Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O'Connell win 2019 Harvey Award for best young adult book

The Harvey Awards are among the oldest prizes in comics. Tamaki and collaborator Rosemary Valero-O'Connell won for their graphic novel Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me is a graphic novel written by Mariko Tamaki and drawn by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell. (House of Anansi Press, Shawnee Custalow)

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, a graphic novel by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, won the 2019 Harvey Award for best children's or young adult book at New York Comic Con.

The Harvey Awards are among the oldest prizes in comics. The award categories include best children or young adult book, book of the year, digital book of the year, best manga and best European book.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me is about a high school student named Freddy and her frustrating on-again, off-again relationship with a popular girl named Laura Dean.

"I didn't want it to just be a story where the goal is just to find love and love is achieved," said Tamaki in an June 2019 interview with CBC Books.

"When I was a younger person, especially a queer younger person, all I wanted were stories about relationships. But a lot of the love stories I read were about people looking for the perfect person and finding that person. I didn't see that experience of being with the wrong person." 

It was recently announced in the New York Times that Tamaki will be launching a new books imprint, Surely Books, which will focus on publishing comics by queer creators.

Tamaki's other books include the acclaimed graphic novels Skim and This One Summer

Tamaki has also worked on series for Marvel and DC like She-Hulk and Supergirl.

Originally from Toronto, Tamaki now lives in California.

Valero-O'Connell is an American illustrator who has worked on the popular series Lumberjanes, as well as comics for DC.

The other 2019 Harvey Award winners were:

  • Book of the year: Hey Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  • Digital book of the year: Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu
  • Best manga: My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi
  • Best European book: Waves by Ingrid Chabbert and Carole Maurel

The Harvey Awards also inducted seven creators into the Hall of Fame: Fun Home author Alison Bechdel, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and MAD Magazine collaborators (posthumously) Will Elder, Jack Davis, John Severin, Marie Severin and Ben Oda.


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