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”
Plus: News on ‘Gender Queer,’ ‘Adora and the Distance,’ and more.
The always essential Comichron by comic sales guru John Jackson Miller has a number of charts up about 2022 comics. With distribution scattered amongst numerous players now, it’s harder to pin down sales numbers for many titles, but Miller has been keeping track of the number of new periodical releases, which gives an indication of the health of the overall comics market:
Continue reading “Quick Hits | Variant covers exploded in 2022 as number of new comic releases increased year over year”
The court dismissed it based on First Amendment and due process grounds.
Circuit Court Judge Pamela Baskervill has dismissed the case that sought to label the graphic novel Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe and the novel A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. K. Maas as obscene and illegal to sell.
The judge found that the statute pursuant to which the petitions were filed violated the First Amendment and the constitutional right to due process. You can read the judge’s full decision here.
Jeff Trexler from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund served as Kobabe’s co-counsel and offered more details on the decision in a lengthy Twitter thread.
“Normally an obscenity statute works the way you’d expect a criminal statute to work: a person produces, possesses, distributes, etc. certain material, gets arrested on obscenity charges, gets convicted or found not guilty,” he posted. “Virginia Code § 18.2-384 is different. It provides that a citizen or attorney of any VA county/city in which sale or commercial distribution of a book occurs can initiate a proceeding to have the book declared obscene. When that happens, the judge can issue an order to show cause that the book is not obscene & can also issue a temporary restraining order against the sale or distribution of the book!”
Continue reading “Virginia judge dismisses case against ‘Gender Queer’”
Plus: Rick Veitch, Noah Van Sciver, Jeff Smith, Coagula and the infamous Hall H line!
Conventions | Both Voice of San Diego and ICv2 report on the workers’ strike at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego, which is adjacent to the convention center where Comic-Con International is held every year and where many CCI events and panels are held. According to Voice of San Diego, workers and management have been negotiating for months, but could not come to an agreement.
Continue reading “Quick Hits | Hotel strike impacts Comic-Con events”
New comics and graphic novels arrive this week from Gail Simone, Phil Noto, Tim King, Chip Zdarsky, Clay Mann, Mike Mignola, Joe Satriani, Alex Graham and more.
Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital. This week brings a new Jessica Jones series written by Gail Simone, a deluxe edition of the excellent yet controversial Gender Queer and more.
I’ve pulled out some of the highlights below, but for the complete list of everything you might find at your local comic shop and on digital this week, you’ll want to check out one or more of the following:
As a reminder, things can change and what you find on the above lists may differ from what’s actually arriving in your local shop. So always check with your comics retailer for the final word on availability.
Continue reading “Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘The Variants,’ ‘Public Doman,’ ‘Mindset’ and more”
Plus: News on Danica Novgorodoff, Lucy Knisley, ‘Gender Queer’ and more.
Events | The Comic-Con Museum has announced the latest character to be inducted into their Character Hall of Fame. Spider-Man will join Batman, Pac-Man and Wonder Woman. The induction ceremony will take place on July 20 during Comic-Con International. The museum will also host a Spider-Man exhibit, “Beyond Amazing,” starting on July 1, which will showcase art, costumes and interactive experiences featuring everyone’s favorite web-slinger.
Continue reading “Quick Hits | Spider-Man joins the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame”
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.
Continue reading “Quick Hits | ‘Gender Queer’ remains at the center of Virginia controversy”
Plus: news on United Workers of Seven Seas, censorship attempts in Michigan, FurnaceCon and more.
Brooklyn’s local BKReader spotlights Lesser Evils, a new comic series from AWA Studios that is set in the NY borough. The comic debuted digitally earlier this week on GlobalComix, as part of a “Global First” localization partnership between the online comics platform and AWA. GlobalComix plans to release it in multiple languages, including English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and Hindi.
“It’s not just going digital first, it’s going Global First,” said Christopher Carter, founder and CEO of GlobalComix, in a press release. “We believe that when companies go digital first, they are no longer constrained to the same up-front investment costs of physical market validation, distribution, supply chain, required for localization and global audiences.”
Continue reading “Quick Hits | AWA, GlobalComix partner on ‘Lesser Evils’”
Here are three things to buy, to watch and to listen to today.
Three Things spotlights, as the title states, three things from comics today. It’ll be three things with links, no more, no less. This is the fourth one in the series, collect them all.
1. To buy: Tongue #5, the yearly series by Anders Nilsen
Anders Nilsen, the award-winning creator of Big Questions and Rage of Poseidon, has released the fifth issue of Tongues, his self-published comic that features Prometheus, Teddy Roosevelt and a whole lot more. It’s … kind of hard to describe, actually, but it’s a labor of love for the creator, with emphasis on the labor.
In a post on his blog, Nilsen details how much work and time went into this fifth issue — and into every issue — and he reveals that he has about five more issues left to complete. For the process junkies, he also goes deep in how the sausage gets made…
Continue reading “Three Things | Anders Nilsen, Johnnie Christmas, Maia Kobabe”
The move comes a week after the Virginia Beach school board removed the book from library shelves.
Virginia State Delegate and lawyer is seeking a restraining order against Barnes and Noble and Virginia Beach Schools “to enjoin them from selling or loaning” the graphic novel Gender Queer and the novel A Court of Mist and Fury to minors without parent consent, according to Book Riot.
On his Facebook page, Tim Anderson, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, says he is seeking the restraining order on behalf of his client, Tommy Altman, who is currently running for U.S. Congress in Virginia.
“Today, the Virginia Beach Circuit Court has found probable cause that the books Gender Queer and a Court of Mist and Fury are obscene to unrestricted viewing by minors,” Anderson posted. “My client, Tommy Altman, has now directed my office to seek a restraining order against Barnes and Noble and Virginia Beach Schools to enjoin them from selling or loaning these books to minors without parent consent.”
The move follows a decision from last week by the Virginia Beach school board to remove Gender Queer from shelves in the school district’s libraries.
Continue reading “Virginia politicians seek restraining order to prevent Barnes & Noble from selling ‘Gender Queer’ to minors”
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 first month’s box will include a copy of ‘Gender Queer,’ along with a lapel pin designed by creator Maia Kobabe.
Ariel Hakim, a
librarian former library reference associate in Northeast Ohio, has put a timely spin on the subscription box idea with the Banned Books Box, which delivers banned books and graphic novels to your door each month.
And December’s selection couldn’t come at a better time; it’ll feature Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, a graphic novel that has been making headlines recently in Virginia, Michigan and Florida as school districts face a barrage of criticism from overzealous parents for including it on their library shelves. (Kobabe recently responded to critics in a write-up published by the Washington Post).
“Maia wrote this graphic novel that parents of high schoolers have found in the school library and been completely vocal about how offended they are by some of the images,” Hakim told Cleveland Scene. “Maia wrote it to explain to family members about what non-binary means. Maia came out as queer and then several years as non-binary. When I decided that this was the book I wanted to use, I emailed the agent to see about getting signed books, and we got some book plates, and then Maia designed an enamel pin that will be one of the pieces of the book box. I like the book a lot, and I think it’s entertaining and educational. I love memoirs. Just reading anyone else’s story written in a sincere way is something I will always enjoy.”
Continue reading “Ohioan launches ‘Banned Books Box’ subscription service”