The 2020 Hugo Awards were officially announced last week. 17 Hugo Awards are distributed (plus some extras) but one of my favorite categories is the Award for Best Graphic Story or Comic. Here are the 6 shortlisted titles for this year’s award.
The Wicked + the Divine: Okay by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
The final volume of Gillen & McKelvie’s mythological series, in which every 90 years, 12 gods appear on Earth as humans. They are loved. They are hated. And in two years, they are dead. Luminescent artwork makes larger than life deities pop off the page as WicDiv spirals towards its grand conclusion. A great choice for fans of Neil Gaiman or Bill Willingham’s Fables series.
Want to start from the top? Pick up The Faust Act.
Paper Girls, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan
In the final delivery of the Vaughan’s Paper Girls saga, the paper girls of 1988 must find their way back to each other, to home, and possibly end the great time war in which they’ve been caught up. Chiang’s artwork is as strong as ever and the series concludes just as Amazon picked it up as a live action adaptation. For fans of time travel, 1980s nostalgia, scrappy girl friendships, and Stranger Things.
New to the series? Find Paper Girls: Volume One here.
Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
Nova Huang works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, loaning out spell books, investigating strange occurrences in their town, and learning about magic – as any teen witch would, really. Then one night, she finds Tam, her childhood crush/friendly local werewolf, battling a horse demon in the woods – and discovers that someone out there wants to harness the power of a werewolf transformation for nefarious purposes of their own. Nova and Tam team up to discover the secrets of wolf magic, take out the bad guys, and rekindle their almost-romance along the way.
Monstress: the Chosen by Marjorie Liu
Maika Halfwolf is an Arcanic – a magical creature who can pass for human, and who is ever at risk from the Cumaea, a group of sorceresses who consume Arcanics to fuel their own power. Sana Takeda’s artwork is beautiful and the action slows just a little as characters discover themselves and truths about their own pasts.
Liu and Takeda always pack a lot into every volume, so refresh your memory beginning with Volume One: Awakening.
Die: Fantasy Heartbreaker by Kieron Gillen
Kieron Gillen manages two entries for this year’s Hugos. When they were teenagers, 6 kids found themselves magically transported into a D&D-esque world. Only 5 returned to the real world. 25 years later, they’re transported back into the game they escaped to face what they left behind there. A blend of “Gothic Jumanji,” plenty of world building, and nods to geek culture make this an easy recommendation for fans of Ready Player One, D&D, and Stephen King’s IT.
And last, but definitely not least, the Winner is…
LaGuardia by Nnedi Okorafor
In a world where literal aliens have come to Earth and integrated here, Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka smuggles an illegal alien plant through LaGuardia International and back to her grandmother’s apartment in the Bronx. In the face of interrogations, travel bans, and her pregnancy, Future’s entire world begins to change. Recommended for fans of “aliens live among us” sci-fi, sentient plants, and N.K. Jemisin.