Who’s afraid of comic books? Book bans across Missouri and the U.S. often target graphic novels and comic books, especially those that depict issues of race, gender, and sexuality. New Missouri laws will punish school librarians and educators who provide restricted materials to students not only with fines but jail time. This event takes a look at banned comic books from the perspectives of the artists who create them as well as the advocates who defend them. Panel lineup includes:
- Jerry Craft, New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the graphic novels Class Act and New Kid. New Kid is the only book to ever win the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature (2020), the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature (2019), as well as the Coretta Scott King Author Award for the most outstanding work by an African American writer (2020).
- Molly Carney, ACLU MO. Carney joined the ACLU of Missouri in 2020 as a Staff Attorney. As a member of the legal team, she engages in all aspects of strategic litigation efforts to protect civil rights and liberties. This includes her current work on litigation and advocacy against book bans across Missouri.
- Phoebe Gloeckner, graphic novelist. Gloeckner’s book The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2002) has been praised as “one of the most brutally honest, tender, shocking, beautiful portrayals of growing up female in America.”
The discussion is moderated by Rebecca Wanzo, professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Washington University. Wanzo is the author of The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging, which was a winner of the 2021 Eisner Award for Best Academic/Scholarly Work, and the 2021 Charles Hatfield Book Prize from the Comics Studies Society.
This event was organized by Left Bank Books, St. Louis Public Library, and the Center for the Humanities and Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.
Arrangements for the appearance of Jerry Craft made through HarperCollins Speakers Bureau, NY, NY.