LA Times Book Prize Finalist Spotlight: I Will Bite You! by Joseph Lambert

The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are a set of awards for excellence in literature held annually since 1980. They are given to books published in the United States within the previous calendar year by a living author(s). Winners receive a citation and $500 for each category. The finalists for each category were announced recently, and the Graphic Novel category, the newest to be added to the prestigious prizes, has an impressive line-up. The Comics Observer looks at each Graphic Novel finalist in the build-up to the award ceremony April 20.

I Will Bite You! And Other Stories by Joseph Lambert

Joseph Lambert‘s debut graphic novel I Will Bite You! And Other Stories (published by Secret Acres) presents a set of short stories from a rising star exploring childlike perspectives. It has won the 2011 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Collection and Outstanding Artist. Some of the work originally appeared in mini-comics created and/or edited by Lambert. The Comics Journal‘s Rob Clough has named some of those mini-comics the best of 2010 (#21: Everyday) and 2011 (#4: Sundays: Forever Changes, #13: Too Far, #14: Kids). Lambert has also been recognized in several editions of the annual America’s Best Comics anthology, and was spotlighted by its editor Jessica Abel here. He’s a 2008 graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, where some of his short stories were published in the local alt weekly newspaper Seven Days.

Despite all of that, Lambert is almost definitely the most obscure pick among this year’s Graphic Novel finalists. Because most of his work has appeared in mini-comics until now, he’s under a lot of people’s radar. So this could be a significant win for someone so new to the game. It could also give a nice promotional push for his upcoming release Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, a graphic novella aimed at younger readers.

He’s an exciting newcomer that almost surely has his best work ahead of him based on the promise he’s exhibited so far. And that’s no slight on the work in I Will Bite You! or any of his other current material. His sublime illustrations are unafraid to play with colors, form and the narrative convention of comics without losing any appeal and accessibility. Just check out his stunning use of colors and childlike discovery in the story Fall, available to read online for free at that link.

Two-page scan from The Comix Cube, which included I Will Bite You! on its Best of 2011 list.

About these ads

About Corey Blake

Corey Blake does things on the Internet, and sometimes even in real life. As a comic book pundit, advocate and educator, he regularly contributes to the Comic Book Resources blog Robot 6. He also advises for the award-winning documentary and comics advocacy movement Dig Comics, and is a member of the Part-Time Fanboy podcast. He ran the web-magazine The Comics Observer, which provides a variety of perspectives on the comic book art form and industry. As a comedic performer/actor, Corey is a founding member of the improv comedy group The You Convention, a house team at The Improv Space, and the independent improv troupe T.M.A. (The Meaningless Acronyms). Every year he performs a variety of characters as part of the popular Halloween show Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey at the botanical gardens of The Huntington Library. He was a member of The Magic Meathands, which performed fully improvised shows for all kinds of audiences, including homeless shelters and other community outreach centers. He also has a history with writing and performing sketch comedy, notably with the Los Angeles branch of The 3rd Floor and as a founding member of Foe Pa. Corey has been seen in online web-series such as The Jeff Lewis 5-Minute Comedy Hour (Best Web Comedy-Episodic, Clicker.com), The Starmind Record (Best Direction and Editing, LA Web Series), Poopdog Entertainment’s Mayer for Mayor (Funny or Die featured video), and Chatroom of Solitude on Stan Lee’s World of Heroes YouTube channel. His on-camera performances have also included short films Tough Love (Official Selection, Festival de Cannes’ Short Film Corner) and Hattie Needs Rehab (Excellence in Performance, Extreme Filmmaker 48 Hour Film Festival), the feature film Chasing Happiness, and the pilot for the children’s show “Imagination Station”. Corey Blake also has experience behind the camera. He has written comedy sketches, and directed and produced videos for the Magic Meathands Originals sketch web-series, as well as sketches for Foe Pa and The 3rd Floor: LA. He co-wrote and co-produced the feature length musical comedy Mission: Improbable. Additionally, he helped produce the award-winning documentary Dig Comics (Best Documentary, Comic-Con Int’l: Independent Film Festival; Official Selection, Festival de Cannes’ Short Film Corner) and a demo trailer for the charitable organization Voices From Chornobyl. He’s also crazy about kitties, which means the internet is a very happy place for him. See http://www.coreyblake.com for more.

Posted on March 16, 2012, in Events, News and Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 184 other followers

%d bloggers like this: