The webcomics blog about webcomics

Via Colonel Joey

Noted on the front page of Modern Tales:

American Born Chinese nominated for National Book Award
October 11th, 2006
Posted By: Joey Manley
The book collection of American Born Chinese (one of the original Modern Tales strips) by Gene Yang has been nominated for the National Book Award in the category of “Young People’s Literature.â€? This is a very big deal. It’s probably the most prestigious American literary award. When I was in creative writing school, anyway, everybody I knew (teachers and students alike) all paid a lot more attention to the National Book Award than, for example, the Pulitzer. Congrats, Gene! Good luck!”

To add to what Manley said just a little, the National Book Awards have never previously recognized a piece of graphic literature for consideration — not MAUS, not Blankets, nothing. This is not just a presitigious situation that Yang has earned for himself, it’s unprecedented. My only quibble (and it’s a minor one) is that somebody at the National Book Foundation may still be hung up on the idea pictures = kids, with the result that the nomination was not in the category of “Fiction”.

If you haven’t read ABC yet (and why the hell not?), you’ve been missing a real treat. I don’t know if any mention of the fact that it’s a) graphic fiction; or b) originated on the web will make it into the awards ceremony next month, but we know the score. Please add your congratulations to those of Manley and the Modern Tales family, Fleen, and all those who love this crazy medium. I can’t think of a more deserving nominee.

*Gives congratulations where appropriate.*

How cool is that, not only for the Gene and the underappreciated mediums in general, but for all the readers who will have their definition of “American” either improved or validated. That’s huge.

[…] In other news, last night the National Book Awards were presented in New York, and Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese did not win in the category of Young People’s Literature. That honor went to MT Anderson for The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume One: The Pox Party. We all know that some feel that Yang didn’t belong in such august company (the reaction to which opinion was satisfyingly brutal and swift), but you know what? I’m okay with last night’s outcome. […]

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