Junior Braves of the Apocalypse is a great young adult…

Junior Braves of the Apocalypse is a great young adult alternative for students interested in zombie comics: http://bit.ly/1LDvDY9

FAIRFAX: MK Brown Art Show

Mk Brown
Cartoonist M.K. Brown is making a special appearance this Saturday, April 4th at the Fairfax Library. From 2-4pm, enjoy the opening reception and book signing while soaking in Brown’s original artwork on display. The show of original comics, gag panels and more will remain up from the 1st to the 29th of April. A percentage of the sale of her collection, Stranger than Life, will benefit Friends of the Fairfax Library. Here’s a few of my favorites from the book:
Brown
brown 3
Brown Library

This one is part of a longer comic:
Brown
So come get a copy of Stranger than Life and check out a book or two from your local library!  

Stranger than Life
Fairfax Library
2097 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Fairfax, CA 94930

Multiversity Interview with Eric Reynolds on Palomar Challenge

palomar

The award-winning and timeless collection of Love and Rockets stories gathered into the gorgeous book, Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez, was published more than a decade ago. But controversy at a high school library in New Mexico has given new life into the continuing dicussion, and sometimes battle, that surrounds comics when they attempt to break new ground and tackle themes which require context and analysis. 

As Jen Vaughn pointed out in our original posting of the challenged book, one mother of a 14-year-old who had checked out the offending text from Rio Rancho High School library, took to the local TV station, KOAT, to report that she had found pages upon pages of “child pornography pictures and child abuse pictures”. She demanded that there be an investigation to find out how the book was allowed into the library in the first place.

Since KOAT’s initial “reporting” of the book’s content, several outstanding organizations have come to its defense. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a First Amendment protection group, has teamed up with the Kids’ Right to Read Project, and sent a letter to the Superintendent of Rio Rancho calling on the school to uphold it’s own preported standards of procedure when it comes to a book’s challenge. Additionally, the letter points out the obvious merits that the book carries within its pages, which have been lauded by numerous publications like The Times of London and Publisher’s Weekly over the years for Hernandez’s elastic realism approach to familial drama that immediately invokes comparison to writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  

pal panel 

Today, Greg Matiasevich at Multiversity posted an interview with Fantagraphics’ Associate Publisher, Eric Reynolds, and CBLDF Executive Director, Charles Brownstein to get their reactions to Palomar being pulled from the shelves as it awaits a formal review from the school. When asked about why the removal of such a book is important, Reynolds replies:

“I don’t much care whether Palomar is in one particular library or not, but I do care about one rogue parent bypassing appropriate channels to remove it, instead escalating via a media that was all too enthusiastic in egregiously mischaracterizing the content of the work, fueling community outrage with flat-out falsehoods. It’s unproductive for everyone involved.”

As Matiasevich points out, products based on comic books dominates our entertainment culture in the form of movies and TV shows, but too often the art form that these products were built off of is easily called out by those with little understanding of the medium itself, and shamefully erased from the hands of potential readers through public defamation. Brownstein and the CBLDF continue to take up these battles because “comics have a legitimate place in contemporary libraries and schools, but are more vulnerable to attack that other kinds of books because images are easier to take out of context and because there is still a diminishing, but lingering stigma that the medium is of low value.” 

Numerous titles have proven that assumption wrong over the years, but it’s important to remember no one deserves to have stories or art taken from their hands due to the opinion of one person. Palomar is awaiting its fate at the Rio Rancho High School library, and the CBLDF will be standing by to update on their final decision.