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Graphic Novel Committee Panels for Comic-Con @ Home

by Ryan Mita

We love comics. And the annual comics mecca in America is San Diego Comic-Con, being celebrated virtually this year. The CBC Graphic Novel Committee is sponsoring three panels for this year’s Comic-Con @ Home! The pre-recorded panels will air on Wednesday, July 22.

New Kids Comics from Eisner Award publishers” includes Newbery winning comics artist Jerry Craft alongside Faith Erin Hicks (One Year at Ellsmere), Robin Ha (Almost American Girl), Derick Brooks (Bright Family), and Jonathan Hill (Odessa). The panel, moderated by Candice (Wing-yee) Mack, is a snapshot of the current state of comics and the role librarians play in the format’s bright future. Fun fact: Jerry Craft worked on NKOTB comics in the 90’s.

Gene Luen Yang, a past National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is joined by Chad Sell (Cardboard Kingdom), Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks (Astronauts) on “The Power of Teamwork in Kids Comics”. The discussion is a delight with Sell outlining collaboration with 10 artists, Wicks admitting to “fangirling out pretty hard” during research, and a favorite Marvel teams debate. The panel is led expertly by Betsy Gomez (CBLDF).

License to Thrill: Graphic Novel Adaptations for Kids” had some minor tech troubles, but the situation got resolved and the speakers were complete professionals. Panelists included: Sabaa Tahir (A Thief Among the Trees: An Ember in the Ashes Graphic Novel), James Otis Smith (Black Heroes of the Wild West), R. Sikoryak (Constitution Illustrated), and David Bowles (Rise of the Halfling King) with Pop Culture Classroom’s Adam Kullberg deftly moderating. The conversation started with what Graphic Novel adaptations add to a text and ended on panelists’ dream adaptations, with Tahir wishing for adaptations of Nicola Yoon’s YA novels.

SDCC @ Home exchanged massive lines into Hall H for public safety and comfort. The trade-off wasn’t so bad and the pre-recorded panels felt loose, but informative. The CBC Graphic Novel Committee would like to thank CCI for pivoting to digital.

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