March 22 2006 – RALEIGH, NC: Five self-published comics based on content developed online have been short-listed for the inaugural Lulu Blooker Prize (www.lulublookerprize.com ), the world's first literary award for "blooks" – books based on blogs or websites, including webcomics.
The Blooker has announced short-lists for blooks in three categories: fiction, non-fiction, and comics. The winner in each category, plus one overall winner, will be selected by a panel of judges chaired by Cory Doctorow, the noted blogger and net activist (www.craphound.com> and >www.boingboing.net). The winners will be announced on Monday, April 3 and will share prize money of $4,000.
Most of the total of 16 blooks short-listed by the Blooker are published by traditional publishers but the five blooks to make comics short-list are all self-published, including four self-published using Lulu (www.lulu.com) itself. All five are based on popular webcomics:
"Ambidextrous: Collection 1" by Kevin Cornell from Philadelphia, PA. Based on one of the regular strips from his website, Bearskinrug (www.bearskinrug.co.uk), it a comic stripped down to its barest essentials. Two nameless characters, barely more than stick-figures, inhabit a minimalist landscape. Trolls, aliens, and pandas visit. Hilarity ensues.
"Comic Strip Volume 1: Scarybear and Friends" by Jason Pultz from Vancouver, BC. Based on Comic Strip (www.scarybear.org), it is about a naive bear, a drunken cowboy, and an old Macintosh computer that wants to take over the world, and it has been syndicated in a major free newspaper in Canada.
"Dinosaur Comics: Huge Eyes, Beaks, Intelligence, and Ambition" by Ryan North from Toronto, ON. It is based on Dinosaur Comics (www.qwantz.com ), and it stars the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex in the same six images repeated over and over again. The repetitive images place constraints on the writing, but they also contribute an additional layer of absurd comedy to each installment. Also, it turns out T. Rex is sort of jerk.
"The Dada Alphabet: An Absurdist's Illustrated Primer" by Stephanie Freese, David Milloway, and Matthew Wood. This trio from Raleigh, NC originally created this alphabet rhyme as a series of 26 painting for a local art show. Based on their webcomic The Dada Detective (www.likelystories.com), it features a bizarre cast of characters including a hard-boiled detective and an extremely talkative mime. (Lulu.com)
"Totally Boned: A Joe and Monkey Collection" by Zach Miller from Rochester, MN. It is based on Joe and Monkey (www.joeandmonkey.com), and stars Joe (a regular guy), Monkey (a monkey), and Kleptobot (an evil robot). They have many adventures and are afraid of ducks.
• ABOUT THE BLOOKER PRIZE AND THE SHORT-LIST IN FULL: www.lulublookerprize.com
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