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.

By registering for this event, you are agreeing to the Library Journal Privacy Policy and Code of Conduct Policy and agreeing that Library Journal may share your registration information with current and future sponsors of this event.

If you have any questions, email us at

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

In Booth Chats
11:00 AM - 11:25 AM ET Publisher Spotlight: TKO Studios (Comics Plus)
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM ET Cullen Bunn & Shadowman (Diamond Comics)
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM ET Creator Chat with Jeremy Holt (Image Comics)
11:15 AM - 11:40 AM ET Live Chat with Crystal Frasier (Oni Press)


11:30 AM - 12:00 PM ET | Opening Keynote Conversation with Laurie Halse AndersonWonderful Women of the World (DC) and Mariko Tamaki, curator of Surely Books (Abrams).
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 & Nathan FairbairnPaws: Gabby Gets It Together (Penguin Young Readers)
Art BaltazarBig Alien Moon Crush (Action Lab)
Miguel Giner BouA Chance (Graphic Mundi)
Anu ChouhanAru Shah (Disney Publishing Worldwide)
Ezra Claytan DanielsUpgrade Soul (Oni Press)
Scott MagoonThe Extincts (Abrams)
Bowen McCurdySpecter Inspectors (BOOM! Studios)
Jose PimientoTwin Cities (Random House)
Lisa SterleWitchblood (Vault Comics)
Tillie WaldenClementine Vol 1. (Image/Skybound)


In Booth Chats
11:40 AM - 12:10 PM ET Creator Chat with Greg Rucka (Image Comics)
12:20 PM - 12:50 PM ET Creator Chat with Chris Condon (Image Comics)


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 GallagherMax Meow: Pugs from Planet X (Random House)
BonHyung JeongKyle’s Little Sister (Yen Press)
Jared RosellóRed Panda & Moon Bear: The Curse of the Evil Eye (Top Shelf)
Sergio RuzzierFish & Sun (HarperCollins)
Moderator: Carla Riemer, YA Librarian and Blogger

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.
Jarrett MelendezChef’s Kiss (Oni Press)
Ariel Slamet RiesWitchy, Witchy Vol. 2 (Oni Press)
Jeremy SoreseThe Short While (BOOM! Studios)
Gengoroh Tagame and Anne IshiiOur Colors (Knopf/Pantheon)
Moderator: Justin Shannin, Teen Library Associate, Chicago Public Library (IL)


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


In Booth Chats
1:00 PM - 1:25 PM ET Publisher Spotlight: Fanbase Press (Comics Plus)
1:00 PM - 1:25 PM ET Live chat with Jeff Parker (Oni Press)
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET World Class with Jay Sandlin and Patrick Mullholland (Diamond Comics)
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET Get Social! Get Graphic (Novels)! (Vault Comics)
1:10 PM - 1:40 PM ET Creator Chat with Tina Horn (Image Comics)
1:45 PM - 2:10 PM ET Live Chat with Jarrett Melendez and Danica Brine (Oni Press)

1:30 PM ET | Sponsored Session

Creator Spotlight — Juni Ba, Svetlana Chmakova, and Joseph Illidge
Comics are in the midst of a major renaissance—from the printed page to screens, big and small—and librarians are responding to increased demand by expanding their print and digital collections to include a broader variety of graphic novels and manga for readers of all ages and interests. Join us for this roundtable conversation with comics creators sharing insights on their work, the unique power of comics, and the important role libraries play in developing and nurturing new readers.

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 BallAcross the Tracks: Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre and Black Wall Street (Abrams)
Cristina DuránA Chance (Graphic Mundi)
Samantha EdwardsA Tale as Tall as Jacob (Andrews McMeel)
Laura GaoMessy Roots (HarperCollins)
Eric PowellDid You Hear What Eddie Gein Done (Albatross/Diamond)
Moderator: Crystal Chen, Teen Librarian, 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 BarnesNita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog (Image)
Talia DuttonM Is for Monster (Abrams)
Daniel KrausThe Autumnal (Vault)
David Leach, Senior Creative Editor, Phantom of the Opera (Titan)
Skottie YoungThe Me You Love in the Dark (Image)
Moderator: Jason L. Steagall, Reference Librarian, Arapahoe Community College (CO)

Two Sessions Running Concurrently

2:25 PM - 2:55 PM ET | Fast Learning Session I
Two presenters 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


In Booth Chats
2:30 PM - 2:55 PM ET Publisher Spotlight: Valiant Entertainment (Comics Plus)
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET Creator Chat with Tess Stone (Image Comics)
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET Dark Matters: Magic, Mystery, & Monsters (Vault Comics)
2:45 PM - 3:10 PM ET Live Chat with Philip Gelatt and Tyler Crook (Oni Press)
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM ET Christopher Marlon Talks 'Friday Foster (Diamond Comics)
3:00 PM - 3:40 PM ET Grab a ticket to WONDERBOUND! (WonderBound)
3:20 PM - 3:50 PM ET Creator Chat with Kurt Busiek (Image Comics)


2:55 PM - 3:30 PM ET | Break / Visit the Exhibit Hall


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 BowlesClockwork Curandera: The Witch Owl Parliament (Lee & Low)
Melissa de la CruzCinder & Glass (Penguin Young Readers)
Stan StanleyHazards of Love Vol. 1 (Oni Press)
Ibi ZoboiOkoye to the People: A Black Panther Novel (Disney Publishing Worldwide)
Moderator: Elisa Garcia, Supervising Librarian of Teen Services, New York Public Library


In Booth Chats
3:50 PM - 4:20 PM ET Creator Chat with Robert Mackenzie, Greg Rucka, and Dave Walker (Image Comics)

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM ET | Closing Keynote Conversation with Victor LaValleEve (BOOM! Studios) and Nnedi OkoraforAkata 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.

Nnedi Okorafor is an international award-winning novelist of science fiction and fantasy for children and adults, including the Akata series, which concludes in January with AKATA WOMAN. Born in the United States to Nigerian immigrant parents, Nnedi is known for weaving African culture into evocative settings and memorable characters. She holds a PhD in Literature and lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo.


Mariko Tamaki is a New York Times bestselling and multiple-award-winning author of Skim, This One Summer, and many books. She has also worked with blockbuster comics series such as She-Hulk, and Archie and Sabrina, and wrote original stories for the middle-grade fiction series Lumberjanes based on the BOOM! Studios comics. Mariko is also the curator of Surely Books, a new line of graphic novels dedicated to expanding the presence of LGBTQIA creators and content in the comics world.



Michele Assarasakorn (also known as MSASSYK) is colorist who worked on comic series such as Eisner-nominated Isola, Gotham Academy, and The Magnificent Ms. Marvel. Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Michele now calls Vancouver home but also likes to travel the world working remotely as an artist. Paws: Gabby Gets It Together marks her debut as an illustrator.


Alverne Ball has an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the recipient of the 2014 and 2015 Glyph Rising Star Award for his writing on One Nation: Old Druids. In 2009, he received the first-ever Luminarts graphic novel writing award.


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.


Anu 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.


Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many critically acclaimed books for readers of all ages, including the Alex & Eliza trilogy, Disney's Descendants novels, the Blue Bloods series, and the Summer on East End series. Her books have sold over eight million copies, and her upcoming book, Cinder & Glass, a fairy tale retelling with a lush, romantic heart, publishes in March 2022.


Talia Dutton is a queer, biracial Asian cartoonist and illustrator. A firm believer in the intersection of art and play, Dutton creates introspective comics about monsters and humanity, trying to find the humor and warmth of the mundane in the fantastical.


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.


Nathan Fairbairn is a New York Times bestselling and Eisner-nominated creator, who has worked as a colorist for such iconic characters as Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Scott Pilgrim. He started writing Paws: Gabby Gets It Together, his middle grade debut, as a way to share his passion for comics and storytelling with his daughter. Nathan lives with his family in Vancouver.


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.


Laura Gao is a comic artist and bread lover currently living in San Francisco. Laura’s art career began by doodling on Pokémon cards and has since blossomed to be featured on NPR, HuffPost, and most notably, her parents’ fridge. She is a proud queer Asian-American immigrant and strives to inspire others to live unapologetically loud. Say hello and send her bakery recommendations at


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.


Anne Ishii is a writer and the Executive Director of Asian Arts Initiative, which has operated with a mission to “create community through the power of art” in Philadelphia since 1993. Anne is also the co-founder of MASSIVE GOODS—a clearinghouse of queer and feminist art from Japan. She has translated and rewritten over twenty four books and is regularly published in a variety of places, sometimes anonymously.


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.


David Leach’s career as a cartoonist, writer and editor spans over 30 years. Currently employed as Senior Creative Editor at Titan Comics, David is the editor of all three of Titan Comics' Blade Runner series, including Blade Runner 2019, Blade Runner 2029, and Blade Runner: Origins. He also edited the Phantom of the Opera graphic novel, Rivers of London: Monday, Monday, V.E. Schwab's Shades of MagicExtraOrdinary and Lavie Tidhar's Adler. In his spare time, David writes and draws his own comic books, Psycho Gran Versus, Psycho Gran Comic Capers Cavalcade and the autobiographical comic - David Leach Conquers The Universe


Scott Magoon has illustrated several acclaimed picture books, including the New York Times bestselling Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes. THE EXTINCTS is his debut graphic novel series.


Bowen McCurdy is a cartoonist and writer from New York City. She graduated with a degree in cartooning from School of Visual Arts in 2018, and has self-published many short comics, as well as Illustrated a short story for IDW and Marvel. Specter Inspectors is her first graphic novel.


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.



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. They studied animation for four years before throwing away the prestige and money to pursue comics. They're 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.



Sergio Ruzzier has written and illustrated many picture books, including Fox and Chick: The Party, a 2019 Geisel Honor Book. He was awarded the Sendak Fellowship in 2011. His work has been awarded by American Illustration, The Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, and The Society of Publication Designers. He also won the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal for The Room of Wonders and This Is Not a Picture Book. Born in Milan, Italy, he has been living in Brooklyn, New York, since 1995. Visit Sergio online at



Jeremy Sorese is a queer cartoonist based out of Brooklyn, NYC. After graduating with a BFA in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010, he was accepted to the La Maison des Auteurs, a comics specific residency program in Angoulême, France, where he lived and worked from 2012 through 2013. His first book Curveball was published with Nobrow in the Fall of 2015 and nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Since then he’s been teaching art to elementary school kids in Chicago, middle schoolers in Brooklyn, as well as the Maryland Institute College of Art, and most recently at Parsons School of Design. You can find more of his work on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok @jeremy_sorese as well as his website



Lisa Sterle is a Columbus, OH artist with work spanning from comic books to concept design to pop-culture-fueled illustration. Her work is often bright, expressive, and occasionally tinged with horror— marrying her two favorite themes: the beautiful and the grotesque. She is the co-creator of monthly comics Long Lost and Submerged (Vault Comics), and Witchblood (Vault comics), as well as creator of The Modern Witch Tarot Deck, a modern and diverse interpretation of the classic Rider-Waite tarot deck. She has worked with HarperCollins, IDW, Image, Archie Comics, Vault Comics, BOOM! Studios, and many others. Currently she is working on the graphic novel Squad with writer Maggie Tokuda-Hall for Greenwillow Books.



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.



Gengorah Tagame was born in 1964 and lives in Tokyo. After graduating from Tama University of Art, Tagame worked as an art director while writing manga and prose fiction, contributing illustrations for various magazines. In 1994 he cofounded the epochal G-Men Magazine and by 1996 he was working full-time as an openly gay artist. He is the author of dozens of graphic novels and stories which have been translated into English, French, Italian, and Korean. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries across Europe and America. My Brother’s Husband marks his first all-ages title, and earned him the Japan Media Arts Award for Outstanding Work of Manga from the Agency of Cultural Affairs. In 2018 it received the Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition on International Material—Asia.



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.





Crystal Chen is a teen librarian at The New York Public Library. She chaired YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens in 2020-21 and is currently a community admin for We Here (


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.

Elisa A. Garcia is a Supervising Librarian of Teen Services at the New York Public Library. She is motivated to foster a love of reading in reluctant teen readers and therefore strives to introduce them to a diverse world and experiences through books.

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.

Carla Riemer is a school librarian and a member of ALA's Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table, where she co-chairs the Libcomix Online Committee, responsible for comic and graphic novel related online programming. She blogs about young adult comics and books at

Dr. Lucia Cedeira Serantes works as a Limited Duties Instructor at The Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University, ON. There she teaches and researches about reading, comics, and teen media. She has recently wrapped an ALA funded project about older adults in comics and co-authored a book chapter on international comics.

Justin Shannin is a teen library associate at Chicago Public Library where he assists with systemwide program initiatives and social media content. He reviews books for the library's teen "Best of the Best" committee and writes book recommendation blogs for the Chicago Public Library website. He is in the final month of UNC Greensboro's MLIS program.

Jason L. Steagall began his academic librarian career in Wisconsin and is currently working in Colorado.  He loves the horror genre in all formats and can be reached at


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