My 2015 Hourly Comic Day comics. Some of these were done in a moving car. All were done straight-to-Sharpie in a notebook given to me by a Naperville middle school last fall with a parade of elephants along the bottom page trim.
Yesterday I was anticipating this morning’s ALA Youth Media Awards announcements, and while I was sure that SISTERS wasn’t going to win anything, I was holding out hope for some of my friends’ books, specifically EL DEAFO by Cece Bell. And we woke up today to learn that it did indeed receive a Newbery Honor Award — the most distinguished award in the children’s book industry, and the first time a graphic novel has ever done so. I didn’t want to name-drop in the hourly comic for fear of jinxing it, but that’s the book I was thinking about at 9:50pm last night. El Deafo is one of the most important books to come along in a long time, graphic novel or otherwise, and Cece deserves every ounce of recognition she is getting.
Today also happens to be the 5-year anniversary of SMILE in print. I was too busy making noise about El Deafo on Twitter to give it much thought, but Cece herself has told me that it was only after she read Smile that she decided to tell her story in graphic novel format. I could not be more proud or happy for her, and if I have contributed in some small way to moving both the worlds of comics and children’s literature forward, that’s all the honor I need.
Many congrats to my other friends who were bestowed with medals today, but especially Dan Santat, who took home Caldecott gold for Beekle, and Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, who collected both a Caldecott Honor and a Printz Honor for their graphic novel This One Summer.