Plus: More book challenges, creator interviews, and recommended reading.
In a thoughtful op-ed in the Washington Post, Maia Kobabe responds to critics who have challenged her book Gender Queer in school libraries. She writes that when she was growing up, she turned to books to help her understand something she couldn’t put into words, and that she wrote Gender Queer primarily for her own family, who were supportive but also puzzled. And she ends with this:
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Three weeks after I first heard about the “Gender Queer” ban at Fairfax County Public Schools, I received this message:
“You probably won’t ever see this but I am a queer FCPS student! My mom and I read your book. I loved it! I related to almost everything you said. I felt so understood and not alone. I think my mom understands me better and I’m more confident in confiding in her since she read your book. Thank you so much for creating your memoir!”
Plus: Three new members join the CBLDF board, Noelle Stevenson’s Substack and more!
The Harvey Awards Committee have announced the five creators who will be inducted into the Harvey Awards Hall of Fame this year: Manga creator Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2, Inu Yasha); horror comics artist Bernie Wrightson, the co-creator of Swamp Thing; cover artist and painter Jeffrey Catherine Jones; artist Barry Windsor-Smith (Conan the Barbarian); and Michael Kaluta (The Shadow, Starstruck). The latter four formed an artists’ commune called The Studio in 1975; in his 2011 obituary of Jones, Tom Spurgeon explained its significance:
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Plus: News on ‘Fun Home,’ Vault Comics, IDW, DC’s new GM and more.
Not surprisingly, Dog Man has once again claimed the top spot on best-seller charts for USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Indie Bound, Toronto Star, and The Globe and Mail, among others. It’s the ninth book in Dav Pilkey’s popular kids graphic novel series to land at No. 1 on the best-seller chart.
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Judges choices include Nell Brinkley and E. Simms Campbell.
Comic-Con International has announced this year’s nominees for the Eisner Hall of Fame. They include two judges’ choices — who will be automatically inducted — and 14 other nominees, four of whom will be inducted based on voters’ choices.
The judges’ choices are Nell Brinkley and E. Simms Campbell, both of whom worked in the magazine industry. Brinkley, a.k.a. the “Queen of Comics,” created comics and illustrations for many Hearst newspapers, including the Denver Post and the New York Journal-America. She became well-known for her “Brinkley Girl” illustrations circa 1913 through the 1940s. Campbell, meanwhile, helped define the visual style of Esquire magazine and created comics for it, Life, Cosmopolitan and Playboy during his career. He was the first African-American cartoonist published in nationally distributed slick magazines.
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Mike Mignola, Alison Bechdel, Will Elder, Jack Davis, John Severin, Marie Severin and Ben Oda make up the largest class ever for the Harvey Awards Hall of Fame.
The Harvey Awards have announced seven inductees into their Hall of Fame for this year, including Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Fun Home creator Alison Bechdel and five of Harvey Kurtzman’s core 1950s MAD collaborators. This is the largest of all Hall of Fame induction classes in the 31-year history of the Harvey Awards.
“My very first comic industry award was the 1994 Harvey Award for Best Artist on Hellboy. I never expected that award, but I took it as a sign that I might actually be on to something,” Mignola said. “It is a great honor to be inducted into the Harvey Awards Hall of Fame—something I certainly never could have imagined. And I’ll take it as proof that I haven’t embarrassed myself too badly over the last 25 years.”
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Parents fight to remove Alison Bechdel’s ‘Fun Home’ from school curriculum, Hope Larson’s ‘All Summer Long’ and more!
Legal: The high court in Madras, India, has ruled that political cartoonists are entitled to freedom of expression, stating that since it is their job to sway public opinion, often by making fun of public figures, they should not be vulnerable to lawsuits:
Upholding cartoonists’ unbridled freedom of expression, Justice Swaminathan stated that the “art of the cartoonist is often not reasoned or even-handed, but slashing and one-sided.”
He went on to quote extensively from US Supreme Court Justice William Rhenquist’s celebrated judgement in Hustler Magazine Inc v Falwell (1988): “The political cartoon is a weapon of attack, of scorn, ridicule and satire; it is least effective when it tries to pat some politician on the back. It is usually welcome as a bee sting, and it is always controversial in some quarters.”
The judge and several other commentators made numerous references to American cartoons, including the New Yorker cover depicting Donald Trump naked.
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