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Program Type: Educational, Featured

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For the 2nd year, Comic-Con International and San Diego Public Library have teamed up for the Comic Conference for Educators and Librarians. This free five-day conference will take place during Comic-Con, and will explore the role comics play in promoting education and literacy for all ages. Library professionals and educators are invited to learn creative and exciting ways to incorporate comics and graphic novels into their work. Through presentations and panel discussions, the Conference aims to engage the community, promote comics as a powerful tool for learning, and celebrate the medium as an important literary art form. The Conference is free to attend, but space is limited and registration is required. 

Here are today's programs:

10:00: Using Comics to Support Different Learning Styles in the Classroom -- As schools struggle to ensure that students are not left behind in the learning process and to extend curriculum to challenge more advanced students, educators must adapt their classrooms to the developing needs of their students. Join in for a talk about visual literacy and the advantages of using sequential art to help connect with students and convey difficult concepts with ease.

11:00: From Asterix to Zeus: Developing an Essential Kids’ Graphic Novel Collection -- While the category has enjoyed tremendous popularity in recent years, kids' graphic novels are not a recent phenomenon. What classic titles or series should librarians have on their shelves to provide historical context and a complete survey of the medium? Moderated by Dawn Rutherford (branch manager, Brier Library), with panelists Jenny McCluskey (collection development librarian for Ingram Library Services LLC), Alea Perez (chair of YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee), Carla Riemer, and Mark Siegel (editorial director, First Second).

12:00: Handling Challenges: Bans and Challenges to Comics -- Comics are uniquely vulnerable to challenges and bans, especially comics for teen audiences. Learn about challenged and banned comics and what you can do if they're challenged in your school or library, with panelists Raina Telgemeier (Ghosts), Candice Mack (teen services manager, Los Angeles Public Library), Gina Gagliano (marketing and publicity manager, First Second), and David Saylor (VP/creative director/trade publishing/editorial director, Graphix). Moderated by Betsy Gomez (editorial director, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund).

1:00: Read Like a Girl: Middle Grade Fiction for Girls (and Boys) -- The authors behind some of your favorite middle-grade graphic fiction discuss creating stories with strong, positive female characters and the importance of overcoming the lingering perception that comics are only for boys. Featuring Nidhi Chanani (Pashmina), Shannon Hale (Real Friends), Jenni Holm (Babymouse series), Molly Ostertag (The Witch Boy), and Raina Telgemeier (Ghosts). Moderated by Brigid Alverson (writer and reviewer, Good Comics for Kids).

2:00: Nonfiction and Memoir in Graphic Novels -- Combining text and image can make difficult or abstract subject matter more appealing, winning over even the most reluctant reader. Learn how nonfiction graphic novels and graphic memoirs can be used to supplement lessons in STEM and history and bring awareness to underheard and marginalized perspectives in the classroom. Panelists include Box Brown (Tetris: The Games People Play), Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do), Nathan Hale (One Trick Pony), Tillie Walden (Spinning), and Alison Wilgus (Science Comics: Flying Machines).

3:00: Prose to Panels: Graphic Novel Adaptations -- How can the graphic novel format enhance prose texts? And how can educators use adaptations to make stories more accessible? If you read the graphic novel instead of the prose novel, does it still "count"? How does the story change if a classic is adapted into graphic novel format? Is something lost? Is something gained? And what if graphic novels are then converted into prose novels, as with the forthcoming Lumberjanes novels? Moderated by Kelly Chiu (children's librarian at the Santa Clara City Library), this panel includes Landis Blair (The Trial: A Choose Your Own Kafka Adventure), Charles Kochman (editorial director, Abrams ComicsArts), and R. Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics).

4:00: Meet the Makers -- Graphic novel authors and artists Jeffrey Brown (Lucy & Andy Neanderthal), Nick Abadzis (Laika), Mike Lawrence (Star Scouts series), and James Parks and Ben Costa (Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo Book 1: The Road to Epoli) describe the process behind making a comic.

5:00: Publishers’ Talkback Session -- Talk with publishers about how graphic novels are doing at your library and what they should know based on the feedback from your community. With Robin Herrera (editor, Oni Press), Gina Gagliano (marketing and publicity manager, First Second), and Mallory Loehr (SVP/publisher, Random House Books for Young Readers), moderated by Alea Perez (chair of YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee).