PEACE PARTY, the multicultural comic book featuring Native Americans, has won a $500 grant from the Puffin Foundation. The award honors PEACE PARTY for "continuing the dialogue between art and the lives of ordinary people," the foundation's purpose. This recognition of a superhero comic book by a mainstream arts foundation is virtually unprecedented.
The Y2K grant follows the $1,000 Puffin grant PEACE PARTY received in 1997, when the comic book was in the prototype stage. It echoes such accolades as a "Certified Cool" designation from Diamond Comics, a Small Press Showcase of the Month from the Bookery Fantasy, and an unqualified "Wonderful!" from actor Michael Horse.
"It was a revelation"
In honoring PEACE PARTY, Gladys Miller-Rosenstein, Executive Director of the Puffin Foundation, wrote, "It was a revelation to see an intelligent, thought-provoking comic book for youngsters dealing with important issues that excluded gratuitous sex and violence. We need more of this type of reading material in today's angry and often violent society.
"The Puffin Foundation is proud to have had a small part in PEACE PARTY's birth. We wish you great success with this worthy enterprise and are delighted to see our grant award put to such outstanding use."
Comic's perspective needed
Accepting the latest award, writer and publisher Rob Schmidt said, "We thank the Puffin Foundation for recognizing the importance of our message: the need for a multicultural perspective. This money will help us maintain and extend the PEACE PARTY brand. It paves the way for future stories featuring our two young heroes."
Schmidt added, "This grant shouldn't make people think PEACE PARTY is a political tract rather than the fun-filled joyride it is. Stories from The Odyssey to Erin Brockovich have proved that substance and entertainment are compatible." Or as one reviewer put it, PEACE PARTY is a mix of "legend, political commentary, and fast-moving action scenes."
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