On Friday July 20th, at the 2018 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards during San Diego Comic-Con, Oni Press creator, Katie O’Neill, proudly took home two awards for the Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12) and Best Webcomic for The Tea Dragon Society. Oni Press Executive Editor, Ari Yarwood, who discovered the New Zealand-based cartoonist via her webcomics in 2015, accepted the awards on O’Neill’s behalf.
The follow-up to Katie O’Neill’s first book with Oni Press, Princess Princess Ever After (September 2016), The Tea Dragon Society (released in October of 2017) is a gentle fantasy that follows the story of a young blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. Prior to the Eisner wins, The Tea Dragon Society has also taken on its own tiny franchise, with creation of the much-loved Chamomile plushie (October 2017), The Tea Dragon Society Card Gamewith Oni Games in conjunction Renegade Studios (June 2018), and a new enamel Chamomile pin which also made its debut at San Diego Comic-Con.
“I’m extremely happy and grateful that The Tea Dragon Society was chosen to receive two Eisner awards,” said Katie O’Neill. “This book came from a very sincere place in my heart, and it means so much that the characters, the world and of course, the dragons have been met with so much interest and joy. My hope is that the book will be a comforting presence on bookshelves for kids (or grown ups!) who identify as LGBT+, as well as a reminder to sit and relax with a cup of tea now and then.”
Prior to O’Neill’s two 2018 Eisner wins, The Tea Dragon Society had also won the ALA Rainbow List (2018), Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids Comics (2018), Amazon.com’s Best Comics & Graphic Novels (2017), and School Library Journal’s Top 10 Graphic Novels (2017). The title was also recently nominated for two Harvey Awards: Best Digital Book of the Year and Best Children or Young Adult Book of the Year. Aquicorn Cove, her next book also from Oni Press, hits shelves October 16, 2018.
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