LA Times Book Prize Finalist: Garden by Yuichi Yokoyama
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 tonight’s award ceremony.
Garden by Yuichi Yokoyama, as described by publisher PictureBox: “A group of friends is attempting to enter a garden just beyond a wall. When they succeed, the garden they finally enter is no Eden, but rather a massive landscape of machines, geometric forms and all manner of nonorganic objects. To his signature vivid visual style, Yokoyama has added more dialogue than in past works, fleshing out the characters and allowing them equal billing with his spectacular architectural creations.” Garden is the only manga on the list of Graphic Novel Finalists for this year (no manga last year). The story is essentially an excuse for Yuichi Yokoyama to draw whatever crazy thing he wants, as the reader is taken on a tour of a hyper-kinetic landscape with man-made objects intruding on nature.
For better insight on what makes Garden so special, check out Sean T. Collins’ interview with Yuichi Yokayama about the book and some of his past work, along with previewing six pages of Garden. There’s also a solid review by Douglas Wolk on TIME’s Techland blog which explains Yokoyama’s unconventional approach to storytelling, adamantly refusing to provide answers to his mysteries or much, if any, character development.
Three years in and the LA Times Book Prize has yet to award the Graphic Novel category to manga. As mentioned, there was no manga Finalists last year. In 2009, the first year for the Graphic Novel category, Taiyo Matsumoto’s GoGo Monster, published by VIZ Media, was named as a Finalist. Also a Finalist in 2009 was Bryan Lee O’Malley’s heavily manga-influenced Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe (published by Oni Press). Neither won that year. Tonight we’ll find out if Garden will be the first manga to win the Graphic Novel LA Times Book Prize.
Posted on April 20, 2012, in News and Analysis and tagged Bryan Lee O'Malley, Comic Book Resources, Douglas Wolk, Garden, GoGo Monster, LA Times Book Prizes, Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, Oni Press, Picturebox, Robot 6, Scott Pilgrim, Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe, Sean T. Collins, Taiyo Matsumoto, Techland, TIME, VIZ Media, Yuichi Yokoyama. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.