We were a little late to this morning’s Graphic Novels Breakfast, but got there in time to see Art Spiegelman deliver an entertaining slideshow on the history of graphic novels and his own history with the form. Jeff Smith moderated and Jeph Loeb and Mike Mignola contributed their own observations. As Spiegelman pointed out, it’s been a long journey from comic books being burned in the 50s to a breakfast for comic book authors at the book world’s biggest show. (The yearly author breakfasts are among the BEA’s marquis events.) Smith and Spiegelman pointed to two events in 2002 which really kicked off the GN Boom: the ALA meeting where Smith, Neil Gaiman, Colleen Doran and Spiegelman spoke and the great love affair between libraries and graphic novels was made clear to all; and the SPIDER-MAN movie.

Speaking of movies, when Smith talked about camera angles in his own work, Spiegelman got a bit testy, standing up for the sanctity of the humble comic as a medium in its own right.

A news item from the panel: Smith will be doing a book for Francoise Mouly’s Toon Books imprint.

Observation: lots of signage on the West Hall for IDW’s new GI Joe announcement.

There are no less than TWO tracks of graphic novel programming today, and we’ve skipped out of them to write this item. So back to the fray!


  1. The opening of Spider-Man was the same weekend as the first Free Comic Book Day, as well as Book Expo NYC, which had the first Graphic Novel pavilion.

  2. You failed to cover the real downer aspect of the Graphic Novel Breakfast — specifically, the breakfast.

    Really, when I’m paying $25 for something called “a breakfast”, I expect something more to eat than a tray of danish, muffins, and bagels in the middle of the table. And even then, I was better off than my tablemate who had gluten allergies. What was he supposed to eat, the little packets of cream cheese?

    Graphic novels are doing better than ever in this country, but breakfast is in a sad, sad decline.

  3. Nat, I went to one of the BEA breakfasts a couple years back and they didn’t even have bagels and cream cheese. It was just muffins and danishes in a basket, and only enough for each person to have one.

  4. Danish pastries are good!! Who wants cheese for breakfast?? Anyway, am kindly spreading the word on this amazing graphic novel i just finished, called Mateki the magic flute, by Yoshitaka Amano, so so beautiful and it’s based on the magic flute opera by Mozart… tres cool!

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