'Same Difference' First Comic Book Selection for World Book Night

Derek Kirk Kim's award-winning 2003 collection is the first graphic novel named to share during the annual celebration of reading.
Derek Kirk Kim/First Second Books.

April 23, 2014, will see the next World Book Night, an annual celebration of reading during which thousands of books will be gifted to those who don't regularly read for pleasure. It will also be the first World Book Night to include a comic book as part of the official selections to give, with Derek Kirk Kim's debut graphic novel Same Difference being chosen for the honor.

"It's amazing to be the author of the first graphic novel included in this celebration of books and reading," Kim said in a statement following the announcement. "I never expected the places my book would take me; it's wonderful that now, over a decade since it was first published, my story is still reaching new readers."

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Same Difference was originally serialized online as Small Stories before being collected in print as the self-published Same Difference and Other Stories in 2003 (The title was officially shortened for the 2011 reissue from :01 First Second). Following the title's original release, Kim won the 2003 "Promising New Talent" Ignatz Award, 2004 "Best New Talent" Harvey Award and 2004 "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" Eisner Award. Subsequent comic work has included The Eternal Smile (with Gene Luen Yang) and Tune (with Les McClaine). The creator also moved into film with his Mythomania web series.

World Book Night started in the United Kingdom in 2011, before launching in the U.S. a year later. Amongst the other titles named for the 2014 event are books by Armistead Maupin, Malcolm Gladwell and Joseph Heller.