Acclaimed Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons has been named the United Kingdom's first comics laureate by the new advocacy group Comics Literary Awareness (CLAw).
The announcement was made Friday by Scott McCloud during the launch of the organization at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, England. CLAw is dedicated to improving literacy among children through comics while promoting the variety and quality of the medium.
According to the group, the title of comics laureate will be bestowed every two years to a comics writer or artist in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field. In that role, the creator will champion children's literacy through school visits and education conferences. Gibbons will begin his term in February.
"It’s a great honor for me to be nominated as the first Comics Laureate,” Gibbons said in a statement. “I intend to do all that I can to promote the acceptance of comics in schools. It’s vitally important not only for the pupils but for the industry too.” Dave Gibbons takes up his position from February 2015.
One of the first contributors to 2000AD, Gibbons' extensive body of work also includes Dan Dare, Doctor Who, Give Me Liberty, Martha Washington Goes to War, Green Lantern's "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps" and, of course, the influential Superman story "For the Man Who Has Everything."
CLAw's board of trustees includes creators Bryan Talbot and Ian Churchill, Lakes International Comic Art Festival Director Julie Tait, SelfMadeHero Publisher Emma Hayley, Stan Lee Excelsior Award founder and librarian Paul Register, and comics scholar Mel Gibson.