Wandering through the aisles of Big Wow ComicFest this weekend in San Jose, California, I wondered how I could have missed all these great books!? Did I miss my last GraphicNovelReporter newsletter? I think not. Big Wow ComicFest hosts some of the best-kept secret artists and authors in northern California. It also claims to be the home of the original artist-friendly show—and we’re talking artists with a capital “A.” The quality of work is outstanding; the willingness to share is exceptional, while the panels were just plain fun.
As more and more attention gets paid to comics, manga, and graphic novels, I was interested in seeing how the format appealed to women and girls. Manga, it has long been said, has an enormous female readership. Can traditional comics follow suit? And where does the graphic novel fit in? I wanted to know what female readers thought of the format in general and how it specifically appealed to (or drove away, possibly) girls and young women.
“Hear ye! Hear ye!,” intoned Ron Leone, Mayor of Concord, California. “Whereas Joe Field the owner of Flying Colors Comics and the Founder of Free Comic Book Day,”
May 7, 2012
“So I want you to write an early reader children’s comic book about the nitrogen cycle and how all things in nature are symbiotically interconnected,” my mother (and editor at TOON Books), Francoise Mouly, said to me on the phone. I’d been trying to write about recycling: Alien pals Zig and Wikki land in a recycling bin—what happens next?! But the What Happens Next was simply too depressing (they get shipped overseas and sold to China, who then sells them back to us as manufactured recycled goods, wasting an enormous amount of energy in the process). Somehow, the nitrogen cycle seemed easier to explain.
Over the weekend, The Avengers set a monumental sales record: $200.3 million, which was $40 million more than the previous record-holder, last year's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Did you see the movie over the weekend? If so, what did you think of it?
Friend of the site Doré Ripley wrote to inform me that Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill California has awarded its annual James O'Keefe Annual Prize for Graphic Literature, which recognized students' graphic literature creations at the school. The prize is named after the late teacher who began DVC's Graphic Novels as Literature course. Doré served on the three-person panel that oversaw the awards, and the ceremony was held on April 18. Here's the list of winners and a description of their works:
Kids Comic Con will be taking place in New York City on May 5th from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. It's still happening in The Bronx, but this year, the con has a new venue, the Church of the Mediator, 260 W. 231st St., which is on the corner of Kingsbridge Ave. The con's creator, Alex Simmons, had to change the venue because of a scheduling conflict at the usual location, but he promises the same (and perhaps even greater) levels of fun, excitement, and kid-friendly comics.
Carla Speed McNeil's Finder: Voice was the winner in the graphic novel category of the prestigious 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, awarded this weekend. The sci-fi series has been published since 1996, and McNeil created the original graphic novel Voice for Dark Horse in 2011.
April 4, 2012
Karen Green, Columbia University's librarian for ancient and medieval history, as well as their resident graphic novel librarian, recently helped put together an amazing symposium called Comics New York, detailing the loving relationship and long history shared between comics and the Big Apple. We asked her about the success of the event and the work that went into it. Here's what she had to say.
April 3, 2012
This is the story of how a few informal conversations turned into a full-blown comic book convention in the unassuming town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It took the hard work and imagination of dozens of teachers, librarians, college administrators, business people, and professionals in the comic book industry, as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of meetings. It will require two of us to bring you this tale: John Weaver, an English teacher at Williamsport Area High School, and John Shableski, who has worked at the distribution end of comics publishing for many years.