Plus: A new graphic novel looks at Japanese Americans who resisted internment.
The Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar is in trouble with the law again. Police in the state of Kedah have summoned him to appear before them on May 7 (the original date, given in the linked article, was May 2 but it was rescheduled) for violating the country’s sedition law, a much-criticized relic of its colonial past, with a cartoon criticizing the Kedah state minister’s decision to cancel the traditional Tamil Hindu festival of Thaipusam.
Zunar got into lots of trouble during the tenure of Prime Minister Najib Razak, whom he mocked endlessly for his corruption; Razak was not amused and his government repeatedly raided Zunar’s studio, confiscated his books, banned him from traveling, and brought charges against him that could have led to lengthy prison sentences. The pressure eased once Najib was voted out.
Ironically, Zunar’s latest skirmish coincides with World Press Freedom Day, which was Monday; several national and international groups have criticized the Malaysian government for its repressive stance.
The anthology details stories told to Sarah Mirk by the prisoners, lawyers, officials and others connected to the notorious prison.
Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison, the graphic novel anthology that tells the stories of several veterans, prisoners, lawyers and government officials with connections to Guantanamo Bay prison, has won the 2021 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize.
The prize is awarded by Penn State University Libraries and the winner is chosen by a jury. Sarah Mirk wrote and edited the graphic novel, and worked with a variety of artists on the different stories it contains, including Nomi Kane, Hazel Newlevant, Gerardo Alba, Alexandra Beguez, Omar Khouri, Maki Naro, Jeremy Nguyen, Tracy Chahwan, Kane Lynch, Kasia Babis and Chelsea Saunders.
According to the write-up, jurors said Guantanamo Voices provides a “nuanced” look at the prison and the American judicial system:
Michael DeForge, GG, Walter Scott, Scott Carruthers and more receive nominations; Fred Kelly will join the ‘Giants of the North’ hall of fame.
Nominees for the 2021 Doug Wright Awards, which honor “the best work and most promising talent in Canadian comics,” were announced this week.
Drawn & Quarterly received four nominations, while Renegade Arts Entertainment received two. Self-published books were also very well represented.
This year’s judges include Steven W. Beattie, Claudia Dávila, Jenn Haines, Paul G. Hammond, Brett Lamb, Shauna McCabe, Sylvia Nickerson, Emily Pohl-Weary, Sarah Sawler, Jonathan Valelly and Frank Viva. The 2021 Doug Wright Awards will be broadcast as a pre-recorded livestream on Facebook and YouTube at 8 p.m. Eastern May 8, hosted by Don McKellar.
‘Monstress’ receives its fifth nomination in four years, and is joined by ‘Die,’ ‘Ghost Spider,’ and more.
The nominees were announced via YouTube today for the 2021 Hugo Awards, which includes a “Best Graphic Story or Comic” category.
Two of the six nominees were published by Image, while Dark Horse’s Berger Books imprint, Marvel, BOOM! Studios and Abrams each received one. Writer Kieron Gillen received two nominations this year in the category, while Seanan McGuire, nominated for writing Ghost Spider, was also nominated for her prose work in two other categories.
Presented annually since 1955, The Hugo Awards recognize the best science fiction in books, comics, movies, TV and more. The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been awarded since 2009, with previous winners including volumes of Saga, Ms. Marvel, Girl Genius, Sandman: Overture and Monstress, which is up for the award again this year. LaGuardia won the category last year.
The annual awards recognize LGBTQ books, poetry, comics and more.
The nominees for the 33rd annual Lambda Literary Awards have been announced, celebrating “the very best in LGBTQ literature.” The awards include a “Comics” category, but graphic novels also found their way into other categories as well.
“By celebrating LGBTQ books, we celebrate LGBTQ life,” said Sue Landers, executive director of Lambda Literary. “As a community often under threat of legislative and actual violence, the Lammys offer a necessary space to come together in joy.”
Nominees for the graphic novel category include Ben Passmore, Jim Terry, KAITO, Bishakh Som and Yeon-sik Hong.
The nominees have been announced for this year’s L.A. Times Book Prize, which includes a category for Graphic Novels/Comics.
The Los Angeles 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, Beverly by Nick Drnaso and Tillie Walden’s On a Sunbeam. The Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis won the prize last year.
The graphic novel by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker adds another award to its shelf.
They Called Us Enemy, the graphic novel that recounts the experiences of actor George Takei and his family when they were interned by the United States government during World War II, has added another award to its already long list of accolades — the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics.
The sixth annual Dwayne McDuffie Award was presented over the weekend in a virtual ceremony hosted by actor Phil LaMarr and broadcast on Facebook.
The British Fantasy Awards recognize fantasy and horror literature across a range of categories, including the “Best Comic/Graphic Novel” category. You can see the complete list of winners across all categories here. You can also see the full awards presentation on YouTube.
Other nominees in the comics category this year included 2000AD, Basketful of Heads, B.P.R.D. The Devil You Know, Vol. 3: Ragna Rok, DCeased and The Ozone Diary.
Plus: Angoulême comics awards, Adam Ellis accuses filmmakers of plagiarism, and a look at the world of back-issue collectors and dealers
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic, will return in May as a virtual event. The past year has been a difficult one; in June, TCAF co-founder and artistic director Christopher Butcher stepped down for both professional and personal reasons. This year’s festival will be online only, and it’s being run in partnership with the zine festival Canzine and the Toronto Hand Eye Society.