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Archives - December 2011

At the end of the 1960s, writer Michel Choquette was tasked with creating a special insert for Rolling Stone: a collection of comic strips by the era’s great minds and talents that would define the decade that had just ended. It took 40 years for the massive collection (which features works by such luminaries as C. C. Beck, René Goscinny, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kirby, Moebius, Art Spiegelman, Gahan Wilson, and many others) to come to fruition, but it’s time is now, and here’s what Choquette has to say about it.
With each issue of Skullkickers, the action-comedy fantasy comic series I write and cocreated, I skirt a very thin edge. Skullkickers is an unabashedly violent adventure series with minimal morals but lots of goofy bloodletting and high jinks. It’s also rated for readers age 12+. You can imaginge those two elements—content and age rating—sometimes have a hard time seeing eye to eye. Why did we put together a series like that and how do we maintain a balance between black-hearted humor and young-adult-friendly material?
by Jack Baur (teen services librarian for the Berkeley Public Library, as well as the president of BAYA: The Bay Area Young Adult Librarians) and Jessica Lee (a teacher-librarian at Willard Middle School).
The year's winding down, so of course multiple outlets (including us!) are picking the best graphic novels of 2011. Have you picked your personal best? You may want to check all these out and see how they compare. And of course, check all these lists out for an interesting take on what to read. I know for me, it was tough to narrow my list down, and the more I look at what others have chosen, the more I think, "Oh! Maybe I should have picked that!" But then I have no idea what I would take off my list to make room. Check out everyone's picks and enjoy the best of the year!
December 10, 2011

Good News for Old Friends

Two friends of the site have done some very good things recently, and I wanted to let you know about them.
Kagan McLeod has been redefining cool for a while now with Infinite Kung Fu, a hip, fun, totally addictive series that was originally brought to life as a self-published comic and is now available as a graphic novel from Top Shelf. Mixing genres and styles effortlessly, McLeod creates a blend that transpires most kung-fu tropes to be startlingly original. And did we mention how fun it is? Check it out, but first check out this interview with Kagan.
With my travels to the Miami Book Fair, as well as the Thanksgiving holiday, I was completely remiss in sharing the news that the 2012 Texax Maverick Graphic Novels Reading List was announced. (This was announced almost two weeks ago, so my apologies for being so late with the news.) As librarian Tuan Nguyen, part of the Maverick Graphic Novel Committee, explains: "The Texas Maverick Graphic Novels Reading List (TMGNRL) is a recommended reading list developed by public and school librarians from the Young Adult Round Table (YART).
In case you missed out on the School of Comics at the Miami Book Fair, don't worry: One of its participants, Chris Wilson, has blogged about his experience here. Check it out if you'd like a quick recounting of some of what went on there. Enjoy!
This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the Miami Book Fair, one of the best-run book fairs in the country (and one of the biggest—seriously, if you are a book fan, you owe it to yourself to save up for a vacation to this yearly event; it’s well worth it). One of the great things about it is how friendly they are to graphic novels. In fact, they have a pretty large and significant comics presence at the fair, with panels running all weekend long.