Once again, librarians are meeting for their annual conference, this time in San Francisco!

So what happens when a bunch of librarians come to the city which birthed underground comics? During the Pride Parade? Well, a lot of cool librarians, cartoonists, and allies get together to talk about diversity in comics!

If you’ll be attending the ALA conference on Friday, you should make plans to attend this event!  A stellar group of panelists, many of them award winning creators will be in attendance!

GraphiCon Discussion Forum: Diversity in Comics

WHEN: Friday, June 26, 2015 – 12:00pm to 4:00pm

LOCATION: Moscone Convention Center 3010 (W)

DESCRIPTION: #weneeddiversebooks is the hashtag of the moment, and #weneeddiversecomics is included in that call. This discussion forum will bring together a wide range of creators to take stock of where we stand: how diverse comics are now, where there are gaps, and where we’d all like to see comics go from here. Join us for a series of panels with creators, editors, and librarians to discuss the ins and outs of increasing diversity within the format.

The afternoon will be hosted by two Masters of Ceremony from We Need Diverse Books, Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung.

Each panel will examine different aspects of diversity in the comics community. We will start with a wide view of the industry, then narrow our focus with two panel discussions of gender and queer representation in comics.

His, Hers, and Theirs: Gender and Comics
In the past few years, critical and frequently heated discussions about women and comics have highlighted a range of issues around gender for comics creators and readers. Industry folks and fans alike are debating how genders are portrayed, the visibility of different gender identities, and the lack of representation. Join creators Tony Cliff (Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant), Tania Del Rio i (Diary of a Girl Next Door: Betty, Husbands, My Poorly Drawn Life), Brenden Fletcher (Batgirl, Gotham Academy), Jennifer L. Holm (Babymouse, Sunny Side Up), and Trina Robbins (From Girls to Girlz, Pretty in Ink) to take a look at all of the intersections between gender and comics.

Out of the Closet and Into the Library: Queer Comics are Here
Queer characters and storylines have had a turbulent history in comics, but that’s changing as new voices are using the format in pioneering ways. Join moderator Juliette Capra, a comic book fan, retailer and Valkyrie along with creators Ed Luce (Wuvable Oaf, Henry and Glenn Forever and Ever), Noelle Stephenson (Nimona, Lumberjanes), Alex Woolfson (The Young Protectors, Artifice) and Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer, Skim) for this fun and informative panel with an assortment of comic book creators who speak to queer representations in current comics for a variety of audiences and ages.

Our first panel will be a wide-ranging discussion of diversity in comics: where we are now and where we need to go from here. Have shifts in the industry and audience led to new opportunities for characters and creators? How is the industry changing to meet the demand for increased diversity within the format? Our panelists work on both mainstream and independent projects. Moderator David Brothers will lead the discussion with Becky Cloonan (Gotham Academy), Karl Kerschl (Gotham Academy), Gene Yang (The Shadow Hero, American Born Chinese), Ethan Young (Nanjing) and Jeremy Whitley (Princeless).

Schedule of events
12-12:15 Introductions
12:15-1:15pm #WeNeedDiverseComics
1:15-1:30pm Break
1:30-2:30pm Gender Panel
2:30pm-2:45pm Break
2:45-3:45pm Out of the Closet and Into the Library
3:45-4:00pm Wrap Up

Presented by the Graphic Novels & Comics Member Initiative Group; Special thanks to Viz Media for sponsoring the AV equipment for the Discussion Forum.

HASHTAG: #GraphiCon15
MEETING TYPE: Forum/Update/Assembly
CONTENT AREA: Books & Authors
INTERESTS: Diversity Popular Culture Public Programs Readers’ Advisory
SPONSORS: ALA American Library Association (ALA)
COST: Included with conference registration


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