Nominees announced for the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards

Pop Culture Classroom will recognize graphic novels across four categories, plus a new reader’s choice category.

Pop Culture Classroom, an organization that provides educational resources to classrooms that use comics, graphic novels and other pop culture media, has announced the nominees for the 2022 Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards.

The awards have been presented annually since 2018, and recognize creators and their works across four categories, based on the targeted age group.

“We’re thrilled to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards,” said Pop Culture Classroom Education Program Manager Matt Slayter. “Our juries and advisory board have carefully evaluated this year’s submitted works, and these graphic novels represent the best and most inclusive titles published in 2021. This list will help libraries and classrooms build diverse and educational graphic novel collections with titles that readers AND teachers of all ages will love!”

The nominees are:

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Comics Lowdown: RIP Monkey Punch, Kazuo Koike

Plus: Bill Mantlo in need, halfway through ‘Saga,’ awards and more.

The manga community has lost two legends in April, as both Lupin III creator Monkey Punch and Lone Wolf & Cub co-creator Kazuo Koike have passed away. Both men died from pneumonia six days apart, and were once considered rivals when their respective manga ran in Weekly Manga Action magazine. They also worked together on the Secretary Bird manga mini-series that ran in the magazine in 1970.

Monkey Punch, whose real name was Kazuhito Kato, was 81 when he passed away. His most famous creation, Lupin III, started as a manga and was later adapted into six animated television series, eight animated feature films, two live-action feature films, two musicals and several video games. He passed away April 11.

In addition to Lone Wolf & Cub, Koike is also known for such titles as Lady Snowblood, Crying Freeman, Samurai Executioner and many other popular series. His work influenced many American creators, including Frank Miller, who drew covers for First Comics’ publication of the series. Koike also worked on a few western series, including a Hulk manga and an issue of X-Men Unlimited. He passed away April 17 at the age of 82.

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