ⓘ Ngozi Ukazu


ⓘ Ngozi Ukazu

Ngozi Ukazu is an American cartoonist and graphic novelist. In 2013, she created the webcomic Check, Please!, which later became a New York Times -bestselling graphic novel.


1. Early life and education

Ukazu grew up in Houston, Texas. She attended Bellaire High School, where she contributed to the school’s newspaper, The Three Penny Press, as the comics editor. She is the daughter of Nigerian parents. She studied computer science, obtaining a degree in Computing and The Arts from Yale University in 2013 and a masters degree in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2015.


2. Career

Ukazu launched Check, Please! as a webcomic in 2013 after writing a screenplay about Eric "Bitty" Bittle, a gay college freshman and champion figure skater who joins a hockey team.

Ukazu created a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to print the first volume of the comic; the campaign resulted in the highest-funded comics project in Kickstarters history. In 2018, the first installment, Check, Please!: #Hockey, was published by First Second Books. The sequel, Check, Please!: Sticks & Stones, was a New York Times bestseller in May 2020.


3. Awards and honors

  • 2018 The Boston Globe - Best YA of 2018
  • 2018 Kirkus Reviews - Best Young Adult Books of 2018 That Explore Family and Self
  • 2018 Best of Austin - Arts & Entertainment Critics Pick
  • 2019 YALSA - Finalist | William C. Morris Award
  • 2017 NPR - 100 Favorite Comics And Graphic Novels
  • 2018 New York Public Library’s Best Books - Top Ten Books For Teens
  • 2019 Ignatz Award - Winner, Outstanding Comic
  • 2017 National Cartoonists Society - Winner, Best Online Comic: Long Form
  • 2018 Harvey Awards - Nominee, Digital Book of the Year
  • 2019 Harvey Award - Winner, Digital Book of the Year