Back in the neolithic times when The Beat first started working at Publishers Weekly, there was usually one graphic novel panel at the yearly Book Expo America. This year, they are having a whole programming track devoted to the form. Truly, 2008 is THE YEAR OF THE SYMPOSIUM. PR:

BEA’s Graphic Novel Day on Saturday, May 31 kicks off with a star-studded breakfast presented by Diamond Book Distributors, which will then be followed by more than ten conference sessions featuring industry leaders talking about a range of subjects from design and marketing, to what’s hot and what’s next. The entire day of activity is sponsored by New York Comic Con (NYCC), which is also run by Reed Exhibitions, organizers of BookExpo America (BEA). BookExpo America will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, May 29 – June 1, 2008.

As noted, the day begins with a breakfast which will be hosted by Jeff Smith and will include speakers Jeph Loeb, Mike Mignola, and Art Spiegelman, a line-up of award-winning comics and graphic novel creators who have played major roles in the evolution of the graphic novel format in North America. They will discuss the latest trends in graphic novel publishing and offer some predictions on the format’s future growth. The breakfast, which is presented by Diamond Book Distributors, will take place in Room 403AB. The cost is $25.

“I am incredibly pleased that our graphic novel activity is so significant, and I’m very grateful to Diamond for helping to organize such a terrific breakfast,” notes Lance Fensterman, Vice President and Show Manager for BEA. “Since I run both BEA and New York Comic Con, this is sort of like a dream come true. I get to take one big show, in this case New York Comic Con, and give it a little home inside our other big show! Without a doubt, the strength of the content and personalities involved in our graphic novel programming this year give credence to the explosive impact graphic novels are having on the publishing and book retail industry.”

The conference panels which are scheduled on Saturday, May 31 include:

* Designing a Graphic Novel: From Concept to Comic
* Graphic Novel Distribution, Bookstores, and the Direct Market
* What’s Hot, What’s Good, What’s Next in Graphic Novels
* The New Comic Book to Film Machinery: What’s Next and Who is Buying What from Whom
* What Retailers & Librarians Should Know About Video Games and Gamers
* Manga’s New Generational Trade-Up: The Publishers’ Quest for New Readers
* Emerging Voices & Artists: The Graphic Novel Edition
* Building a Graphic Novel Section for Kids and Teens
* Sex in Graphic Novels
* Graphic Novel Buzz: Editors Share List Hightlights
* The New Literacy: How Graphic Novels, the Web, and Video Games are Changing the Way We Process Information


  1. Oh. Man. Words cannot describe the emotions I am feeling right now. And to top it all off, the last day of the Expo usually features the ticketed signing sponsored by United Media!
    Who needs Disneyland? I’m going to Book Expo!

  2. There will also be a subject specific signing, and during the Children’s Authors breakfast will be Neil Gaiman!
    And if there’s an author at BEA, that usually means they’ll be signing FREE copies of their new book! life is good…