New York Comic-Con: From the professional in me

So, what is the graphic novel market up to? According to’s Milton Griepp the whole graphic novel market went from $75 million in 2001 to $330 million in 2006. And guess what? $30 million of that current number is libraries. $45 million is manga. To dramatically simplify matters, readers and ladies are making themselves felt in them marketplace.

I wish more folks were talking about the library panels at New York Comic-Con, and not just because I was on two of them. It’s just rather sad to see all the coverage of both the professional day and the booming mosh pit of the rest of the Con, and not hear much at all about the library information. So, to fill that gap a wee bit — we had four panels presented for librarians. Many of my esteemed colleagues in the library profession were there to spread the word, including (in no particular order) Stephen Weiner, Eva Volin, Mike Pawuk, Melissa Jenvey, Alison Hendon, Kat Kan, Jennifer Feigelman, Michele Gorman, Steve Raiteri, Andrew Kaplan, and Lori Special. I swear, it was like a mini-ALA there, and that made it quite awesome. My colleagues and I spent hours talking about the different genres the format represents, how to balance your collection with manga, superheroes, and everything in between, the rise of anime, and how to define a classic graphic novel (if such a feat is possible while the format itself is relatively young in libraries.)

The audiences were mostly librarians, but there were a good number of retailers and industry folks there as well, which was gratifying for us. I always enjoy hearing from folks outside the library perspective, and in certainly helps us to know what everyone else is thinking. John Shableski, of Brodart, did a great job moderating the panels, and I can tell you, his enthusiasm for graphic novels, libraries, and the whole Con weekend could not be matched.

And, as John pointed out, at the ICv2 industry panels the day before, librarians were mentioned as a normal part of the market to consider, not as an afterthought. We have arrived!

I also got meet so many colleagues and industry folks, from DC folks to Tokyopop folks to Brigid from Mangablog to Martha Cornog from Library Journal to so many more I can’t even say.

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  • Michael Rogers


    The library panels were gangbusters. Very informative. Just got my coverage for LJ up in case you haven’t seen it. I wrote a generic thing for last week’s Book News, but this latest story is just about the library panels. Got some pix in it too. I think Ann Kim also is doing something.

    –Mike Rogers, LJ

    • RobinB

      Hey Mike!

      Thanks for the heads up! I knew y’all would be covering the panels, and thanks for the compliments on the panels.

      All of my co-panelists totally rock, and I know we’d spend all day talking about graphic novels for free if folks let us. :)