Fox News and other outlets report that the Japanese government is planing to give away a sort of Novel Prize to foriegn (non-Japanese) comics arrtists:

The Japanese government announced Tuesday it will award its first “Nobel Prize of Manga” in July to comic-book artists living abroad. It’s a watershed moment for the island nation, which experts say has been slow to recognize the graphic-novel — or “manga” — industry as an officially sanctioned economic powerhouse.

“It’s not Sony anymore, it’s manga,” said Alexandra Munroe, the senior curator of Asian art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. “It’s a very strategic move by the government to kind of sanctify and legitimize an area of Japanese cultural production that has traditionally been — although economically a huge portion of Japan’s publishing industry — it has been officially a subculture.”

According to the piece, a committee of manga artists and publishers will release a list of the finalists for the prize on June 22. The winner and three runner-ups will travel to Japan on July 2 for a ceremony and a 10-day trip to meet with the manga industry. Sounds like OGM is too legit to quit.