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JAJ: a Haida Manga Declared Finalist in the 2024 Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards

JAJ: a Haida Manga Declared Finalist in the 2024 Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’s non fiction graphic novel JAJ: A Haida Manga has won Pop Culture Classroom’s 7th annual Excellence in Graphic Literature Mosaic award, and was a finalist for Best in Adult Nonfiction. The Mosaic award celebrates graphic literature with diverse perspectives, and JAJ was amongst seven other finalists. The EGL Awards celebrate the best in graphic novels across nine categories and this year’s awards are coming out to be the biggest yet with over 250 titles submitted from 94 publishers. The full winner list can be found as of June 10th on their website.

JAJ brings to life the tumultuous history of first contact between Europeans and Indigenous peoples and the early colonization by the Europeans of the northern West Coast. The story follows several historical figures, including Johan Adrian Jacobsen (JAJ), who comes to the Haida village of Masset to collect specimens for a German museum, through a time span that includes first contact, the devastation of the smallpox epidemic, and the mass resettlement of disenfranchised peoples, both Indigenous and European.

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is a visual artist, storyteller and public speaker. Raised on Haida Gwaii, he melds cultural hybridity and his political experiences as an Indigenous person with contemporary graphic literature to produce a unique genre called Haida Manga. His books include Flight of the Hummingbird (Greystone, 2008), A Tale of Two Shamans (Theytus, 2001) and Red (Douglas & McIntyre, 2009). He lives in Canada with his wife and daughter, close to the Two Sisters Mountain on an island in the Salish Sea.