They Called Us Enemy, Usagi Yojimbo, March, and Be Gay, Do Comics Win Big in 2020 Award Season

Masterful Storytelling and Diverse Cultural Perspectives
Garner Critical Acclaim for IDW and Top Shelf Graphic Novels


SAN DIEGO, CA (October 19, 2020) – With the awards season in full swing, IDW and imprint Top Shelf Productions congratulate the creative teams behind They Called Us Enemy, Usagi Yojimbo, and Be Gay, Do Comics for multiple recent accolades.

They Called Us Enemy, the New York Times bestselling graphic memoir depicting actor, author, and activist George Takei’s childhood imprisonment within an American internment camp during World War II, continues to garner critical acclaim for authors Takei, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, and artist Harmony Becker.

On Monday, September 14th, the Before Columbus Foundation announced They Called Us Enemy as a winner in the 41st Annual American Book Awards. The award recognizes outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community. They Called Us Enemywill join 12 other winners for formal recognition during an online ceremony on Sunday, October 25th.

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association held their award ceremony on Friday, August 28th, in which They Called Us Enemy received the Young Adult Literature award. The virtual program, which included an acceptance speech from Takei, was followed by a live conversation between APALA committee members and Eisinger, Scott, and Becker about their creative process..

The National Cartoonists Society, the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists, also honored They Called Us Enemy and artist Becker with the Divisional Reuben Award for excellence in the field of Graphic Novels on September 12th as part of their NCS Fest cartooning festival.

Stan Sakai, creator of the monthly Usagi Yojimbo series, was likewise honored by the National Cartoonists Society with the Divisional Reuben Award for Comic Books. For more than 35 years, Sakai has written and illustrated the adventures of Miyamoto Usagi, a masterless samurai (and anthropomorphic rabbit) traversing a unique world based on 17th century Japan.

The above accolades for They Called Us Enemy and Usagi Yojimbo build upon multiple Eisner Award wins announced in July, including “Best Reality-Based Work” for They Called Us Enemy and “Best Letterer”, “Best Archival Collection/Project — Comic Books”, and induction into the Eisner Hall of Fame for Sakai.

In related news of recognition by cartooning peers, the perennial favorite March Trilogy by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell has won the CXC Transformative Work Award, announced at the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, an annual celebration of cartooning and graphic novels held in early October.

At this year’s Ignatz Awards, presented during Small Press Expo on September 12th, the comics anthology Be Gay, Do Comics, edited by The Nib, won the “Outstanding Anthology” category. Brimming with resilience, inspiration, and humor, Be Gay, Do Comics takes readers from the American Revolution through Stonewall to today’s fights for equality and representation in tales written and illustrated by an incredible LGBTQIA lineup of top indie cartoonists.

Nachie Marsham, IDW Publisher, says, “These accolades are truly special, as they not only recognize the exceptional skill and artistry of our friends who worked so hard on They Called Us Enemy, Usagi Yojimbo, March, and Be Gay, Do Comics, but also celebrate diverse voice in comics or reflect the highest admiration of creative peers. Our heartfelt congratulations go out to George, Justin, Steven, Harmony, Stan, Andrew, Nate, Matt, and The Nib!”

IDW Publishing and Top Shelf Productions would like to thank the judges and voters for this year’s awards and are honored to be included among such stellar competition.

For Further Reading

Be Gay, Do Comics
•   FC    •   $19.99 US / $25.99 CAN     •   ISBN 978-1-60309-454-2

March: Book One
•   BW    •   $14.95 US / $19.95 CAN     •   ISBN 978-1-60309-300-2
March: Book Two
•   BW    •   $19.95 US / $25.95 CAN     •   ISBN 978-1-60309-400-9
March: Book Three
•   BW    •   $19.99 US / $25.99 CAN     •   ISBN 978-1-60309-402-3

They Called Us Enemy
•   BW    •   $19.99 US / $25.99 CAN     •   ISBN 978-1-60309-450-4
Nos llamaron Enemigo (They Called Us Enemy Spanish Ed.)
•   BW    •   $19.99 US / $25.99 CAN     •   ISBN 978-1-60309-483-2
They Called Us Enemy Expanded Ed.
•   BW    •   $29.99 US / $39.99 CAN     •   ISBN 978-1-60309-470-2

Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 1: Bunraku and Other Stories
•   FC    •   $19.99 US / $25.99 CAN     •   ISBN 978-1-68405-657-6

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