It isn’t the first graphic novel to make the prestigious National Book Award longest, but Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona IS the first book that was originally a serialized webcomic, and this is another huge groundbreaking recognition for a graphic novel.

Published in May by HarperCollins, Nimona is the tale of an ambitious young shapeshifter who wins master thief Sir Baluster Blackhearts as an apprentice…but personality conflicts incite honor and adventure. It’s a beautifully drown, refreshing take on medieval fantasy cliches. It’s been optioned by Fox for development as an animated feature.

Stevenson, only 23, is already one of the most precocious comics master since Jim Shooter, with not only Nimona, but Lumberjanes and an increasing workload at Marvel and other mainstream comics publisher, a job in animation underlay, a future so bright she’ll need sunscreen. This longlist nod will only increase the SPF number.

Nominee is not the first graphic novel to make the NBA longest. Gene Luen Yang made the list twice with American Born Chinese and Boxers/Saints; last year Roz Chast was the first adult cartoonist to make the list, with Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant.

Final nominees will be announced on October 14.

And personal plug — if you’re at SPX this weekend I’ll be “moderating” (i.e. running the skideshow for) a conversation between Stevenson and Kate Beaton Saturday at noon. Join us!

Here’s the complete list of nominees.

Becky Albertalli, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Children’s Books

M. T. Anderson, “Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad”
Candlewick Press

Ali Benjamin, “The Thing About Jellyfish”
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group 

Rae Carson, “Walk on Earth a Stranger”
Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Children’s Books

Gary Paulsen, “This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs”
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Laura Ruby, “Bone Gap”
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Children’s Books 

Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon, “X: A Novel”
Candlewick Press

Steve Sheinkin, “Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War”
Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Neal Shusterman, “Challenger Deep”
HarperTeen/HarperCollins Children’s Books

Noelle Stevenson, “Nimona”
HarperTeen/HarperCollins Children’s Books