Gary Panter Wins American Book Award for "Jimbo's Inferno"

Tue, November 6th, 2007 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
CBR News Team, Editor

Official Press Release

The Before Columbus Foundation have announced the Winners of the

Twenty-Seventh Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS. Brooklyn-based Cartoonist

Gary Panter was named a recipient for his 2006 graphic novel, JIMBO'S

INFERNO, published by Seattle's Fantagraphics Books. Panter becomes

the second Fantagraphics-published author to garner an ABA -- Joe

Sacco's PALESTINE was a recipient in 1996, and the award at that time

very much helped solidfy Palestine's place in the pantheon of great

graphic novels.

JIMBO'S INFERNO is the acclaimed sequel (or prequel, as it was

actually completed first) to 2004's acclaimed JIMBO IN PURGATORY.

Jimbo is the muscular, buzz-cut adventurer whom Panter has used over

the years not as an alter ego or a superhero but as an Everyman. In

Jimbo's Inferno, a fractured retelling of Dante's Inferno, Jimbo is a

wary innocent traveling through the most heinous atmosphere Panter

can imagine. For Panter, ''hell'' is just two letters away from

spelling ''mall'': a gigantic, brain-numbing, info-commerce center

called Focky Bocky.

As Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker put it in his review of

JIMBO'S INFERNO, "Jimbo charts a dangerous path that adult readers

will appreciate as one of the few depictions of the netherworld that

owes nothing to the oft-imitated nightmare-dream work of Hieronymus

Bosch or Salvador Dali. Panter is a greater artist than either of

these, as this book and its predecesor, Jimbo In Purgatory, make

vividly clear."

Gary Panter (born December 1, 1950 in Durant, Oklahoma) is an

illustrator, painter, designer and part-time musician. Panter is a

luminary of the post-underground, new wave comics movement that began

in the early 1980s. He has published his work in various magazines

and newspapers, including Raw, Time and Rolling Stone magazine. He

has exhibited all over the world, and won three Emmy awards for his

set designs for Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

The 2007 American Book Award winners will be formally recognized on

Saturday, December 2nd at

Laney College Theatre, 900 Fallon Street in Oakland. The awards will

take place from 4 P.M. - 6:30 P.M. Authors attending will read

selections from their works and sign copies of their award-winning

books. A reception and book signing will take place following the

ceremony. This event is free to the public. For more information,

call (510) 228-6775.

Emil Guillermo, a veteran journalist, and a columnist for AsianWeek,

will host the ceremony. As a senior host of NPR's All Things

Considered, Guillermo was the first Filipino American to host a

national news program. In 2000, his book, Amok: Essays from an

Asian American Perspective was honored with an American Book Award.

The night's keynote address will be given by California Poet Laureate

Al Young. Sourcebooks has just published his latest work, Something

About The Blues, a massive collection of blues and jazz driven

poetry. The collection is also packaged with an exciting audio CD.

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for

outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of

America's diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is

to recognize literary excellence without limitations or

restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no

losers. The award winners] range from well-known and established

writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no

quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a

natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American

culture as inclusive and has always considered the term

"multicultural" to be not a description of various categories,

groups, or "special interests," but rather as the definition of all

of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry

organization, but rather are a writers' award given by other writers.

A selection of Panter images in a variety of formats is available for

publication. For additional information, contact Eric Reynolds at the

numbers above.

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