My smiles this week aren’t very exciting, either, but they did the trick.¬† ūüėõ¬† Despite having stupidly pulled a muscle in my back, I managed to get comfy long enough to watch¬†my¬†weekly handful of happiness-generating shows.

Among them was this week’s episode of Kids on the Slope, “Now’s the Time,” which¬†made me stop fidgeting, lean back in my chair, and smile like a sentimental dope.¬† *sigh*¬†¬†Who needs ibuprofen?¬† And why hasn’t the original manga’s publisher looked for / found an English language distributor yet, as I’d very much like to read it (while listening to the corresponding jam sessions from the show, of course)?

More surprisingly, the latest episode of Tsuritama–a show that on the surface seems to be quite ridiculous¬†(it’s all about the power of fishing and how it can build self-confidence,¬†bring people together, and¬†be handy when tangling with aquatic aliens, among other things)–actually made me weepy.¬† Who knew?


The “Draw This Dress” tumblr made me happy because I do love Vera Brosgol’s art and I’m now also learning about Emily Carroll’s, which is equally beautiful. Plus, I know that tumbler will make Robin happy…if she hasn’t already seen it. [Ed. note: It did indeed! I have a print of one of these on my desk at work, in fact.]

I was happy reading this article about which Marvel women deserve their own movie, especially because they offer casting suggestions and double especially because one of those suggestions is Gina Torres.


Personally, Greg Rucka’s insightful and unflinching look at writing, and why he constantly is asked about writing strong female characters, made me very happy. ¬†I want to make everyone I know, whether they like comics or not, whether they’re writers or not, male or female, read it. ¬†So…READ IT. ¬†Now.

Gender isn’t simply a biological trait; it’s a societal one. The female experience is different from that of the male, and if, as a male writer, you cannot accept that basic premise, then you will never, ever, be able to write women well. A man walking alone through Midtown Manhattan at three in the morning may have concerns for his safety, but I promise you, it’s a very different experience for a woman taking the same walk, and it’s different again for a man wearing a dress. Think about it. That’s a societal factor, and it’s a gendered one, and this is not and can not be subject to debate. If you’re looking to argue that sexism is a thing of the past, that the world is gender-blind, you’re not only wrong, you’re lying to yourself.

An ignorant writer is a poor liar, and a poor liar makes for a bad crafter of fiction.


In what has become par for the course for me lately, I’m as late listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour as I am answering my email. But as chance would have it, I caught up to the PCHH episode in which four smart fanboys discuss the Avengers movie right after having seen the movie myself and that conversation has made me very happy. (My only quibble would be with their inability to recognize the appeal of Jeremy Renner to a certain segment of the viewership — I’d compare it to the appeal Megan Fox had for some viewers in Transformers.) Anyway, if you like hearing fans flail about happily about The Avengers, Joss Whedon, special effects, etc., give it a listen. It sure made my day.

Jennifer W.

I finally got ALL the Glister books by Andi Watson, and reading them all together makes me very happy!


I’m reading the Sailor Moon manga, though, and that’s making me very happy.¬† It has the effect of making me run around my apartment, singing the theme song and banishing evil (my dirty dishes).


My happy is that I’ve managed to now see Avengers 6 times and have people willing to see it with me more. If I’m lucky I’ll make it to 10.


I’m wasn’t sure I’d have a happy this week…but today in my work mailbox I had an ARC copy of Raina Telgemeier’s newest book – Drama!¬† This delivery and my Teen Book Group I ran today totally made my week!

  • 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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