ALA Announces Graphic Novel Conference

by Betsy Gomez

Today, the American Library Association announced the addition of ALA GraphiCon, a new mini-conference occurring within the ALA Annual Conference, which takes place June 21 – 26, 2012, in Anaheim, California. GraphiCon will provide programming that supports the inclusion of graphic novels and comic books in library collections.

ALA describes GraphiCon in their official press release:

LA GraphiCon is an innovation for 2012 ALA Annual Conference, offering a wide range of programs, events and exhibits specially for graphic novel and comic fans and anyone wanting to learn more about their role in the library. GraphiCon 2012 @ Annual includes the following programs, with details in the Conference Scheduler:

  • Animated Tales: Storytelling in comics and animation and everything in between;
  • (Re)telling Stories: Fanart, authorship and how stories are shared, reconstructed and retold;
  • Graphic Novels & Comic in Libraries MIG Meeting; Conversation Starters: Convincing the Naysayers – Why Graphic Novels Deserve a Legitimate Place on Your Library Shelves;
  • Ignite Session: Graphic Nonfiction – a 21st century way to present information; Ignite Session: The Freakiest Comic Moments of Osamu Tezuka.

Artist Alley is a new space in the exhibits hall, next to the Graphic Novel/Gaming Pavilion. Attendees can meet the artists and illustrators who create or illustrate comics, games, graphic novels and books, including: Chris Giarrusso, Matt Dembicki, Faith Erin Hicks, Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman, Chris Schweizer, Gene Luen Yang, Derek Kirk Kim and Thien Pham, Jerzy Drozd, Mark Siegel, Alexis E. Fajardo, Darren J. Gendron, Lark Pien  and Jen Wang, Anthony Del Col / Kill Shakespeare, Dan Santat, Tom Kaczynski and Gabrielle Bell and Jacob Chabot. Artist Alley artists are each donating an original piece of work for the silent auction for ALA’s scholarship fund, so don’t forget to bid!

Attendees can hear from authors, illustrators and creators of the hottest graphic novels at the Graphic Novel Stage in the exhibits—including open discussions, making comics come alive, manga previews, women in comics, the new visual literacy, imagining the fantastic and much more.

The Graphic Novel Pavilion offers the usual wide range of new and favorite materials on display from a wide range of specialist publishers, and ALA Play on Friday night is a fun event not to miss.

GraphiCon supporters can identify themselves by wearing specially designed items—get t-shirts and buttons in time to bring them to the conference! Special thanks to artist Dave Roman who drew and donated the exclusive GraphiCon logo.

Use the Conference Scheduler to plan your time, create your calendar and find out about many other Annual Conference highlights as they’re added—speakers, events, networking opportunities and more. Visit the 2012 ALA Annual Conference website for general information about the conference. Don’t miss out—register now!

CBLDF President Larry Marder and Executive Director Charles Brownstein will attend ALA’s annual conference. Like ALA, CBLDF is an official sponsor of Banned Books Week, which takes place September 30 – October 6, 2012. Banned Books Week is dedicated to “celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.” CBLDF is creating tools that retailers and librarians can use during this year’s 30th Anniversary Banned Books Week Celebration to raise awareness of challenged and banned comics and graphic novels. To get a headstart on the festivities, please check out the CBLDF Rewards Zone, where we have items such as our “I Read Banned Comics” t-shirt available to help raise money for this important program. If you have a First Amendment emergency, call 1-800-99-CBLDF!