Monday, 14 April 2014

Gene Luen Yang, Ulli Lust win LA Times book prizes

The 34th annual LA Times Book Prize ceremony took place last Friday, with two graphic novels taking home prizes. The prize began recognising comics in 2010, with the introduction of the 'graphic novels/comics' category, this year won by Austrian artists Ulli Lust for her memoir, Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, published in English by Fantagraphics. The book has previously won an Ignatz award, and a prize at Angouleme in 2011 for the original German language edition. You can read Lust's lovely acceptance speech in comics format over at the Fantagraphics' blog.

More notably, perhaps, Gene Luen Yang once again triumphed for his superb historical diptych Boxers And Saints, in the young adult prose category, beating out such popular authors as Rainbow Rowell and Elizabeth Knox. Yang's win marks the first time in the history of the prize a comic has won in a non-comic (prose) category. It's fantastic to see comics continue to be nominated and recognised along with prose books, and especially nice to see Yang take home the prize for his excellent work; he seems to give a lot of his time working with schools and young people, and it's always that much nicer to see good people rewarded.

photograph via First Second's Facebook page

Graphic Novels/Comics prize:
Incidents in the Night by David B.
Today is the Last Day of the Rest of your Life by Ulli Lust
Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories by Ben Katchor
The End by Anders Nielsen
The Great War by Joe Sacco

Young Adult Literature prize:
What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings by Joyce Sidman
Fangirl by Raibow Rowell
Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox