Abadzis, Nick 1965–

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Abadzis, Nick 1965–

PERSONAL:

Born 1965, in Sweden; married; children: one daughter.

ADDRESSES:

Home—London, England.

CAREER:

Writer and artist. Editorial consultant for children's magazines in London, England. Developer of cartoon Web sites for clients, including British Broadcasting Corporation.

AWARDS, HONORS:

UK Comic Art Award, 1994, for Hugo Tate: O America; Royal Television Society Award, 1999, for best Web site; Great Graphic Novel citation and Top-Ten Graphic Novel citation, both Young Adult Library Services Association, Book for the Teen Age selection, New York Public Library, and Cybil Award nomination, all 2007, and two Eisner Award nominations and National Cartoonists' Society Division Award nomination, both 2008, all for Laika.

WRITINGS:

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Hugo Tate: O America (originally serialized in Deadline magazine), Atomeka Press, 1993.

(With Paul Johnson) Children of the Voyager, Marvel (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Duncan Fegredo) Millennium Fever, DC/Vertigo (New York, NY), 1995.

The Amazing Mr Pleebus, Orchard (London, England), 1996.

The Freaky Beastie of Hill Road School, Orchard (London, England), 1997.

The Magic Skateboard, Orchard (London, England), 1998.

Voyage to Planet Voon, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

Oscar y Oso, Mary Glasgow, 1999.

Comme un poisson dans l'eau, Mary Glasgow, 2000.

The Dangerous Planet, Heinemann (London, England), 2000.

The Pyramid of Doom, Heinemann (London, England), 2001.

The Dog from Outer Space, Heinemann (London, England), 2002.

Blottvoomer's Volcano, Behemoth, 2002.

Laika, First Second (New York, NY), 2007.

Author and artist of comic strip Cora's Breakfast, serialized in London Guardian, and The Trial of the Sober Dog, serialized in London Times, both 2008. Author, with Michael Coleman, of comic strip Angels FC, issues 1 through 15, 1998-2004. Author of self-published short titles Landscape of Possibilities and Listening, Not Hearing, both 2004. Contributor to Project: Superior, AdHouse, 2005; contributor to London Times, Independent on Sunday, TimeOut, Punch, Sunday Correspondent, Radio Times, and the BBC.

SIDELIGHTS:

Born in Sweden of Greek and English parents, Nick Abadzis is a writer and illustrator of comics and graphic novels. His serialized comic strip Hugo Tate first brought Abadzis a measure of international attention in the early 1990s, and he has since been cited for his work with dominant American comics publishers Marvel and DC. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, however, Abadzis focused primarily on creating comics for children's publishers in the United Kingdom while also working as an editor and creative consultant.

When independent comics publisher First Second launched, one of the early projects the publishing house solicited was Laika, a full-color graphic novel by Abadzis. Laika recounts the story of the stray Russian dog who became the first creature ever to travel into outer space. More historical fiction than biography, due to the few records available that document Laika's life, the novel gives readers an idea of the people who were involved in the early Soviet space movement. It also avoids any easy answers to questions about the morality of sending a dog into space for the sole purpose of scientific advancement. Noting that Laika does not speak in the story, Brian Heater wrote in the Daily Crosshatch online that by retelling the dog's story Abadzis gives Laika a voice: "The first living creature to enter the earth's orbit found her medium, in the form of Nick Abadzis."

Laika begins as the stray dog is caught and sent to the Institute of Aviation Medicine. Her trained behavior and ability to withstand a higher G-force than the other canines make her the obvious choice when the scientists select a dog to send into space. "Abadzis's artwork genuinely captures the Cold War atmosphere," wrote Sarah Krygier in School Library Journal. The critic compared the author's "youth-friendly textual take on the politically dangerous USSR" to Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, a graphic novel that provides a similar perspective on the complicated politics of Iran. Noting the book's historical detail, Roger Sabin wrote in the Observer that Abadzis's "research has resulted in one of the most atmospheric historical graphic novels yet produced." A Publishers Weekly critic deemed the graphic novel "a standout, not just for its sympathetic point of view but for its refusal to Disnify or anthropomorphize the undeniably cute dog at its heart," and a Kirkus Reviews contributor described Laika as "a luminous masterpiece filled with pathos and poignancy."

"I often have an amorphous idea of what a story could turn out like—a sort of story goal, if you like," Abadzis told Tom Spurgeon in an interview for Comics Reporter online. "But any one thing during the process can change that and make the creative outcome totally different from how you thought it would be." Abadzis also commented on the end of the creative process, particularly with regard to Laika: "Whenever you finish a comics project and look back at it with the benefit of hindsight, there are always things you'd change. I'd have liked some extra pages to allow chapter two a little more room to breathe…. In the end, I just went with what I had and tried to make it accessible and make it flow. I hope it still managed to draw [readers] … in."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 2007, Jesse Karp, review of Laika, p. 107.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of Laika, p. 70.

Guardian (London, England), February 9, 2008, review of Laika, p. 19.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2007, review of Laika.

Library Journal, January 1, 2008, Martha Cornog, review of Laika, p. 71.

Observer (London, England), November 25, 2007, "Posy Simmonds Updates Hardy While Nick Abadzis Is Drawn to a High-flying Dog," p. 29.

Publishers Weekly, October 1, 2007, review of Laika, p. 60.

School Library Journal, November, 2007, Sarah Krygier, review of Laika, p. 155.

ONLINE

Comics Reporter Online,http://www.comicsreporter.com/ (September 1, 2007), Tom Spurgeon, inter-view with Abdazis.

Daily Crosshatch Online,http://thedailycrosshatch.com/ (October 29, 2007), Brian Heater, interview with Abadzis.

First Second Web site,http://www.firstsecondbooks.com/ (October 6, 2008), "Nick Abadzis."

Nick Abadzis Web log,http://nickabadzis.myexpressions.com (October 5, 2008).

Nick Abadzis Home Page,http://www.nickabadzis.com (October 6, 2008).

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Abadzis, Nick 1965–

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