#1 New York Times bestselling author Ben Hatke (’00) was awarded the prestigious Will Eisner award for Best Publication for Early Readers this past Friday, July 22, during the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con. Hatke, who earned his B.A. in history from Christendom, received the honor from the “Academy Awards of Comics” for his book Little Robot.
Hatke has shown an immense talent for combining entertaining storytelling with beautiful artwork since his time as a student at Christendom, with his skill blossoming later into the acclaimed Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, Nobody Likes a Goblin, and more. Little Robot, which was released last fall, tells the story of a little girl who finds an adorable robot in the woods — a story endearing enough to beat out numerous other works for young readers to take the top award in all of comics.
Later this year, the Eisner Award-winning Hatke will have other new works released on bookshelves worldwide. In September, Mighty Jack, a new take on the fairy tale “Jack and the Giant Beanstalk” will be released, followed shortly thereafter by the new installment of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series, where he can be found succeeding the famed Maurice Sendak as illustrator.
Hatke, a resident of Front Royal, Va., believes that his education at Christendom was essential in his study and understanding of art as a whole, leading to his current success.
“Art and storytelling have been constants in my life, and most of the jobs I’ve been drawn to have included those things in some way. My liberal arts degree has given me flexibility,” said Hatke. “The foundation of reading, classics, and good study habits gave me the basic skills that I needed when, in 2006 I took a year to seriously study art. I participated in drawing and painting courses in Florence, Italy, but I also put myself through a sort of intense self-study course focusing on art history and the Italian Masters. Studying history at Christendom helped me to approach primary sources like Vasari’s Lives of the Artists.”