Opening round nominees for the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards were announced on Tuesday, with 15 books nominated in each of the 20 categories including Best Graphic Novels & Comics. This marks the 11th year of the Goodreads Choice Awards, and the system at this point is pretty tried and true — but of course, there are plenty of great books that get missed each year.
Before we dive into some of the books that we hope will be popular write-in candidates on this year’s ballot, here are the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards opening round nominees for Best Graphic Novels & Comics:
- Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau (First Second)
- Book Love by Debbie Tung (Andrews McMeel Publishing)
- Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob (One World)
- Named one of the Top 10 books of 2019 by Publishers Weekly
- The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel by Margaret Atwood and Renée Nault (Nan A. Talese)
- Heartstopper Vol. 2 by Alice Oseman (Hodder Children’s Books)
- Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley (First Second)
- A New York Times bestseller
- Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (First Second)
- 2019 Harvey Awards winner for Book of the Year and Best Children’s or Young Adult Book; 2019 Ignatz Awards winner for Outstanding Artist, Outstanding Graphic Novel, and Outstanding Story
- Queerness In Comics: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me
- Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker, Wendy Xu, and Joamette Gil (Lion Forge/Oni Press)
- Paper Girls Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Dee Cunniffe, and Jared K. Fletcher (Image Comics)
- 2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards winner for Best Coloring; 2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards nominee for Best Lettering
- Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks, and Sarah Stern (First Second)
- Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri, Enrica Eren Angiolini, and Rob Steen (Titan Comics)
- Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia, Gabriel Picolo, Jon Sommariva, Emma Kubert, David Calderon, and Tom Napolitano (DC Ink)
- Summer 2019 Kids Indie Next List; USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller
- They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker (Top Shelf Productions)
- A New York Times bestseller
- Our review
- The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion by Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá, Nate Piekos, and Nick Filardi (Dark Horse Comics)
- Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle, Isaac Goodhart, Jeremy Lawson, and Deron Bennett (DC Ink)
This is an incredible selection of 2019 graphic novels and comics, especially given the caliber of work released this year across every genre within the medium. First Second leads this pack of opening round nominees with four titles; DC Ink follows with two. Several of these books are LGBTQ-focused, two are graphic memoirs, two adapt bestselling novels, and most are aimed at middle grade or young adult audiences. (Note: Guts by Raina Telgemeier is also nominated for the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards, in the Best Middle Grade & Children’s category.)
Also of note: several of these titles have already taken home distinguishing marks and awards this year, including spots on national bestseller lists. That makes sense; according to the Goodreads Choice Awards Rules & Eligibility, the opening round nominees are chosen based on the following criteria:
Books published in the United States in English, including works in translation and other significant rereleases, between November 16, 2018, and November 15, 2019, are eligible for the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards. Books published between November 16, 2019, and November 15, 2020, will be eligible for the 2020 awards.
We analyze statistics from the millions of books added, rated, and reviewed on Goodreads to nominate 15 books in each category. Opening round official nominees must have an average rating of 3.50 or higher at the time of launch. Write-in votes may be cast for eligible books with any average rating, and write-in votes will be weighted by the book’s Goodreads statistics to determine the top five books to be added as official nominees in the Semifinal Round. A book may be nominated in no more than one genre category, but can also be nominated in the Debut Novel category. Only one book in a series may be nominated per category. An author may receive multiple nominations within a single category if he or she has more than one eligible series or more than one eligible stand-alone book.
With so much buzz surrounding these nominees, of course they rank high among Goodreads statistics. However, as mentioned above, there are still a number of titles missing from this list. In addition to the 15 initial nominations in each categories, readers have the option to weigh in on their favorite titles by writing in additional nominees that meet the eligiblity requirements. Some potential 2019 write-in candidates include:
- Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden (First Second) — 3.86 average rating
- The Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis (Drawn & Quarterly) — 4.25 average rating (!)
- Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki, Steve Pugh, and Carlos M. Mangual (DC Ink) — 3.96 average rating
- Meal by Blue Delliquanti and Soleil Ho (Iron Circus Comics) — 3.80 average rating
- 2019 PRISM Awards winner for Best Comic from a Small to Midsize Press
- Stargazing by Jen Wang (First Second) — 4.22 average rating (!)
- Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries (Lion Forge/Oni Press) — 4.00 average rating
And that’s just a small handful.
The Goodreads Choice Awards are the only major book awards chosen 100 percent by readers. Following the first round of voting, which ends Monday, Nov. 11, there will be a semi-final round running from Nov. 12-Nov. 17, then a third and final round of voting featuring the top 10 books from each category. Voting in the final round opens Nov. 19 and closes Dec. 2; winners will be announced Dec. 10.
What are your thoughts on the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards opening round nominees? Let us know in the comments!