Comics A.M. | Sonny Liew wins Singapore Literature Prize

Awards | Sonny Liew's "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye" is the first graphic novel to win the Singapore Literature Prize for English Fiction. Ironically, the awards are supported by Singapore's National Arts Council, which had originally provided financial support for the book but withdrew it last summer when controversy arose over its contents. "The award is given by the Book Council rather than NAC, so I don’t think it represents change in NAC’s stance towards the book, but it is a real honour winning this prize and gives me more encouragement for future projects," Liew said. [Malay Mail]

Creators | Scholastic will publish "His Dark Materials" author Philip Pullman's first graphic novel in June 2017. Illustrated by Fred Fordham, "The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship" has been serialized in the British children's comics weekly "The Phoenix" since 2008. The story follows the title character in a time-traveling ship who as he fights an evil corporation and trying to bring a lost girl home. [Entertainment Weekly]

Creators | Novelist Margaret Atwood is going to Comic-Con International to promote her first full-length graphic novel "Angel Catbird." Atwood says she had been toying with the idea for the story for years, but execution was an issue: "I was comfortable with comics as a form—I grew up in that culture, have drawn comics myself, and am a visual thinker. But unfortunately the Angel Catbird pictures I produced were lumpy and primitive—I wasn’t good at pecs and abs, or even proper wings." So she teamed up with artist Jonnie Christmas and colorist Tamra Bonvillain, although the first time all three will be in the same place at the same time will be when they meet in San Diego. The book will be out in September; the article includes a four-page preview. [Wired]

Passings | Thomas "Thom" Tapp, creator of "The Church of the Covered Dish," which ran in the Baptist Press for many years, has died from liver cancer. He was 65. Tapp was a Baptist pastor who began drawing cartoons in 1987, while recovering from surgery for a brain tumor. "The cartoons became a vehicle for mental healing," he said in a 1998 interview; he also quoted Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine...," to back up his argument that Christians should be happy and enjoy life. "The Church of the Covered Dish" debuted in the Tennessee paper Baptist and Reflector and started running in the Baptist Press in 2000. The comic was a wry look at the daily life of a pastor, Eli Chortlesnort, and Tapp freely admitted that he drew on his own experiences for the cartoons. "The cartoon provided an honest look at Baptist churches, ministers and laity through the lens of humor," said Baptist and Reflector editor Lonnie Wilkey. "Thom took us through things that a minister (especially those who serve smaller churches) deals with on a daily basis." [BRNow.org]

Graphic novels | Marianne Barriaux looks at the surge of graphic novels about the Spanish Civil War. Both sides used comics as propaganda during the war, but in the following decades, people were reluctant to revisit the trauma and many comics publishers went out of business. Now the passing of time and the emergence of the graphic novel format, along with a new willingness to discuss the war, has led to a wave of graphic novels on the subject. [Yahoo News]

Graphic novels | Dynamite has announced plans to adapt Ian Fleming's James Bond novels into graphic novel format, starting with "Casino Royale," which will be adapted by writer Van Jensen and artist Matt Southworth. [Dynamite Entertainment]

Graphic novels | Dynamite plans a print run of 140,000 copies for its second Grumpy Cat collection, "Grumpy Cat Vol. 2: Grumpy Cat & Pokey" [ICv2]

Retailing | As noted here Thursday, Boom Comics in Topeka, Kansas, gave out free comics to children yesterday as part of a "Meet and Eat" event during Lunch Across Kansas Week. Kids and teens got a free lunch, comic, and book and had the opportunity to play games during the event, which was designed to promote both reading and healthy eating. [Topeka Capital-Journal]

Batman's Latest Issue Includes a Subtle Homage to Frank Miller's Daredevil

More in Comics