Your tax dollars at work!
Not only does the Library of Congress sponsor the annual National Book Festival, but they archive lots of digital material online! (And if that doesn’t knock your socks off, the Library also collects and archives multimedia in a variety of formats… an original print of Star Wars: A New Hope… the artwork to Amazing Fantasy #15… field recordings of folk music from the 1930s… Bob Hope’s joke files… Jefferson’s library…)
Here is an almost complete list of graphic novel creators, illustrators, and related speakers who have been guests at the National Book Festival.
The Library of Congress is still adding content, so click the headlines if there isn’t a video now… there might be one soon.
“I also loved comics. This comic was sort of before my time. It’s the EC Comics from the ’50s but on the cover is a guy name Frank Frazetta who I discovered when I was about 12 or 13 and just loved the way he drew. He still remains one of my heroes. This in fact is a piece of artwork of his that I own. It’s kind of incredible because it’s a rough for a finished piece and it’s about this big. It’s tiny but I always admired his dynamic draftsmanship and his sense of exaggeration here too. I thought I was going to be a comic artist. I thought I was going to draw for Spiderman. That was my plan anyway but I also loved this gothic horror kind of thing and there were comic books out at the same time called “Swamp Thing” illustrated by a guy named Bernie Wrightson. In a way the two in combination really described what I was into when I was about 12 or 13.”
“Here is–this is an illustration for “Entertainment Weekly” for when they were actually discussing producing “Batman the Musical” and this is when that was really a silly idea.”
“This is another sketch that wasn’t for anything it’s called “Job of a Husband” and this was for–I was invited to contribute to a book of “Star Wars” art and I was not a big “Star Wars” fan. I was a “Star Trek” fan but this was the big hard cover that they asked people outside of the “Star Wars” world to give their own interpretations of a moment or those characters and this one is called “Easy Being Green it is Not” and I knew I had a good idea, I have to say. I knew I had a good idea when I realized that not only are they both green but they’re both Muppets really and they essentially come out of the Jim Henson Studios so George Lucas bought this by the way. “
Okay so fast forward about a year. I do another strip where Cathy Guisewite, the creator not the cartoon character, Cathy Guisewite– I’m going to use a euphemism– was sort of playing naked twister with some other cartoon creators in my comic. And so this is not the character, so I put my little lawyer hat on and a different legal standard may apply. So I actually need permission to do this. So I get her number from the syndicate, and I have never spoken to her before. So I call her and I say Ms. Guisewite, my name is Stephan Pastis and I do the comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” and there is three seconds of utter silence followed by, I know who you are.
Lalo Alcaraz: I like to do memes and I hate to submit this as an old-school cartoonist, but memes are cartoons also because they’re a picture with a caption. And I’m usually a snob about all the hard work that I put in to be a cartoonist, but then memes are cool and I like to participate too. And this one is like, I mean it’s true. Pocho.com is my humor website.
Michael Cavna: Now we’ll try to keep this quick. One thing I talked with Scott Stantis about was he had never admitted, you know, admit is not the right word, he had never shared with the world that he was a victim of child abuse. And the NFL last season kept having all these domestic violence cases and abuse cases, and you know, all these gentlemen are able to do comics journalism as well as single-panel and just gag oriented. And so Scott shared this and it’s just an incredibly powerful, personal work. So I’d like for him to talk about it.
Scott Stantis: Thank you. Thank you. Real quick, I’m just going to blast through this because the guy showed us the signs so. I have a poster of that piece it’s called, “The Beatings Never Really Stop,” and it went totally crazy viral. And it’s been — every time I speak about it, do specific talks about that, and it’s remarkable the response to it has been overwhelming. Last time I spoke about it this fellow stood up, and he was a mountain of a Southside Chicago Irishman. And he just starts telling his story about his dad and the abuse, and he starts crying. It was a — it’s just, and it’s allowed. I’ve been told by the national organizations that handle abuse and this kind of clearinghouse for them that men don’t talk about it. And so that’s why the piece I think was so powerful and why people seem to respond to it.
Bob Staake: 2014 National Book Festival (poster artist)
National Book Festival Author’s Gala at the 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Gene Luen Yang speaks at the NBF Gala, starting at 19:35, or click the headline above.
Suzy Lee: 2013 National Book Festival (poster artist)
2012 (first Graphic Novel pavilion)
Rafael Lopez: 2012 National Book Festival (poster artist)
Podcast: Craig Thompson: 2012 National Book Festival
At the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival, Hope Larson, Anita Silvey and Leonard Marcus discuss the classic book “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle upon its 50th anniversary.
2011 (Graphic Novels Super Session)
Mercer Mayer (poster artist)
“So instead what I’d like to do is I’d like to talk about how I got into comics. Does anybody want to make comics? Anybody want to make comics, interested in making comics? Okay, I’d like to start with giving you three compelling reasons why comics are a bad medium, why you should stay away.”
“So we started making comics; we created two different issues. The very first one was called Spade Hunter. It was a super hero comic that was based off of both Captain America and Robin Hood. He threw a shield like Captain America, but he dressed like Robin Hood.
That was the original twist. And the second one was Transsmurfers, which was about Smurfs who could transform into robotic fruit.
And these fruit could fly around and fight crime. [laughter] That was an amazing experience. As you were told, we sold these around campus for 50 cents a pop. We would color them by hand because there were no color photocopiers at the time. And then we took all of our proceeds and donated it to the Statue of Liberty Fund so that they could restore the Statue of Liberty.
Thanks. All $7.50 went straight to the Statue of Liberty.”
Gennady Spirin (poster artist)
Jerry Pinkney (poster artist)
Floyd Cooper (poster artist)
Carol Dyer (poster artist)
And in 2000 (before the National Book Festival existed):
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!