15 February 2008

Mazel Tov to Cybils Judges

The most fun of helping to judge the Cybils' graphic-novels category this year was making the cyber-acquaintance (and, in one case, the café-acquaintance) of the other judges. They were all knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the literary form, and amiable in the discussions.

Angie Thompson at Angieville did a terrific job at explaining why The Professor's Daughter charmed most of this year's judges as top pick for YA readers--better than the official write-up, I dare say. I also appreciate her Top Ten Kick-A** Heroines of YA from last fall.

Anna at TangognaT will henceforth be my go-to-librarian for esoteric manga questions. Her blog even has an "Ask TangognaT" feature! She links to Tegan while I link to Eric, Mr. Tegan.

One of the how-to books by comics pros that I read in cramming for this process was Peter David's Writing for Comics. Last month judge Snow Wildsmith at The Only True Magic shared the news that this June will bring David's new take on the Peter Pan legend, called Tigerheart. She also noted three more Bloody Good Graphic Novels for teens.

David Elzey linked from his review-heavy Excelsior File to what might be his emergency back-up blog, Fomagrams, for his thoughtful remarks about Shaun Tan's The Arrival:

It’s shortlisted, but in the teen/YA category. . . . There was a bit of back-and-forth about this from my fellow judges once I brought up that while I felt it could be appreciated by an older audience I found it more appropriate for the middle grade set. The issues it covers — immigration, stranger-in-a-strange-land, government oppression — these are heavy topics but not outside the scope of the tween audience.
In fact, David concluded:
This is one of those books (like the picture books of Adam Rex, btw) which I almost feel are more for adults than kids.
Which is one of the troubles with those darned graphic novels. They look so easy to read, but then they turn out to have lots of different things to say for different readers.

Finally, Oz and Ends congratulates Greg R. Fishbone, a Cybils judging colleague from last year, and his wife Dori on a new addition to their family. Soon we'll have another reader to write for.


Anna said...

It was nice working with you on the Cybils!

Bkbuds said...

Thanks so much for joining us at Cybils. I think any category that boasts J.L. Bell as a member automatically grows exponentially in intellectual prowess and just genuine coolness.

'Til next year!
-Anne Levy

Angiegirl said...

Thanks for the mention, John. It was very flattering. I thoroughly enjoyed working with you on the judging panel and hope we can do it again sometime.