On Sunday June 23rd the first ever KCR! Comics Awards ceremony was held at the Kids Read Comics Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The nominees were selected by a committee of teachers, librarians, and retailers, then voted on by kids online and via paper ballots.
The awards themselves were presented as customized LEGO trophies provided by the Ann Arbor District Library, and included a mix of serious and silly categories from Best Graphic Novel to Excellence in Drawing Delicious-Looking Food.
Dave Roman and Jerzy Drozd were the hosts, and introduced all of the amazing presenters.
House band The O-Matics (fronted by Happyloo cartoonist Mark Mariano) provided live music and sound cues to help keep things moving!
Presenters included comics creators Ben Hatke (Zita the Spacegirl), Rafael Rosado (Giants Beware!), Raina Telgemeier (Smile), John Green (Teen Boat!), Dan Mishkin (Amethyst), Thomas Zahler (Love and Capes) and library superstars Scott Robins and Eli Neiburger.
As each winner was announced, the trophies were stolen by evil kidlit villain Vordak the Incomprehensible (played by the book’s illustrator, John Martin)!
Guest presenters also included Aang and Naruto, performed by Kevin Coppa (Puppetbenders). Sadly, because of their felt arms, these heroes couldn’t stop Vordak from continuing to take the awards from the podium!
The final award for “Best Cartoonist/Author” was presented by three talented young artists, Natalia, Olivia, and Ellie (who had also exhibited at the Kids Read Comics festival). The trio tried their best to stop Vordak but were no match for his nefarious tricks!
Luckily, the day was saved thanks to a surprise visit from Doctor Who (played by Kevin Coppa), who convinced the thieving Vordak to come along in his time traveling TARDIS and deliver the trophies to their rightful owners.
The entire ceremony was filmed in front of a live audience, and will hopefully be posted online soon!
Huge thanks to all the presenters and performers, AADL for hosting, Chris Duffy and Nickelodeon Magazine for inspiring, everyone who voted, and the teachers and librarians who encouraged kids to vote!
Let’s do this again, next year!
CONTINUE FOR FULL LIST OF NOMINEES & WINNERS…