For immediate release | May 31, 2016

Limited quantities of 'March' graphic novel samplers — and historic Martin Luther King comic book — to be distributed at 2016 ALA Annual Conference

Top Shelf Productions, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA), will give away free copies of March Trilogy Sampler, a special comic book excerpting highlights from all three volumes of the award-winning March trilogy by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

In addition, some lucky attendees will receive a replica copy of the 1957 comic book Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, which inspired John Lewis as a young activist and ultimately served as the inspiration for the March series.

While supplies last, the comics will be distributed at “MARCH with Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell: A Celebration of NEH’s 50th Anniversary,” a special presentation featuring the civil rights leader and his co-creators on the acclaimed graphic novel series.

The event will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando in Orlando, Florida.

March Trilogy Sampler contains the first scenes ever shown of March: Book Three, which is scheduled for publication in August 2016. Replica copies of Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story will be given to the first 30 attendees to arrive at the program Saturday morning, and copies of the March graphic novels will be available for purchase at the book signing immediately following.

This special event observes the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), whose support makes possible the Great Stories Club, a book club program for at-risk and underserved youth. Hundreds of teenagers around the country are currently reading March: Book One and March: Book Two as part of Great Stories Club reading and discussion groups.

Lewis, Aydin and Powell will discuss the legacy of the civil rights movement, the power of visual literature to educate and inspire today’s youth, and the crucial role of libraries in our democracy. NEH Chairman William D.Adams will introduce the event, and a one-hour book signing will follow.

Often called “one of the most courageous persons the civil rights movement ever produced,” Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights and securing civil liberties. Despite physical attacks, serious injuries and more than 40 arrests, he has remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence.

Born near Troy, Alabama, on Feb. 21, 1940, Lewis grew up in an era of segregation. Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., he went on to lead sit-ins, become a Freedom Rider, and speak at 1963's March on Washington as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Together with Hosea Williams, he led the landmark “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma, Alabama, paving the way for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was elected to Congress in 1986 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Now, in collaboration with Aydin and Powell, Lewis is sharing his story in March, a New York Times best-selling trilogy of graphic novels, winning honors from the Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards and ALA’s Coretta Scott King Book Awards, as well as YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens and Outstanding Books for the College Bound. The Washington Post declared that “there is perhaps no more important modern book to be stocked in American school libraries than March.” The series is used in schools across the country to teach the civil rights movement to new generations, and was recently added to a new Social Studies curriculum by New York City Schools. The final volume, March: Book Three, will be released in August 2016.

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About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About Top Shelf Productions

Top Shelf Productions, based in Marietta, Georgia, has published critically acclaimed and popularly beloved graphic novels since 1997. Now an imprint of IDW Publishing, Top Shelf continues to showcase the vanguard of the comics medium, publishing works of literary sophistication, visionary artistry, and personal resonance.

About IDW Publishing

IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books and graphic novels, renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles. Based in San Diego, California, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the comics industry, and operates such acclaimed imprints as the Library of American Comics, Yoe! Books, IDW Artist’s Editions, and Top Shelf Productions.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

Public Programs Office