LibraryCon Live! 2021


Join Library Journal and School Library Journal on November 10 for our fifth annual LibraryCon Live! We're excited to present a day-long celebration of fandom lit, with panels devoted to horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and graphic novels. In addition to panels and keynotes, we're also offering fast-track learning sessions hosted by librarians and studio spotlights focusing on visual artists.

Plus, network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall, where you'll hear from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured creators. Whether you're a public or school librarian, an educator, or a superfan of graphic novels, horror, or sf/fantasy, don't miss this chance to meet with some of your favorite stars across these genres.

EVENT HOURS: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET



Please note that the event environment and the sessions have attendance capacity limits. If on the day of the event you find that you are unable to access the environment or join a session, know that sessions will be available for on-demand viewing within 24 hours, and the entire event will be accessible for three months from the event date.

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11:00 AM - 11:30 AM ET | Exhibit Hall Opens / Visit the Booths

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM ET | Opening Keynote Conversation with Laurie Halse Anderson, Wonderful Women of the World (DC).
Moderator: Dr. Lucia Cedeira Serantes, Limited Duties Instructor at The Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University, ON

Studio Spotlights | Available on-demand all day starting at 11:30 AM ET
Step inside artists’ studios as they discuss their work, from technique and medium to design and collaboration.
Michele Assarasakorn, Paws: Gabby Gets It Together (Penguin Young Readers)
Art Baltazar, Big Alien Moon Crush (Action Lab)
Miguel Giner Bou, A Chance (Graphic Mundi)
Anu Chouhan, Aru Shah (Disney Publishing Worldwide)
Ezra Claytan Daniels, Upgrade Soul (Oni Press)
Scott Magoon, The Extincts (Abrams)
Bowen McCurdy, Specter Inspectors (BOOM! Studios)
Jose Pimienta, Twin Cities (Random House)
Tillie Walden, Clementine Vol 1. (Image/Skybound)

Two Sessions Running Concurrently

12:05 PM - 12:55 PM ET | Just for Kids
We’ve seen an explosion for comics for younger readers in recent years; these panelists will explore why they love writing and illustrating for this audience and offer insight into their creative processes.
John Gallagher, Max Meow: Donuts and Danger (Random House)
BonHyung Jeong, Kyle’s Little Sister (Yen Press)
Jared Roselló, Red Panda & Moon Bear: The Curse of the Evil Eye (Top Shelf)
Sergio Ruzzier, Fish & Sun (HarperCollins)

12:05 PM - 12:55 PM ET | Carving Out Queer Identity
The panelists, whose books are aimed at adults and older teens, will talk about crafting comics that grapple with LGBTQIA+ identity, from a guide to asexuality to a coming-of-age story about a teenage Japanese artist longing to come out.
Jarrette Melendz, Chef’s Kiss (Oni Press)
Molly Muldoon, Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality (Oni Press)
Ariel Slamet Ries, Witchy, Witchy Vol. 2 (Oni Press)
Jeremy Sorese, The Short While (BOOM! Studios)
Gengoroh Tagame, Our Colors (Knopf/Pantheon)

12:55 PM - 1:30 PM ET | Break / Visit the Exhibit Hall

Two Sessions Running Concurrently

1:30 PM - 2:20 PM ET | Based on a True Story
These graphic novel authors will discuss writing stories that were inspired by real events, from a children’s book about sibling woes to a YA memoir about emigrating from China to an account of serial killer Ed Gein.
Alverne Ball, Across the Tracks: Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre and Black Wall Street (Abrams)
Cristina Durán, A Chance (Graphic Mundi)
Samantha Edwards, A Tale as Tall as Jacob (Andrews McMeel)
Laura Gao, Messy Roots (HarperCollins)
Eric Powell, Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done (Albatross/Diamond)
Moderator: Crystal Chen, New York Public Library

1:30 PM - 2:20 PM ET | The Horror, the Horror
The genre has taken off in recent years, and these panelists will examine what draws them to create horror comics and why tales of terror resonate.
Rodney Barnes, Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog (Image)
Talia Dutton, M Is for Monster (Abrams)
Daniel Kraus, The Autumnal (Vault)
Skottie Young, The Me You Love in the Dark (Image)

Two Sessions Running Concurrently

2:25 PM - 2:55 PM ET | Fast Learning Session I
Two librarians will discuss their fandom-oriented collections. William Fliss will shed light on his work as curator of the J.R.R. Tolkien Collection at Marquette University’s Raynor Library, while Monica Montgomery, curator of social justice, special projects and programming at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, will offer insight into the museum’s “Futures” exhibition, which spotlights the work of sci-fi author Octavia Butler.
Moderator: Mahnaz Dar, Senior Editor, Professional Reading & Reference, School Library Journal

2:25 PM - 2:55 PM ET | Fast Learning Session II
Rodneyna Hart, division director of the Louisiana State Museum, and Jessica McDaniel, community programming & outreach librarian, East Baton Rouge Parish Library (EBRPL), LA, will detail how they collaborated on Mid-City Micro-Con, an annual event at EBRPL that spotlights comics creators from marginalized identities.
Moderator: Carla-Mae Crookendale, Arts Research Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University

3:30 PM - 4:20 PM ET | Wild Rides
Drawing inspiration from West African mythology, Marvel’s Black Panther, Cinderella, and more, these YA fantasy and speculative authors will chat about how they craft thrilling adventures set in lavishly set worlds.
Natasha Bowen, Skin of the Sea (Random House)
David Bowles, Clockwork Curandera: The Witch Owl Parliament (Lee & Low)
Melissa de la Cruz, Cinder & Glass (Penguin Young Readers)
Stan Stanley, Hazards of Love Vol. 1 (Oni Press)
Ibi Zoboi, Okoye to the People: A Black Panther Novel (Disney Publishing Worldwide)

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM ET | Closing Keynote Conversation with Victor LaValle, Eve (BOOM! Studios) and Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Woman (Penguin Young Readers).
Moderator: Dr. Grace Gipson, PhD., Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University



Keynote Speakers

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times-bestselling author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was also short-listed for the United Kingdom's Carnegie medal. She was selected by the American Library Association for the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her significant contribution to young adult literature. Laurie has also been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English. She is a member of RAINN's National Leadership Council and frequently speaks about sexual violence.

Victor LaValle is the author of seven works of fiction including The Ballad of Black Tom, which is a finalist for a Nebula Award, a Hugo Award, a Bram Stoker Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award. His latest novel, The Changeling, was released in June 2017. His other books

have won the American Book Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Key to Southeast Queens. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City with his wife and kids.



Rodney Barnes is the award-winning writer/producer of HBO’s Showtime, Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Marvel’s Runaways, Starz’s American Gods, and a host of other television programs and films. He has also authored graphic novels for Lion Forge’s Quincredible and Star Wars - Lando: Double or Nothing, as well as Falcon for Marvel Comics. He is now writing KILLADELPHIA and NITA HAWES' NIGHTMARE BLOG for Image Comics.


Art Baltazar is a super-cartoonist machine from the heart of Chicago! He defines cartoons and comics not only as an art style, but as a way of life. He is the creator on ITTY BITTY HELLBOY and The New York Times Best Selling, Eisner Award, Harvey Award Winning DC Comics' TINY TITANS.


Natasha Bowen is a writer, a teacher, and a mother of three children. She is of Nigerian and Welsh descent and lives in Cambridge, England, where she grew up. Natasha studied English and creative writing at Bath Spa University before moving to East London, where she taught for nearly ten years. Her debut book was inspired by her passion for mermaids and African history. She is obsessed with Japanese and German stationery and spends stupid amounts on notebooks, which she then features on her secret Instagram. When she's not writing, she's reading, watched over carefully by Milk and Honey, her cat and dog.



Cristina Durán and Miguel Giner Bou are graduates of the Facultad de Bellas Artes de Valencia. They started out in animation, and in 1993 they founded their studio, LaGRUAestudio, where they work as professional illustrators and comic creators. In 2019, they were awarded Spain’s Premio Nacional del Cómic for EL DÍA 3.


David Bowles is a Mexican American author from south Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley. He has written several award-winning titles, most notably The Smoking Mirror and They Call Me Güero. His work has also been published in multiple anthologies, plus venues such as The New York Times, School Library Journal, Strange Horizons, English Journal, Rattle, Translation Review, and the Journal of Children's Literature. In 2017, David was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. He is online at and on Twitter at @DavidOBowles.


Aru Chouhan is a Punjabi illustrator from Vancouver BC, Canada. Growing up, she always knew she wanted to pursue a career in art and spent a lot of time learning about animation and fashion, while drawing inspiration from video games, movies (especially Bollywood), and nature. After completing her BA and earning a diploma in commercial animation, she worked as a mobile game artist for several years before going out on her own as a freelancer.


Ezra Claytan Daniels is a multidisciplinary artist and creator of the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Award-nominated graphic novels Upgrade Soul and BTTM FDRS. Ezra currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, where he writes for film and television.


Samantha Edwards is a children’s librarian by day and an illustrator by all the spare moments she can cram in around work. Her debut juvenile graphic novel A Tale As Tall as Jacob has received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. Samantha lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her two cats and husband.


A native of Wisconsin, William Fliss has been an archivist at Marquette University’s Raynor Library since 2003. He holds graduate degrees in History and Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Since 2013 Bill has served as curator of Marquette's celebrated J.R.R. Tolkien Collection. At the heart of the collection are original manuscripts purchased directly from Professor Tolkien in 1957. The collection grew in the 1980s to document Tolkien fandom.


John Gallagher is the art director of the NWF's "Ranger Rick" magazine, cofounder of "Kids Love Comics" (an organization that uses graphic novels to promote literacy), and leads workshops teaching kids how to create their own comics. John lives in Virginia with his wife and their three kids.


In January of 2019, Rodneyna Hart accepted the position of Division Director for the Louisiana State Museum overseeing the four regional museums. In this capacity, Hart adds structural support to further the success of each institution through programming, promotion, partnerships, and exhibitions that strategically meet the needs of the communities served.


BonHyung Jeong (Bon) studied Cartooning at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and Kyle's Little Sister is her debut graphic novel, made possible with the help of numerous people. She hopes to make connections with others through relatable stories. Currently living in Korea, she's always busy playing console games - exactly like someone in the book!


Daniel Kraus is a New York Times bestselling author: The Shape of Water and Trollhunters with Guillermo del Toro, The Living Dead posthumous collaboration with legendary filmmaker George A. Romero, as well as Entertainment Weekly’s Top 10 Books of the Year with The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch.  Additionally, Kraus has won a Scribe Award and two Odyssey Awards for Rooters and Scowler, and his The Teddies Saga, is a bestselling series.  THE AUTUMNAL, from Vault Comics (and dedicated horror imprint, NIGHTFALL), is Kraus' first graphic novel and earned a starred review from BOOKLIST, a rave review from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, THE NEW YORK TIMES, and others.  Go to for more information.


With 14 years of experience in public libraries, Jessica McDaniel's call to librarianship came during her years dressed in bulky costumes at events & providing service delivery for sensational seniors with Bookmobile Outreach. She enjoys being a community connector, facilitating access to the library on the outreach front, and currently serves her community through coordinating adult & all-ages programming for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library.


Jarrett Melendez is a food and comic book writer, contributing regularly to Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Saveur and Food52. He is also the creator of The Comic Kitchen, co-creator and author of Chef’s Kiss, and has written stories for the Ringo-nominated comic anthology All We Ever Wanted, Full Bleed, and Murder Hobo: Chaotic Neutral. He is currently writing a graphic memoir for Oni Press.



Monica O. Montgomery, MA, is a museum leader working at the nexus of equity, community and inclusion. She is the Curator of Social Justice, Special Projects + Programs, for the FUTURES exhibit presented by Smithsonian Institution, Arts + Industries Building. She has independently curated 40+ social justice, contemporary art and public history exhibits, experiences and festivals. She is the CoFounder and strategic director of Museum Hue, leading the premiere multicultural group, in advancing the visibility and viability of BIPOC in museums, building diverse representation and equity. Monica is a graduate professor teaching courses around Museums and Social Change at: American University, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, Pratt Institute and NYU. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Broadcast Communication from Temple University and Masters of Arts in Corporate Communication from LaSalle University.



Molly Muldoon is a former scholar and bookseller, current librarian and writer, and always demisexual fan fiction enthusiast. Her works include The Cardboard Kingdom, Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom, and the forthcoming The Cardboard Kingdom: Roar of the Beast. Although she’s spent the past ten years globetrotting, she currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with her ridiculous cat, Jamie McKitten.



Jose Pimiento was raised in Mexicali, Baja California and now resides in Los Angeles, CA where they work on comics and storyboards for animation and film. Suncatcher was their debut author/illustrator graphic novel. Twin Cities is their first middle-grade graphic novel. In their stories, they focus on the importance of Latinx culture and the experience of growing up on the border.



Eric Powell is a writer and artist from Nashville, Tennessee, who has contributed work for every major publisher in the comics industry. Powell has spent his career creating and promoting the validity and importance of creator-owned comics, including his own critically acclaimed series The Goon, which launched in 1999 and quickly became an indie hit with a die-hard cult following.



Ariel Slamet Ries is an eggplant fanatic and longtime lover of dogs in snoods from Melbourne, Australia. She studied animation for four years before throwing away the prestige and money to pursue comics. She's still waiting to see how that will turn out.



Jarod Roselló is a Cuban American writer, cartoonist, and teacher. He is the author of the middle-grade graphic novel Red Panda & Moon Bear, a Chicago Public Library and New York Public Library 2019 best book for young readers, and a 2019 Nerdy Award winner. The sequel, Red Panda & Moon Bear: The Curse of the Evil Eye, is coming in February 2021.



Stan Stanley makes comics that are sometimes creepy, sometimes funny, but always queer. She meant to be a scientist, but couldn't stop making comics when she was supposed to be doing science. The Hazards of Love is heavily influenced by the ephemera of the Mexico in which Stan grew up, though she now finds herself living in NYC with her friends, loved ones, and a large collection of teeth and bones.



Tillie Walden is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin, TX. She is the creator of six graphic novels, including the Eisner award winning books Spinning and Are You Listening? She has been awarded an LA Times Book Prize as well as multiple Ignatz awards for her work. She graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont where she now teaches during the school year and summers.



Skottie Young got his start at Marvel on titles like Spider-Man: Legend of the Spider Clan, Human Torch, and Venom. He soon began adapting the L. Frank Baum OZ novels at Marvel with Eric Shanower. He is best known for writing and drawing the hit series Rocket Raccoon, illustrating the children's book Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman, and the Young Marvel variant covers. He's also the cartoonist of I HATE FAIRYLAND and is currently writing MIDDLEWEST and THE ME YOU LOVE IN THE DARK with artist Jorge Corona.


Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her YA novel American Street was a National Book Award finalist and her debut middle grade novel, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, was a New York Times bestseller. She is the author of Pride, a contemporary YA remix of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and editor of the anthology, Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America. Her most recent bestseller, Punching the Air, is a YA novel-in-verse, co-authored by prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five. Raised in New York City, Ibi now lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three children.




Carla-Mae Crookendale is the Arts Research Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. In this position she works with performing and visual arts faculty and students to support their creative research through instruction, one-on-one consultations and programming. She holds an MLIS from Valdosta State University, and a BFA in Metals & Jewelry and MFA in Fashion from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Grace D. Gipson, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. As a Black future feminist/pop culture scholar, Dr. G's area of research interest centers on Black popular culture, digital humanities, representations of race and gender within comic books, Afrofuturism, and race and new media. Outside of the classroom, you can find Dr. G working in the community and on her social networks: Instagram- @lovejones20 and Twitter- @GBreezy20.





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