February 19, 2014
There’s nothing more exciting than a maternity ward waiting room on Father’s Day…unless, of course, it’s a brand-spanking-new comic convention. On Sunday, February 16, in Concord, California, when people should be out having breakfast at the local coffee shop, they instead lined up to make their way into the Concord Hilton. Just past the Bay Area Ghostbusters ambulance and into the glass-lined hallway that looked out onto an atrium filled with cosplayers, comic book fans, and memorabilia collectors, convention goers waited to get their hands stamped.
Congratulations to David B., Ben Katchor, Ulli Lust, Anders Nilsen, Joe Sacco, and Gene Luen Yang, all of whom have just been nominated for an L.A. Times Book Award! Yang's book (or books, technically) BOXERS & SAINTS was nominated in the Young Adult Literature category, while the rest's books (INCIDENTS IN THE NIGHT, VOL. 1; HAND-DRYING IN AMERICA AND OTHER STORIES; TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE; THE END; and THE GREAT WAR: JULY 1, 1916 --- THE FIRST DAY OF THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME, respectively) were nominated in the Graphic Novel/Comics category. Congratulations and good luck to them all!
MARCH, the first book in Congressman John Lewis's epic graphic memoir about his life and his civil rights work with Martin Luther King Jr., has just been named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.
February 3, 2014
Each year, the fantastic librarians on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee (a part of YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association) compile a massive list of the best graphic novels suited to teen readers. The list this year features 78 comics, all vetted for quality and content and suitable for readers ages 12 to 18. The Top 10 this year is an amazing compilation showing the variety of comics available to readers (of all ages --- this list would appeal to many adults as well). The GGNFT Top 10 is listed below; below for the full list of the committee's selections, click here.
Entertainment Weekly reports that bestselling author Rainbow Rowell has just signed a two-book deal with the good folks at First Second, who are well known throughout the industry for their first-rate graphic novels. The bestselling FANGIRL author will be joined by the awesome Faith Erin Hicks as the artist of the first book, making this doubly a treat for YA fans.
A Mighty Girll, a website devoted to shining a spotlight on "books, toys, movies, and music for parents, teachers, and others dedicated to raising smart, confident, and courageous girls," recently announced their selection of 2013 Mighty Girl Books, and the smart list (check it out; it's great) includes several graphic novels.
The American Library Association’s mid-winter meeting takes place January 24–28 in Philadelphia. If you’re attending, you may want to keep track of these graphic-novel-related events and add them to your schedule: The Continuing Evolution of Digital Comics in Libraries Saturday, January 25, 2014, 10:30amto 11:30am Pennsylvania Convention Center, 104 B ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Interest Group Business Meeting Sunday, January 26, 2014, 10:30amto 11:30am Pennsylvania Convention Center, 119 A Business Meeting of the ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Interest Group PopTop Stage - Jimmy Gownley Monday, January 27, 2014, noon to 1:00pm Pennsylvania Convention Center, Exhibit Hall - PopTop Stage Jimmy Gownley began writing and drawing comics at age 15 and has been nominated for the Eisner Award 13 times. In 2001 his hit series AMELIA RULES! was released amid a flurry of rave reviews. He co-founded the organization Kids Love Comics, which works to promote comic books and graphic novels as a valuable tool for literacy and education in schools, libraries, and at home. Jimmy Gownley's new graphic novel memoir titled, The Dumbest Idea Ever! is about his adventures as he grows from an eager-to-please boy into a teenage comic book artist. This is the real-life story of how the DUMBEST idea ever became the BEST thing that ever happened to him.
January 21, 2014
After the passing of Will Eisner, his widow, Ann, asked Will’s nephew Carl Gropper and his wife, Nancy, to help with both the Will Eisner Studios and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. That help has taken on many forms, one of the most recent being the announcement that the foundation was partnering with the American Library Association (ALA) to create the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries. Libraries have been integral not only to the success of comics, graphic novels, and manga over the past decade (and more), but also to the newfound respect the format has received from readers and the public at large. These new grants will, according to the foundation, encourage “public awareness about the rise and importance of graphic literature and honoring the creative excellence of Will Eisner.” This is an outstanding opportunity for libraries, and applications for the grant are being taken now (until February 7). Click here to apply and/or for more information.
Both in movies and on television, comic-inspired entertainment keeps on dominating. WALKING DEAD, of course, is at the top of the ratings heap, and ARROW and AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. are doing well. Here’s a list of some more films and TV showing how Hollywood is looking to comics for new ideas.