We see a lot of heroes in comics, but they always pale in comparison to the ones you see after a terrible crisis in real life. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, we saw actual heroes responding, helping others, and doing things that made us all proud. It was sad to see the Boston Comic Con postponed, knowing how much work and effort went into putting the event together, and how excited fans were to celebrate their love of comics. But it was very heartening to see the announcement from Neil Gibson and his team saying that, since they had shipped comics to Boston for the con already, they would instead be giving the comics away at local Boston comic shops. Many of those same shops put on mini events over the weekend to help fans celebrate, even hosting signings and more. Boston’s spirit of not being defeated is inspirational in the face of such great tragedy.
In happier news, it was exciting to see that the winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were announced last Friday at the launch of the L.A. Times Festival of Books. The winner in the graphic novel category was Everything Together: Collected Stories by Sammy Harkham (PictureBox). Congratulations to Sammy for the important win! By the way, in case you’re curious --- and we know you are --- here are the other winners: Biography: The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro (Knopf)
Current interest: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (Random House)
Fiction: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (Ecco)
First fiction: Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf)
History: America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas and the Compromise That Preserved the Union by Fergus M. Bordewich (S&S)
Mystery/thriller: Broken Harbor by Tana French (Viking)
Poetry: Poems 1962-2012 by Louise Glück (FSG)
Science and technology: Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams (Norton)
Young adult literature: Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers)
Lifetime achievement: Kevin Starr
Innovator's award: Margaret Atwood.
I’m really pleased with the interviews you’ll find on GNR right now. First up, writer and artist Miriam Katin delivers a powerful new memoir, Letting It All Go, her follow-up to her story of Holocaust survival, which began in We Are On Our Own. In her latest, she and her husband deal with the fact that their son Ilan is moving to Berlin…a city that elicits so much pain, hurt, fear, and trepidation in Miriam to this day. But it also represents a chance to move on, to find healing, and she takes it gracefully. I enjoyed getting more of her perspective in our GNR interview.
Mick Gray is a talented and exciting artist currently working on one of DC’s Batman titles. He talked to GNR interviewer Doré Ripley about recent events in the Dark Knight’s life, like the horrific death of Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian. How Batman is coping with the death is taking on a model similar to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grieving, and as Batman goes through them, comics fans are getting intensely vivid stories. Gray shared some scoop.
We’ve got plenty of new reviews up (see below for the full list), including the aforementioned Letting It Go and another new classic from one of my favorite creators, Audrey Niffenegger, Raven Girl. Also, just a reminder that our look at all the new spring graphic novels has been online for several weeks now and it’s still a great place to keep up on what’s new and what’s coming soon. Plan your reading list accordingly!Until next time,
John Hogan (John@bookreporter.com)
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