April 11, 2010
Reading With Pictures is a nonprofit initiative working to link comics and classrooms and moves comics even further into education. Their latest project is a fantastic anthology featuring the work of Jill Thompson, Fred Van Lente, Jeff Brown, and a host of top comics talent. Find out more about how you can order the book and help out Reading With Pictures here.
The week of April 5, 2010, marks the two-year anniversary of Toon Books, the little company that could. It’s the brainchild of Francoise Mouly, art editor for The New Yorker and the wife of comics legend Art Spiegelman. The past few months have seen a significant leap forward for the publisher, with their Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! winning the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award from the American Library Association this past January, and Jeff Smith’s Little Mouse Gets Ready earning an Honor mention.
The annual Texas Library Association conference will be held April 14–17 in San Antonio. This year also marks the first that the TLA has completed its Maverick (actually announced at the end of 2009). Given both events, we wanted to address how TLA is promoting comics and graphic novels. Three librarians associated with TLA’s Maverick committee banded together to answer our questions: Alicia Holston (Farmers Branch Manske Public Library), WyLaina Hildreth (Denton Public Library), and Tuan Nguyen (Mackin Library Media).
Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 (the first appearances of Superman and Batman, respectively) have been in the news a lot the past few months. Both are rare comics, with only a relative handful still in existence and even fewer in close to pristine quality. And both have sold at auction for record prices. Last month, a copy of Action sold for $1 million. But an even better looking copy of the issue has just gone for $1.5 million on the auction site comicconnect.com. It goes without saying that it's a record.
I was sitting in a beautiful hotel conference room when I heard the news that comics legend Dick Giordano had passed away today at the age of 77. Dick was a wonderful artist, creator, and leader at DC Comics and elsewhere throughout the industry, and he was, by all accounts, a truly gracious and wonderful man. I’m in San Diego taking part in the Eisner Award judging process, along with some really amazing comics fans.
Carol’s a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid books, so I was hoping she and I would both be able to attend the special preview of the movie held last Thursday night in Times Square in New York. Unfortunately, she’s traveling to the West Coast on business, so I was on my own for the movie. It might have been a good thing, because I ended up enjoying myself immensely and laughing hysterically.
Jim Gibbons spent two years working for Wizard before joining Dark Horse as their newest publicity coordinator. But what’s his history in comics really like? We found out.
It’s TokyoPop senior editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl’s turn to get in the hotseat and answer our questions!
Michele Gorman is the teen services coordinator for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is also the “Getting Graphic” columnist for Library Media Connection, and her books include Getting Graphic! Comics for Kids, Getting Graphic! Using Graphic Novels to Promote Literacy with Preteens and Teens, and both the third and fourth edition of Connecting Young Adults and Libraries: A How to Do It Manual. Michele is also the editorial director for Neal Schuman’s “Teens @ the Library!” series. You can find her online at www.comixlibrarian.com.
As comics reach an ever-growing audience—and as styles from around the world, like manga and manhua, permeate the American marketplace and help shatter cultural boundaries—it seemed like an important time to look at where comics have come from and where they’re going, in terms of diversity. It seemed a perfect time to open a dialogue, even a small one, dealing with issues related to race in comics, specifically how comics appealed, portrayed, and were created by the black community.