Yesterday I was lucky enough to sit on a panel moderated by Brian Heater, with Matt Loux, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Sara Varon, about “the past, present, and future” of comics for kids! Three real live kids attended, and I’m not sure how into our discourse they were, but I gave them a couple TOON Books, and we saw “kids love comics” in action.
Raina Telgemeier, artist behind the graphic novel Babysitters Club series, talked about target age ranges, and how adding a graphic component makes it possible for a younger reader to access the same book that’s targeted for someone older.
Dave Roman made a lot of interesting remarks about gender and content: girls have no problems reading books with a boy protagonist, but boys are less likely to read something with a heroine.
We talked about librarians, what important gatekeepers they are to getting comics into libraries and classrooms.
Last Tuesday, while sitting at the TOON table at the NYC School Librarian Conference, one enthusiastic librarian picked up one of our books, looked at me with surprise, and said, “It’s like a real book!”
Amen to that.