Associate Professor Carol Tilley has been selected to serve as a judge for the 2022 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, which is presented to the best graphic novel, fiction or nonfiction, published in the previous year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident. The annual award is sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.
An in-demand speaker on the history of comics readership, Tilley served as a judge for two other comics awards, the 2016 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards (the Eisners) and the 2020 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards (the Ringo Awards).
"In my previous service on comics awards juries, I worked with my fellow judges to establish a ballot across multiple categories that others then voted on," she said. "With the Lynd Ward Prize, it's different. The other judges and I will select the winner and any additional honorees for a single award category, so it feels like the pressure is higher! I've long admired Lynd Ward's masterful wordless novels told through wood engravings as well as his award-winning illustrations for children's books. As someone who straddles the scholarly worlds of comics and children's print culture, I am so happy to help keep Ward's rich legacy visible."
Tilley is a founding member and past president of the Comics Studies Society. She serves as director of research for Reading with Pictures, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy through the use of comics in the classroom, and as associate editor for peer-reviewed scholarship for Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society.
At the iSchool, Tilley teaches courses in comics reader's advisory, media literacy, and youth services librarianship. Part of her scholarship focuses on the intersection of young people, comics, and libraries, particularly in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. Her research on anti-comics advocate Fredric Wertham has been featured in The New York Times and other media outlets.