Man this is really the year it all HAPPENS isn’t it? The Costa Awards are a prestigious literary prize in the UK, and this year two graphic novels were included in the shortlist of finalists.
Days of the Bagnold Summer by Joff Winterhart was shortlisted for novel of the year and Dotter of her Father’s Eyes by Mary and Bryan Talbot is on the best biography shortlist.
We’ve talked about Dotter many times here before. It’s a dual biography of James Joyce’s daughter and a memoir of Mary Talbot’s own childhood with her father, a famed Joycean scholar.
Days of Bagnold Summer we personally never heard of before, but we’re told it’s “a moving story of a heavy metal loving teenager forced to spend all summer with his mother.”
The Costa Prizes, sponsored by the Costa Coffee chain, are given in five categories—best novel.. best biography, best poetry, best children’s book and best first novel. Category winners will be announced on January 2nd, and one book will win Book of the year and £30,000 on January 29th.
It’s frankly marvelously encouraging to see graphic novels competing on equal footing with non-picture books for literary prizes. For a long time, one would be laughed out of the room for saying that comics were a medium of ideas as well as art and fist fights, but others are beginning to agree.
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.