GROWING UP, Vivek Tiwary didn’t just want to meet comics creators. Standing there in the autograph line, Tiwary wanted one day to become a comics creator.
On Saturday night in Baltimore, in a roomful of cartoonists, he achieved another milestone in having arrived at that very dream.
At this weekend’s Harvey Awards banquet, hosted by Baltimore Comic-Con at the Hyatt Regency, Tiwary’s graphic novel, “The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story” (M Press/Dark Horse), won two honors: Best Original Graphic Album and Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation.
This was, Tiwary tells The Post’s Comic Riffs, “a happy and humbling experience for me to win two awards chosen by the creative community.”
In expressing his gratitude, Tiwary – who is also a Tony-winning producer – shares his own origin story involving comics.
“When I was a kid growing up in New York City, I was obsessed with comics,” Tiwary tells Comic Riffs the day after his special night. “I attended every convention I could get to, and I would wait on line to meet the creators. The creators were people I looked up to for inspiration and for aspiration. …
“I wanted nothing more than to be a comic creator.”
A decade ago, Tiwary began making his mark in theater, co-producing a Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” (which yielded Tony Awards for Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald, among its four nods). And in April of 2010, he unveiled two stage productions that reflected his interests in both cartoon-inspired work (“The Addams Family,” starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth) and pop music (the Tony-nominated musical “American Idiot”). But as a producer, he especially had a passion to tell the story of one of rock’s most visionary entertainment managers: Brian Epstein.
Now, nearly a year after publishing his passion project of a graphic novel – beautifully illustrated by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker – Tiwary basked in the feeling of having arrived within this realm, just weeks after “The Fifth Beatle” won an Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work.
“To find myself in a room where I could call these folks my fellow creators — and to have [them] welcome me into their gang and to acknowledge me with that award — was really a complete dream come true for me,” Tiwary tells Comic Riffs, one week after he spoke about his book and planned “Fifth Beatle” movie at the National Book Festival.
Tiwary says he accepts the award on behalf of “all my fellow creators” – those who “came before me and inspired me along the way.”
The graphic novelist also tells The Post that the Harvey Award bookends will serve as “encouragement to keep going.”
Promised Tiwary: “You’re going to be hearing more from me in comics soon.”
As for now, to spin the phrase of John Lennon, Tiwary the comics creator has certainly passed the audition.
Other multiple-award winners Saturday included SAGA (Image), including dual wins for artist Fiona Staples; Sex Criminals (Image); Adventure Time (kaBOOM!); and “Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Comics Went Underground” (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse).
Here is the full list of 2014 Harvey Award winners:
Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award: Charles M. Schulz
[BALTIMORE COMIC-CON: First-ever Kurtzman Hall of Fame award to go to Charles Schulz]
Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award: Stan Goldberg
[RIP, STAN GOLDBERG: Hall of Fame artist (Marvel, Archie) was ‘great cartoonist’ and ‘great friend’]
Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award: Herb Trimpe
Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA; Image Comics
Best Artist: Fiona Staples, SAGA; Image Comics
Best Cover Artist: Fiona Staples; SAGA, Image Comics
Best Cartoonist: Paul Pope, BATTLING BOY; First Second
Best Letterer: Terry Moore, RACHEL RISING; Abstract Studios
Best Colorist: Dave Stewart, HELLBOY: THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS; Dark Horse Comics
Best Syndicated Strip or Panel: “DICK TRACY,” Joe Staton and Mike Curtis; Tribune Media Services
Best Online Comics Work: BATTLEPUG, Mike Norton
Best American Edition of Foreign Material: ATTACK ON TITAN; Kodansha
Best Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger, ALL NEW X-MEN; Marvel Comics
Best New Series: SEX CRIMINALS; Image Comics
Most Promising New Talent: Chip Zdarsky, SEX CRIMINALS; Image Comics
Special Award for Humor in Comics: Ryan North, ADVENTURE TIME; KaBOOM! Studios
Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers: ADVENTURE TIME; KaBOOM! Studios
Best Graphic Album Previously Published: MOUSE GUARD VOL. 3: THE BLACK AXE; BOOM! Studios/Archaia
Best Anthology: DARK HORSE PRESENTS; Dark Horse
Best Domestic Reprint Project: BEST OF COMIX BOOK: WHEN MARVEL COMICS WENT UNDERGROUND; Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse Comics
Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation: THE FIFTH BEATLE: THE BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY, Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker; Dark Horse Comics
Special Award for Excellence in Presentation: BEST OF COMIX BOOK: WHEN MARVEL COMICS WENT UNDERGROUND, John Lind; Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse Comics
Best Original Graphic Album: THE FIFTH BEATLE: THE BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY; Dark Horse Comics
Best Continuing or Limited Series: SAGA; Image Comics
Best Single Issue or Story: Pizza Is My Business, HAWKEYE #11; Marvel Comics