Official Press Release
The Before Columbus Foundation have announced the Winners of the
Twenty-Seventh Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS. Brooklyn-based Cartoonist
Gary Panter was named a recipient for his 2006 graphic novel, JIMBO’S
INFERNO, published by Seattle’s Fantagraphics Books. Panter becomes
the second Fantagraphics-published author to garner an ABA — Joe
Sacco’s PALESTINE was a recipient in 1996, and the award at that time
very much helped solidfy Palestine’s place in the pantheon of great
JIMBO’S INFERNO is the acclaimed sequel (or prequel, as it was
actually completed first) to 2004’s acclaimed JIMBO IN PURGATORY.
Jimbo is the muscular, buzz-cut adventurer whom Panter has used over
the years not as an alter ego or a superhero but as an Everyman. In
Jimbo’s Inferno, a fractured retelling of Dante’s Inferno, Jimbo is a
wary innocent traveling through the most heinous atmosphere Panter
can imagine. For Panter, ”hell” is just two letters away from
spelling ”mall”: a gigantic, brain-numbing, info-commerce center
called Focky Bocky.
As Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker put it in his review of
JIMBO’S INFERNO, “Jimbo charts a dangerous path that adult readers
will appreciate as one of the few depictions of the netherworld that
owes nothing to the oft-imitated nightmare-dream work of Hieronymus
Bosch or Salvador Dali. Panter is a greater artist than either of
these, as this book and its predecesor, Jimbo In Purgatory, make
Gary Panter (born December 1, 1950 in Durant, Oklahoma) is an
illustrator, painter, designer and part-time musician. Panter is a
luminary of the post-underground, new wave comics movement that began
in the early 1980s. He has published his work in various magazines
and newspapers, including Raw, Time and Rolling Stone magazine. He
has exhibited all over the world, and won three Emmy awards for his
set designs for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.
The 2007 American Book Award winners will be formally recognized on
Saturday, December 2nd at
Laney College Theatre, 900 Fallon Street in Oakland. The awards will
take place from 4 P.M. – 6:30 P.M. Authors attending will read
selections from their works and sign copies of their award-winning
books. A reception and book signing will take place following the
ceremony. This event is free to the public. For more information,
call (510) 228-6775.
Emil Guillermo, a veteran journalist, and a columnist for AsianWeek,
will host the ceremony. As a senior host of NPR’s All Things
Considered, Guillermo was the first Filipino American to host a
national news program. In 2000, his book, Amok: Essays from an
Asian American Perspective was honored with an American Book Award.
The night’s keynote address will be given by California Poet Laureate
Al Young. Sourcebooks has just published his latest work, Something
About The Blues, a massive collection of blues and jazz driven
poetry. The collection is also packaged with an exciting audio CD.
The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for
outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of
America’s diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is
to recognize literary excellence without limitations or
restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no
losers. The award winners] range from well-known and established
writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no
quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a
natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American
culture as inclusive and has always considered the term
“multicultural” to be not a description of various categories,
groups, or “special interests,” but rather as the definition of all
of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry
organization, but rather are a writers’ award given by other writers.
A selection of Panter images in a variety of formats is available for
publication. For additional information, contact Eric Reynolds at the
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