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Booth Browsing at BEA 2013

Dragging bags and bags of “goodies–” I mean books– around the Javits Center all day (in the first heat wave of the season no less!), probably means I’ll wake up with a charlie horse in the morning. I walked around the convention hall, concentrating on children’s book publishers, hoping to notice some sort of trend in graphic novel publishing this fall. But I’ll be honest, I didn’t find one. Still, there was plenty of comics fun to be had.

You couldn’t miss Capstone’s Wonder Woman bags. By the time I found the booth, the bags were gone! The bag was a tie-in for their “Be a Super Hero” writing contest. The contest of course ties in to their DC Super Heroes series. Since the series is a prose format, I wasn’t all that interested in it for the purposes of this blog, so I let my eyes wonder to the back of the booths. I was leafing through two titles from their Edgar Allan Poe Series and was thoroughly and appropriately spooked out by the artwork. I’m adding this to my comic book reading list and will almost definitely add this to my library’s collection. After all, what better way to introduce kids to the spookiness of Poe?

Over at AMP Kids they were showcasing the latest title in their line, which is due out this fall: An illustrated novel called Desmond Pucket. This is full of ghoulish fun, and fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid probably won’t want to miss it. In the press packet I received, there’s a two page spread on how to scare someone by creating and recording fake monster noises. You need a tin can, a microphone, and a recording device. What eight to ten year-old boy wouldn’t enjoy that? In addition, they were giving out a guide called Teaching with Comics and Illustrated Novels: A guide for Parents, Librarians, and Educators. I’ll be keeping this on hand, but I would love to see it posted to their website.

The cover of the original book, which makes it in to the comics adaptation.

At the Yen Press Booth, the James Patterson adaptations were prominently displayed, but the publicist shared a preview of their latest adaptation, which will be on sale October 2013: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. The original novel has a creepy cover (which makes it into the comic adaptation), but the artwork is quite striking and a book about odd people with supernatural powers who should be dead but are probably alive… is going to be an extremely easy sell. Over at Scholastic, I was leafing through an advanced copy of Lost Boy by Greg Ruth. I didn’t have enough time to get a sense of the story. But the artwork was striking enough to catch my interest. I admit, I was distracted by

Kazu Kibuishi graciously poses for me at the Scholastic booth. (Wait till my kids hear I met him!)

Kazu Kibuishi of Amulet fame. He was there to promote the new covers he designed for the Harry Potter books, but I was more intrigued by the tidbits he had to tell me. Explorer Two, a project that he is passionate about, was at the printer (due to be released this August) and he was now ready to concentrate on the Amulet series. I know my students will be cheering.

Over at Papercutz, they were heavily promoting volume two of their Nancy Drew and the Clue Series by offering free signed copies. But I also walked away with a pile of reading (which I will be sure to share here on GC4K). I’ll be catching up on some good old fashioned Smurfs and introducing myself to a new title by the creator of the Smurfs, Benny Breakiron.  And I look forward to finally reading a volume of Thea Stilton.

So what will you be reading this summer?  Did you catch any great comics titles at BEA13?

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.


  1. Thank you for the great coverage of Desmond Pucket, Esther. I wanted to let you know that Teaching with Comics and Illustrated Novels: A guide for Parents, Librarians, and Educators is posted at We’re working on getting it added to, too. I hope that teachers, librarians, parents and booksellers all find it useful.
    -Amy Worley, VP of Marketing, Andrews McMeel Publishing

    • Esther Keller Esther Keller says

      I’m so glad that you posted the link. I was poking around the site and couldn’t find! I didn’t think to look at the Desmond Pucket site because it was a general guide!

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