UK publishing trade magazine The Bookseller announced titles in the running for Book of the Year at the 2023 British Book Awards on Friday and two comics have made shortlist – Alice Oseman’s The Heartstopper Yearbook and Jamie Smart’s Bunny Vs Monkey: Rise of the Maniacal Badger.

The Bookseller’s commentary on each of the shortlisted comics:

The Heartstopper Yearbook, written and illustrated by Alice Oseman (Hodder Children’s Books)

“Last year was the year of Heartstopper, with the Netflix adaptation of Alice Oseman’s YA graphic novel series reinvigorating the genre and filling Hodder Children’s coffers. The Heartstopper Yearbook was the first in the collection to be published in full colour, giving fans a new entry into the much-loved universe with exclusive new content.”

Bunny Vs Monkey: Rise of the Maniacal Badger, written and illustrated by Jamie Smart (David Fickling Books):

“The fifth book in Jamie Smart’s Bunny vs Monkey series was a turning point. David Fickling Books championed the series’ uniqueness as a much-loved collection, securing a 94% increase in first-week sales on Smart’s last outing. He ended the year as the 28th-bestselling author in the TCM [total consumer market], having risen from 96th place.”

The British Book Awards comprises twelve Book of the Year categories – including two for fiction and nonfiction audiobooks. There is currently no separate category for comics or graphic novels. Bunny Vs Monkey and The Heartstopper Yearbook have placed in the Book of the Year 2023 – Children’s Illustrated category.

The winners of the British Book Awards 2023 will be declared at a ceremony on May 15 – to be held at Grosvenor House, London, and via livestream.

According to their website, the British Book Awards (which are also referred to as ‘The Nibbies’) “is a celebration of books: it affirms, connects and energises the world of reading by showcasing those who create stories and everyone who plays a role in bringing those stories to life.” The awards have gone through many incarnations with a lineage tracing back to 1990.


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