TONIGHT’S RFK AWARDS: Rep. John Lewis ‘happy and thrilled’ to receive special honor for ‘March: Book One’


“March: Book One” (courtesy of Top Shelf Productions 2013).

“I AM very happy and thrilled that ‘March: Book One’ has been recognized and has received such a great honor from the RFK Foundation.”

So says civil-rights icon Rep. John Lewis, speaking to The Post’s Comic Riffs ahead of tonight’s awards ceremony at D.C.’s Newseum, as presented by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. The RFK Book Awards will present a Special Recognition prize for the first book in Lewis’s civil-rights memoir trilogy, “March”; Lewis will receive the honor along with the graphic novel’s co-authors, Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell.

“This is amazing!” Aydin tells Comic Riffs. “I think this is a great step for comics, and I am deeply grateful to the RFK Foundation.”

rfk-trophy

And Powell quite appreciated a special phone he received as a result.

“It was a profound honor, and a genuinely surreal moment, to receive a call out of the blue from Ms. Ethel Kennedy herself, who delivered the news to each of us,” Powell tells Comic Riffs. “She was so warm and kind. We discussed John Lewis’s dancing skills for several minutes, and I think she nearly invited me over for lunch by the end of the call.

“It’s a deep privilege to have our work recognized in such a context — and we’re doing our best to exceed it with ‘Book Two.’ ”

The Eisner-nominated “March: Book One” has garnered a raft of award and honors, and last December, Lewis and publisher Top Shelf Productions gave a free digital copy of the book to every member of Congress.

In other awards tonight, Los Angeles Times political cartoonist David Horsey will receive an RFK Journalism Award for Cartoon Portfolio, and The Washington Post reporting team of Debbie Cenziper, Michael Sallah and Steven Rich will receive the Journalism Award for Domestic Print for its coverage titled “Homes for the Taking.”

To see a list of all the award winners, click HERE.

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