Graphic Novel Symposium

Artist Workshop: Featuring Comics Artist Gene Ha (video)

Acclaimed American Comics artist and writer, Ha pulls back the curtain and shares a behind-the-scenes in this workshop shop for students in the Drawing Comics (ART 106) class. Mr. Ha writes and draws for the creator-owned ongoing graphic series “Mae.” This four-time Eisner Award winner is the artist for the new “Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons” Volume 2 published on April 5, 2022 by DC Comics. To learn more about him, visit

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What’s New Wednesdays-Graphic Novels

We have some very cool graphic novels, in general, in our collection but these are some interesting new arrivals! You can find them on the display case past the Reference Desk; look for the “What’s New Wednesdays” sign. Need help? Use these instructions for holds or Ask a Librarian

A Fire Story / by Brian Fies – “Early on the morning of Monday, October 9, 2017, wildfires burned through Northern California, resulting in 44 fatalities. In addition, 8,900 structures, including more than 6,200 homes, were destroyed. One of those homes belonged to author and illustrator Brian Fies and his family. In the days that followed, Fies hastily pulled together a firsthand account of his experience in a twenty-page online comic, entitled ‘A Fire Story,’ that went viral. News outlets instantly picked up the story, and it was featured on CNN, in the ‘Washington Post,’ ‘Entertainment Weekly,’ and ‘Mother Jones,’ as well as local newspapers and TV stations. More than 700,000 people read the original comic on his blog, and another three million or so saw an animated version produced by San Francisco PBS station KQED that was also covered on NPR. In June 2018, the animated film short won a regional Emmy Award for Best Public/Current/Community Affairs–Feature/Segment. Less than a year after the fire, Brian Fies expanded his webcomic into a full-length graphic novel, including environmental insight and the stories of others affected by the disaster. As he did with ‘Mom’s Cancer,’ Fies has taken tragedy and created art, illuminating his experiences and crafting his story to make it universal. ‘A Fire Story’ is an honest account of the wildfires that left homes destroyed and families broken. But at its core, it is a story about second acts. It’s about what’s important in life. It’s the story of a community determined to rebuild.”–Book jacket

No Small Plans / by Gabrielle Lyon, Devin Mawdsley, Kayce Bayer, Chris Lin, Deon Reed – “The book was inspired by the 1911 Wacker’s Manual, which was once used in classrooms to explain Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago. It is filled with beautiful illustrations and divided into three chapters set in the years 1928, 2017 and 2211. Each chapter ends with a map and a short interlude about Burnham, to give readers insight into the creation of the 1909 Plan and other urban planning challenges. ‘No Small Plans’ was launched in conjunction with CAC’s 50th anniversary and our new ‘Meet Your City’ initiative, which aims to foster civic engagement. In partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Public Library, CAC aspires to distribute 30,000 copies of ‘No Small Plans’ for free to Chicago teens over the next three years.”–Publisher description

They Called Us Enemy / written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott ; art by Harmony Becker – “A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei’s childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon–and America itself–in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love. George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in ‘Star Trek,’ he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s–and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten ‘relocation centers’, hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. ‘They Called Us Enemy’ is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What is American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do?”–Publisher description

Nancy / by Olivia James – “In 2018, Olivia Jaimes became the first woman to write and illustrate the classic comic strip ‘Nancy.’ Her fresh, irreverent take on the classic comic strip has become a sensation with readers and has earned praise from dozens of media outlets, several of which have named it the best comic of the year. This hardcover collection includes the first nine months of Jaimes’ run on ‘Nancy,’ along with an introduction, essay, interview with the author, and a special gallery of ‘Nancy’ fan art by the author.”–Publisher description

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Westworld: Robots, Entertainment, Power & Desire

Faculty members from different areas of study will discuss HBO’s hit show Westworld. They will consider this show as a commentary on our relationship with technology, the ways we engage in entertainment, and the power dynamics underlying modern life. This event is part of our One Book program on I, Robot by Isaac Asimov and a part of the Library’s Graphic Novel Symposium.

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Just in time for the Graphic Novel Symposium, the library has added several new manga titles to the collection. All these manga are available currently in the Library Lounge under New Arrivals.

Manga is typically read backwards from what Western audiences are used to. Here are some helpful sites to start learning how to read manga. Most published books have the same information in the back.

How to read manga (image) and longer explanation on reading manga

Legend says if you find all the dragon balls a dragon will grant you any wish. Join Goku on his exploits to find the dragon balls and to be the best. Dragon Ball is one of the most well known titles in manga and inspired many current manga authors.

Collect the dragon balls here

If you like superheros you should check out My Hero Academia. A world where everyone has a superpower called a “quirk.”

Click here to learn how to be a hero!

Science! One day everyone in the world was turned to stone. 3700 years later Senku emerges and starts to rebuild the world he remembered. Dr. Stone has realistic science (to a point) and no matter your love for science you will 10 billion percent enjoy Dr. Stone.

Start rebuilding the world here

Do you enjoy the Chinese Zodiac? Stumble into people who can turn into members of the Zodiac with Fruits Basket. Discover the mystery behind the Sohma clan and learn how Tohru changes everything.

Being the journey here

Brilliant surgeon, Tenma, saves twins from a violent event. Soon after the twins disappear. Years later, a serial killer is on the loose and Tenma knows who it is. He searches to understand the reasoning behind the killings. Monster is a critically acclaimed manga.

Discover the monster here

Also known as Detective Conan, Case Closed is about a high school detective solving mysteries. Case Closed began publication in 1994 and is the 4th best-selling manga.

Start solving mysteries here

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So We’re Playing Video Games Today: The Importance of Teaching With All Literacies

Please join this panel of educators and school administrators from the Lit-X collective as they discuss the importance of teaching with all literacies including video games, comics, music, and film. And while this session will focus primarily on use in the middle school and secondary classroom, lesson planning ideas will span all grades. This event is part of the Library’s Graphic Novel Symposium.

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After Watchmen: Interpreting and Misinterpreting a Superhero Comic

Allen Moore’s epic graphic novel, The Watchmen, is often credited for transforming how we see superhero stories. The heroes we see at the movies, on Netflix, or in modern comics can be traced back to the Watchmen in the 1980s. In this talk, fine arts faculty member, Erik LaGattuta, explores the significance as well as the artistic storytelling behind The Watchmen. This event is part of the Library’s Graphic Novel Symposium.

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Coming to “After Watchmen: Interpreting and Misinterpreting a Superhero Comic” with fine arts faculty member, Erik LaGattuta on Wednesday, September 25? Click here to search for the graphic novel in our library catalog. We have a collection of the original and annotated editions of Watchmen and Before Watchmen eBooks accessible through Hoopla. We also own: the graphic novel in print, an animated motion comic on DVD, and Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics by Andrew Hoberek about the influences of Watchmen on the graphic novel industry. LaGattuta’s talk and other events from the Graphic Novel Symposium will be available for viewing online afterwards.

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New to Collection: The Life of Frederick Douglass Graphic Novel

New to the collection is a graphic novel biography, The Life of Frederick Douglass, written by David F. Walker with art by Damon Smyth. It tells the story of Douglass’s life through beautiful illustrations. He lived during the 19th century, was born into slavery in Maryland, learned to read even though it was forbidden to slaves, and ended up becoming one of America’s greatest writers. He worked to abolish slavery and believed in the equality of all. He also was one of the most photographed Americans of the 19th century, even more so than Abraham Lincoln! “Frederick Douglass was acutely aware of the fact that photographs could be used to help define his image in the public eye and, as a result, also influence how white people viewed blacks. In many pictures, his eyes are cast directly at the camera, an uncommon practice at the time, which resulted in a seemingly defiant expression” (Walker, p. 99). His photos were taken without him smiling because he didn’t want to portray “the racist caricature of a ‘happy slave’” (Wikipedia).

If you are not a fan of the graphic novel medium, a biography is a good way to try it out because the illustrations really bring the person’s story to life, which is helpful when learning about historical subjects. It’s not unlike how “Hamilton the Musical” resonated with people and presented a different way of re-telling history, so, too can a graphic novel achieve the same.

Frederick Douglass in MVCC’s collection:

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Ms. Marvel author G. Willow Wilson Lecture Videos

We were very excited to welcome G. Willow Wilson to campus last week. Wilson, who is the author of our One Book text Ms. Marvel, gave two lectures on campus. She had much to say about heroes, identity, pop culture, and much more. She is currently the writer for Wonder Women, one of DC Comic’s premier titles. She has a new comic series out called Invisible Kingdom, and a new novel called The Bird King.
Additionally, Wilson explores the background and development of the character Ms. Marvel. She talks about the difference in writing a new character and writing a legacy character (such as Wonder Women). She offers advice to writers and talks about her writing process.

These events were made possible by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals; Building Bridges: Arts Culture and Identity, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Ms. Marvel author G. Willow Wilson (first lecture), One Book, One College, April 10, 2019

G. Willow Wilson author of Ms. Marvel (second lecture), One Book, One College, April 11, 2019

The audio of this discussion is available below:

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Ms. Marvel, Meaning & Modern Storytelling : A Faculty Panel (video)

In preparation visit of author G. Willow Wilson, faculty and students will the significance of the award winning comic Ms. Marvel, which is the 2018-2019 One Book selection. This event is part of the One Book, One College program on Ms. Marvel and the Graphic Novel Symposium.

Ms. Marvel, Meaning & Modern Storytelling: A Faculty Panel

The audio of this discussion is available below:

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