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Martha Cornog clued me in to this great article by Manfred von Vulte, 10 Reasons Children Should Read Comic Books. I think he nailed every one. It's excellent to see the comics-reading experience broken down this way, and not just in the obvious ways. No. 1, "Their Lexicon of Complex Words Is Higher Than Most Publications," is often cited by many comics readers and enthusiasts, and it is of course quite true.
The crowds won't be as large at Comic Arts Brooklyn as they were at New York Comic Con, but enthusiasm for the art form will certainly be just as high. The one-day festival, running from 11 a.m. till 7 p.m. will be split between Mt. Carmel Church at 275 N. 8th St. (that's where you'll find all the publisher booths and artist displays) and The Knitting Factory at 361 Metropolitan Ave. (for panels and discussions).
Congratulations to Gene Luen Yang for being named a finalist for the venerable 2013 National Book Award for Boxers & Saints in the Young People's Literature category.
New York Comic Con Is Less Than a Week Away   New York Comic Con, the East Coast's answer to San Diego Comic-Con, starts next week! Are you ready? Here's our guide for teachers and librarians to use to plan their schedules; we've culled through the entire listing of panels and events at NYCC to bring you the ones of specific interest for you. Use the list below to plan your days at NYCC accordingly. (For the full list of events and panels at NYCC, click here.)
The increasing mainstream appeal of comics has also boosted the sucess of small-press publishers. Marc Arsenault of Alternative Comics shares his insight on the development.
Francoise Mouly, publisher of the children's graphic novel-making Toon Books and the wife of Art Spiegelman, has gotten a nice profile in the National Post's site. It's a great look back at the many years she's spent working in the industry. You'll be shocked and amazed.
Cheers to our friend Dan Kusunoki, who is profiled this week in the blog Los Angeles, I'm Yours. Dan's works at Skylight Books in Los Angeles, where he curates an awesome graphic novel section. He's a bookseller who really knows and loves comics, and his story benefits heartily from it. If you're in L.A., you'll want to check it out. In the meantime, read up on Dan's work at the link.
“You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.”
The College Comic Final -- Sailor Twain   Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel was the final book assigned for my college course on comics. In a class heavy on superhero origins, I thought a modern graphic novel would be a good add to the mix—plus it was a top book of 2013. Sailor Twain is a love story…no, wait, it’s a mystery, or a tale of the occult, possibly a history lesson—a theme-heavy tome that can even be described as a noir fairy tale—talk about postmodern.
This summer, Columbia librarian Karen Green has been teaching an interesting class: Comic Books and Graphic Novels as Literature, meeting twice a week for six weeks. It’s a recognition of the literary value of the format, and an expert like Green is the perfect teacher for it. We talked with her to get an inside look at the class, which includes some first-rate required reading (like Derf Backderf’s My Friend Dahmer; Gabrielle Bell’s The Voyeurs; Will Eisner’s A Contract with God; Peter Kuper’s Sticks and Stones; Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics; Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns; Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen; Art Spiegelman’s Maus; and Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth).