Polterguys Joins Few Manga-Inspired Comics to Ever Win Xeric
JULY 5, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles, Calif. – The Xeric Foundation announced Thursday the winners of its final round of grants, and Polterguys is among those chosen to receive the maximum $5,000 aid for self-publishers. Polterguys becomes one of the rare manga-inspired graphic novels to win the award throughout the Foundation’s almost 20-year history.
Polterguys Vol. 1 is a story about Bree Redfield, a smart but socially awkward college girl who ends up moving into a house haunted by five ghost guys. She is the only one that can see them and help resolve their unfinished business.
The Xeric Grants were founded by Peter Laird, co-creator of the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, and offers financial assistance to independent comic artists. Earlier this year, the Foundation announced it will end the publishing grants after 2012 and will shift its focus to charitable institutions.
Creator Laurianne Uy and co-author Nathan Go had been working on Polterguys for about three years. According to Uy, the project has gone through many changes but the main concept stayed the same. “I wanted a story in the tradition of ‘reverse harems’ — a popular trope in manga characterized by one female character surrounded by many male characters,” Uy said. She cites Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (for its compelling storylines) among her influences in creating the book.
As an artist who infuses manga sensibilities to her craft, Uy says that winning the Xeric Grant was a nice surprise. She says she is particularly hopeful, especially amid recent declining sales trends in the manga industry, exemplified by the closing of prominent Tokyopop last year. “I just wasn’t sure at first if the style of Polterguys fits with what the foundation is looking for,” Uy says. “I was on the floor when I got the phone call telling me we had won.”
Uy credits Polterguys’ achievement on hard work and an intense focus on getting the story right. Although her writing partner Go has had no experience in graphic novels, he studied screenwriting as an undergraduate. “I really hope that Polterguys will encourage other artists to create original manga in the United States,” Uy says. “I feel that the medium holds so much potential that is still untapped.”
Polterguys is Uy and Go’s first graphic novel to be published. It is the first of six planned books in the series.
About the Authors
Laurianne Uy is a comic artist and writer. She was a finalist in the Yen Press New Talent Search in 2011. She blogs about creativity, making comics and self-publishing on her website http://laurbits.com.
Nathan Go holds a BFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California. He is currently a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow and will be pursuing his MFA in Fiction at the University of Michigan. His website is http://nathango.com.
For more information about Polterguys please visit http://www.laurbits.com/polterguys. A webcomic version of Polterguys is available to read for free.
For the full list of the 2012 Xeric Grant winners, visit http://www.xericfoundation.org/comicbooks/2012Final.html.
For questions on Polterguys or to arrange interviews, contact:
Polterguys book cover image and sample pages are attached. Usage for non-commercial purposes only.
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