Nominees announced for the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards

Winners will be announced in June.

The Lambda Literary Awards have announced their nominees for 2020, which honor LGBTQ writing across 24 categories, including one for comics.

The finalists were selected by a panel of over 60 literary professionals from more than 1,000 book submissions from over 300 publishers. The winners will be announced at an event in New York City in June.

The nominees are:

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L.A. Times announces 2020 Book Prize nominees

Works by Eleanor Davis, Michael DeForge, Jaime Hernandez, Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell received nominations.

The Los Angeles Times has announced the nominees for their annual Book Prize awards, which includes a graphic novel category. Three Drawn and Quarterly releases received nominations, along with one each from Fantagraphics and First Second.

The L.A. Times has given an award in the graphic novel category since 2009, when Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli won the award. Other previous winners include The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez, Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines and Beverly by Nick Drnaso. Tillie Walden’s On a Sunbeamwon the award last year.

The nominees in the “Graphic Novel/Comics” category are:

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Make some noise: Editor Erin Bried shares how ‘Noisemakers’ came together

The founder and editor-in-chief of Kazoo Magazine discusses her first foray into comics anthologies.

Four years ago, Erin Bried made history with Kazoo Magazine, the highest-funded journalism campaign on Kickstarter ever. Envisioned as a way to “celebrate girls for being smart, strong, fierce and true to themselves,” the quarterly magazine went on to gain fans and win awards, including the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2019.

In creating Kazoo, Bried also became something else — a comics editor. Each issue of Kazoo features a comic strip by a different female creator, celebrating the life of a woman who has made history. Those comics helped jumpstart Bried’s latest project — an anthology collecting similar comics by a host of talented creators. Noisemakers: 25 Women Who Raised Their Voices & Changed the World arrived in stores today, featuring comics by, among others, Emil Ferris, Lucy Knisley, Lucy Bellwood, Maris Wicks and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, whose strip about Hallie Daggett, the first woman hired as a fire lookout by the United States Forest Service, can be seen below.

It’s an impressive line-up of talent, and Bried took some time to answer my questions about how it all came together.

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‘New Kid’ wins the Newbery Medal

Several graphic novels were honored at the American Library Association’s annual Youth Media Awards.

The American Library Association recognized several graphic novels this past weekend as part of the 2020 Youth Media Awards at their Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. These included the prestigious Newbery Medal, which has been given out since 1922 to “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children;” the Coretta Scott King Book Award; and many others.

The winner of this year’s Newbery Medal was New Kid, the graphic novel by Jerry Craft that was published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. It also won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award. It’s interesting to note that these aren’t in a “graphic novel” category or anything like that; The Newbery Medal is the highest honor the ALA gives out every year, and this is the first time a graphic novel has won it outright.

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‘Hey Kiddo’ and more take home 2019 Harvey Awards

Annual awards ceremony held last night in conjunction with the New York Comic Con.

The Harvey Awards were presented in conjunction with the New York Comic Con last night, with Hey Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka taking home the “Book of the Year” award.

Other recipients included Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, and Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu, both of which also took home an Ignatz this year.

Congrats to all the winners; you can find the complete list below.

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Fund Me Monday: More ‘Disturbances,’ vampires and a Prince tribute

Check out new projects from Shortbox, Craig Hurd-McKenney, Jason McNamara and more.

As crowdfunding continues to be a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors and connect directly with fans, comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. This column offers a look at recent crowdfunding comics projects that might be of interest to fans.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t start out this time by calling out a recent controversy surrounding Kickstarter, where the company has been accused of firing two employees who were part of efforts to start a union at the online crowdfunding company. I mention it in the interest of public knowledge rather than as any sort of indictment against anyone who use the forum to raise money (Particularly those I mention this week, most of whom started their projects before this even came to a head). Kickstarter is certainly not the only company to be called into question about their labor issues, and their response to the allegations of union busting can be read over at Gizmodo. There’s also a form being circulated on social media asking creators who have used Kickstarter to support the employees attempting to unionize.

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Tamaki, Valero-O’Connell and more win 2019 Ignatz Awards

Annual awards presented at the Small Press Expo honor excellence in independent comics, graphic novels and minicomics.

The winners of the 2019 Ignatz Awards were announced this weekend at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland.

The big winners of the night were Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, who took home three awards between them, including “Outstanding Graphic Novel.” The political cartoon site The Nib also continued its recent winning streak, taking home the award for “Outstanding Series.”

The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse from the classic comic strip Krazy Kat, recognizes exceptional work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression. The awards have been presented annually since 1997.

The awards presentations were hosted by cartoonist Keith Knight:

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Smash Pages Q&A: Mariko Tamaki

The award-winning author discusses her latest graphic novel from First Second, ‘Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me.’

Mariko Tamaki is the award-winning author of the graphic novels This One Summer and Skim, both of which she made with her cousin, the artist and writer Jillian Tamaki. Mariko has written a number of comics series including Tomb Raider, She Hulk, Supergirland X-23. She’s written graphic novels like Emiko Superstar and the upcoming Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, in addition to writing a trilogy of Lumberjanes novels and various other works of fiction and nonfiction.

Her new book, with artist Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, is Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, which is just out from First Second Books. Frederica Riley is dating Laura Dean, the most popular girl in school, who is amazing — and a horrible girlfriend. While Freddy is writing to an advice columnist about what she should do, her friends are dealing with their own problems and trying to be delicate, and inanimate objects around Freddy are offering their own ignored Greek chorus in the background. It is a brilliant work that manages to balance comedy and drama, and capture something truly essential about relationships and teenage life.

Tamaki is a featured guest at this weekend’s Queers and Comics Conference in New York, and we spoke recently about the book.

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Comics Lowdown: Creator Eleanor Davis arrested in Georgia protest

Get today’s comics news and updates in new feature here at Smash Pages.

Cartoonist Eleanor Davis was one of eight people arrested at a Georgia Board of Regents meeting on May 16 for protesting the board’s policies with regard to undocumented immigrants. The University of Georgia does not allow undocumented immigrants to attend its five best schools and requires them to pay out-of-state tuition at the others. The protestors, described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “a mix of faith leaders and current and former University System of Georgia students,” were taken to the Fulton County Jail. Davis’s husband, Drew Weing, reported on his Facebook page that she had been released after the Georgia Civil Disobedience Fund paid her bail. Davis’s newest book, You & a Bike & a Road, has just been published by Koyama Press, and Slate ran an excerpt on Tuesday—showing a man being arrested at the border.

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