Free Comic Book Day 2014 review

So last Saturday, as the first Saturday in May, was Free Comic Book Day, and it was great! This was the 12th year it’s been held, and the 4th year that I’ve participated. I went to my local comic book store, The Comic Connection. They went all out, with special sales, cosplayers taking pictures with people, local comic artists selling their work, and of course, the free comics! Here’s my haul:

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I haven’t read everything yet (real life really gets in the way of reading, don’t you find?), but so far I loved the Guardians of the Galaxy and Rocket Raccoon comics–I’m really looking forward to the Guardians of the Galaxy movie due out later this year. Epic was fun–talk about a nightmare for a teenage boy who wakes up with superpowers! I really enjoyed Help the CBLDF Defend Comics as a good history of comics in America and some of the challenges that have been faced over the years. And though I haven’t read it through yet, Raising a Reader! How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love to Read! looks really useful to me as a librarian, since it outlines the appeal factors of comics and how to read them and why they are designed the way they are. I think this one is particular would be really useful for any librarians who aren’t familiar with comics and why people (not just kids!) read them. The full list of what was available is here. I’m disappointed that I never saw the Grimm Fairy Tales, since I collect the trades, but oh well.

Comic Connection was also handing out Iron Man masks. The only problem is that I wear glasses (thanks mom & dad for the lousy vision genes) and there’s a very good reason that superheroes only wear glasses in their secret identities, not with their hero costumes…

Iron Man CorrinaI also might have picked up one or two other things while I was already there…

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Free Comic Book Day is amazing and fun, but it’s also important to support your local comic store–they still have to pay for all of the free comics. Also, I wanted these anyway.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of reading to do…


Today I Read… Hijinks Ensue

Today I Read Hijinks Ensue, Godspeed, You Fancy Bastard Volume 1 and My Heart is a Hate-Filled Pineapple Volume 2, written and drawn by Joel Watson.

Hijinks Ensue is a webcomic strip, which can be found online at In Joel Watson’s words, it is about Geeking for the Sake of Geekery. It features cartoon versions of Joel and his friends Eli and Josh going about their nerdy, nerdy lives, as well as a cast of recurring characters such as Boxcar Pete the stabby hobo, Josh’s girlfriend Denise, and the Evil Fox Executive (I knew this had to be an official position!). Since there is no real arc or storyline to tie the strips together, the best that I can describe the volumes is to say that if it’s nerdy, it’s probably mentioned. The two volumes collect the first two years of the comic strips, and include brief comments and asides for each strip, as well as bits and pieces of concept art, old drawings, and basically anything he thought might be interesting. Anyone who hasn’t lived under a pop-culture rock for the last few years will understand at least some of the jokes, , and the nerdier you are, the more jokes you will get.

I got a lot of them.

I met Joel at FanExpo 2012 (and thanks to Sheena for telling me he was there) (and yes Sheena, you totally are a creepy stalker fangirl). I’ve read and loved his comic before, but only sporadically, so it was nice to buy the trade paperbacks of the comics to read all at once (so I’m a Luddite, I like paper, sue me).

Plus, paper means I got my own sketch in the front cover! The Doctor’s statement refers to my thanking Joel for contributing to my fun-things-to-do-to-avoid-homework pile. Though really, I do think reading should be homework for librarians, amiright?

I also thanked Joel for the donations of signed comic strips that he has sent every year to Toronto’s Can’t Stop the Serenity charity auction. Thanks again Joel, much appreciated!

Graphic Novels and Manga for Young Adults

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a comic book! – powerpoint

It’s a bird, it’s a plane!: Report on graphic novels and manga for young adults – essay

This is a presentation I gave on graphic novels and manga for young adults, and some of the issues and challenges that face any library that offers them as a part of the collection. The first link is to my powerpoint presentation, and the second link is to the accompanying essay.