Quick Hits | ‘Gender Queer’ remains at the center of Virginia controversy

The American Booksellers for Free Expression responds as politicians continue trying to ban ‘Gender Queer.’ Also: comiXology’s app is ‘annoying,’ the first graphic novel to win the Jhalak Prize and more.

Censorship | The American Booksellers for Free Expression “strongly condemns” a recent decision by a judge in Virginia that the graphic novel Gender Queer and the book A Court of Mist and Fury might be “obscene for unrestricted viewing by minors.” Two politicians in Virginia are attempting to restrict access to the book by minors not only in libraries, but also in bookstores like Barnes & Noble.

Activism | In Washington State, students at Walla Walla High School responded to attempts to ban certain books like Gender Queer from the school library by forming a Banned Book Club. There plan is to read one “banned” book per month, and a local bookstore is giving them a discount on the books they choose.

Awards | Congratulations to Sabba Khan, whose graphic novel The Roles We Play became the first graphic novel to win the Jhalak Prize. The prize has been awarded annually since 2017 to British/British resident BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) writers.

People | Dark Horse has promoted Cara O’Neil to Senior Director of Marketing.

Digital Comics | Writing for The Verge, Alex Cranz reminds us that it has been about five months since Amazon integrated comiXology into its website and relaunched its app, and things have not changed much.

The new Comixology app is largely just… annoying. That’s the best word for it. Everything you need is still there, but the design isn’t really intuitive, and it can make a large collection of comics (I’ve been using Comixology since 2011) difficult to navigate. It feels sort of like when you go to the grocery store after they move aisles around. Everything is still there, but the change feels so dramatic after years of the familiar.

Profiles | Criterion, which offers high-end, nicely packaged editions of films, profiles Criminal and Reckless artist Sean Phillips, who has provided cover art for many of their projects. It goes deep into not only his work for Criterion, but also many of his comics projects.

Interviews | Holocaust historian Charlotte Schallié answers questions about But I Live: Three Stories of Child Survivors of the Holocaust, a collection of a series of graphic novels about Holocaust survivors, which Schallié edited.

Anthologies | Taproot Edmonton puts the spotlight on the Alberta Comics Anthology, which comes out in September from Renegade Arts Entertainment.

Reading lists | Lifehacker offers five LGBTQIA+ Young Adult comics to you can read after you finish watching (and reading) Heartstopper.

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