For the second year in a row, a record number of books were challenged in libraries and schools.
Gender Queer, Maia Kobabe’s touching graphic novel memoir about gender identity, topped the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books for 2022. It’s the second year in a row that Gender Queer has landed in the No. 1 spot.
The ALA’s annual top 10 list of the most challenged books expanded to 13 for 2022, which saw a record number of 1,269 book challenges for 2,571 unique titles (many challenges include more than one book). Most of the targeted books in the top 13 were written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color.
“By releasing the list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books each year, ALA recognizes all of the brave authors whose work challenges readers with stories that disrupt the status quo and offer fresh perspectives on tough issues,” said ALA President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. “The list also illustrates how frequently stories by or about LGBTQ+ persons, people of color, and lived experiences are being targeted by censors. Closing our eyes to the reality portrayed in these stories will not make life’s challenges disappear. Books give us courage and help us understand each other.”
Continue reading “‘Gender Queer’ once again tops the ALA’s list of most challenged books for 2022”
The creator of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ teams with caricaturist John Kascht for a new book that’s due out in October.
If there was one thing that united the internet this week, it had to be the big reveal that Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson has a new book coming out. The Mysteries by Watterson and caricaturist John Kascht is set to be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing this fall.
It’s been almost 30 years since Watterson ended Calvin and Hobbes, one of the most creative and beloved comic strips of all time. Since then, Watterson hasn’t been seen or heard from much, except for the rare interview or a guest comic strip or to turn down a trip to France after winning the Grand Prix d’Angoulême. So this was a welcome surprise.
If you’re expecting it to be something like Calvin & Hobbes, though, think again. Here’s a preview:
Continue reading “Three decades later, Bill Watterson returns with a fable for grown-ups”
Half the books on 2021’s top 10 list were targeted for including LGBTQIA+ content.
In a year that saw the highest number of book challenges in libraries and schools since the ALA began compiling data on the topic, the graphic novel Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe topped the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books for 2021.
More than 700 book challenges — which are reported attempts by citizens and parents to have books removed from their public library or a school library — were recorded by the ALA, a record number since they began sharing data and making this list in 2000. This resulted in almost 1,600 individual book challenges or removals, as some challenges were against multiple titles.
“The 729 challenges tracked by ALA represent the highest number of attempted book bans since we began compiling these lists 20 years ago,” said ALA President Patricia “Patty” Wong. “We support individual parents’ choices concerning their child’s reading and believe that parents should not have those choices dictated by others. Young people need to have access to a variety of books from which they can learn about different perspectives. So, despite this organized effort to ban books, libraries remain ready to do what we always have: make knowledge and ideas available so people are free to choose what to read.”
Continue reading “‘Gender Queer’ tops the ALA’s ‘Most Challenged Books of 2021’ list”
The comics writer, novelist and industry veteran discusses his newest book, which combines his love of mysteries with the comic book industry.
Alex Segura is known to comics readers for various comics projects ranging from The Dusk to The Black Ghost to Archie Meets the B-52’s to the upcoming The Awakened, but the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Oni-Lion Forge has another career as a novelist. Segura has written an acclaimed series of novels featuring journalist-turned-private eye Pete Fernandez, and his new novel Secret Identity bridges these two worlds.
A murder mystery set in 1970s New York, the novel centers around Carmen Valdez, an assistant at Triumph Comics who aspires to be a writer. After a co-worker is murdered, Valdez tries to understand what happened. Chapters of the novel are also interspersed with pages from the fictional The Lynx comic book, which Valdez co-wrote in the novel, but are drawn by real-life artist Sandy Jarrell.
The novel is a departure for Segura, less focused on plot but more about character and atmosphere, focused on evoking another era and a look inside the comics industry of that time. It’s his best and richest work to date, and we had a chance to talk recently about the novel, which is out this week.
Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A | Alex Segura’s ‘Secret Identity’”
New novels by Joshua Dysart with MK Perker and Alex Grecian with Andrea Mutti will debut in January.
TKO Studios has announced TKO Rogue, a new prose imprint that will release illustrated novels by authors and artists “from the literary and pop culture worlds.”
The first two books they plan to release are Brood X by Joshua Dysart with art by MK Perker, and One Eye Open by Alex Grecian and Andrea Mutti.
“The launch of TKO Rogue is the next step in the evolution of TKO Studios and bridges the vibrant worlds of novelized fiction and comics with works from a renowned pair of award- winning, bestselling authors and internationally recognized artists,” said Tze Chun, co-founder of TKO Studios, in a statement. “We invite readers to enjoy these new books and join us as we develop an exciting roster of original prose titles.”
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The guide will walk readers through the production process of creating a comic.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to create comics for Marvel, Mark Waid is going to show you how.
Simon & Schuster will publish How to Create Comics the Marvel Way next summer. The guide will walk readers through the comic book production process from pencil roughs, inking, coloring, as well as how comic book illustration has been revolutionized through advances in digital/desktop technology.
“Putting a book like this together is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and it’s thrilling,” Waid told Marvel.com. “My goal was to write the kind of how-to I wish I’d had when I first started out. No matter what discipline is calling to you — writing, art, coloring, lettering, or all of the above — you’ll come away from How to Create Comics the Marvel Way with the tools and guidance you’ll need to bring your favorite heroes and villains to life on the page.”
Continue reading “‘How to Create Comics the Marvel Way’ by Mark Waid coming next year”
The comic book writer announces his new book, which features tips on supervillainy using known science.
When he’s not writing comics like The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Slaughterhouse-Five, Ryan North works in the realm of non-non-fiction, putting out handy guides like How to Invent Everything, a must-have manual for time travelers, and the just-announced How to Take Over the World.
This new book introduces readers to “the science of supervillainy” and could be your ticket to a new line career path.
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The writer and editor discusses his unauthorized biography of ‘the most famous person in comics.’
Danny Fingeroth has been working in comics for decades. A longtime editor at Marvel, Byron Preiss and Visionary Media, Fingeroth wrote comics like Darkhawk, Dazzler, Venom: Deathtrap – The Vault and Deadly Foes of Spider-Man, and wrote nonfiction books including Superman on the Couch and Disguised as Clark Kent. He’s also known to a lot of convention goers as one of the people who runs a lot of panels — interviewing and celebrating the creators who helped to invent comics at dozens of labels across the country. At the end of 2019 he came out with his biggest book to date, A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee.
The biography of the late Stan Lee is unauthorized but affectionate, and tries to capture the man that Fingeroth got to know later in his life with the young man who has been written about at length. After reading the book, I asked Fingeroth a few questions about the project and how it fits in with his other work, including serving as chair of Will Eisner Week.
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OmahaBound collects 27 ‘back-woods horror’ prose stories by Bunn, with illustrations by Tim Mayer.
When he’s not writing comics — and sometimes it’s hard to imagine that there’s a time when he’s not writing comics, based on all the projects he has going on — Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun, Harrow County) writes short stories, usually (and not surprisingly) in the horror genre. Now 27 of those stories are being collected by publisher OmahaBound.
A Passage in Black & Other Stories will include eight never-before published stories, along with 19 that were only released in the small press. Artist Tim Mayer will provide 23 illustrations for the collection, as well as the cover for the trade paperback version. Tyler Crook, Bunn’s collaborator on Harrow County, created the cover for the limited edition hardcover that will only be available on OmahaBound’s site. The publisher describes the stories as “back-woods horror, creepy and terrifying tales that only Cullen Bunn could tell.”
The collection is due out Oct. 6. Check out the two covers below.
Continue reading “Cullen Bunn’s prose work collected in ‘A Passage in Black’”