The Graphix New York Comic Con 2023 Preview Party started off how anyone would expect. The event was held in the publisher’s SoHo headquarters on Thursday night. Scholastic showed off a video package of upcoming titles in the Graphix imprint in a nicely put together video package. Following this was individual presentations by comics creators Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet), Maysoon Zayid (Shiny Misfits), Jonathan Todd (Timid) and Molly Knox Ostertag (The Deep Dark). 

Creators onstage at the Graphix NYCC 2023 Preview Party

Kibuishi talked about the upcoming final volume of his Amulet series. Zayid spoke of being inspired and influenced by Kibuishi. Todd showed the parallels to his autobiographical graphic novel to his own life. But it was Molly Knox Ostertag who stole the show during her presentation, the final in-person presentation of the night (there was one more on Zoom following her). 

Ostertag quickly set aside her notes and addressed her publisher, Scholastic, directly. Specifically she has words for the book fair division. The book fair division was recently revealed to allow schools and libraries to opt out of offering diverse books at their book fairs. She blasted them for this, saying that it hurt not only authors who don’t fit the white cis hetero mold, but also students as well. Ostertag argued that she understood the reasoning behind this decision, but disagreed on the rightness of the decision. She said the publisher shouldn’t given into people holding fascistic views.

Molly Ostertag blasts Scholastic at the publisher's headquarters

She quoted statistics that about 50% of trans and non-binary youth attempt suicide at some point. Ostertag argued that having books available created by and told from the perspective similar to their own could give those kids hope. These books could be saving lives. 

But the books can’t reach their necessary audience if Scholastic offers schools and libraries a non-diverse option. When she finished, Ostertag received the longest applause of the night. Time will tell if the right people in her publisher’s company were listening. 


  1. Very glad to see this important topic brought up. Major kudos to Ostertag — it’s just the kind of courageous and principled statement I would expect from her.

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