Gilbert “Beto” Hernandez’s status as One Of Our Greatest Living Cartoonists got yet more validation today when it was announced that he’s the recipient of The Pen Center USA’s 2013 Graphic Literature award for Outstanding Body of Work. The Pen Center Awards are given out each year to deserving authors in multiple categories, and as the name suggests, it honors a notable body of work. Previous winners in the graphic literature category include Matt Fraction (2010), Daniel Clowes (2011) and Joe Sacco (2012).
And just to make it Beto’s Day, D&Q added to the news by announcing that they’ll publish BUMPERHEAD, a follow-up to MARBLE SEASON, the graphic novel of childhood which garnered Hernandez some of the best reviews of his career earlier this year. According to the PR:
To be released in Fall 2014, BUMPERHEAD is the story of a young Hispanic boy and his immigrant father who doesn’t speak English. Nicknamed “Bumperhead” by the neighbourhood bullies–due to his odd-shaped head–he frets over his dad’s inability to understand the world around him. On top of that he’s trying to gain the attentions of his dream girl and fit into American culture. BUMPERHEAD explores the intergenerational immigrant identity, and the complexities of the father-son relationship.
Although the prolific Hernandez continues his seminal Love and Rockets comics for Fantagraphics, his D&Q publishing deal allows him to do some spin-off standalones which enable new readers to get into his work. So I see it as a win win for everyone involved.
Hernandez’s other award wins include the Kirby, Inkpot, Harvey, and the United States Artists Literature Fellowship.
BUMPERHEAD will be distributed in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and in Canada by Raincoast Books. International rights are represented by Samantha Haywood of the Transatlantic Literary Agency.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.