Rowser & Smith’s Wash Day Diaries and Segura’s Secret Identification win 2023 LA Instances Guide Prizes

Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith’s Wash Day Diaries (Chronicle Books) and Alex Segura’s comics industry-inspired novel Secret Identification (Flatiron Books) received greatest Graphic Novel/Comics and greatest Thriller/Thriller classes on the 2023 LA Instances Guide Awards over the weekend. Rowser and Smith probably the primary Black girls to be nominated and win the LA Instances Guide Prize Graphic Novel class.

Jamila Rowser holding the Graphic Novel LA Instances Guide Award with Robyn Smith (not in attendance) drawn in

Rowser and Smith’s Wash Day Diaries was the debatable underdog in a class that was dominated by work from main arthouse, worldwide and literary graphic novel publishers Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, and Abrams ComicArts. Chronicle Books revealed Wash Day Diaries is a graphic novel that focuses on the lives and hair routines of 4 Black femme characters within the Bronx, which itself had advanced from their Kickstarter-funded 2018 minicomic Wash Day.

Wash Day Diaries Cover

Rowser who accepted the award on behalf of herself and co-author Robyn Smith believed that they have been probably the primary Black girls to even be nominated for this award and hoped that it will pave the best way for extra comics and graphic novel work trying on the lives of Black girls. 

Rowser later tailored her 2023 LA Instances Guide Prize award speech right into a Twitter thread:

“Thanks to the judges and [LA Times Festival of Books] for this award and to Chronicle Books for believing in our story.

“When me and [Robyn] launched the Wash Day mini-comic in 2018 (the very first comedian I wrote), we couldn’t have imagined the attractive journey it will take us on.

Wash Day Diaries celebrates Black girls, hair, sisterhood, and sweetness within the mundanity of Black femme life within the Bronx. We’re so proud that our 27-page comedian grew right into a 192-page graphic novel that individuals of all backgrounds love. 

“Me & [Robyn] are the FIRST Black girls to not solely grow to be finalists for the [LA Times Festival of Books Prize] Graphic Novels class however now to win it as properly.

“We all know we shouldn’t must show graphic novels like Wash Day Diaries are value publishing, so me and [Robyn] hope this award helps open the door for a lot of extra comics like ours.”

Segura’s novel Secret Identification drew inspiration from the historical past of comics manufacturing, setting the story in a Seventies comics publishing home the place its Latinx protagonist stumbles right into a thriller as she fights to retain possession of a personality she helped to create.

Segura said about his Thriller/Thriller win:

“Once I first began this e book I assumed, ‘Oh, this’ll be straightforward, I do know comics,’” Segura stated, earlier than including that this was essentially the most intense journalistic endeavor of his life.

To take a look at the opposite nominees within the comics class, you may take a look at our earlier put up.