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Book Expo America 2015 (Part I)

On Thursday, May 28th, I was lucky enough to be released from my regular duties as a middle school librarian so I could hop over to the City and spend a day at Book Expo America. The first thing I noticed when walking into the exhibit hall at BEA was that Star Wars was everywhere. With the movie release getting closer and closer, it’s not surprising that everyone is trying to get in on the action.

darth vader and friendsAt the Chronicle Books Booth it was hard to miss Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader and Friends, another addition to his Darth Vader series.  Each page in this small (approximately 6″x6″) book is its own little comic, giving the little book a comic strip feel. This is a great gift item for any die-hard Star Wars fan you might know.

Disney World Publishing was giving out a Star Wars floppy, which was put out by Marvel and I was told was going to be an entire collection that will be bound.

But not everything at BEA was about Star Wars. There were plenty exciting things happening in the comics world.

I noticed a few trends. Graphic Novel memoirs are still strong. At the honor girlCandlewick booth, I was looking through Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash. It’s aimed at a teen audience, and is about a young girl’s realization that she likes other girls.

I also noticed that publishers who are probably in my age bracket are bringing back trends from their youth. Think of IDW’s success with My Little Pony and of course The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They’re now bringing back Jem and the Holograms, a cartoon I remember watching (while doing my homework) when I came home from school.

LionForge-PUNKY_BREWSTER_01_CovMeanwhile, Lion Forge is publishing a Punky Brewster graphic novel sometime in July (if I can read my handwriting correctly), and they’re also putting out a Saved by the Bell graphic novel. Both are currently available as single-issue digital comics. And yes! I remember watching reruns of Saved by the Bell after school and Punky Brewster on Sunday night. Good memories for me!

At Scholastic  they were still showcasing many of Raina Telgemeier’s books, including the new colorized version of the Babysitter’s Club, vol. 1: Kristy’s Great Idea. Some new titles to look out for are Jenny Holm’s Sunny Side Up and Craig Thompson’s Space Dumplins. Another great title I’m excited to add to my “to read” pile is R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps Slappy’s Tales of Horror. The R.L. Stine stories that were adapted by Dave Roman, Gabriel Hernandez, Ted Naifeh and Jamie Tolagson. These all promise to be a good read.

BOOM! Studios, which recently has had huge success with the Adventure Time munchkinbooks, had a whole lot going on. They were promoting Munchkin, which is currently in single-issue comics. I asked about Abigail and the Snowman, but it won’t be collected into a book until the end of the year. (This is definitely a title to look out for.)

And finally, Papercutz is bringing back Nickelodean Magazine! I’m excited to put it back on my magazine rack. The first issue will be released in July and they’ll collect the comics from the magazine into graphic novels.

Tune in for more…

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. Her collection is also the model for all middle school libraries in NYC. 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.

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