On Saturday, I went to a fabulous conference on Graphic Novels at UBC. They had five graphic novelists/artists from the United States who spoke about their work, their art, their lives, and their journey to having their works published. Two of the artists have books that are very popular in our library. One of the artists was Matt Holm , part of the brother-sister team who create the Babymouse books.
The other was Raina Telgemeier, who wrote and illustrated Smile. The common theme to their presentations was how important comic books were in their childhoods. They loved reading all types of them. Matt loved reading Snoopy, Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes. Raina loved reading Calvin & Hobbes too , but also read Scooby Doo and Mickey Mouse, and our own Canadian, Lynn Johnston’s comic strip, For Better or Worse. Raina actually kept a diary in comic format when she was a young girl. Yes, I got our copy of Smile and our two copies of Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon autographed! I also purchased some more graphic novels while I was at the conference. I bought another copy of Smile, et en francais aussi, Souris!, and Telgemeier’s four Babysitter Club graphic novels that she illustrated before she wrote Smile. Her husband, Dave Roman will have his first graphic novel released in June but I got an advance copy for our library. It’s called Astronaut Academy and it’s about a boy who gets sent to a school in outer space. There were two other graphic novelists there and I bought their first books. Aaron Renier wrote The Unsinkable Walker Bean which is about a boy who goes on a sinister high-seas adventure, and Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile which is a choose-your-own-adventure in graphic novel format. It is a very intriguing book which I would love to hear what readers have to say about it after they’ve read it. I will be showing these new graphic novels to the Intermediate classes this week.