumberland: Fantasy, Mass Culture, and Modernism in the Art of Winsor McCay, by Katherine Roeder (University Press of Mississippi)
Best Publication Design
Batman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti/DC) The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics) Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, designed by Jim Rugg (Locust Moon) Street View, designed by Pascal Rabate (NBM/Comics Lit) Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo, designed by Anna Tina Kessler (TASCHEN)
The Academy of American Poets has selected award winning poet Carolyn Forché to judge the 2016 Walt Whitman Award, a prestigious honor with many benefits.
The endowments include $5,000, a book contract with Graywolf Press, and guaranteed book sales. The Academy of American Poets will buy and distribute thousands of copies of the title, which will be published in 2017, to its members. The prize also includes a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy. In addition, the poet will be featured in American Poets magazine.
Submissions will be accepted between September 1 and November 1, 2015. The winner will be revealed in April 2016, during National Poetry Month.
It was just less than a year ago that my then 9 year old did something I felt was especially meaningful and beautiful in her development as a reader. For the first time in her life she found a poem which she loved so very much, she copied it out and stuck it by her bed.
In case you can’t read the fading words, the title of the poem is “If all the world were paper” and it is by Joseph Coelho:
M found it in an anthology with the exciting title “Werewolf Club Rules” – a whole book of poems by Joseph Coehlo – which earlier this year was shortlisted for the 2015 CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA). The winners of this award get announced next week, but because all shortlisted volumes deserve celebrating, today I’m part of a blog tour highlighting this wide ranging selection of fantastic poetry.
I’m really very pleased (as is M) to have Joseph Coehlo stop by today and share a piece he’s written for us, about “The Ultimate Writers’ Tip”. Over now to Joseph:
“I’m a sucker for writers’ tips – in fact I have Lester Dents Plot Map for writing pulp fiction nailed to the wall by my desk. I’ve read and re-read Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ and I’ve been thoroughly depressed by Murakami’s discipline. I continually dip into various Youtube videos and blog posts and yes good old fashioned books on the subject. So when pondering this blog I found myself thinking…
“What can I add that hasn’t been said before?”
it turns out… quite a lot actually. So there. Why do we writers/wannabe writers/should be writers seek out “Writers’ Tips” I think it’s because we’re looking for that elusive secret, trick, way-in that will make it easy for us. Neil Gaiman summed this up beautifully in this post.
Basically there is no easy way out – you have to “turn up for work” as Jeanette Winterson says, you have to sit with the intention of writing and keep doing that until something comes and it is hard and it doesn’t always flow and now with this wonderful thing we call the internet it is that much harder. I’ve spent many a day: writing a sentence – checking Facebook – writing a sentence – researching frogs on Pinterest for half-an-hour! – writing a sentence – watching funnies on Youtube – writing a sentence – watching a film and so on but by hook or crook I stay in that seat and by the end of the day I’ll have 500-1000 words added to the story or play or poem. So what can I add to this conversation other than WORK… WORK HARDER!!!! Well my partner recently entered the murky world of writing and we started chatting about process and I related this…
The hardest thing any writer has to deal with is their own inner critic we can all destroy our work by judging it as it is being birthed into the world, you wouldn’t do that to a child! And you shouldn’t do it to your work. You should treat your work like a child, be proud of it, show it off, believe in it and nurture it. If you expected a newborn to score a hat-trick straight out of the womb then you’re never going to have a football star daughter! But if you believe in her, encourage her and take her to the park with a ball… well then… Beckham WATCH OUT!
What I realised whilst chatting to my better-half was this… I think I find it easier to write than others might thanks largely to a background in physical theatre and improvisation. Bear with me… I was performing from 11 at Putney Theatre (then Group 64) and then went on to be part of BAC’s Youth Theatre working with wonderful directors and companies like Blind Summit and Gecko learning to express myself and to simply not hold back. This really is a state of mind and it took me time to realise that my expression, in whatever form, had value. That realisation in turn bled into my writing and whilst taking part in Performance Poetry courses with Apples and Snakes I wrote poems that didn’t hold back and did not apologise. As my life as a poet continued I had the pleasure of running creative projects in schools for Creative Partnerships who were big on the idea that you are allowed to fail! This blew my mind and seamlessly intertwined with all I had learnt through physical theatre and improv. The right to fail is every artists right and once you give yourself that gift you allow yourself to find the gold rather than quitting the dig because all you’re turning up is earth. That’s not to say you have a right to be lazy – but simply that you have the right to give it your best shot and to not always hit home.
The right to fail is particularly pertinent when working with young people I’ve seen amazing young writers in schools clam up out of fear of doing something “wrong” or berating themselves because what they have written is not “good enough” it took me a while to realise that these children were enacting the same fears and thought processes of adults! Society teaches us from a young age to judge ourselves and so we learn to clam up and deny ourselves the opportunity to become great artists. My poem ‘An A* from Miss Coo’ is on this very subject as the poems protagonist is constantly told “That can’t be right!/Do it again and do it right!”
My partner seemed to think these were words of worth so I lay them here for you, I hope they’re useful but if not… so be it… I’m a writer…. I’m allowed to fail”.
Joseph Coelho’s ‘Werewolf Club Rules and other poems’ is published by Frances Lincoln. Joseph Is currently touring Pop-Up Flashback – a theatre show for 5+ featuring poetry and giant pop-ups created by John O’leary. Learn more about the show here.
Another year, another successful ALA annual! We were so excited to be in San Francisco this year, especially in light of the recent SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage! What better city to be in than the one that elected Harvey Milk to public office and issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2004, kickstarting a fight for LGBTQ marriage rights in California?
We started off the conference with some great news: Foreword Reviews named us Indie Publisher of the Year 2014! We were thrilled and humbled by this honor. You can see what they said about us here.
We had a full signing schedule, including award-winning authors and illustrators, and a couple of debut authors. Another highlight was getting to meet many of our Children’s Book Press authors and illustrators who are based in California. We’ve often only emailed back and forth with them, so it was nice to finally meet in person!
We were also excited to see Frank Morrison honored at the Coretta Scott King breakfast for his illustrations in Little Melba and Her Big Trombone! He wrote a moving speech about breaking out of the mold, as Melba did:
I was dazzled by this six year old [Melba] hearing the rhythm and beats in her head. I believe this is true for all artists. First you have to have the love, then passion, next discipline, tenacity, and bravery. I truly believe this is what took Melba from performing on the steps with her grandfather in front of a dog at seven years old to performing in front of thousands on stages around the world. Let’s all encourage our youth to recognized their gifts and if they don’t fit the cookie cutter,
Break! The! Mold!
Other winners also gave contemplative, beautiful, and inspiring speeches (you can read Jacqueline Woodson’s here).
Publisher Jason Low participated in an Ignite Session with a presentation called “Diversity’s Action Plan,” a five minute talk packed with big ideas about how to create change in the publishing industry. If you missed it, you can watch all 5 minutes right here:
One key takeaway: we’re asking people to sign a petition for publishers to participate in our Diversity Baseline Survey, which will measure staff diversity in the publishing industry and give us a benchmark for improvement. If you haven’t signed yet, please take a minute to do so. We’ve now surpassed 1,500 signatures!
Valynne E. Maetani, debut author and winner of Tu Book‘s New Visions Award, was at the Pop Top stage to talk about her new YA mystery novel, Ink and Ashes. Afterwards, she signed books at our booth, and completely sold out!
It was a lot of fun to meet everyone and enjoy San Francisco, and we’re looking forward to Orlando next year!
What were your ALA highlights? Let us know in the comments!
David Hackett Fischer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, has won the 2015 Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Fischer will also receive $100,000 in prize money.
Here’s more from the press release: “Author of 15 major publications on topics ranging from the American Revolution to the logic of historical thought, Fischer received the American Enterprise Institute’s Irving Kristol Award in 2006 for his ‘pivotal role in reviving popular and academic interest in American history and its lessons for the present.’ Among his notable works are bestsellers and award-winners like Washington’s Crossing (Oxford University Press, 2004), a National Book Award finalist and 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner for history; Paul Revere’s Ride (Oxford, 1994), a 1996 Boston Globe Top 10 Book of the Year; Champlain’s Dream (Simon & Schuster/Knopf Canada, 2008), an internationally acclaimed biography published in English and French; and Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (Oxford, 1989), a groundbreaking study of the roots of essential American traits—a second volume of which is now in progress.”
Fischer will accept this award at a gala event which will be held at the Hilton Chicago on November 7. Some of the past winners include Sir Max Hastings, Allan Millett, and Tim O’Brien.
Hannah Wood, an Associate Editor at Harper, has won The Ashmead Award. The publishing prize honors book editor Lawrence Peel \"Larry\" Ashmead, who passed away in 2010.
Wood began her publishing career as an editorial intern at W.W. Norton, following by stints at two literary agencies, and worked as an editorial assistant at Doubleday. In 2013 she joined Harper where she now works as an Assistant Editor with Claire Wachtel. As a reward for The Ashmead Award, Wood will attend the Yale Publishing Course: Leadership Strategies in Book Publishing, July 19 – 24 in New Haven, CT.
“We had a superb field of candidates this year, but Hannah so impressed us with her dedication, skills and passion, her supportive interaction with authors, and her sharp wit and sense of humor, we knew that Larry would have loved working with her,” stated Brenda Segel, HarperCollins Sr. VP of Rights who spoke on behalf of the selection committee.
We’re just back from the ALA Annual Conference, and kicking off the long weekend with some happy news: Lee & Low Books was named Indie Publisher of the Year 2014 by Foreword Reviews! We are so thrilled, overjoyed, and humbled by this honor. Here’s what Foreword Reviews said about us at the Award Announcement:
Foreword presented Lee & Low Books with its Publisher of the Year award for the minority-owned company’s commitment to diverse voices in children’s literature. Lack of diversity in children’s literature has been a recent topic of discussion in the publishing world, but Lee & Low has focused on filling this void for a couple of decades. “For more than 20 years, Jason Low and his talented team have continued an honorable mission of increasing the number of diverse books available for children,” said Foreword Reviews Publisher Victoria Sutherland. “They are being honored by Foreword for more than books, however. We admire their leadership role in the indie publishing community.”
Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support. We are lucky to have such passionate fans, partners, and readers. Happy Fourth of July weekend, and we’ll see you next week!
Dan Santat is one of the hardest-working people in publishing. This is widely known among his followers on Twitter and Facebook, who often see him burning the midnight oil, and the editors and art directors at the several publishing houses with which he’s worked.
This is obvious in the number of books that bear his dynamic illustrations, in everything from picture books and chapter books to graphic novels. This is undeniable, because last year he created over five hundred pages of four-color illustrations.
This is unheard of.
But what Dan does isn’t just hard work. It takes a lot of guts too, a blind leap of faith that gave him the drive to sleep for only four hours a night for ten years, so that he could, time and again, turn in consistently great work — all while raising two young sons, Alek and Kyle, with his wife Leah, and taking care of a menagerie of pets.
Like Beekle, Dan Santat has been on a journey.
He was born in Brooklyn in 1975 to Adam and Nancy Santat, a Thai couple who immigrated to the United States in 1968. When he turned three, his parents moved the family to California, where they both eagerly awaited the day their only child would become a doctor.
When Dan graduated from the University of California, San Diego in microbiology, he found himself pulled by a calling that he’d had for many years but had never acted on. Rather than going on to dental school, he instead enrolled at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. There he saw something familiar — other students just like him who dreamed of a life filled with art. This is also where he met one of his closest friends, illustrator Peter Brown.
He then sailed through unknown waters and took on many different jobs, from texture artist and 3D modeler to concept art designer for video games, until he reached the children’s book world. In 2002, he met Scholastic editor Arthur Levine at a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference, which led to his first book, The Guild of Geniuses. Aside from developing a Disney animated television series, The Replacements, it was all books from there on.
Children’s book publishing is a strange place. The process is slow. It takes a lot of work. And most people don’t get paid very much.
In 2010, Dan was offered what most people would call a dream job. Google approached him, wanting him to become one of their Google Doodlers. Taking that job meant financial stability for his family. It would prove art school wasn’t a mistake. It would change his life.
He turned the job down.
It was not an easy decision, but he loved creating children’s books, and deep down, he knew he would look back and wonder “What if?” He also thought about the example he was setting for his sons and how he wanted them to also follow their dreams no matter how difficult. Determined to have no regrets, Dan became a work machine.
He took on as many projects as he could, always pushing himself to make the next book better. He woke up every morning at 6:30 to help his boys get to school and worked until 2 a.m. He illustrated over sixty books, and in 2014 alone, he had thirteen books published that featured his art. He drank so much coffee that he began roasting his own beans, even creating his own brand he called “Surly Asian Guy,” which he shared with friends, family, and colleagues. The coffee is bold, strong, and a touch bitter, but still quite pleasing — a little like Dan himself.
This grueling routine went on for years, and Dan assumed he could do it for more, but 2014 was rough. Family health emergencies led to hospitalizations, and multiple deadlines for big books left him with as few as twelve hours of sleep in an entire week. He was exhausted, and on his birthday last October he shared the following in a blog post: “I want and expect far too much than what I may be capable of. I’m thirty-nine and I feel tired.”
A few weeks later, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend began to appear on year-end “best of ” lists. Minh Le at The Huffington Post blog named it the Best Overall picture book of the year, and in his review he wrote, “As with all great books, Beekle has an air of inevitability about it. As if somewhere out there is an island of perfect stories just waiting for the right person to come along and imagine it into being.”
Up until then, Dan was known for his action-packed illustrations, full of humor and high energy, as seen in books such as Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World, The Three Ninja Pigs, and Chicken Dance. Beekle’sstory reflected his softer side and was inspired by Dan’s first child, his son Alek. Like Beekle imagining his real friend, Dan had wondered, before Alek’s birth, what his child would look and be like. A few years later, on Alek’s first day of school, Dan eased his son’s worries about making friends. “All it takes is one,” he’d said, just as when Alice finally meets Beekle and his friendship opens up for her the possibility for more.
The name “Beekle” itself comes from Alek’s first word, an early attempt at “bicycle.” There’s a video of one-year-old Alek pedaling a tricycle at Christmas, cheerfully exclaiming, “Beekle!” At the time, Dan’s wife Leah said the name would make a great picture book character. Years later, “Beekle” became an unimaginary friend.
The book began as a very short script, a few black-and-white sketches, and one full-color sample. Beekle had one eye, a hat and scarf, and a story that hinted at journey and adventure. Since he’d written only one picture-book text, and that over ten years earlier, writing did not come quickly to Dan. He took an ambitious approach at first. At one point, the story was a metaphor for the creative process, a tale of how
an author and illustrator come together on a picture book. But then he took a step back and adhered to the old adage of “speaking from the heart.” The minute you meet Dan you can tell he’s a captivating storyteller and speaker, and he soon realized that all he had to do was take those words out of his mouth and put them onto paper.
Throughout the process, Beekle and his story changed. Dan believes that in character design, every single element must serve a purpose. So Beekle got two eyes, because there was no reason for him to have just one. Beekle became even more amorphous, an ambiguous blob, because he was meant to be dreamed up by a shy young girl who thought she didn’t deserve any imaginary friend, much less an awesome one. Like a white sheet of paper, Beekle represented possibility and imagination.
He was also bestowed with a crown; while Beekle was simple and indistinct, he was always a king in Alice’s mind. He got one of the cutest butts in picture books, because creative director Dave Caplan would exclaim, “Look at that tuchus!” every time he saw it, and Dan, ever a professional with publishers, aimed to please.
While Dan took out some of the layers of the story, he added much to the overall design and illustration. The endpapers feature various children with their imaginary friends, each one specifically paired with the child’s interests. In the front endpapers Beekle stands alone, and in the back, there he is with Alice. The case cover reveals a cruder Beekle, as though he were hand-drawn by a child — in this case, we imagine it was done by Alice. On the front cover and in the book we see that while adults never pay attention to Beekle, animals do. The colors embark on a journey too, from the psychedelic rainbow palette of the imaginary world to the dark grays and blues of the real world. As the sun sets, Beekle sits perched atop a bare tree waiting for his friend, the sepia tones in the background matching his melancholy, and when he meets Alice at last, the world blooms with bright color.
Though the story itself took a step away from being about the creative process, the message is still there, on the pages where Alice shares her drawings with Beekle — each one echoing the previous pages in the story. So he got that in there after all. Touché, Dan.
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend is the culmination of hard work and hard-earned experience. With this book Dan felt he had finally reached his destination, which is why, for the first time in his career, he allowed himself a little hope. He thought that if all the stars were aligned, he might be in the running for a Caldecott Honor. That was all he could imagine.
When his cover appeared on that last Caldecott slide at the ALA Youth Media Awards, cheers erupted, and everyone, from the publishers he’s worked with to the large and loving community of authors and illustrators who’ve had his back for years, knew.
Dan Santat had done the unimaginable.
Dan Santat is the winner of the 2015 Caldecott Medal for The Adventures of Beekle: An Unimaginary Friend (Little, Brown). From the July/August 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. For more speeches, profiles, and articles click the tag ala 2015.
It is Friday afternoon and I’m sitting in a restaurant in Vancouver, B.C. In an hour, I will give my final talk of a two-day visit. In these two days, I’ve visited a number of schools in Vancouver — both independent and public. As I stood in front of each crowd, I was astonished by a thing I’ve not encountered for many years now — being the only African American in an otherwise incredibly diverse room. I kept thinking to myself — “We are all almost here.”
At the Hudson Children’s Book Festival in May, a young white reporter asked me, How has the award changed your life? I looked at her a moment, then said, Which award? She fell silent, looking confused. I was not inclined to fill the silence. In Brown Girl Dreaming I write, “Even the silence has a story to tell you. Just listen. Listen.” So I listened to the space grow between us — knowing the answer she would give was not the answer I wanted to hear. I knew her answer was going to come from her own sense of what is important in the world as she knew it. I held up the book and pointed to the CSK seal on it, letting more silence sit between us before I began in (as my partner likes to refer to it) my Joho Manner, to calmly and quietly break things down for her.
The Coretta Scott King Honor Award was given to me for the first time in 1995 for my book I Hadn’t Meant To Tell You This, a story of two girls growing up in Chauncey, Ohio — one wealthy and black, the other poor and white. Both being raised by their fathers. Because the book dealt with issues of, among other things, a deeply flawed health care system, friendship across lines of economic class, and sexual abuse, I was stunned and so pleased that the committee had awarded this book. But in 1996, when my novel From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun was given an Honor, while I was still young and nervous and new to the world of young people’s literature, I just thought, “Wow!” I had never dreamed that a book with a gay mom would even get published, let alone win a CSK Honor Award. I realized then that there were some people in this world who had my back — some people letting me know: “We got you.” Both of these moments changed my life.
And again my life was changed when the CSK committee gave the Author Award to my book Miracle’sBoys in 2001. That year, we learned that employees at the hotel where the awards ceremony was to be held were picketing. When the CSK members refused to cross the picket lines and, instead, canceled the ceremony, I knew I had found my people. In the way of our people always finding a way to make a way out of no way, my publisher and other publishers came together and organized the CSK Tea that Bryan Collier, the CSK Award winner for illustration, and I spoke at. The morning before that tea, I learned I was pregnant with our daughter, Toshi. To stand in that room and be among new family and old family, a generation coming, kindred spirits and people who deeply, deeply believed in me, was life-altering. And the years after these awards, when the CSK committee chose Locomotion and Each Kindness as Honor Books — launching those books into the world with their blessing, believing deeply…in me — these events have forever changed my life.
The first time I read Rudine Sims Bishop’s writing and understood the work I was brought here to do, my life was changed forever. The first time Deb Taylor brought me to the Enoch Pratt Free Library, my life was changed forever. The first time I hugged Walter Dean Myers, sat beside Virginia Hamilton and basked in the warmth of her smile, snapped a photo with Tom Feelings, read Stevie by John Steptoe — my life was changed forever. Every time I get to be in a room with Dr. Henrietta Smith, my life is changed.
So while there are some who will try to find ways to erase the magnitude of this award, the amazingness of us and our work — there are many more who know the importance of our stories in the world. So to the Coretta Scott King committee who chose Brown Girl Dreaming as this year’s award winner, I say Thank You — you have, once again, changed my life. To my editor, Nancy Paulsen, who dug so deeply into the pages of this story and helped me to believe that there was some sense to this journey, and a purpose, I say Thank You — you continue to change my life. And to my Penguin Random House family, whose passion comes through with every email and phone call and visit to the office and dinner and champagne toast — I say Thank You. To my past editor, Wendy Lamb, who said “Write what you want,” and my past agent, Charlotte Sheedy, who said “We need to find you a home” and found me Nancy Paulsen — I say Thank You. To my present agent, Kathleen Nishimoto, whose energy and dedication and joy just…just makes me smile — I say Thank You. To my single mom, who, during the Great Migration, somehow got four kids from Greenville to Brooklyn and made sure we were all educated — in memory, I say Thank You. To the Woodsons and the Irbys who are still on this planet and the ones who have moved to the next place, I say Thank You. And to my family — my amazing partner, my glorious children, the aunts and uncles (two of whom are on this stage with me—Chris and Jason!—and Kwame, when you come to Brooklyn, we’re gonna rope you in, too!), and to the rest of our village who change our lives by being here to help us through every single day — I say Thank You!
From left to right: Christopher Myers, Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Rita Williams-Garcia. Photo courtesy of Jason Reynolds.
I am deeply honored. We are here because of our ancestors and elders and the people who hold us up every day — thanks for helping all of us never forget them or the way each of us finds a way to make a way out of no way — every single day. Thank you so much, all of you who believe in Diverse Books, who believe in keeping young brown children — and all children — dreaming.
One of the greatest joys of my career has been seeing Brown Girl Dreaming come to life and reverberate as it has been handed from reader to reader.
I have been lucky enough to work with Jacqueline Woodson for almost twenty years. She was the very first author I signed up when I became the publisher of G. P. Putnam’s Sons. Her lyrical writing sang to me. Her voice was so strong and clear and evocative. I also loved her spare style, how she could make magic happen with an economy of words. Since then I’ve edited six of her amazing picture books; Brown Girl Dreaming is the tenth novel we’ve worked on together.
I never know what I am going to get next from Jacqueline, and I am always happily surprised. The muse strikes her, and then she sends her stories to me at various stages in the creative process. Some of the picture books, such as Show Way and Each Kindness, were practically perfect and complete when I received them. The main challenge for those titles was finding the right illustrator. The early drafts of the novels usually come in with much of the story in place, but lots of holes to fill in. So I start by asking questions. I love every character and always want to know more. With Brown Girl Dreaming — a memoir in verse — boy, did I want to know more about a character I loved!
When I received the first draft of Brown Girl Dreaming in 2012, I knew I was holding something special in my hands. Many of the poems from the first section were already there, including the opening one, which begins:
I am born on a Tuesday at University
a country caught
between Black and White.
Right from the beginning, we know we are going to get a story that is deeply personal but also one that tells of a shared history—the racial divide that is part of America—and readers will experience it from the eyes of a child who has lived in the North and the South. And because of the book’s title, we know we are in the hands of a dreamer, a young girl who has hope and aspirations. She is an observant student of the world around her. I love how she contemplates who she might become in the future by her admiration of those who have come before her:
I do not know if these hands will become Malcolm’s—raised and fisted or Martin’s—open and asking or James’s—curled around a pen.
Through Jacqueline’s eyes we see, and then feel, the terrible injustice that a dignified black woman, her beloved grandmother, had to live through on a daily basis:
We walk straight past Woolworth’s
without even looking in the windows
because the one time my grandmother
they made her wait and wait. Acted like I wasn’t even there. It’s hard not to see the
my grandmother in her Sunday clothes,
with a flower pinned to it
neatly on her head, her patent-leather
between her gloved hands—waiting
long past her turn.
As we witness her grandmother’s ordeal, our hearts are broken by something we cannot fix. But we gain such insight into how families like Jacqueline’s figured out ways to fight back, ways to bring about the change the world so desperately needed:
This is the way brown people have to fight,
my grandfather says. You can’t just put your fist up. You have to insist on something gently. Walk toward a thing slowly.
But be ready to die,
my grandfather says, for what is right.
As I read each draft of Brown Girl Dreaming — and, as Jacqueline says, there were so dang many of them! — I wanted more and more answers. I wanted to know about the love she felt for both her Southern and Northern roots and what it felt like to have a special place in her heart for each of them. I wanted to know what it was like when her mother bravely went off alone to search for a place to bring up her four children, a place that would offer them the most freedom and opportunity.
Looking for her next place.
Our next place.
Right now, our mother says, we’re only halfway home.
And I imagine her standing
in the middle of a road, her arms out
fingers pointing North and South.
I want to ask:
Will there always be a road?
Will there always be a bus?
Will we always have to choose
The book grew from three parts to five, as it became clear that more ground needed to be covered for the many facets of Jacqueline’s life. Please tell me more about your religion, I asked. What was it like to go door-to-door as a Jehovah’s Witness and have to introduce yourself to strangers? And in the telling, more stories emerged. Jacqueline’s grandfather (called “Daddy”), as it turned out, did not embrace organized religion. Her uncle, while in jail, converted to Islam. And in living through all this, Jacqueline
grew more open and empathetic to other people’s beliefs:
But I want the world where my daddy is
and don’t know why
anybody’s God would make me
have to choose.
One of the best parts of editing this memoir was learning about how storytelling was a part of young Jacqueline’s life. How she could hold her classmates rapt by repeating stories even before she learned to read. How she knew, early on, that there was enormous power in words:
I want to catch words one day. I want to
then blow gently,
watch them float
right out of my hands.
And so she has. Jacqueline’s words in Brown Girl Dreaming float off the page; they first linger and then stay even longer with the reader. When the thirty drafts were done, and Jacqueline and I both agreed at the same time that the story was complete, we had advance reading copies made. I gave out the first ones to librarians and educators at the Texas Library Association conference in San Antonio in early 2014. John Schumacher and Colby Sharp shared their copies with Paul Hankins and with Donalyn Miller, who wrote in a Nerdy Book Club blog post about reading the galley on her way home from the convention:
As I read, a silver thread flowed out of Brown Girl Dreaming, and twined up my wrist to my chest — connecting Jackie’s family to me and making them part of me. Following Colby’s scribbled brackets around lines and folded page corners like messages for me to find, he was with me in the book, too. That thread connects me to Jackie now, but it also connects me to Colby, Jillian [Heise], and everyone who will ever read Brown Girl Dreaming.
I love that Jacqueline’s writing has the power to connect us. It reminds us of so many universal parts of growing up: competing with siblings, feeling content in the heart of your family, being confused by a million messages coming at you, struggling to make sense of the senseless, and ultimately finding the power of your own voice. Reading a memoir like Brown Girl Dreaming reminds us that each of us has a voice and needs to find it in our own time; that everyone’s story is important; that we become stronger by dreaming our dreams and sharing our stories; and that books have the power to make the world a better place.
And so I thank Jacqueline Woodson, as well as all the librarians and teachers and booksellers who have worked to get this book into the hands of so many readers. You are all changing the world.
When I first contacted YALSA about participating in NLLD 2015, I framed my interest as a novice, mentee and student wanting to learn more about advocacy and successful advocacy strategies for my specific community. I am a new school librarian and NLLD beamed opportunity, inspiration, information and networking, of course!
I was excited and anticipated experiencing the more political side of libraries, remember, I was a novice and prepared to act as a sponge, absorbing everything I heard and saw, taking cue from the leaders in my group, one of the flock. However, after contacting my local library association, Louisiana Library Association, I discovered that no representatives were attending this year. I wasn’t sure what that meant for me and figured everything would be taken care of, remember I was a mentee and prepared to be guided by much more experienced and confident librarians. But then my role swifty changed, I became the leader, charged with scheduling appointments with legislators and being prepared to represent, if not lead, the interests and voices of libraries, librarians and the people they serve in Louisiana. Inexperienced as I was, the thought of leading, was a harrowing, humbling (maybe a bit dramatic) but, nonetheless, exhilarating feeling.
On Friday May 1st, I left Louisiana to go to the capital. I knew where I was suppose to be and what time, appointments were scheduled and I had several extremely helpful guides along the way especially Beth Yoke assuring me that everything would be OK.
I was also lucky enough to have the weekend to explore the city. There was an overwhelming feeling of greatness, magnitude and it wasn't in the larger than life buildings, statues or museums, it was just apparent walking the streets or taking the metro. Important things had happened here, important things continue to happen here and it felt good to be near that.
Monday, May 4th, the official NLLD, I entered the Liaison Hotel and was greeted as my state's coordinator, meaning I was in charge of organizing my fellow Louisianians and holding my state sign. The Nebraskans took me under their wing and treated me as their own, a gesture I am very thankful for, I didn’t have to sit alone!
The day continued with several different issue sessions, my favorite and most notable being appropriations committee, USA Freedom Act, Taxable Research and the session dedicated to school library and education issues. The speakers were knowledgeable and gave tips and language to easily incorporate into our pitches. Walking away that evening, I felt more informed about US policy, than I have to admit, in my life and, not because I just hadn’t bothered with politics and policy in the past, but because the info. sessions and speakers made it easy to understand. I didn’t feel as if everything was over my head or too intricate to bother with, the information was clear about what these issues were and it was clear exactly how I could use this knowledge to relate to Louisiana interests and the legislators I would be meeting the following day.
The day of, I was a bit frantic, I had spent the morning researching specific Louisiana numbers and data and I had left early because, even though I had been walking around the capital for 72 hours now, I still found myself circling around the same block once in awhile. My first appointment was with Kevin O’Keefe representing new House member, Garret Graves. As soon as I met Kevin, I felt at ease. Many people warned me that these meetings would be very one sided, you say what you need to and then that’s it! However, meeting with Kevin felt like a conversation, I hit all my points but he was very responsive and added to what I was saying, it helped we were both from Baton Rouge! He was also very keen on a visit from Garret Graves to either my school library or the public library. Once the meeting concluded, I practically skipped out of the Canon building with a toothy smile on my face.
It really felt exhilerating! I was no longer nervous for my next two meetings, I was now excitedly anticipating them. During these meetings it dawned on me that politicians and the people that work for them don’t necessarily know about every current issue, at least not in depth, they needed and wanted to be informed about the best way to continue forward on a specific issue. They also cared about what their constituents cared about. While visiting Senator Bill Cassidy’s office, I spoke with Pamela Davidson and she talked about how many calls their office had been getting about maintaining and increasing the library budget, the enthusiasm and relentlessness put that issue on the radar as something that could not be ignored.
After meeting my state’s representatives, I will be watching the Louisiana legislators closely, who knows if they will make the changes I suggested but at least they are now informed and that was my job, I did it!
However, it is inspiring to see positive changes being made such as the overwhelming approval for the USA Freedom Act. It shows that even through all the muck, at times, good changes squeeze through.
While visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C., I came across this very well known quote from Martin Niemöller, a prominent Protestant pastor during WWII:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Niemöller’s quote seemed particularly fitting because advocacy is a lot about just speaking up and taking the time and courage to do something so simple as raising our voices. We remind our students constantly at Baton Rouge International School that one person makes all the difference, everyone can make a change but sometimes we forget that the scariest part is just starting, putting yourself out there and wondering if people will like your message, like your voice. The biggest thing I took away from this experience was how EASY advocating for libraries was. How easy to talk to people about what you care about, how easy to be and stay informed and how easy it was to connect and how easy it is to continue advocating for more. It took a big moment for me to start advocating but now I know it can easily be a part of my life and work and that small actions such as a telephone call, an email or showing up at a local council or board meeting can make an impact and change the way people perceive libraries and the people who spend time and lives promoting them.
Jenna Jaureguy is starting her third year as school librarian at Baton Rouge International School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She studied school and teen library services at UCLA and graduated with her MLIS in 2013.
Summer is already here! That means that the third annual NEW VISIONS AWARD is now open for submissions! Established by Tu Books, an imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS that publishes middle grade and young adult books, the award is a fantastic chance for new authors of color to break into the world of publishing for young readers.
The New Visions Award writing contest is awarded for a middle grade or young adult manuscript, and is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a publication contract with LEE & LOW BOOKS.
Ink and Ashesby Valynne Maetani, the first New Visions Award winner, was named a Junior Library Guild Selection and received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
Orion, thebimonthly magazine that publishes writing that explores the connection between nature and culture, has revealed the winners for the 2015 Orion Book Award.
The Bees by Laline Paull is the winner of the 2015 Orion Book Award in the fictioncategory. Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life by George Monbiot won the award in the nonfiction category.
The books were chosen based on their ability to \"deepen the reader’s connection to the natural world through fresh ideas and excellence in writing.\" The winner in each category was selected from a list of five finalists. The Orion Book Award finalists and winners are chosen by the Orion magazine staff.
Congratulations to George Monbiot, author of Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, Human Life, which was just announced as the winner of the 2015 Orion Book Award for nonfiction, which honors “books that deepen the reader’s connection to the natural world, [and] represent excellence in writing.” In Feral, Monbiot, a journalist, columnist for the Guardian, and environmentalist (see his recent TED talk here), argues for a twenty-first-century movement based upon the concept of rewilding, which seeks to free nature from human intervention and allow ecosystems to resume their natural processes.
When’s the last time you walked into the woods, or a park, or your garden, and felt unsure of what—or who—you might see? If the answer is “it’s been a while,” you’re not alone. With his intrepid and imaginative new book, Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life, journalist George Monbiot has invented a term for this twenty-first-century condition that afflicts so many of us in the developed world: “ecological boredom.” He’s come up with a prescription, too, which involves large-scale reintroductions of keystone species to the landscapes that humans have emptied out and made their own. If this sounds reckless and implausible, it’s not: Monbiot has done his research, and builds a case for how well his surprising list of animal recruits would fit into his home landscape of Britain. From moose and lynx to hippopotamuses and black rhinoceroses, Feral invites readers to imagine a wilder, less stifled and more primal world—one in which we humans can come to recognize our animal natures once again.—Scott Gast
George Monbiot’s well-researched book of narrative storytelling, speculation, and bold imagination is a vote in favor of rewilding not just nature but the human spirit. Feral invites readers to envision a wilder, less stifled and more primal world—one in which we humans can come to recognize our animal selves once again.
From Tom Bunk’s blog: http://bunkstuff.blogspot.com/
In addition, Tom Bunk received a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Eckart Schott of Salleck Publications was honored for special services for the Munich comics scene.
On the same day, ICOM (Interessenverband Comic e.V., The Comic, Cartoon, Illustration and Cartoons Interest Group) announced their awards spotlighting independent comics. The link to the award winners is here, along with an index of past German comics award winners. (ICOM dates back to 1994.)
Bester Independent Comic [Best Independent Comic]
„Als ich mal auf hoher See verschollen war“ von Maximilian Hillerzeder (Edition Kwimbi)
Bester Kurzcomic [Best Short Comic]
„Insel Karkinos“ von Tim Gaedke
Herausragendes Szenario [Outstanding Scenario]
„The Right Here Right Now Thing“ von Paulina Stulin (Jaja Verlag)
Herausragendes Artwork [Outstanding Artwork]
„Die kleine blaue Melancholie“ von Yi „Yinfinity“ Luo
Sonderpreis der Jury für eine bemerkenswerte Comicpublikation [Special Jury Prize for a remarkable comic publication]
„Ach so ist das?!“ von Martina Schradi (Zwerchfell Verlag)
Sonderpreis der Jury für eine besondere Leistung oder Publikation [Special Jury Prize for a special performance or publication]
Comic Solidarity (Eva Junker, Lukas Wilde, Sebastian Kempke)
„Mister Origami“ von Bastian Baier und Robert Mühlich (Zwerchfell Verlag)
„Mondo 2“ Herausgeber: Tim Gaedke
„Oh 3“ (Zwerchfell Verlag)
„Penner“ von Christopher Burgholz (Jaja Verlag)
“Lebensfenster 2015″ Kurt-Schalker–Preis für graphisches Blogen [“Life Window (?!) 2015″ Kurt-Schalke – Prize for graphical blogs AKA biocomics on the web]
The Audio Publishers Association (APA) has revealed the winners of the best audiobooks of the year, the 2015 Audie Awards.
“Mandela: An Audio History”by Radio Diaries and narrated by Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, and Joe Richman won The Award for Audiobook of the Year. The audiobook from HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books, makes use of actualities, including vintage newsreels and songs by Miriam Makeba, to tell the story of South Africa’s turbulent history.
“The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman won The Distinguished Achievement in Production Award. The title from HarperAudio is narrated by Gaiman, Derek Jacobi, Robert Madge, Clare Corbett, Miriam Margolyes, Andrew Scott and Julian Rhind-Tutt.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time play received six honors at the 2015 Drama Desk Awards. This project, based on Mark Haddon’s mystery novel, premiered with a production at the London West End before moving to Broadway.
Variety.com reports that this stage adaptation won in the following categories: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Actor in a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play, Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding Projection Design, and Outstanding Sound Design in a Play. Click here to watch an official trailer.
Every other year, Munich hosts the Munich Comic Festival (Comicfestival München), which, like other continental comics festivals, offers a diverse international guest list while still celebrating the local talent!
The Munich Comic Festival is the second largest comic event of its kind in Germany and is alternating every other year with the Comic Salon in Erlangen. In 2015 it takes place from June 4 to June 7 with some of the exhibitions starting earlier and continuing after the festival. From Mai 7 to June 9 the exhibition “The Beatles in Comics” will be shown in the Valentin-Karlstadt-Musäum. Other exhibitions to be shown deal with Will Eisner at the Jewish Museum, Paco Roca and Jordi Lafebre will present their artwork in person at the Instituto Cervantes, Tom Bunk, who will be get our Peng! Award for his life’s work , will show his artwork in the Amerikahaus. And finally, the quaint Beer and Octoberfest Museum in the oldest private house of Munich will be in on the Festival.
Main location of the Festival from June 4 to 7 is the Alte Kongresshalle (Old Congress Hall) neighboring on the Oktoberfest site. Here, among other things, one can find the book fair of all the comic publishers under one roof. Also there will be drawing workshops and prominent comic artist will be available for autographs. There will also be various presentations and lectures as well as exhibits, e.g. the exhibit of artwork from our guest country Great Britain. There will also be a cosplay contest. Many prominent artists like Don Rosa, Dave McKean, Posy Simmonds, Jock, François Walthéry, Bryan Talbot, Vicki Scott, Goran Sudžuka, Rufus Dayglo or Denis Kitchen will once again be guests of the Festival.
In 2013 the Munich Comic Festival had some 12,000 visitors, not counting the many people who visited exhibits that were shown at various locations for free.
Let’s condense that: the second largest comics festival in Germany, in Munich next to the Oktoberfest grounds. (BAR-CON!) The German equivalent of Angoulême. Lots of British cartoonists. Rosa, McKean, Kitchen.
So, what’s going on? Well… Click on the blue headlines below for more information!
First, here’s the venue, built in the early 1950s:
(Yes, that is a bar. I suspect the pretzels are much better than those found in San Diego, especially if served with mustard!)
Panel rooms (and map key) (accessible to the left of the autographing stage)
(Or you can download the guidebook!) (It’s got a welcome message from the Lord Mayor of Munich! Which makes sense, since funding comes from local cultural agencies.)
Okay… this one gets highlighted!
PREMIERE DER MUSIK-COMIC-SHOW STING ILLUSTRATED
Yup, that’s the German. And it pretty much describes what it is… Here’s the Google translation:
Together with the Palatinate cartoonist Dennis Hauck the Munich songwriter Alex Sebastian took the complete works of Sting before: The two sat among others lyrics hits like “King of Pain” or “Message in a Bottle” in amusing comic stories about, but also made before more obscure Album titles not just what can happen when it is cloudy, but do not want to rain? Why not move the better combating rivals from one day to the other? Why takes the Queen even a taxi to the train station? How do you make a woman’s right?
The result is a unique live show with comic projections that applies not only to die-hard fans Sting, but for every music and comic lovers a must. After several previews the official premiere will now take place as part of the Comic Festival.
Categories: Best German-Language Comic, Best European Comic, Best North American Comic, Best Comics Reporting, Best Books about Comics, Best Reprint, Best Film Adapation, Best Webcomic, Best Asian Manga, Best German Manga!
The MVG (the Munich transit agency) is sponsoring a comics competition. Just go to the show, and draw a comic under the theme “Simply Mobile”. The winner gets €200 and publication in MVGinfo, a magazine of 150,000 circulation.
This is kinda cool… each attendee gets a ticket, and uses that to vote for their favorite cosplayer! The ballots will then be used in a raffle! Oh, and if you come in costume on Saturday, your admission is half off!
Daniel Halpern, Publisher and President of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, has earned the 2015 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction.
The award is given out by The Center for Fiction to either an editor, publisher, or agent that has nurtured and championed fiction writers in the United States. The award honors Maxwell E. Perkins, of Scribner, one of the great American editors who worked with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and Ernest Hemingway, among others.
Halpern has had a long career supporting fiction, including editing the international literary magazine Antaeus, which he founded in Tangier with Paul Bowles. Halpern will receive the award at the Center’s December 8 Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York.
“It is an honor to be recognized for doing what makes you happiest – for me, publishing fiction by some of the finest writers an editor (and reader) could imagine working with,” he stated of the honor. “But to be recognized by The Center for Fiction – an organization that supports and celebrates the art of fiction in so many important ways – is the true honor.”
Fun Home, the musical based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel won five TOny Wards on Saundya, including Best Musical, capping a road of critical triumph for the show. IN addition to Best Musical, Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron won Best Original Score, Kron won for Best Book of a Musical, Sam Gold won for Best Direction of a Musical, and Michael Cerveris won for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.
I was lucky enough to see the show in its opening week and it was an extraordinary night of theater, with three actors portraying Bechdel at various points in her life, Beth Malone Emily Skeggs and Sydney Lucas.
The above photo from the Times shows Bechdel ‘s emotion at the winning moment. Congrats to her for turning her family history into a story that has touched so many people in two mediums.
The Dedalus Foundation is pleased to announce that Megan R. Luke is the winner of the fourteenth annual Robert Motherwell Book Award, for Kurt Schwitters: Space, Image, Exile, published by The University of Chicago Press. The award, which carries a prize of $10,000, honors an outstanding publication in the history and criticism of modernism in the arts for the year 2014.
German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948) is best known for his pioneering work in fusing collage and abstraction, the two most transformative innovations of twentieth-century art. Considered the father of installation art, Schwitters was also a theorist and a writer whose influence extends from Robert Rauschenberg and Eva Hesse to Thomas Hirschhorn. But while his early experiments in collage and installation from the interwar period have garnered much critical acclaim, his later work has generally been ignored. In the first book to fill this gap, Megan R. Luke tells the fascinating, even moving story of the work produced by the aging, isolated artist under the Nazi regime and during his years in exile.
Combining new biographical material with archival research, Luke surveys Schwitters’s experiments in shaping space and the development of his Merzbau, describing his haphazard studios in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom and the smaller, quieter pieces he created there. She makes a case for the great relevance of Schwitters’s aesthetic concerns to contemporary artists, arguing that his later work provides a guide to new narratives about modernism in the visual arts. His late works, she shows, were born of artistic exchange and shaped by his rootless life after exile, and they offer a new way of thinking about the history of art. Packed with images, Kurt Schwitters completes the narrative of an artist who remains a considerable force today.
Megan R. Luke is assistant professor of art history at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on the advent of abstraction and collage, the history of photography and art reproduction, and the intersection of avant-garde art and mass culture, particularly early cinema.