Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table Announces Recipients of the GNCRT Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grant

For Immediate Release
Wed, 05/17/2023


Tina Coleman

Staff Liaison

Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table

American Library Association


The American Library Association Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) is excited to announce Gabriel Lopez of San Antonio, TX, and Avi Netzorg Woontner of Santa Fe, NM, as the recipients of the first GNCRT Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grants.

Gabriel Lopez is a Research & Instruction Librarian for the Sueltenfuss Library at Our Lady of the Lake University. Gabe showed early promise and initiative as a comics librarian when he spearheaded the creation and continued development of a Graphic Novels Collection on his campus. In addition to his commendable professional endeavors, he is a member of GNCRT's Addressing Comic Book Challenges Committee and is set to graduate this summer with his MLIS. On being selected for the inaugural grant, Gabe stated, "Winning this award presents me with the incredible opportunity to attend the ALA Annual Conference and meet librarians from across the profession. I am also new to comics librarianship, and I am very grateful for the chance to learn from leaders in the field."

Avi Netzorg Woontner has focused their career on equitable and reparative knowledge organization to facilitate access to resources and stories for all. They are the Public and Technical Studies Librarian at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, and prior to this position, they volunteered as Co-Coordinator for the Vancouver, BC, community queer library, Out On The Shelves. Avi served on the selection committee for the GNCRT's 2022 Best Graphic Novels for Adults Reading List. Avi says, "I have been fortunate to be able to follow my passion for comics and graphic novels throughout my professional career in selection, cataloging, and reader's advisory. This grant is an amazing opportunity to meet my colleagues around the continent who are equally driven to advocate for graphic novels, comics, and the amazing artists and storytellers who create them in libraries. I am very excited to attend ALA Annual and bring connections and resources back to my library's community."

The GNCRT Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grant provides reimbursement funds of up to $3,000 for each recipient toward their attendance at the upcoming 2023 ALA Annual Chicago. Additionally, GNCRT will provide opportunities for the grant winners to participate in sessions and network with comics publishers and their fellow GNCRT members. 

The funding for the first year of these grants was provided by graphic novel publishers, with Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment donating a combined $6,000. GNCRT is grateful for the money provided by Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment, which provided essential support to establish the grant. GNCRT is accepting donations to support this grant opportunity going forward.

GNCRT President Moni Barrette said, "Congratulations to Avi and Gabriel! This is a competitive grant, for which there were many talented and deserving applicants. Avi and Gabriel represent the best that up-and-coming comics librarians have to offer. I am thrilled that this inaugural grant funding will help support both their physical journey to ALA Annual 2023 and continued professional development. I look forward to GNCRT and our stakeholders making opportunities such as this one available for many years to come.

More information on the GNCRT Comics Librarian Conference Travel Grant is available on the ALA website. 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

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 Image Comics

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a group of bestselling artists and has gone on to become the second largest comics publisher in the United States. The company currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, style, and format imaginable. Its titles run the gamut of science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime, humor, and are created by the top artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit

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 new podcast series Impact Winter.

Led by Skybound Entertainment co-founder Robert Kirkman, Skybound Comics is an award-winning imprint of Image Comics and promotes a shared vision to collaborate with top and emerging talent across the comics industry. The Skybound publishing slate 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 original graphic novel imprint aimed at Young Adult and Middle Grade audiences, launching in June 2022 with Clementine Book One, 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