Comics laureate

Photograph: DC Comics

Photograph: DC Comics

From The Bookseller:

Graphic novelist Dave Gibbons is to become the UK’s first comics laureate.

Gibbons was appointed at the launch of new charity Comics Literacy Awareness (CLAw) at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on Friday 17th October, by graphic novelist Scott McCloud.

The title of comics laureate will be appointed biennially to a distinguished comics writer or artist in recognition of their outstanding achievement in the field. Their role is to champion children’s literacy through school visits, training events for school staff and education conferences.

Gibbons has won praise for his comics and graphic novel work for Marvel and DC Comics, including Watchmen (with Alan Moore), 2000AD and Doctor Who.

He said: “It’s a great honour for me to be nominated as the first comics laureate. 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.”

Gibbons will take up his two-year position from February 2015.

And by way of follow up, the Guardian has a curious piece by David Barnett entitled:

Five must-read graphic novels that prove comics are worthy of a laureate

My immediate reaction was to query the number? Why only five? If anything, it sets off the cynic in me to suggest that the writer couldn’t find five more decent comics to make up a top ten. This is not to say there is a shortage of quality comics (aka graphic novels) – there isn’t – but even a dabbler in the field like me could come up with a chunky list that would challenge several of those on that list of five.

Check out the piece here, noting that the comments give a decent spread of contenders for the list as well. So, you may pick up recommendations for a life’s worth of reading.