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Comics Journal Wins Award
By Brian Jacks


UTNE, the nation's leading magazine of alternative ideas, announced this week that THE COMICS JOURNAL has earned the UTNE INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD in the category of ARTS & LITERATURE COVERAGE. Since 1989, these awards have showcased the best from the alternative press in categories ranging from reporting excellence to personal life, cultural to international coverage.

"THE COMICS JOURNAL stands out as an important independent voice in the North American media. We're pleased to honor their accomplishments with an Utne Independent Press Award," says editor Jay Walljasper.

THE COMICS JOURNAL is the flagship publication of FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS, the Seattle-based publisher that has been named "BEST INDEPENDENT PRESS" for two years running in the annual Firecracker Book Awards.

Utne's award comes during one of THE COMICS JOURNAL's most prolific years. The last year has seen the release of the first three COMICS JOURNAL SPECIAL EDITIONs, the 12" x 12" twice-yearly coffee-table version of the magazine that is less time-sensitive than the monthly edition and focused on presenting full-color archival features and a contemporary comics section of all-new work by artists such as ART SPIEGELMAN, R. CRUMB, and ARNOLD ROTH, amongst many others. Also debuting this year was JACK KIRBY: THE COMICS JOURNAL LIBRARY VOL. 1, the first in a series of volumes devoted to a single artist or theme, collecting interviews and essays from the magazine's 25-year history. This first volume, published in the same 12" x 12" format as the Special Editions, sold out immediately and had to be reprinted. The second volume, FRANK MILLER, debuts early this Spring.

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"We're very proud of the COMICS JOURNAL and its staff, including all of these new JOURNAL-related projects. And now that we've recently added color and expanded the page count of the monthly magazine as well, Utne's recognition seems like particularly perfect timing and is all the more rewarding," said TCJ spokesman Eric Reynolds.

"I'd also like to congratulate the others nominated in this category, which includes several publications that have supported us throughout the years, like RAIN TAXI and our neighbors at RESONANCE. Their commitment to a diversity of arts coverage that includes graphic novels has helped paved the way for this kind of recognition. And I'd like to think that THE COMICS JOURNAL was a formative influence on their decision to cover the medium of comics, as well. It's a testament to the kind of grasssroots affect the independent press can have."


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