Good news everyone! Graphic novelists Jeff Lemire for Essex County and Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki for Skim have made it to the Top 40 for CANADA READS, the CBC’s annual book contest to recommend great Canadian novelists. I think this is the first time that graphic novels have made it into the first voting round of picks, so it’s a great thing even just to be nominated.

But this is the time that they need YOU. Yes, YOU. You see, the public is encouraged to vote from the list of the top 40 nominees, to narrow that down to 10 books. I’d certainly like to think that both books are solid and enjoyable enough to make it to the top 10 entirely on their merits, but I’d also like to send as many people as possible over to go and vote for either of these fantastic graphic novels!

So if you’re reading this, please head to, and vote for either Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, or Essex County, by Jeff Lemire.

You can only vote once, and you need to vote IMMEDIATELY. I was off travelling and didn’t notice that you can only vote until Sunday at Midnight.

This is a great chance to get some notice and acclaim for graphic novels, and some truly talented and wonderful creators who, incidentally, all happen to be friends. It also generally means good sales and some extra royalties for these guys, and a lot of attention outside of the ‘literary’ community. In short, it’s a good deal all over. Please head over and vote a.s.a.p.


- Christopher

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