Comic Conference for Educators & Librarians | Publisher Panels

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Program Description

Event Details

Explore the role comics play in promoting education and literacy with the 7th Annual Comic Conference for Educators & Librarians (CCEL), hosted by San Diego Public Library and Comic-Con International®. Comic enthusiasts are invited to learn new ways to incorporate comics and other popular arts into their professional work and promote comics and graphic novels as powerful mediums for learning.

The Children's Book Council presents on the latest publishing trends and recommendations in graphic novels and education. With 21 authors and illustrators talking in 6 different panels, this is a day you won't want to miss!

Panels will be presented in the 8th floor Helen Price Reading Room at San Diego Central Library.

CCEL is free to attend, but space is limited and registration is required for each day. Comic-Con badge-holders with valid single same-day or four-day badges are welcome to attend and are not required to register. Please note, Comic-Con COVID-19 vaccine verification or proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required to attend. See more information here:



=====Programming Schedule=====

10:00 - 11:00 a.m. | International Student Comic Collaboration: Spirit Skies Vol. 2

Come see how students can use comics, art, and the love of learning and share it with the world! Youth from Kabul, Hong Kong, Panama, and Tijuana are using comics to both connect and heal the planet. Since last year's publication of Volume 1 of Spirit Skies last year the group has moved onto the international phase. Students meet monthly over Zoom and share art and poetry. Recordings from students in Hong Kong, Panama, and Kabul will be included.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Entertainment, Engagement, and Empathy

Librarians often remark that there is a book for every reader, and that adage is finally holding true for comics and graphic novels, too! Comics creators share how their approach to comics not only offers readers entertainment but also opportunities to engage more deeply with difficult topics and build empathy for others. The line-up includes Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock (Salt Magic), Comic-Con Special Guest Sophie Yanow (The Contradictions), Jerry Craft (Class Act), Jose Pimienta (Twin Cities), Gabriela Epstein (Invisible), and moderator Matthew Noe (past president for ALA's Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table).

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. | Adventure Beyond the Screen

In today's digital world, getting kids away from their screens and into a great graphic novel can be a difficult task. Creators and educators will discuss how to best craft graphic novels—and how to introduce those graphic novels at home, in libraries, and in classroom settings — to capture the attention of kids who live in a world of constant electronic offerings. With Dan Santat (The Aquanaut), Shauna J. Grant (Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe), Jake Wyatt (The Well), Pablo Leon (Miles Morales: Stranger Tides), Brett Bean (Zoo Patrol Squad), and Tina Lerno (digital content librarian and comics specialist, Los Angeles Public Library).


1:00 - 2:00 p.m. | Retold, Reimagined, and Refreshed

Whether it's adapting Shakespearean classics, creating spin-offs of popular titles from our childhood, or reimagining centuries-old fairy tales and myths, today's graphic novels offer readers exciting new portals into familiar worlds. Creators Katy Farina (Baby-sitters Little Sister), Gabriela Epstein (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix), Bree Paulsen (Garlic and the Vampire), and Steven Banks (Middle School Bites: Night of the Vam-Wolf-Zom) discuss how they put their own unique spin on established stories and characters for new readers with Tracy Edmunds (VP of K-12 education, Reading with Pictures).

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. | Freaking Fantastic!

From the dark forests of Bone to the surreal dreamscapes of Sandman, the fantasy worlds we find in graphic novels offer readers more than just escapism. By holding up a mirror to our own world, fantasy provides new ways for readers to be inspired and explore complex issues. Creators will discuss how they devise fantastic worlds and characters in their graphic novels, and the ways fantasy can benefit readers of all ages. Jey Odin (Hammer), Tui Sutherland (Wings of Fire), Odunze Oguguo (Apple Black), Richard Fairgray (Black Sand Beach 3: Have You Seen the Darkness?), and Rashad Doucet and Jason Reeves (Pax Sampson Vol. 1: The Cookout) converse with children's services librarian Judy Prince-Neeb (South Pasadena Public Library).

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. | On Beyond Hero! Who's Behind the Mask? Exploring Identity Through Graphic Novels and Story

Are you more of a Batman or a Superman? Is your inner hero inherently who you are or a disguise you wear? In a world where identity has taken on a new life and is at the forefront of discussions across social groups, finding one’s identity has become even more convoluted. Educators and creators discuss the different ways graphic novels and comics can be used to help readers of all ages explore their identities and think about the person behind their own masks. Mask up with Jamar Nicholas (Leon the Extraordinary), Diane deGroat (The Adventures of Robo-Kid), Lucas Turnbloom (Steve L. McEvil), Nichole Santangelo (Rancho Minerva Middle School STE(A)M teacher), Andrew Hudson (Rancho Minerva Middle School), and Lisa Harrison (Rancho Minerva Middle School).

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. | Bans Off Our Books! Responding to Challenges

Panelists discuss action items to respond to local and national efforts to challenge or ban books in communities. Featuring Comic-Con Special Guests Jeff Smith (Bone), along with Jennifer Lawson (collection development manager, San Diego County Library), Yukiko Chavez (library media technician, Vista Unified School District), Vista Unified School District students, Rich Johnson (VP of sales and business development, Diamond Books), and Moni Barrette (president, Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table, American Library Association).

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. | How to Support BIPOC Students Using Pop Culture, Art, and Comic Books

A group of therapists and creators discuss understanding and supporting Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Neurodiverse in the classroom and the community. What's Neurodiverse? What's Neurodivergent? What's Neurovariant? When it comes to mental health and pop culture, where does this all fit in? Comic books have been applied to support reading and math skills, but how about cultural context, social-emotional learning, and mental health wellness? What is trauma-informed? Lorran Garrison (school psychologist), Natasha Lee (Insomniac Games, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales), Elizabeth Smith (psychologist), David Hooker (product manager, Disney), Mark Nazal (Diwata Komiks), Aaron Cuffee (co-founder of IndigiPop X, Indigenous ComicCon), Perry Clark (Untangle and Grow Counseling), and Sonny Chargualaf (Chamorro illustrator from Guam, The Dark Reaches) will give tools on how to support creative thinking in students and adults. There will be giveaways!

Need disability-related modifications or accommodations? Information and program content can be made available in alternative formats upon request by emailing Jason Rogers.


Need disability-related modifications or accommodations? Information and program content can be made available in alternative formats upon request by emailing