For immediate release | June 21, 2024

GNCRT Celebrates 2024 Recipients of the Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grants


The American Library Association's Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) is excited to announce Rachel Perrone of Cranston, RI and Valerie Tohom of Los Angeles, CA as the recipients of the 2024 GNCRT Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grants.

Rachel Perrone is a Reference Librarian for Cranston Public Library and graduated with her MLIS from the University of Rhode Island in Spring 2024. A long-time comics reader, Rachel has taken several professional development courses aimed at maximizing the impact of manga in libraries. Her passion for comics, along with her professional training, lead Rachel to create a number of professional resources in support of manga in secondary education. She is an invaluable resource in her own library community, managing comics collection development, planning Free Comic Book Day, and advising on best practices. Rachel is excited about the opportunity to speak on a manga panel at ALA Annual, stating “This would be a great start in professional development to see what is offered at the annual conference and learn from so many experienced people, as well as learning to give my input. I am very excited at the idea of being able to learn more about working in libraries and how we as librarians can positively affect our communities and those around us.”

Valerie Tohom is another Spring 2024 MLIS graduate who currently works between two separate Southern California area libraries. Her graduate studies focused on both youth services and comics in public libraries. Valerie uses her specialty to host community events such as developing a graphic novel photo wall, hosting drawing sessions, and the creation of the Community Comic Celebration Day. Valerie looks forward to attending ALA Annual and says "I love meeting fellow library workers, exchanging our exciting graphic novel projects, supporting each other, and developing meaningful relationships. Attending the American Library Association will allow me to grow professionally into a comics librarian and public library youth services leader."

The GNCRT Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grant provides reimbursement funds of up to $3,000 for each recipient toward their attendance at the upcoming 2024 ALA Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. Additionally, GNCRT will provide opportunities for the grant winners to participate in sessions and opportunities to meet and connect with comics publishers and their fellow GNCRT members.

Funding for this year’s grants was provided by generous donations from graphic novel publishers Skybound Entertainment and Oni Press. Past-President Moni Barrette says “We continue to be grateful for the generous support from both Skybound and now Oni. The GNCRT Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grant is about uplifting up-and-coming comics librarians with the support of the comics industry for whom librarians have such a positive impact. Librarians remain at the forefront of book bans and challenges, particularly to graphic novels, and continue driving reader awareness and discovery that ultimately boosts sales and forges community relationships. GNCRT accepts donations towards this grant year-round, and any contribution is a great way to show support for the tireless efforts of comics library workers.”

"Congratulations to Valerie and Rachel! We had many dedicated, engaging applicants this year, and this year's duo are both outstanding recipients of these grants,” GNCRT President Robin Brenner said. “I am so pleased that this year's grant funding will support their travel to ALA Annual and that they will then be able to dive right into the professional opportunities that the bustling conference provides. Attending your first Annual conference is invigorating and inspiring. I anticipate that GNCRT members and our generous donors will be happy to help our grant winners get settled and ensure their weekend among fellow comics library workers is a career highlight."

For more information on the “GNCRT Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grant,” please visit: To contribute to the grant fund please visit (select Round Tables from the top of the page, then GNCRT from the list on the left). For comics publishers interested in contributing, please contact GNCRT staff liaison Tina Coleman at


GNCRT Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grant webpage

About the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table

The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association is dedicated to supporting library staff in all aspects of engaging with graphic novels and comics, including collection development, programming, and advocacy. For more information, connect with GNCRT on Discord; Twitter: @libcomix; Instagram: @libcomix; or the GNCRT ALA Connect page.

About ALA

Established in 1876, the American Library Association (ALA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created 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 Skybound Entertainment

Established in 2010, Skybound is a multiplatform content company that works closely with creators and their intellectual properties to create cool stuff and deliver one-of-a-kind experiences to fans. Skybound extends their stories across platforms including comics, television, film, video games, tabletop, books, digital content, audio programming, and beyond. The company is home to critically-acclaimed global franchises including The Walking Dead, Invincible,Superfight, and hit podcast series Impact Winter.

Led by Skybound Entertainment co-founder Robert Kirkman, Skybound Comics is an award-winning line of comics published by Image Comics and promotes a shared vision to collaborate with top and emerging talent across the comics industry. The Skybound line includes acclaimed series such as The Walking Dead, Invincible, Ultramega, Stillwater, Fire Power, and Excellence, while also delivering powerful licensed comics, including a partnership with LEGO Books. It is also home to Skybound Comet, a new line of Young Adult and Middle Grade original graphic novels published by Image Comics, which includes the Clementine book trilogy by award-winning writer/artist Tillie Walden and set in the world of The Walking Dead. Skybound has seen numerous comics series adapted for the screen, including The Walking Dead, Invincible, Super Dinosaur and Outcast, with more projects in development.   

For the most up to date information on Skybound, please visit the company on Twitter (@Skybound), YouTube (Skybound), Facebook (@SkyboundEntertainment), Instagram (@skyboundent), and at   

About Oni Press

Founded in 1997, Oni Press has a 25-year history as one of the industry’s most respected and acclaimed publishers of award-winning comic books and graphic novels with titles including Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim, K. O’Neill’s Tea Dragon Society, Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt's The Sixth Gun, Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer, Ezra Claytan Daniels' Upgrade Soul, Brenna Thummler’s Sheets trilogy, and many hundreds more. In 2019, Oni Press merged with Lion Forge Comics – the Eisner Award-winning independent comic book publisher founded by Academy Award-winning producer and entrepreneur David Steward II – to create one of the largest, independent libraries of comics content anywhere in media. The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group now exists as a publishing subsidiary of Steward’s diversified global media company, Polarity.

The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group publishes more than 60 original and licensed graphic novels annually, in addition to an extensive list of periodical comics.


Tina Coleman

Staff Liaison

Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table