ALA 2019: All The Comics Events In The ALA Exhibits Hall!

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Okay… not “all”, because there’s always something changing, and lots of publishers announce their booth schedules elsewhere and elsewhen.
That said, here’s all the stuff I’ve found that’s happening in the ALA Exhibits Hall, and Holey St. Jerome! There’s a lot of stuff! I’m not suggesting that you spend all of your time there (go check out the original comics art at the Library of Congress, for example, and tell them “Steve Geppi sent me”) but if you want to experience a nice little mini-comic-con, this is quite the show!


Let’s start with the Graphic Novel and Gaming Stage schedule:


But wait!  That’s not all! There are other stages scattered throughout the show floor, and some of them have comics programming!


Saturday, June 22, 2019  9:15 AM – 10:00 AM
Join DC Comics for Book Buzz trivia!
Location: Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall – Book Buzz Theater
Saturday, June 22, 2019  1:05 PM – 1:35 PM
Penguin Random House Gets Graphic!
Location: Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall – Book Buzz Theater
Saturday, June 22, 2019  1:45 PM – 2:30 PM
The Best Graphic Novels of the Year? They’re Right Here!
Location: Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall – Book Buzz Theater
Saturday, June 22, 2019  3:20 PM – 3:50 PM
Scholastic Book Programs: Nonfiction, Early Readers, Graphic Novels, and Diverse Titles!
Location: Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall – Book Buzz Theater
Saturday, June 22, 2019  9:00 AM – 9:50 AM
What’s New in Middle Grade!
Location: Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall – Chapter One Stage
Saturday, June 22, 2019  1:00 PM – 1:50 PM
Queerness in Comics
Location: Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall – Chapter One Stage
Sunday, June 23, 2019  2:00 PM – 2:50 PM
Middle Grade Graphic Novels: New Titles for Growing Readers!
Location: Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall – PopTop Stage
Monday, June 24, 2019  11:00 AM – 11:50 AM
How and Why You Should Build Your Own Library Comic Con
Location: Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall – PopTop Stage


Next, we have booth signings! Not every publisher indexes their booth events on ALA’s conference website, and we hope comics publishers will send out PR before the show. Otherwise, hit the floor early and check out your favorite booths, as the publishers will have calendars posted there. It wouldn’t hurt to stalk follow them on social media, where they’ll push out notices and updates.
Even if you just use the list below, you’ll meet some amazing and talented creators!
Friday, June 21, 2019

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Monday, June 24, 2019


WHAT?! You want more stuff to do? Maybe even learn some techniques to make graphic novels work in your library?
Well, there’s a quiet corner back behind the Small Press area, where the Poster Sessions are held. What is it? It’s kinda like a grade school Library Science Fair. Presenters get an bulletin board and an hour to present their experiences and findings on a variety of subjects (and later have them archived online). Here is the only comics-related poster session I could find:

Women in Comics: Off and on the Page

Sat, Jun 22  11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Women compose nearly half of comic book readers, but the industry has problems including them in the creative process and on the page. This digital humanities project starts with Marvel and DC in the 2000s and tracks it until 2018, utilizing web-scraping scripts to download data at an issue level and information visualization tools to display the gender of creative talent and the gender makeup of their issue output. Some of this information will be compared to data from Image Comics (an independent publisher) to see if women write or draw different stories there, in an environment where creators own their own comics and are not being hired to write and draw for previously created characters. Questions to be answered include: have these publishers increasingly hired women writers and artists, has there been an increase in titles with a female protagonist, do women writers and artists tend to be assigned mostly titles about women at DC and Marvel, and does this correspond with the demographics of the work women create at Image? Examples from this project will serve as tutorials on how to gather, clean and process data for DH students, librarians and archivists, teaching: web-scraping with BeautifulSoup, gathering online data with an API, data-cleaning with scripts and information visualization with Tableau. Additionally, the data I collect will also work to create a near comprehensive list of comics written or drawn by women at these three major publishers which will help librarians collecting for graphic novels.

Poster Presenter(s): Laurin Paradise – Reference & Instruction Librarian, Manhattan College

The poster will be archived here.


…and if that doesn’t keep you busy, there are a multitude of other distractions in the ALA Exhibits Hall! There’s a Gaming Grove, where you can playtest games! A Maker space! A Zine pavilion! Special activities and events! Live stages! Other pavilions where you can interact with all sorts of stuff! Even a park!



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