Comics A.M. | Two GNs among inaugural Kirkus Prize finalists

Awards | The finalists for the inaugural Kirkus Prize literary awards include two graphic novels: Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is one of six nominees in the Nonfiction category, and Cece Bell's El Deafo is one of the picks for the Young Readers award. The winners in all three categories, who will receive $50,000 each, will be announced during a ceremony held Oct. 23 in Austin, Texas. [The Washington Post]

Manga | A prequel to Osamu Tezuka's classic Astro Boy manga is in the works for the Japanese magazine Monthly Hero's. Tezuka's son, Makoto Tezuka, is supervising the production of the story, which focuses on the time before the "birth" of the iconic robot boy. [Anime News Network]

Auctions | A collection of more than 5,000 comics will go on the auction block Oct. 10-11 in Burlington, North Carolina. The most valuable comic is probably the first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, which fetches up to $60,000 in mint condition. [WGHP]

Collecting | Collector Robert Frost discusses why comics in mint condition are so valuable. [Slate]

Political cartoons | The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar spoke to a group of students at Western Kentucky University about censorship in his homeland and his determination not to let it stop him: “I told police, ‘I will draw until the last drop of my ink. If you want to stop me, you must stop the ink supply coming to Malaysia.’” [WKU Herald]

Creators | Paul Pope talks about his first young adult comic, Battling Boy, and his new release The Rise of Aurora West, the first of his books to be drawn by another artist. [Kindle Post]

Creators | Michael Fiffe talks about Copra, which he describes succinctly as "Weirdo renegade mercenaries on revenge missions drawn with the thickest, crustiest brushes imaginable." [13th Dimension]

Publishing | U.K. publisher DC Thomson is releasing four hardback anthologies of comics from the long-vanished children's titles Hotspur, Bunty, The Topper and The Beezer. [Blimey]

Publishing | Steve Morris posts a handy list of the submissions policies of various comics publishers. If you're of a pessimistic bent, the list looks grim; a lot of publishers don't take submissions, and many of those who do want you to have an artist in place as well. That doesn't mean they aren't open to new creators, just that slush pile isn't the way to go about it; the editors I have talked to are constantly looking for new creators at conventions and online, [Comic Spire]

Libraries | I talked to school librarian Kat Kan about the ways graphic novels are used in schools and how she avoids graphic novel challenges. [Good Comics for Kids]

Conventions | The Columbia, South Carolina, convention Supah Pop is modeled along the lines of the nearby Dragon Con, with a strong comics presence (including a guest appearance by former Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas) but plenty of other pop-culture attractions as well. [Free Times]

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