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ALA Midwinter Virtual 2021

GNCRT / BCALA Panel - Black Lives Matter Comics Reading List

Join librarians from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and the ALA Graphic Novels Comics Round Table (GNCRT) as they present and discuss their debut comics reading list that highlights the history of Black experiences and demand for a better future. The Black Lives Matter Comics reading list serves as an essential resource for educators, parents, and readers of all ages.


ALA Virtual 2020

GNCRT President's Program: A (Comics) History in the Making!

Comics have changed dramatically over the last twenty years and are now broadly accepted and celebrated. As they continue to infuse the mainstream, comics increasingly share stories from diverse communities around the world that provide insights into both those communities' struggles and celebrations. But in these challenging times, we're seeing how societal inequities continue to exist as they always have or are worsened by the pandemic.

Join Malaka Gharib (I Was Their American Dream) and Tasha Spillet-Sumner (From the Roots Up) in conversation with incoming GNCRT President Alea Perez as they discuss where we find ourselves as members of the comics community trying to navigate a new reality, what we can do to use this historical moment to move our individual communities forward towards real change, and how creators can use their stories to not only entertain, but also to enlighten and inspire action.


ALA Annual Conference 2019

Friday Forum: Social Justice & Comics (3 panels)

2019. Does the world around us look how we want it to? How can librarians and creators have an impact on that? Join us to discuss social justice issues while we look at how comics have addressed diversity, equity, and inclusion in the past and how they are addressing them now.

It's Personal! Social Justice and the Personal Narrative
Join us for a panel with a unique perspective: You! We'll discuss with creators and publishers what it's like to create an autobiographical story and examine the intersection of the personal and the political.
Panelists: Brian Selznick, Joana Karpowicz, Ryan Estrada, Hyun Sook Kim, and Hazel Newlevant 

So Many Comics, So Little Time!
How can you possibly keep track of all the titles coming out and all the topics they cover? In this session, you’ll spend time in small groups with creators and colleagues discussing titles that work for different social justice topics. After the session, all the titles will be combined into a totally excellent resource just for you!
Panelists: Jen Wang, Nicholas Aflleje, Sarah Delaine, Jon Muth, Tini Howard, Karim Friha, and Gene Ha 

Art and Activism: The Rich History of Comics and Social Justice
Social justice in comics has a rich history and tradition that carries into the present. Creators confronting and questioning social issues and politics in graphic form brings subjects to audiences who may not have been exposed to the topics before. This panel brings comics creators together to discuss their perspectives on using comics and graphic novels as a way to address social justice topics.
Moderator: Crystal Chen; Panelists: Mariko Tamaki, Bizhan Khodabandeh, Kelsey Wroten, and Vita Ayala 

GNCRT Comics Breakfast

Wish you knew who to talk to when you have questions, suggestions, or critiques about comics in your library? Want to meet the people writing and drawing your branch’s most popular graphic novels? Come enjoy breakfast, coffee, and an informal meet and greet with your comics publishing representatives and creators. 

This is TICKETED EVENT and every attendee must have a ticket to get in (either on their mobile phone or a printout.) The breakfast is sold out! There is a wait-list, so please do sign up if you'd still like to attend. We will alert everyone as soon as we can if or when spots open up.

Our creator guests will include Nicholas Afllege, Flavia Biondi, Ezra Clayan Daniels, Delilah Dawson, Paul Downs, Justin Eisinger, Christophe Ferreira, Brendan Fletcher, Karim Friha, Dan Goldman, John Gurney, Larry Hancock, Mat Heagerty, Wilfred Lupano, Greg Pak, Jarod Roselló, Brian Selznick, Joey Weiser, and Wendy Xu. 

Thanks to all of our generous sponsors: Abrams, Boom! Studios, Europe Comics, Fantagraphics, First Second / Macmillan, French Comics Association, Humanoids, Image Comics, Lion Forge, Manga Classics, NBM/Papercutz, Oni Press, Top Shelf / IDW, and VIZ Media.

Behind the Scenes: Creating a Diverse World of Comics

Join publishers and creators from around the world to learn about the routes graphic novels take to come to your attention and to your library. What makes up the process? How are editorial decisions made? How do publishers seek out and champion diverse voices in the medium? What role can librarians play and at which points? Attendees will learn about what happens behind the scenes in creating a graphic novel, the careful work of translating cultural context and languages, marketing, issues around censorship, and how to advocate for an inclusive, international collection.
Speakers: Peggy Burns, C. Spike Trotman, Thierry Laroche, Bill Campbell

Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries Reception

This annual reception is a celebration of comics and graphic novels in libraries. Included are the official presentation of the two Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants and the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant to the winning library systems. The event provides graphic novel librarians the opportunity to network with other librarians, creators, authors, publishers, and industry professionals. The annual reception is dedicated to the three winning library systems and celebrates librarians for the crucial role they have played in the phenomenal growth of the graphic novel in libraries. While Will Eisner helped to create the graphic novel format, leading librarians have long-championed the many benefits of the graphic novel and comics to the world's readers of all ages. The grants are juried by leading professionals in the field. They are funded by the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation and sponsored by the ALA Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries Round Table.

GNCRT President's Program - State of the Comics Union: Past, Present, and Future

Comics have changed dramatically over the last twenty years. Not only has the format itself changed in terms of platforms and media, but new creators and readers have transformed library collections. Comics are now broadly accepted and celebrated. In the newly established Graphic Novels & Comics Roundtable’s first President’s program, we invite innovative, stellar creators to discuss from their perspective how the format has changed. We will discuss how libraries and librarians have influenced their work and where they see room for growth as we enter the next decade. All of our programs and events at ALA Annual take stock of the state of the comics union; discussions continue during the entire conference. Together, let’s reflect on how far we’ve come, where we are today and envision what our future may bring.
Speakers: Jason Lutes, Raina Telgemeier, Jaime Hernandez

Discussing Social Issues through Speculative Comics

Since Mary Shelley, science fiction has explored issues of identity, race, inequality, and injustice. Creators in speculative genres cross boundaries and break barriers. Attendees will hear about the creators and their work, understand the challenges of writing about complex social issues, learn approaches to collecting in the genre, and gain a broader understanding of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative works that reflects today’s current issues.
Speakers: Ezra Daniels, Sanford Greene, David Walker, Delilah Dawson, Greg Pak

LGBTQ+ Creators and Characters in Kids, Tween, and Teen Comics

LGBTQIA+ creators and characters are increasingly visible in comics for young readers, from kids through to teens. This panel brings together queer creators and allies to discuss the importance of centering queer stories, working to break stereotypes and the importance of giving all young readers the chance to meet queer characters in comics pages. Creators will talk about their inspirations, new and upcoming works, and how kids comics can create space for even more narratives.
Speakers: Colleen AF Venable, Wendy Xu, Melanie Gillman, Carly Usdin

Exploring Trauma and Recovery through Comics

Trauma is life-changing, from living through the explosive conflict of a war zone to recovering from personal ordeals. Eyewitness accounts are particularly well evoked in the constraints and freedoms of a graphic narrative. This panel will draw together creators who can speak from their first-hand knowledge of violence and the work that goes into expressing a traumatic event in comics. Attendees will learn about expressing strong emotion and experiences graphically, the difficulties of first-person narration and reportage, and receive suggestions for their collections.
Speakers: Tom King, Travis Dandro, Gina Siciliano, Ted Rall