I got invited to attend this year’s San Diego ComiCon by my publishers, First Second, as Laika was up for not one but two awards. Being nominated for an Eisner or indeed, any award in this game is an honour in itself, but getting invited out to California isn’t something that’s happened a lot to anyone in my generation of Brit alt-comic artists. It meant a lot.
No way did I ever expect to win an Eisner, though. I thought I was the rank outsider and had convinced myself it just wouldn’t happen. Thus I truly learned the meaning of the phrase “jaw-dropping”: I thought the muscles at the corners of my mouth were going to melt with surprise.
As I walked up to the stage to collect the award from the very kind gentleman who does Spongebob Squarepants’ voice, someone bellowed “Huuuugo Taaaaate” from the audience. Appreciated! (Afterwards this gentleman found me and explained he would be very keen to see HT back in print and that it was surely one of the great “lost” graphic novels of the nineties. Rest assured sir, plans are afoot to see a complete collection of these strips happen in the near future.)
And there’s a lesson here: always be prepared. I should’ve had a list of people to thank; as it was I was so dumbstruck I barely managed to thank my publishers. So here’s what I should’ve said:
Thank you everyone at First Second: Gina, Danica, Kat, Calista, Lauren, Simon, Tanya and especially Mark, who gave me the opportunity and the space to create this book as the labour of love it turned out to be. Thanks also to Hilary, my colourist, for her patience in putting up with all my exhaustive stage directions.
Thanks also to all the support I’ve received from cartoonists and comics folk in the UK: my ground crew; you know who you are. Big thanks also to my friends in the USA and especially New York: Jess, Matt, Charlie, Nick and especially Jason who gave me the best set of editorial notes ever.
Thanks to Ang and Nadia, who put up with me working so hard for so long and thanks to the rest of my family for similar. Thanks to my Mum for always believing in me. Special thanks to my Dad, who didn’t live long enough to see this – he’d have loved it. Special thanks also to my friend Steve, who died earlier this year, for his belief and encouragement. Miss you both.
For the record, thanks also to all the incredibly great people I met over at SDCC, its organisers and attendees, too many to list here. Special thanks to Rutu for sharing and being there, to Tom and David (and fellow panel guests) for the great panels, to Eddie, Dave, Gene, Dekker and the blokes, Dylan, Tom and Lark, Lamprini and Nik et al for hanging out, to Mark, Lauren, Cliff, Jordan, Gina, Danica and Diana for food and fine conversation, to everyone that came and said hello at the FS booth. ‘Til next time.
And thanks to y'all out there, for all the messages of congratulation and support, but most of all for reading the book.
Posted by: Nick Abadzis | permalink