Press Release: “Monster Elementary” Takes the Gold Medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awar

2015 IPPY Gold Medal No Background.png


May 6, 2015


Los Angeles, CA (May 6, 2015) – After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and a fruitful book launch in 2014, Monster Elementary, an all-ages graphic novel, has won the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2015 Gold Medal for best “Graphic Novel / Drawn Book – Humor / Cartoon History (U.S.)”

Launched in 1996 and conducted each year to honor the year's best independently published books, the "IPPY" Awards recognize merit in a broad range of subjects and reward authors and publishers who "take chances and break new ground."

The medal-winning books will be celebrated on May 27th during the annual BookExpo America publishing convention in New York, with gold, silver and bronze IPPY medallions awarded in 78 national, 24 regional, and ten e-book categories. This year’s contest drew nearly 6,000 entries from authors and publishers in all 50 U.S. states, eight Canadian provinces, and 34 countries overseas.

“I am ecstatic about Monster Elementary’s gold medal win,” says writer/creator, Nicholas Doan. “From the moment I conceived the idea, it took five years to be published. To have all of that hard work, love, and dedication acknowledged by such a prestigious award, I’m truly honored. Of course, this award also belongs to the incredible artists who brought this book into reality. Without them, Monster Elementary would not be as successful as it is today.”

Of the national award categories, two are reserved for “Graphic Novels / Drawn Books,” one in humor/cartoon history and one in drama/documentary. This year, in each category, there was one gold, one silver, and one bronze awarded.

Graphic Novel / Drawn Book – Humor / Cartoon History (U.S.)

  • GOLD: Monster Elementary, by Nicholas Doan, Caanan Grall, Lee-Roy Lahey, Cal Moray, Josh Gowdy, Christopher Tupa, Patty Variboa, Daniele Serra, and Bobby Timony (Broken Oar Productions)

  • SILVER: JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets, by Aurelia (Harvest Edutainment Pte. Ltd)

  • BRONZE: Strike Four! The Crankshaft Baseball Book, by Tom Batiuk & Chuck Ayers (Black Squirrel Books/ Kent State University Press)

Graphic Novel / Drawn Book – Drama/Documentary

  • GOLD: Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir, by Liz Prince (Zest Books)

  • SILVER: Hatter M: Love of Wonder, by Frank Beddor (Automatic Publishing)

  • BRONZE: Patriot-1, by Kevin Powers (Timeless Journey Comics, LLC (TJ Comics)

Monster Elementary is a fun, witty, comedy/adventure comic for children of all ages written by Nicholas Doan featuring five monster children inspired by classic monster movie archetypes: Desmodus, a vampire; Lukos, a werewolf; Francesca, a Frankenstein monster; Rags, a mummy; and Gilda, a lagoon monster. These five monster children are forced to attend a human public school after their monsters-only private school is raided by the FBI. To their surprise, they're not allowed to eat any of the other students. The monsters’ adventures and experiences hiding their identities and growing up are the focal point of the book.

Monster Elementary is 92 pages and contains a series of short stories that range in length from 1 to 22 pages illustrated by a rotating cast of artists:

  • Canaan Grall (Eisner nominated webcomic “Max Overacts,” DC/Zuda’s Celadore)

  • Lee-Roy Lahey (Storyboards for Charlie Kaufman’s “Anomalisa”)

  • Cal Moray (Publishing newcomer with a background in animation)

  • Josh Gowdy (Drawmore Inc.’s NOBODIES: Vol. 2, Monkeybrain’s Skinned)

  • Christopher Tupa (Self-published cartoonist and illustrator, Hi There Mr. Moon)

  • Patty Variboa (Fat Rabbit Farm’s Babee and the Valley of the Hungry Ninjas and Big T’s Big Adventure)

  • Daniele Serra (Best Artist - British Fantasy Awards 2012, Image’s Fade to Black, DC/Zuda’s “Pray for Death”)

  • Bobby Timony (DC/Zuda’s The Night Owls, Monkeybrain’s Detectobot)

Monster Elementary features cover art by Caanan Grall and additional colors by Nick Tierce, Paul Manchester and Lilit Atshemyan. The book was edited, designed and has additional letters by Gwendolyn Dreyer, Doan’s wife. Monster Elementary is published by Broken Oar Productions, Doan and Dreyer’s publishing moniker.

Monster Elementary is priced at $20 and is available for purchase at where there is an eight page preview. Prints and t-shirts are also available for purchase. Digital copies of the book are available on Comixology and iBooks.

For press images, go to

For the full list of 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards winners, go to


Nicholas Doan is an accomplished playwright and author of two children’s books for Fat Rabbit Farm with a third currently in production. He was the first ever user-submitted contest winner for Zuda Comics along with artist Daniele Serra for their webcomic, “Pray for Death,” which can be read on Doan has also collaborated with artist Josh Gowdy for their short comic, “Lost Boy,” in the Drawmore Inc. anthology, NOBODIES, Vol. 2.


The Independent Publisher Book Awards were conceived in 1996 as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles produced each year, and reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing. The “IPPY” Awards are presented by, “THE Voice of Independent Publishing,” operated by publishing services firm Jenkins Group of Traverse City, Michigan.


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