Media Release — Top Shelf Productions’ 15th-anniversary celebration at San Diego Comic-Con International this weekend was brought to new heights with a terrific moment of triumph: Top Shelf veteran and creative superstar James Kochalka won the industry’s highest honor, the Will Eisner Award, for Best Publication for Early Readers! The award honors his latest book for children, Dragon Puncher 2: Dragon Puncher Island.
This was the third Eisner nomination for James Kochalka; as he remarked in a memorable acceptance speech, “It feels really good to finally win.” His earlier book Pinky & Stinky was nominated for a similar youth-oriented category in 2003. Dragon Puncher Island has the unique distinction of featuring both of James’ sons, Eli and Oliver, as “actors” in the story, along with their cats Nooko and Spandy, and even James himself.
This Eisner Award is the latest peak in a recent string of Kochalka honors. Last year saw James honored by his home state as the first ever Vermont Cartoonist Laureate (the first such position in the continental U.S.), his band James Kochalka Superstar just released the new album I Am the Beast, and his Top Shelf graphic novel (for mature readers) SuperF*ckers is debuting later this year as an animated series on Frederator’s Cartoon Hangover channel in partnership with YouTube. Plus the latest collection of his landmark daily diary comic American Elf debuted at Comic-Con this weekend!
For more Kochalka news and updates, including daily installments of American Elf, visit AmericanElf.com.
Congratulations, James! It’s an honor to help bring your books into the world.