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This year’s Banned Books Week, slated for Sept. 21-27, will spotlight comics and graphic novels, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Banned Books Week planning committee announced today. Graphic novels have been the subject of a number of library and school challenges over the past few years, and the American Library Association’s most recent list of frequently challenged books includes, incredibly, Jeff Smith’s Bone.
Comics and graphic novels are somewhat more vulnerable to challenges because of their visual nature: While one would actually have to read To Kill a Mockingbird or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian to find potentially offensive content, all a would-be guardian of morality has to do with comics is flip one open and leaf through the pages looking for Naughty Bits. That’s apparently what happened when the Chicago Public Schools attempted to remove Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis from classrooms; the move was based on a few panels taken out of context.
Publishing | The Amazing Spider-Man #700 led the pack in the December comics numbers with 200,000 copies selling to comics shops, and with a cover price if $7.99, it racked up a cool $1.6 million in sales. Avengers #1 sold 186,000 copies but at a more reasonable price, so the dollars didn’t pile up as high for that one. ICv2 also has the December charts for the Top 300 comics and graphic novels in the direct market. John Jackson Miller takes it to the next level with sales estimates for the top 1,000 comics and trades of 2012. [ICv2]
Publishing | At the other end of the scale, Rob Clough talks to Chuck Forsman, the guy behind micropublisher Oily Comics. [The Comics Journal]
Comic-Con International has unveiled the programming schedule for Sunday, July 24 — the final day of the convention — that’s heavy on presentations and workshops for kids and teens, with plenty still for older attendees.
There are spotlights on Jordi Bernet, Ashley Wood, Mark Tatulli and Joelle Jones, the annual tribute to Jack Kirby, a look back at 25 years of Watchmen, and a breakdown of what it takes to create a great cover. Want more? There’s a Q&A with Axe Cop creators Ethan and Malachai Nicholle, a showcase for the women of Marvel, a collaboration how-to, and the last of the panels devoted to DC’s September relaunch.
To help you with your Comic-Con planning, we’ve highlighted the comics-specific programming below. To see the full Friday schedule, complete with television, film and video game content, visit the convention website.