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UC Graphic Novelist Finalist for L.A. Times Book Prize

UC graphic novelist Carol Tyler is a finalist for an L.A. Times Book Prize. Her work has previously been nominated for three Eisner Awards, the American comics industry’s highest award, as well as other prestigious honors.

Date: 3/13/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

UC ingot   The latest honor for her work is the nomination of the second book in the “You’ll Never Know” series, titled “Collateral Damage,” as a finalist in the graphic novel category for an L.A. Times Book Prize. Winners will be announced April 29.
Collateral Damage cover

Says Tyler, “The nomination is, of course, fantastic. Even better is that my father finally began talking about his war experiences after so many years of maintaining a painful silence about them. It was a silence that affected the whole family for decades.”

And that’s just what Tyler explores in her series – his experiences and the long-term effects on her father (Chuck Tyler) and the rest of the family.

To date, Tyler has been working on the “You’ll Never Know” series for longer than her father served in World War II. It’s an effort that has marked her both physically and emotionally, just as the war marked her father.

She explains, “Working on this long story about Dad through the context of his military service has helped me to understand him better, but it’s also been intense in ways I didn’t expect. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed and just want to quit. But then I think of Dad. He has a drive that he got from Patton, and that drive inspires me to push on no matter what.”

The series regarding her father’s World War II experiences will, in the end, consist of
  • “A Good and Decent Man” (which came out in 2009)
  • "Collateral Damage” (which came out last year, in 2010) 
  • "Soldier’s Heart” (which will be out in 2012)
The first book, “A Good and Decent Man,” introduces her father and focuses on his experiences in North Africa. The next, “Collateral Damage,” continues the story with a focus on his service in Italy and France, and the final work, “Soldier’s Heart,” will close with his service in the Battle of the Bulge. Woven throughout the books are tales of the lifelong effects felt and difficulties experienced by the Tyler family due to what is now commonly referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Carol Tyler
Carol Tyler

Tyler renders her father’s experiences and the effects of his wartime experiences on the family in detailed inks and subtle watercolors. The format of the book and the variety of page designs provides the effect of looking at a family album.

As for herself and her own family, Tyler said they’ve already benefited from her books. While conducting research in connection to the work, she discovered two Bronze Stars in her father’s collection of service medals.

Says Tyler, “We’ve always been proud of him, but this adds a dimension. Dad is talking now, something he should have done years ago but just wasn’t ready. And I’m lucky he’s still around to correct the story when I’ve gotten something wrong.”Apply to UC’s undergraduate fine arts program.