Every year, the Illinois Library Association chooses a children’s book illustrator to create art for the statewide iREAD summer reading program. This year, comics artist Jill Thompson came up with scary monsters and aliens and other spooky things for the theme Scare Up a Good Book! Last week, at the San Diego Comic Con, the comics industry announced the winners of its yearly Eisner Awards. I’m very happy to report that Jill Thompson won the award for Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art) for her work on Beasts of Burden (which also won an award for Best Publication for Teens) and Magic Trixie and the Dragon. I had the chance to watch her demonstrate her work at the NIU Children’s Literature Conference. She really does use watercolor paint for the deep gray layers of clouds in the teen book and the candy-bright hair and clothes in Magic Trixie.
Many other comics for children and teens were also nominated for awards:
Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute was nominated for the Best Publication for Kids. I had to buy this one for my nephew the moment I heard about it.
The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook, another nominee for the same award, features three appealing young inventors and fantastic art.
Tiny Tyrant vol. 1: The Ethelbertosaurus, the third nominee for the award, follows a young king who gets whatever he demands– including a trip back in time to catch a dinosaur.
The TOON Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics was nominated for two different awards, Best Publication for Kids and Best Archival Collection/Project-Comic Books.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, adapted by Eric Shanover with art by Skottie Young, won the top honor for Best Publication for Kids.
Jill Thompson’s other project with Evan Dorkin, Beasts of Burden, won the Best Publication for Teens award. Another nominee for that award is part of our children’s collection:
A Family Secret by Eric Heuvel. While searching his Dutch grandmother’s attic for yard sale items, Jeroen finds a scrapbook which leads Gran to tell of her experiences as a girl living in Amsterdam during the Holocaust, when her father was a Nazi sympathizer and Esther, her Jewish best friend, disappeared.