Twice a year, the American Library Association holds a conference. Awards are given, training is taught, and much fun is had. (A lot of the nerdy kids from high school become the cool adults in libraries.)
Like comic book conventions, the centerpiece of the show is the exhibits hall. ALA hosts about 18,000 attendees during their “annual” conference in the summer, and lots of publishers attend to sell directly to the trendsetters in the book world.
That’s one of the reasons I attend. BookExpo America, the bookseller trade show, is geared towards business. The big publishers set up meeting rooms, and do not display much on the show floor. Here, at ALA, there isn’t much business… librarians will return home and place orders through approved vendors. (There are show specials, but much of what happens in booths are either demonstrations of services, or actual handselling of titles.)
So, amidst the Graphicon and Artists Alley, a karaoke fundraiser for political PAC for libraries, and the usual stuff that happens at conventions, I wandered the floor and discovered new titles!
(The following is in random order. I use my smartphone to take pictures so I can remember later. Most pics are from the web. The crappy ones are from my phone. Click on the titles for more information!
Caveat! I saw some awesome comics here, but had seen them at BEA, so I didn’t list them here. So, yeah, Battling Boy and Boxers & Saints are the big titles!)
Veteran hero Wild Tiger has years of experience fighting crime, but his ratings have been slipping. Under orders from his new employer, Wild Tiger finds himself forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie with an attitude. Overcoming their differences will be at least as difficult for this mismatched duo as taking down superpowered bad guys!
Superhero manga? Hmmm…
Chasing Shadows is a searing look at the impact of one random act of violence.
Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit—fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftop to rooftop.
But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof…
After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she’s chasing Corey’s killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly’s just running wild—and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crissi. But can you hold on too tight? Too long?
In this intense novel, told in two voices, and incorporating comic-style art sections, Swati Avasthi creates a gripping portrait of two girls teetering on the edge of grief and insanity. Two girls who will find out just how many ways there are to lose a friend . . . and how many ways to be lost.
This is a hybrid book, where each character is given a specific format (like in Wonderstruck).
This full-color, illustrated companion novel to The Cats of Tanglewood Forest from two masters of modern fantasy is a captivating adventure about magic, family, and the power in believing in both.When it comes to fairies, Sarah Jane Dillard must be careful what she wishes for. She may have thought she wanted to meet the fairies of the Tanglewood Forest, but that was before she knew the truth about them. When Sarah Jane discovers a tiny man wounded by a cluster of miniature poison arrows, she brings him to the reclusive Aunt Lillian for help. But the two quickly find themselves ensnared in a longtime war between rival fairy clans, and Sarah Jane’s six sisters have been kidnapped to use as ransom. Her only choice is to go after them, and with the help of several mythical friends–from the Apple Tree Man to a cat called Li’l Pater–she’ll have to find a way to untangle herself from the fairy feud before she and her sisters are trapped in their world forever.
by Ransom Riggs
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob on a journey to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
The world of Beautiful Creatures comes to life in this stunning graphic novel adaptation of the bestselling love story.
Is falling in love the beginning . . . Or the end?
In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .
There is a girl.
Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head.Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.
There is a curse.
On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it.
In the end, there is a grave.
Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided.
Ethan never even saw it coming.
[A rare graphic novel from Penguin!]
reMIND is a mystical, sci-fi about faith, love and brain transplantation.
Sonja, the lighthouse keeper at a seaside oil drilling town, loses her cat, Victuals. Everyone blames the Lizard Man, the local boogeyman, which Sonja knows is a myth created by her late father to generate interest in the town. But when Victuals unexpectedly returns and has the brain of a strange intelligent creature; it seems someone is doing experimental transplants.
With the brain of a lizard and the body of a cat, Victuals must now fight to recover his original lizard body and confront what he thought was the all-powerful god.
Collects 250 tattoo designs by Mitch O’Connell??The best of his three sets of tattoo flash: “Stewed, Screwed and Tattooed,” “Done While Drunk,” and “From the Bottom of the Barrel.” Mitch O’Connell’s art is reminiscent of the Old School Tattoo Art, from masters such as Sailor Jerry Collins and Don Ed Hardy; but it uses a more contemporary sense of themes, along with O’Connell’s distinctive style. A runaway best-seller, this book has garnered more tattoo industry praise than any other in recent memory.
[I want to sell, to kids, random packs of rub-on tattoos designed by Mitch O’Connell.]
In this graphic novel, join the inimitable Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar on his soul stirring journey through life. From being a sensitive, unsure young boy in the bylanes of Banaras, Shankar became one of the greatest global ambassadors of Indian music. Challenges, opportunities, hurdles, friendships, grief, joy, hard work and dedication form the mosaic of Pandit ji’s compelling portrait. But above all, it’s his belief in himself and the unmitigated surrender to his art that characterises his intense lifelong sadhna.
With an ADDITIONAL 32 pages, superior printing, and a secure HARDCOVER binding, KRAMPUS! The Devil of Christmas picks up where the softcover edition of The Devil in Design leaves off. In the early Christmas traditions of Europe, the Krampus was St. Nicholas’ dark servant — a hairy, horned, supernatural beast whose pointed ears and long slithering tongue gave misbehavers the creeps! Whereas St. Nicholas would reward children who’d been good all year, those that had behaved badly were visited by the Krampus. This NEW and IMPROVED edition includes an introduction, a historical survey of the character, and over 180 lavish pre-World War 1 Krampus postcards. KRAMPUS! The Devil of Christmas is a lush, hair-raising collection guaranteed to give even Stephen King the creeps!
Set amidst the chaos of a 1960s summer weekend on Coney Island, Undertow tells the story of Rhonda, a girl overwhelmed by events beyond her control: her mother’s alcoholism, her best friend’s death by drowning – and now a social worker who’s intent on making it all better.
The eye-opening story of the life of an average Arab-American struggling with his identity in an increasingly hostile nation. Using the graphic novel as his medium, Lebanon-born Toufic El Rassi chronicles his experience growing up Arab in America. Keen observations, clever insights and painful honesty make El Rassi’s work shine as a critical 21st century memoir. From childhood through adolescence, and as an adult, El Rassi illustrates the prejudice and discrimination Arabs and Muslims experience in American society. He contends with ignorant teachers, racist neighbors, bullying classmates, and a growing sense of alienation.
How do you tell the story of a life that starts something like this?
I was born to people who didn’t want me and so they gave me away. But I guess the people they gave me to didn’t want me either. No one wanted me. That’s why I ended up on the streets alone and uneducated. I couldn’t read or write. I didn’t know anything and the whole world knew it.
This is the voice of Anthony Horton. Born in 1968, Anthony is a homeless artist who lived underneath New York City. If you want to see his work, you’ll have to walk along the tunnel walls in the darkest parts of the transit system. In 2005, he met Youme Landowne, another artist, there at one of the subway stops and they began to talk. They rode downtown and uptown and downtown again, discussing art and life, and they decided to begin working together. They decided to write a book which would tell Tony’s story.
But here was the issue—how do you tell the story of a life that seems so bleak? Or, as Tony might say it, how do you turn your life into art? How do you bring light out of pitch black darkness?
Well, first the whole story had to be told, had to be heard, and that’s where Youme comes in. Youme considers part of her art to be her ears—she listens, often long and hard. Her listening ears have taken her all over the world to hear the stories of people who have been marginalized and ignored—Haiti, Laos. SELAVI, Youme’s acclaimed picture book, proves that Youme knows how to listen.
And the second part of her art is collaboration. She thrives in the context of public collaborative art.
The graphic novel was the form these two artists chose—rich, beautiful black and white drawings, gritty but tender, dark, with a minimum amount of text, allowing the reader to fill in all the places for which there aren’t any words. With art and words from both of them, they map out Anthony’s world—a tough one from many perspectives, startling and undoing from others, but from Anthony’s point of view, a life lived as art, light infusing the darkness.
An insight into the creation of manga art, focusing on coloring, drawing and designing characters using traditional and digital methods.
Manga is an increasingly popular art form, particularly with the recent influx of Far Eastern games, anime and comics into the western world. A term originally describing a Japanese comic art style of the late 19th century, manga has come to be applied to a variety of mediums in recent years and is receiving more and more mainstream interest and attention.
Beginner’s Guide to Creating Manga Art explores the topic of manga art, starting from basic character design and progressing to full color images. Industry greats including Steven Cummings and Gonzalo Ordoñez open a window into their world and present tutorials covering everything from drawing features, anatomy and expressions to designing clothing, perfecting poses and coloring characters with a variety of traditional and digital artistic tools. Bursting with knowledge and brilliant artwork, Beginner’s Guide to Creating Manga Art is an unmissable title for anyone wanting to learn how to capture that classic manga style.
Written by: Craig Battle, Liam O’Donnell
Illustrated by: Ramón Pérez
The seventh volume in this award-winning graphic novel series features ten mystery comics and two never-before-published short stories by former OWL Magazine editor, Craig Battle.
Each solve-it-yourself story stars amateur detective Max Finder and his best friend, aspiring journalist Alison Santos. Seventh graders at Central Meadows Junior High, these two intrepid investigators must call upon their reason, memory, critical thinking, and observation skills to crack each case before them. Who stole the school mascot? Why did someone trash Ursula’s guitar amp? And who sabotaged the girls’ relay team? Readers can decipher the clues for themselves and draw their own conclusions — before the true culprit is revealed.
Bonus content unique to this volume includes a social media style introduction to all the recurring characters as well as kid-friendly forensics techniques outlined by Max and Alison’s forensics expert sidekick, Zoe Palgrave.
From single-panel comics to full-blown graphic novels, there are dozens of ways to use comics to tell a story. And whether kids want to write or draw something funny or scary, long or short, made-up or true-to-life, cartoonist and author Brian McLachlan maintains there are just ten crucial things they need to know to get started.
Using colloquial text, images, and examples, each chapter hones in on a different secret to creating great comics. Budding comic artists will learn how to make text and illustrations work together, how to give characters personality, how to choose the right tool for each project, and much more.
A worthy addition to the how-to comics canon, Draw Out the Story simplifies advanced concepts for younger readers, providing invaluable lessons and pointers for kids who want to learn to write and draw — and imagine — great stories.
Sheila Keenan’s captivating stories, paired with Nathan Fox’s stunning art, bring the heroic military actions of man’s best friend to life!
Some war heroes heard the wind whistling over a hidden trip wire.
Some war heroes sniffed out a sniper 1,000 yards away.
Some war heroes stood tall . . . on four legs!
DOGS OF WAR is a graphic novel that tells the stories of the canine military heroes of World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. This collection of three fictional stories was inspired by historic battles and real military practice. Each story tells the remarkable adventures of a soldier and his service dog and is rendered with fascinating and beautiful detail, bringing to life the faithful dogs who braved bombs, barrages, and battles to save the lives of countless soldiers.
Based on the real-life roles of military dogs that served as Red Cross rescuers, messengers, scouts, search-and-rescue teams, sentries, and mascots, DOGS OF WAR captures both the adventure and the devastation brought on by war, as well as the celebrations of life and friendship between boys and their dogs.
by Greg Ruth
Some mysteries are too dangerous to leave alone.
Nate’s not happy about his family moving to a new house in a new town. After all, nobody asked him if he wanted to move in the first place. But when he discovers a tape recorder and note addressed to him under the floorboards of his bedroom, he’s thrust into a dark mystery about a boy who went missing many, many years ago. Now, as strange happenings and weird creatures begin to track Nate, he must partner with Tabitha, a local girl, to find out what they want with him. But time is running out, for a powerful force is gathering strength in the woods at the edge of town, and before long Nate and Tabitha will be forced to confront a terrifying foe and uncover the truth about the Lost Boy.
Capstone has been publishing “Super Pets” chapter books based on the “Tiny Titans” style created by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani for a few years now. (If you haven’t been reading them, you should know that the canon has been GREATLY expanded outside Krypto/Ace/Kanga to include many heroes and villains! (Check out this cool poster! Or this one! Aw yeah!)
Well, now they are reprinting the single issues from the Johnny DC line of years past! Each comic book issue is reformatted with educational backmatter and bound in a sturdy library binding.
I hope these prove super-successful, and that Capstone will license the brands to produce new issues! (Since DC isn’t…)
Capstone also has some original graphic novels of their own. (Chris Eliopoulos’ “Mr. Puzzle” and “Lucha Lizards” being two examples.)
The definitive guide to the graphic presentation of information.
In today’s data-driven world, professionals need to know how to express themselves in the language of graphics effectively and eloquently. Yet information graphics is rarely taught in schools or is the focus of on-the-job training. Now, for the first time, Dona M. Wong, a student of the information graphics pioneer Edward Tufte, makes this material available for all of us. In this book, you will learn:
- to choose the best chart that fits your data;
- the most effective way to communicate with decision makers when you have five minutes of their time;
- how to chart currency fluctuations that affect global business;
- how to use color effectively;
- how to make a graphic “colorful” even if only black and white are available.
The book is organized in a series of mini-workshops backed up with illustrated examples, so not only will you learn what works and what doesn’t but also you can see the dos and don’ts for yourself. This is an invaluable reference work for students and professional in all fields.
From “the heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman” (Economist) comes a monumental, wordless depiction of the most infamous day of World War I.
Launched on July 1, 1916, the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War. Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted. In The Great War, acclaimed cartoon journalist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in an extraordinary, 24-foot- long panorama: from General Douglas Haig and the massive artillery positions behind the trench lines to the legions of soldiers going “over the top” and getting cut down in no-man’s-land, to the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers retreating and the dead being buried en masse. Printed on fine accordion-fold paper and packaged in a deluxe slipcase with a 16-page booklet, The Great War is a landmark in Sacco’s illustrious career and allows us to see the War to End All Wars as we’ve never seen it before.
The lore of the early days of hip hop has become the stuff of myth, so what better way to document this fascinating, epic true story than in another great American mythological medium — the comic book? From exciting young talent and self-proclaimed hip hop nerd Ed Piskor, acclaimed for his hacker graphic novel Wizzywig, comes this explosively entertaining, encyclopedic history of the formative years of the music genre that changed global culture.
Originally serialized on the hugely popular website Boing Boing, Hip Hop Family Tree is now collected in a single volume cleverly presented and packaged in a style mimicking the Marvel comics of the same era. Piskor’s exuberant yet controlled cartooning takes you from the parks and rec rooms of the South Bronx to the night clubs, recording studios, and radio stations where the scene started to boom, capturing the flavor of late-1970s New York City in panels bursting with obsessively authentic detail. With a painstaking, vigorous and engaging Ken Burns-meets-Stan Lee approach, the battles and rivalries, the technical innovations, the triumphs and failures are all thoroughly researched and lovingly depicted.
Piskor captures the vivid personalities and magnetic performances of old-school pioneers and early stars like DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the Funky 4 + 1, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, The Sugarhill Gang, and three kids who would later become RUN-DMC, plus the charismatic players behind the scenes like Russell Simmons, Sylvia Robinson and then-punker Rick Rubin. Piskor also traces graffiti master Fab 5 Freddy’s rise in the art world, and Debbie Harry, Keith Haring, The Clash, and other luminaries make cameos as the music and culture begin to penetrate downtown Manhattan and the mainstream at large.
Like the acclaimed hip hop documentaries Style Wars and Scratch, Hip Hop Family Tree is an exciting and essential cultural chronicle and a must for hip hop fans, pop-culture addicts, and anyone who wants to know how it went down back in the day.
By Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Skottie Young
“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”
“Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.”
Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.
[Sadly, this is a chapter book, not a graphic novel. But there are lots of great illustrations throughout!]
Drew Bean might be a part of a secret organization for the training of superhero sidekicks, but that doesn’t mean that life is all leaping tall buildings in single bounds.
Drew is possessed of super senses—his hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are the most powerful on the planet—making him literally the most sensitive kid in school. And then there’s his best friend, Jenna—their friendship would be complicated enough if she weren’t able to throw an eighteen-wheeler the length of a city block. Add in trying to keep his sidekick life a secret from everyone, including his parents, and the truth is clear: middle school is pretty much a drag regardless of whether you have superpowers.
But this is all before a supervillain long thought dead returns to the city of Justica and Drew’s two identities threaten to crash head-on into each other. Drew has always found it pretty easy to separate right from wrong, good from evil. It’s what a superhero does. But what happens when that line starts to disappear?
It wasn’t Max Spencer’s idea to fight robots, lead an army, or save the world—it just so happens that he’s the only living person who can read the most fantastical book ever written: The Codex of Infinite Knowability. The Codex is no ordinary book, and among other things, it describes a unicorn named Princess the Destroyer.Princess the Destroyer is no ordinary unicorn. She loves nothing more than hunting down, killing, and eating other creatures. After all, what’s the point of having a sharp horn on your forehead if you don’t use it for destructive purposes? And right now Princess has a very definite purpose: Find Max and retrieve the lost Codex for an evil sorcerer and his mysterious master. If she can do that, she’s been promised an all-the-humans-you-can-eat buffet in Texas.Stuck in another world and with a carnivorous unicorn on his trail, Max must find the courage to save himself, his friends, and, oh yeah…the entire human race.
[“Princess the Destroyer”, a killer unicorn. Need I say more?]
Building Blocks of Mathematics is a great new series of mathematics books from World Book! Quirky characters drawn in exciting comic-book style introduce and demonstrate critical basic mathematics concepts in this new six-volume series books. Story problems help to develop students’ conceptual understanding of the mathematical operations and teach them techniques for solving real-life math problems. Designed in collaboration with elementary mathematics education experts, this series is appropriate for kids who are just learning these concepts and older students who can benefit from review and reinforcement.
[Yes, World Book, as in “World Book Encyclopedia”. They are also working on a new series of biology graphic novels.]
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
Ask me anything!