The LA Times has announced the category finalists for its 2023 Book Prize and it is an impressive list – with a strong showing in the Comics/Graphic Novels category and Alex Segura‘s comics-related novel Secret Identity making it as a Mystery/Thriller finalist.

Winners will be announced Friday, April 21 on the eve of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (taking place April 22-23).

In Comics/Graphic Novels and looking by publisher, Fantagraphics leads the pack with two finalists – Alex Graham’s collected Dog Biscuits; Instagram webcomic and Tommi Parrish’s graphic novel Men I Trust. Drawn & Quarterly’s feminist alt-manga collection Talk to My Back, by Yamada Murasaki (translated by Ryan Holmberg); Abrams ComicArts adds historical biography with Noah Van Sciver’s Joseph Smith and the Mormons; and Chronicle Books comes in with Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith’s Wash Day Diaries. A pretty eclectic mix.

Comics related material isn’t isolated to the Comics/Graphic Novels category in this year’s LA Times Book Prize finalists – Alex Segura’s novel Secret Identity – about a queer Latina comics writer working in the comics industry of the 1970s – landed a spot in the Mystery/Thriller category.

Tangentially comics related, the Freedom To Read Foundation received the Innovator’s Award. A non-profit anti-censorship organization operated by the American Library Association since 1969 to combat book removals from libraries and protecting First Amendment rights. It is one of the promoters of the annual Banned Books Week which takes place during the last full week of September.

LA Times deputy managing editor for entertainment and strategy Julia Turner said about the Freedom To Read Foundation,

“Created to support and defend librarians, the organization is as important and relevant today as it was at its inception in 1969. We honor its continued fight against book bans and its mission to protect all Americans’ right to read and access information.”

LA Times Book Prize 2023 — Graphic Novels/Comics