Chmakova, author of Dramacon, wins McDuffie Award for new manga Awkward
by Michelle "Ms. Geek" Klein-Hass
The Ann Arbor Comics Festival has grown to become one of the most prestigious Comics conventions in the United States. Each year, the con awards the Dwyane McDuffie Awards, named after the pioneering African-American comic artist who created Static Shock and founded the Milestone Comics imprint at DC.
This year, the McDuffie award for Best Kids' Comic was given to Svetlana Chmakova, who wrote and drew the manga Awkward for Yen Press. Awkward is about being the New Kid at Middle School, and trying to fit in when everyone around you has their own places in the hierarchy, and are not keen on letting you squeeze in.
Awkward is also up for the Eisner Award for best comic for Teens. (Age 13-17) The Eisner Awards are given out every year at San Diego Comic-Con International, which needs no introduction. We've got our fingers crossed that she will be honored there too.
Longtime TOKYOPOP fans will recognize that Ms. Chmakova also wrote Dramacon, one of our favorites among our Global Manga titles. Dramacon is all about Christie, an aspiring artist, and her experiences at Anime conventions. She's there to promote her own manga, which she started with her current boyfriend...but then she meets a mysterious, handsome cosplayer and all bets are off.
Each volume of the three-volume series is set during three years at the Lakeside Anime Convention, and as the title suggests, it's all about the interpersonal craziness between Christie, her friends, and the random cast of geeks at the con. It's also a real hoot, and just perfect to load onto your tablet for some beach reading.