The ceremony marked the culmination of a two-year effort in bringing the awards to life.
With a room full of creators, fans, publishers, and educators, nine talented creators walked away with the very first Excellence in Graphic Literature awards.
Kicking off the evening were introductions about the program by Director of Programming Bruce MacIntosh, out-going Director of Education Illya Kowalchuk, and the newly-appointed Director of Education Dr. Katie Monnin.
Each talked about the development of the awards program, the goals, and the unique opportunity the program created in bringing together an advisory board and juries that represent booksellers, librarians, academics, teachers and industry professionals.
Here are the awards and winners in the order of introduction during the awards ceremony:
Best in Children's Books: Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (First Second)
Best in Middle-Grade Books: As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman (Iron Circus Comics)
Best in Young-Adult Books: Home Time: Book One by Campbell Whyte (Top Shelf)
Best in Adult Books: The Hunting Accident by David L. Carlson and Landis Blair (First Second)
Mosaic Award: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui (Abrams Comic Arts)
Book of the Year: Spill Zone by Scott Westerfield and Alex Puvilland (First Second)
The Book of the Year and the Mosaic winners were awarded the first Saga sculptures. The winners of the Children's, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult categories were awarded the first Saga Medallions.
"This is really the icing of the cake for us," said MacIntosh. "We have a fantastic Advisory Board, as well as some amazing people who served as the chairs, assistant chairs and jury members. There were a lot of great books to read, and some really difficult choices to make, when it came down to the final ballots."
Kowalchuk added, "We had such a great response from such a wide range of publishing houses. There were books from all the major traditional publishers and, honestly, we discovered some really great small houses with fantastic titles as well."
"One of our goals for next year's submissions is to double the number of books from this first year and to encourage more nonfiction works for consideration. We'd also like to see this awards program help teachers justify adding more graphic novels to the school environment," added Kowalchuk.
The awards were followed by a special VIP reception and party for all award winners, the 2018 Advisory Board members, jury members and other special guests.
For the entire list of nominated titles, information on the awards, background on the creation of the awards, and a complete listing of Advisory Board and jury members, please visit the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards link on the Pop Culture Classroom website.
Books published in 2018 are eligible for the 2019 Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards. Submissions for the 2019 awards will begin this Fall.
About Pop Culture Classroom
Pop Culture Classroom is the educational non-profit organization behind Denver Comic Con. Founded in 2011, Pop Culture Classroom is on a mission to ignite a love of learning, increase literacy, celebrate diversity and build community through the tools of popular culture and the power of self-expression. Learn more at www.PopCultureClassroom.org.
About the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards
The Excellence in Graphics Literature program was begun by Pop Culture Classroom to help define and grow needed awareness for quality graphic literature, grow legitimacy and respect for the format, the comics medium and its creators, and drive growth for the graphic novel publishing category. Learn more at www.popcultureclassroom.org/egl.