Wednesday, April 25, 2007

MLA Speaker Interviewed

Over on MangaBlog, comic book writer/illustrator Bettina Kurkoski is interviewed. You can also find a great article on Ms. Kurkoski here at Newsarama.) Why am I bringing this seemingly random bit of information up here, you might ask? Ms. Kurkoski, creator of the series My Cat Loki, is one of three comic book writers appearing on a panel on Girls + Comix on Thursday, May 3 at the Massachusetts Library Association's Annual Conference.

This program on comics, "Girls + Comix: How Comics are Gaining Popularity with Women and How Librarians Can Better Serve their Audience," is one of the truly remarkable events taking place at the MLA Conference, and anyone with even a passing interest in comics needs to be there. Here is the blurb from the conference brochure:

"For decades the comics industry was seen as a "boys club," but more and more women and girls are reading, writing and creating comics. The most visible splash has been made by manga, and Tokyopop's teen audience is 75% female. There have always been women creating and behind the scenes in comics, but only recently have girls and women shown their power as readers. Join an all-star panel of comic creators, moderated by graphic novel advocate and teen librarian Robin Brenner, that will focus on connecting librarians with comics while highlighting the diverse and increasingly vital contributions of women to the industry as writers, artists, three-dimensional characters, and reader."

And who is this all-star panel of comic creators? Well, the afore-mentioned Bettina Kurkoski has become known for her Tokyopo-published series My Cat Loki. Appearing with her is Terry Moore, who began writing and drawing his award-winning comic book series, Strangers in Paradise in 1993. Since then he has produced over ninety issues of the larger than life saga of friends in Houston, Texas. It is one of the most succesful independently published books in the comics industry. Find out how Moore has become known as one of the best writers of three-dimensional female characters in comics. Rounding out the panel is one of the superstars of DC Comics. Gail Simone is a former hairdresser who has in the last five years become arguably the busiest and highest-profile female writers in comics. She has written comics exclusively for DC Comics, with such high-level titles as Justice League, Birds of Prey, Teen Titans, and their flagship titleAction Comics featuring Superman. Next up for Gail is an open-ended run on Wonder Woman.

Mark my words, this is an important panel, as anyone who reads comics will tell you. Best of all, these three panelists will be moderated by Massachusetts's own graphic novel guru, Robin Brenner. It's sure to be a fun and lively high point of the conference.

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