A Call to Action for Graphic Novels

The New York Times shocked its readership when it announced that it was losing some of its bestsellers lists, including the graphic novels bestsellers list. It’s a devastating loss for librarians and graphic novelists alike. There has been a public outcry among graphic novelists, although there has been division even amongst the voices speaking out. Newer bestselling authors like Raina Telgemeier lay out the reasons why it disappoints her, while Neil Gaiman proudly proclaims that he never needed a separate list when Sandman first came out.

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Annual 2015: Graphic Novels, Comics, and San Francisco

This is a guest post from Trevor Calvert, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for ALA 2015 in San Francisco.

San Francisco is a literary city and as such a wealth of comic book stores merit a visit if you are eager to experience some of SF’s comic-book culture. Every year SF hosts the Alternative Press Expo highlighting local creators, and even has a Comic Art Museum which showcases both classics Golden Age shows all the way to hosting local-artist workshops. So let’s pack a light sweater (or maybe a cape?) and walk over to a few of these awesome spots!

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Podcast Episode #110: Carol Tilley and the Trends in YA Presentation

The guests for this episode are Carol Tilley, this year’s Trends in YA presenter, and Denise Agosto, organizer for the event. The Trends in YA Presentation is an event that occurs each year at the Midwinter Conference. This year’s presentation will be on Saturday, January 26th at 4:30 in room 213 in the Seattle Convention Center. Tilley will read from her research paper, which explores the history of comic books and their relationship with libraries.

Trends in YA Presentation

For more information on Carol Tilley and her various projects, please visit her website at’ www.caroltilley.net/.

You’ll find the schedule of other YALSA-related events on the YALSA webpage.

YALSA Podcast Episode #103: Graphic Novels in Your School Library with Jesse Karp

For this episode we are happy to bring back librarian, author and YALSA member Jesse Karp to discuss his new book Graphic Novels in Your School Library, currently available through ALA Editions.

Graphic Novels in Your School Library with Jesse Karp

For more information on Jesse and his various projects, including sample lesson plans from his book, please visit his website beyondwhereyoustand.com.

If’  you prefer, you may go to the’ YALSA Podcast Site, download the Mp3 file and listen to it on the Mp3 player of your choice. To avoid missing future episodes, add’ the feed to Itunes or any other rss feed tracker.

Thanks for listening!

Pictures and Words: An Interview with Jeff Lemire

Jeff Lemire is one of the rising stars in the world of comics. A Xeric winner and multiple nominee for the Eisner, Harvey and Ignatz awards he is probably most familiar to librarians as the writer and illustrator for his book Tales From the Farm, a 2008 Alex Award winner and the first volume of his critically acclaimed Essex County Trilogy. His current project is Sweet Tooth, a monthly title published by the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics and a 2010 Eisner nominee in the category of best new series. The first trade collection of the series, Sweet Tooth Volume 1: Out of the Woods, was published on May 12. Lemire answered the following questions via email in the month of May.

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From Panels to the Big Screen: Summer Movies Based On Comics

I don’t know about you, but the last few days we’ve been getting a lot of requests for and questions about Iron Man. Whether they are trying to find out who Tony Stark is, how he can fly or just find some fun stories, I suspect it’s mostly to feed their energy into the US release of Iron Man 2 this weekend. With that in mind, I thought it might be a good idea to give a quick rundown on some of the movies this season based on comic books and the titles they are based on. Continue reading

Tell Us Which Graphic Novels Are Great

Did you know that the Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee discussions are open to the public?’  Our discussions and final votes are happening at Mid-winter in Boston (at the Fairmont Copley Plaza from Saturday through Tuesday, to be exact).’  If you drop by, you can listen to our discussions and say your own piece about what was nominated (or even what should have been but wasn’t).’  The list of final nominations is right here, so have a look, make up your mind and come tell us all about it.

A Graphic Novel By Any Other Name

My colleagues, my editor, my friends, my students and (especially) their parents have all bemoaned on one occasion or another the term “graphic novel”.’  Problem 1: They’re not always novels.’  Problem 2 (mostly from parents of students): the word “graphic” suggests adult and/or extreme content.’  Well, I’ve made my peace with the fact that the name refers to the physical form of the object (it has a similar appearance to that of a standard novel) rather than the contents, and at this point we maybe too far gone to replace it anyway.’  However, this has not come up on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee and I’m interested in a rough general consensus.’  Should there be a change?’  And to what?’  I’ve heard graphics novel, graphics, graphic book, graphic format, sequential book and GN (which sort of avoids the issue and faces it both at the same time), plus plenty of others I won’t labor through here.’  Please, tell me: where do you stand and what’s your suggestion for a name change, if you’ve got one?

Step 2: Planning your graphic novel collection

In dream library world, planning would probably be Step 1 in building a graphic novel collection.’  But in real library world, I didn’t make a plan for how to define, collect, catalog, process, and shelve graphic novels.’  I just started buying them.

As I’ve blithely added materials to my graphic-novel-and-nonfiction collection, I’ve run into all kinds of interesting questions: If I shelve my graphic novels by author, am I devaluing the role of artists?’  If I have a graphic adaptation of a novel, like Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, do I shelve it under the name of the adaptor, or the original author?’  Can I make a meaningful distinction between superhero comic books and other graphic novels?’  If I do make that distinction, where do I put series about heroes without superpowers?’  And don’t even get me started on nonfiction. Continue reading

Graphic Novels: A Top Five

Howdy. I’m Jesse Karp, librarian, reviewer and Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee-member. Since I work with ’em and love ’em and this is my first post, I figured I’d throw out my top five favorite graphic novels list. What better way to give you a sense of my tastes and (hopefully) inspire some more interest the form?
Here goes:

1. The Arrival by Tan (Beautiful, insightful silent tale of being a stranger in a strange land — pushes the art form to a whole new level)
2. The Storm in the Barn by Phelan (Powerful, folk tale-ish coming-of-age story and deep, moving homage to the art of storytelling in any form)
3. Superman for All Seasons by Loeb and Sale (a retelling of the big guy’s early years that gives it the feeling of real American mythology)
4. Tales of Colossus by Andrews (Medieval action/adventure . . . with a robot!)
5. Selina’s Big Score by Cooke (Catwoman goes for a huge heist — Cooke’s art is peerless).

There ya go. Hope there are a couple you don’t know about yet and that you’re curious enough to take a look.