Awards watch

It looks like there are some new additions to the current roster of nominations for the list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens, assembled by the American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). (I say “looks like,” because my memory is far from perfect, so apologies if the books I’ve pegged as new nominations have been there for a while.)

DC’s Minx line seems to be making a favorable impression on nominators, with Re-Gifters joining The Plain Janes. The current edition of Sequential Tart has the first part of an interesting insider’s view of the Minx line from Mariah Huehner, including this assessment of some of the imprint’s early sound bytes:

“Its times like this I really wish marketing a product based solely on its own merits, of which the titles in MINX have a lot, was the preferred method. Putting down other kinds of books aimed at the same demographic doesn’t do much to elevate the medium. And anyway, wouldn’t it be better if teen girls were readings more of everyone’s titles? I don’t think it’s a choice between Manga and MINX. I think you’ll find a lot of crossover.”

The first volume of Fumi Yoshinaga’s The Moon and Sandals (Juné) is an interesting choice, partly because Digital Manga has given it an age rating of 18+. It follows two couples, one adult and one teen-aged, and the older pair does reach a sexual milestone, though I’m blanking on how explicit that encounter was at the moment. I thought the book kind of dawdled in a perfectly likeable way, but it does end with an emotional gut-punch worthy of Natsuki Takaya at her most ruthlessly tear-jerking.

The successful partnership between Tokyopop and HarperCollins (just look at the sales figures for Warriors) hasn’t stopped HC from publishing graphic novels on its own, and Mark Crilley’s Miki Falls books earn two slots on the YALSA list.

As usual, the list also serves as a handy collection of recommended reading for me, with intriguing-sounding titles like Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age from Penguin/Viking:

“A very unscientific poll recently revealed that 99.9% of all people who attended middle school hated it.”

Yay! I’m in the majority! (Though 7th and 8th grades were classified as “junior high” back when I endured them, right around the popularization of the internal combustion engine.)

And while it’s only kind of tangentially related, there’s a great interview with this year’s Eisner judges over at Bookslut, one of whom is Robin Brenner, one of the librarians who assemble the YALSA list. Some of my favorite quotes:

“The shift from the collector market to the reader market has been incredibly significant, in terms of just where one can find comics and graphic novels today but also in terms of signifying the growing diversity of what’s out there and what people want to read. I feel the industry can only benefit from a concentration on attracting readers rather than collectors — so the story and artistry of the title is the most important thing.” (Brenner.)

“The industry’s attempt to force-start another speculator glut, is, fortunately, somewhat of a miserable failure.” (Comics writer Chris Reilley.)

“I would like to see a few less comics about zombies; they’re really overstaying their welcome in my opinion.” (Reilly, again.)

Well, zombies do move rather slowly.

4 Responses to Awards watch

  1. RobinB says:

    Thanks for the linkage! And, I’m totally on board with Chris’ desire for fewer zombies. There are just too many, and they’re just so one note.

    Interesting to see the Sequential Tart article — I completely agree. The books thus far have been quite cool, but the marketing makes me kind of want to throw books at them (preferably manga.)

  2. Mark Crilley says:

    Thanks for mentioning my Miki Falls books! Getting on the YALSA list is an incredible honor; here’s hoping others agree that the books are worth a look.

    Thanks again,


  3. davidpwelsh says:

    No problem, Mark! Do you know where it’s going to be shelved in bookstores, in the YA or graphic novel sections?

  4. Mark Crilley says:

    Hi David,

    I’ve found it in the GN/manga section, which is really where it needs to be. It’s certainly being presented as a manga series: it’s manga size, etc. (It does read western style, though, ‘front to back’ rather than Japanese style)

    Thanks again for the mention!


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