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.

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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