It’s hard not to notice that the past decade has seen the dawn of a new golden age for comics and graphic novels for kids. Publishers and imprints dedicated to the format—First Second, Graphix, Papercutz among them—have flourished. And graphic novel creators such as Raina Telgemeier and Jeff Kinney have achieved rock star status. Sales of graphic novels in North America topped $535 million (including units sold via the traditional book channel and comics stores), according to a joint estimate from ICv2, which tracks the business of pop culture on its website, and Comichron, the world’s largest repository of comic book sales figures. And a gander at national bestseller lists like the New York Times, which has a Graphic Books category, or a trip to the local bookstore or public library, where shelves are crowded with graphic novels, are evidence of these booming numbers.

“We are in the middle of a graphic novel renaissance right now,” says Eva Volin, supervising children’s librarian at the Alameda Free Library in Alameda, Calif. “Once upon a time I would buy everything that came out, because there were so few things available. But now I have the luxury of choice. I can make educated decisions about my selections. The demand for these books is very, very high.”

Graphic novels have been making inroads into school libraries and classrooms over the past 10 years, too, and have recently gained a stronger foothold. This movement has largely been led by creative, often courageous, educators and librarians, and is encouraged in language from the American Association of School Librarians’ Standards for the 21st-Century Learner as well as Common Core State Standards, and championed by the publishing industry, the ALA and Children’s Book Council, and other professional organizations and grassroots advocacy groups.

As educators explore new ideas in their teaching, find new ways to engage readers, taking into account their students’ varied learning styles, they often turn to different formats of media, including graphic novels. According to Volin, “Sixty percent of the population are visual learners. At some point in time, someone decided that once you hit fourth grade you can only learn from prose,” she says. “But graphic novels give visual learners an equal opportunity to absorb information the way they are most comfortable learning. We’ve seen in these past five to seven years that teachers are getting over visual bias.”

Not surprisingly, a number of graphic novel creators say that they were, and are, visual learners. Author-illustrator Victoria Jamieson, whose first graphic novel, Roller Girl (Dial, 2015), was named a Newbery Honor Book, is one. “With picture books, you are somewhat limited by the number of pages, and the age level,” she says. “But I discovered that with graphic novels, I can use the tools of picture books to tell a more complex story for slightly older readers.”

For Gene Luen Yang, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and the author of American Born Chinese (First Second, 2006), which was the first graphic novel to win the Printz Award and be nominated for a National Book Award, believes the format gives visual learners a special level of control. “With graphic novels, the control of the rate of information flow is in the hands of the reader,” he explains. “With film or television, the flow of information is in the hands of the producer. A graphic novel is a visual format that asks you to read.”

Reaching Many Kinds of Readers

With its blend of text and images, the graphic novel has frequently become a go-to tool for teachers and librarians to engage reluctant or struggling readers. Karen Gavigan, associate professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science, whose doctorate research involved the use of graphic novels by a group of struggling eighth-grade male readers, has compiled significant data on the role that graphic novels play in developing students’ reading interests and achievement. “For the boys in my study, graphic novels helped them build literacy skills and gain reading motivation,” she says. “I was able to see the power of how that worked.”

Jamieson noted the appeal of the format for reluctant readers. “Lots of graphic novels are fun and playful—less daunting than other books,” she says. “It can be hard to face a big block of text. Kids see that and think, ‘Whoa, this is serious.’ But with graphic novels there is a sense of play. It’s easier and more fun for them than trying to break the text down with no images anywhere.”

Bestselling graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier concurs. “Being able to draw visual information from the pictures helps so many readers,” she says. “Context, environment, feeling, emotion: it’s all there. If you’re a reader who struggles with big blocks of text—and I have met many—this can be a revelation.”

Librarians and educators have found that graphic novels appeal to not only new readers and struggling readers but English-language learners as well. The emphasis on dialogue is a boon for them. As a resource for those students, Gavigan praises the Toon Books website for its interactive, multilingual audio features that allow readers to click on text and hear it read in Spanish, French, Chinese, or Russian. High school language teachers have used the site with their students.

The Age of Visual Literacy

Yang points out that reaching reluctant readers with graphic novels, who often benefit from visual reinforcement to understand the narrative, is a great beginning, but also just that, a beginning. “There is sometimes a gap between their ability and the content that interests them, and graphic novels can bridge that gap,” he explains. “But I hope that teachers won’t just stop at that first step. Comics are worthy of study in and of themselves; they are teaching visual literacy.”

At First Second, publicity and marketing director Gina Gagliano says, “Visual literacy is an essential part of today’s curriculum. Kids need to learn to interact with images because it’s a large part of how we communicate today.” Like Yang, she emphasizes that graphic novels are suited to a wide spectrum of readers with a broad range of reading mastery. “Graphic novels have a deserved reputation of being for kids who don’t connect to words,” she says. “But they also appeal to highly skilled readers; they offer an exciting stylistic element. There’s lots of analysis that goes into reading graphic novels.”

When people say that graphic novels are just for struggling or aliterate readers, alarm bells go off for Gavigan. “It’s a pet peeve of mine when I hear that,” she says, adding that she can point to many examples to counter that attitude, like “the wonderful story of the teacher who purchased copies of the Gareth Hinds graphic novel version of Beowulf [Candlewick, 2007] out-of-pocket for her AP classes. She said she had never seen such interest in the book before.”

A Graphic Novel for Every Subject

These days, graphic novels are being taught across the curriculum, from math to classic literature, and social issues like bullying and eating disorders. More and more publishers are creating teachers’ guides to their books featuring lesson plans, activities, and information about alignment with various education standards. Mindy Tomasevich, librarian at Mills Park Middle School in Cary, N.C., who with Gavigan is coauthor of Connecting Comics to Curriculum: Strategies for Grades 612 (Libraries Unlimited, 2011), presents lesson plans for middle and high school students on the Holocaust, political science, and fairy tales, fables, myths, and legends in that book.

More recently, Tomasevich says, she teamed up with seventh-grade language arts teacher Erin Eddy, who selected John Lewis’s graphic novel March, Book One (Top Shelf, 2013) for a unit on the civil rights movement last year, with great success. “I first did a day of instruction about graphic novels, since it was important that students understood why we were using a graphic novel, and exactly how to read one,” says Tomasevich. She taught her students about visual literacy and how the text and art in graphic novels “mesh seamlessly to tell the complete story—you have to ‘read’ the pictures along with reading the text.” Tomasevich emphasizes that graphic novels also contain “the same literary elements as text-only novels: plot, setting, conflict, and author’s purpose, to name a few. And the best things about using graphic novels in instruction are teaching students to understand the symbolism in them, and using them to show students how to make inferences, both of which are critical skills for good readers,” she adds.

Among the general benefits of introducing graphic novels into instruction, Tomasevich lists these: they engage and motivate students, bring a fresh perspective to lessons, encourage deep thinking, and make complex topics more accessible. Gavigan agrees. “Teachers are finding that graphic novels can make the curriculum relevant and bring different subject to life more,” she says. “Kids live in a media sphere where everything is visual. This is the format they value.”

According to Volin, books on subjects that augment the curriculum are always needed, especially nonfiction. “The circulation for nonfiction graphic novels is very high, relative to the rest of the collection,” she says. At First Second, Gagliano says her company is putting effort into helping fill the demand for nonfiction, citing the publication of George O’Connor’s Olympians series, as well as graphic novels on standalone topics, including Dinosaurs and Coral Reefs in the new Science Comics series. “We can say, “Here’s a 120-page narrative about how dinosaurs evolved; it’s full of facts, fully vetted.’ The presence of these nonfiction titles that can be tied into curricula gives them a further foothold in the classroom.” For nonfiction, comics are the next opportunity for expansion, according to Gagliano. “There are strong nonfiction publishing programs for young readers and for adults, but for middle school and high school kids, there’s not that much,” she adds. “We want to fill that gap with sophisticated nonfiction for those ages.” First Second will be releasing Volcanoes in October.

The Manga Classics program from Udon Entertainment (in partnership with Morpheus Publishing), which features graphic novel versions of works by Jane Austen and Victor Hugo, launched at ALA in 2014, drawing enthusiasm and support from librarians and teachers. The line continues to grow, according to John Shableski, v-p of sales at Udon Entertainment, with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Jungle Book and Other Stories due to arrive in spring 2017. “These are faithful adaptations, not abridged or condensed,” he says. Interest in the editions is building, too. “I’ve been going to educational conferences and speaking on panels for years, and we’ve seen growth in baby steps along the way,” Shableski says. “We used to get a small but well-educated following for graphic novels. But this year at TLA [the Texas Library Association conference] Udon’s booth was overrun by high school and middle school librarians.”

Publishers have reported that, anecdotally, teachers rave about their students’ interest in and comprehension of classic titles when they read them in a graphic novel format. Gavigan said that her next research study will be testing that idea, comparing a class that will read a text-only version of a classic work to a class that will read a graphic novel version of the same work.

The Power of Personal Narrative

The category of personal narrative has been very popular across the board in schools and libraries, appealing to students, teachers, and librarians. Creators who have worked in that genre have theories about why. “Graphic novels are very intimate,” Telgemeier says. “In the case of a single-creator-owned work, the reader gets to see a person’s artwork, their personal touch of the drawing medium on the paper, and read the words in a character’s mind. Readers feel taken on a visual and intellectual journey. It’s like a film created by one person. That’s powerful!” Intimacy is a key factor in creating for Jamieson as well. “I love graphic novels because you’re peeking into somebody’s house in a way,” she says. “You see how they live, see their family. When it’s visual, it feels more intimate.”

When crafting his comics, Yang said, “I love that interplay between words and pictures. They can reinforce each other or contradict each other.” He explained how emotion comes into focus for him. “When I want to express subtle, nuanced emotion, text is a great way to do that. But when I want to express more visceral, kick-in-the-gut emotion, pictures are better. Pairing them together opens a world of emotional exploration.” Yang has additionally noted that although American Born Chinese draws from some personal experiences, it is not autobiographical.

In the classroom, teachers are using graphic memoirs and personal narratives in a multitude of ways. “As I understand, my books are often used in curriculums that build character empathy,” says Telgemeier of her titles Smile, Drama, and Sisters. “I love this. I don’t write specifically to fuel conversation between reading groups, but when I hear it is happening, it’s a real thrill.” Yang says that teachers tell him his book American Born Chinese [which is not autobiographical] is frequently used as “a jumping-off point for talk about cultural identity and code switching.”

For teachers who are teaching writing, personal narrative is a typical lesson for students. Graphic novels are increasingly being used as examples and serve as inspiration for kids at any grade level to express themselves. The format serves as a teaching tool to introduce such literary elements as flashback, symbolism, or foreshadowing, and other aspects of effective writing, like dialogue.

But teachers who may not be ready to teach an entire graphic novel can still use the format in other ways to support their lessons. “Sometimes I like to show just a page or two to students, or offer them as supplemental materials for students who want to know more about a topic,” Tomasevich says.

Entertainment and Engagement Build Bridges

Educators and librarians also know that graphic novels in schools and libraries serve another important purpose besides supporting the curriculum: they entertain kids. “Graphic novels can play an important role in students becoming enthusiastic readers,” Tomasevich notes. “If kids don’t enjoy reading by middle school, they often never will. Free choice in reading materials is a huge part of that, and many students love to read graphic novels.” Among the biggest hits at her school, by far, according to Tomasevich, “are Raina Telgemeier’s books Smile, Sisters, and Drama. American Born Chinese and other books by Gene Luen Yang are tremendously popular, too. Other graphic novels that are checked out often are the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson, the Bone series by Jeff Smith, and anything by Doug TenNapel.”

Volin sees similar trends at the public library. “The craze for all things Raina has not died down at all,” she says. “We’ll see an upswing till everyone in the class has read them, then it will quiet down for a bit until a whole new class discovers them. They are always out. The waiting list for [Telgemeier’s September release] Ghosts is tens long.”

And that enthusiasm can have a ripple effect. Examples abound of educators, librarians, and parents saying that graphic novels are a bridge to other texts. Readers who liked a graphic novel about Anne Frank will often seek out the real diary she wrote. In Gavigan’s struggling-reader test group, a boy who loved music and enjoyed a graphic novel about Bob Marley sought out other books about him in the library.

You Can Do It Too!

One of the best parts of Jamieson’s school visits, she says, is a workshop she does with kids. “We create autobiographical comics together,” she says. “It’s wonderful to see all the kids jump in, ready for it. They don’t get self-conscious about drawing until later.” She also uses the workshop setting to speak with students about narrative arcs and themes. “Whenever I visit kids I ask, ‘Who wants to create a comic?,’ and one-third to one-half of them always raise their hands. I tell them it’s an easy step to writing your own story, and I show them what we do as writers or illustrators—that being a cartoonist is a real job.”

Gavigan and a fellow professor, Kendra Albright, took students’ comic creation to a new level in 2013 when they received a research grant to work on a project with librarian Susan McNair of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice’s Birchwood School Library and her incarcerated students. Over a six-week period, the students, ages 12–18, created a story line to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS; professional graphic illustrator Sarah Petrulis worked with them to turn it into the 30-page graphic novel AIDS in the End Zone. Though the book received some criticism for its text, the title did raise awareness of the subject and proved to be a powerful experience for the students. “They saw themselves as artists,” says Gavigan. “They saw that they were not just readers or consumers of books, but they can create them.” The project idea was submitted for consideration for a Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant for Libraries, and in June, McNair learned that Birchwood had won the grant. The prize includes $5,000 worth of graphic novels for the library, and funding to create a new graphic novel with the Birchwood School students. The next graphic novel will focus on gang violence, according to Gavigan.

Professionals Keep Pace

Educators and librarians who want to learn more about graphic novels and how they can use them now have a plethora of resources in the form of books, blogs, podcasts, websites, and professional journals. Publishers routinely create teachers’ guides, lesson plans, and activities for graphic novels, and publishers, librarians (including via YALSA and ALSC), and bloggers provide lists of recommended titles. Comics and graphic novels now receive prominent attention at professional and educational conferences. In 2015, Comic-Con International added the nearby San Diego Central Library as a programming venue where a special three-day lineup of educational panels was presented. That move was such a success that SDCC teamed with the SDCL again this year (in July) for an expanded four-day educational track that included a preview night event called “Teaching with Comics: An Interactive Workshop for Educators,” as well as a full slate of panels on such topics as literacy, the state of the graphic novel industry (moderated by PW’s Calvin Reid), censorship, and how to teach various subject areas—STEM, history, fables and fairy tales—using comics and graphic novels. In the spirit of supporting the education community, Comic-Con opened up this free programming to teachers and librarians who did not have a Comic-Con badge. “All the Cons have professional programming now, by teachers and librarians, for teachers and librarians,” Shableski says. “They see the long tail of this market. It stopped being just about superheroes a long time ago.”

The Children’s Book Council’s Graphic Novel Advisory Group, which worked with Comic-Con to develop programming for its educational track, has also been instrumental in other advocacy efforts, including suggesting that the Book Industry Study Group offer extended BISAC codes and subject headings for the children’s graphic novel category. In early July, BISG announced that BISAC headings will include 11 new graphic novel headings beginning in January 2017. The new coding will allow publishers to describe and categorize their graphic novels with more accuracy, helping to make searching and organizing of graphic novels easier for both retailers and librarians.

Advocates Abound

Once educators and librarians are armed with the knowledge and tools they need to bring graphic novels into the classroom, they may still need to convince administrators—or parents—that it’s a good idea. This type of advocacy is also getting easier. The proliferation of award-winning titles is hard to ignore. “When you can tell a naysayer, ‘This is a Newbery Honor book,’ that helps a lot,” Gavigan says. “I’ve told teachers to give [Pulitzer Prize-winning] Maus by Art Spiegelman to administrators to read, and it has changed minds. And selecting Gene Luen Yang as the National Ambassador for Children’s Literature spoke volumes.”

Another reason graphic novels are more accepted in schools is a shift in demographics. New generations of administrators and teachers are now in charge. “More comics-loving kids are growing up,” says Yang. “Now lots of academics carry their love of comics with them into their work.” Sven Larsen, v-p of marketing at Papercutz, agrees. “Times have changed,” he says. “Schools have costume days, and schools and libraries are hosting their own comic-con events. That exploration of imagination and embrace of the fantastic is encouraged now. Twenty or 30 years ago there was a much more formal structure.”

Within that more formal structure of yesteryear, educators, librarians, and parents long held the idea that graphic novels were not “real” books or appropriate for education. Today, this argument is fading away. “It’s much more rare now,” says Yang. “I don’t think I’ve visited a school where they didn’t have at least a few graphic novels in the classroom.” Telgemeier has a similar view. “I hear it a lot less than I used to,” she says. “I still have the rogue encounter with someone set in their old ways, who just won’t accept that comics and graphic novels can tell just as nuanced a story as a nonillustrated counterpart. Visual literacy has really gained steam as an essential part of our culture, and that’s happening in the classroom too. All of the student letters I receive tell me we’re doing something right.” Larsen says he sometimes gets pushback, though not often: “For every 100 librarians, I maybe encounter one that has that attitude.” But educators, librarians, and teachers do ask him for guidance to counter that argument from parents. “The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund offers the excellent resource Raising a Reader on its website,” Larsen adds. “And we incorporate some of it into our educator guides.”

Publishers have been doing their part to support graphic novels in the educational realm. “Trade publishers have known the ins and outs of the educational and library market and how it works,” Shableski says. “Comics publishers are starting to understand what they need to do to be successful in that space. They need to focus on things like age levels to help buyers.” At Papercutz, Larsen notes, “Thirty percent of our sales go to schools and libraries, so it’s a very important part of our business. We level most of our graphic novels to help educators, but it’s not an easy process for this format.” He explains that the standard process of assigning a Lexile level to a book is text-based and is typically performed by proprietary OCR (optical character recognition) software that scans prose. “That doesn’t work for a graphic novel,” Larsen says. “Since the software can’t process visuals, you get a reading level far below what it should be.” To address that issue, Papercutz hires an educator to do the analyzing and leveling of its graphic novel titles.

Volin lauds publishers for upping production values over the years. “They have figured out how to make books sturdier,” she says. “We don’t have to replace books now because the covers are falling off; we replace the books when they literally wear out after hundreds of circs.”

A Look to the Future

Looking ahead, Yang predicts “we’ll see more of a bleeding of formats, like Kate DiCamillo’s Flora & Ulysses, or Brian Selznick’s books,” he says. “We’ll see more creative uses of format.” And he wonders what comics will be as technology advances “and virtual reality becomes more potent. Do comics have a place in that? I don’t have a good answer—we’re figuring it out.”

Jamieson hopes that the future holds “more genres, and more books for different kids by different kinds of creators. And I’d really like to see—or do—a graphic novel where the reader sees the crime scene along with the detective and picks out clues.”

The halo effect of success from Telgemeier’s books means “we are seeing graphic novel readership diversify,” Larsen says. “We have lots more female readers.” As a result, Papercutz is launching a new imprint called Charmz, featuring “relationship-driven stories” aimed at tween girls. “They have all female leads, and lots of female creators. With diversity still a huge topic of interest, I think we’ll see more things like this coming down the pike.”

Publishers, librarians, educators, and author-illustrators all believe graphic novels are here to stay. “All ages are reading them,” Volin says, “from kindergartners just learning to read to adults who include them as part of their reading diet. For kids today, graphic novels are not a newfangled thing, or something you read to rebel against your parents. These kids have never known a world without graphic novels.”

“In so many cases,” Telgemeier points out, “the authors who are finding success in the graphic novel market were toiling away at comics long before the educational and trade markets found a place for them. We were doing it because we loved it. It has been rewarding to see the rest of the world catch up.”

Go Go Graphic!: Graphic Novel Professional Resources for Teachers and Librarians


Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by Panel by James Bucky Carter (National Council of Teachers of English, 2007)

Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box by Leonard S. Marcus (Candlewick, 2016)

Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner (W.W. Norton, 2008)

Connecting Comics to Curriculum: Strategies for Grades 6–12 by Karen Gavigan and Mindy Tomasevich (Libraries Unlimited, 2011)

Going Graphic: Comics at Work in the Multilingual Classroom by Stephen Cary (Heinemann, 2004)

The Graphic Novel Classroom: Powerful Teaching and Learning with Images by Maureen Bakis (Skyhorse, 2014)

Graphic Novels: A Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, 2nd Edition by Michael Pawuk and David Sherchay (Libraries Unlimited, March 2017)

Graphic Novels and Comic Books: The Reference Shelf by Kat Kan (H.W. Wilson, 2010)

Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics: Insights and Issues for Libraries by Martha Cornog and Timothy Perper (Libraries Unlimited, 2009)

Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner (W.W. Norton, 2008)

In Pictures and in Words: Teaching the Qualities of Good Writing Through Illustration Study by Katie Wood Ray (Heinemann, 2010)

Readers’ Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels by Francisca Goldsmith (American Library Association, 2010)

Reading with Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter! by Joshua Elder, Chris Giarrusso, et al. (Andrews McMeel, 2014)

Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom by Katie Monnin (Maupin House, 2010)

Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts: An Illustrated Adventure by Katie Monnin (Maupin House, 2013)

Teaching Visual Literacy: Using Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Anime, Cartoons, and More to Develop Comprehension and Thinking Skills by Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher (Corwin, 2008)

Understanding Manga and Anime by Robin Brenner (Libraries Unlimited, 2007)

Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning: A Guide for Middle-Level Educators by Meryl Jaffe and Katie Monnin (Maupin House, 2011)

When Commas Meet Kryptonite: Classroom Lessons from the Comic Book Project by Michael Bitz (Teacher’s College Press, 2010)

Wham!: Teaching with Graphic Novels Across the Curriculum by William G. Brozo, Gary Moorman and Carla K. Meyer (Teachers College Press, 2013)

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud (HarperPerennial, 1994)

Review Sources

Mindy Tomasevich, librarian at Mills Park Middle School in Cary, N.C. explains her approach to review sources. “I depend on professional library journals to help me select the best graphic novels for my library,” she says. “Because I can explain to parents and administrators how I choose them, why I buy them, and how they impact my students’ literacy, I have not really had to defend the graphic novels in my school.”

Here is a list of major journals; reviews also appear in many of the Online Resources listed below.

Booklist and Book Links

Horn Book

Library Journal

Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

Online Resources


Many graphic novel publishers provide free-of-charge online tools and resources for teachers and librarians on their websites, including educator guides and activities.

The Beat: The News Blog of Comics Culture

Comics in Education (by Gene Luen Yang)

Comics in the Classroom

Comics Worth Reading

Diamond Bookshelf

Early Word

Good Comics for Kids

Graphic Novel Reading Lists—ALA/ALSC

Graphic Novel Reporter

Graphic Novel Resources

Great Graphic Novels for Teens—ALA/YALSA

ICv2 (Internal Correspondence version 2)—providing news and information for pop culture retailers

More to Come: The Publishers Weekly Comics World Podcast

No Flying! No Tights!

Reading with Pictures

Graphic Novels at the Library Can Help You ‘Catch ’Em All’

Eva Volin, supervising children’s librarian at Alameda Free Library in Alameda, Calif., says that high demand for graphic novels in the public library makes those titles a natural programming hook. “There’s so much that you can do,” she says. “Because the graphic novel is a format for storytelling, not a genre, we can tie them into almost any program we do.”

Here are a few suggestions:

Free Comic Book Day

On the first Saturday in May each year (May 7, 2017), indie comic book specialty stores give away free comic books to customers who come into their shops.

Star Wars Reads, a month-long celebration of Star Wars and reading will mark its fifth year in October. Activity kits and posters are free to download at the Star Wars website. Participating partner publishers include LucasFilm Press, Del Rey, DK, and Random House Children’s Books.

Pokémon Go—the super-hot augmented reality game that’s had everyone buzzing this summer. “Pokémon Go is huge at public libraries now,” says Volin. “Kids who would never have come into the library are coming in because we’re a PokéStop. We can then grab them and show them the graphic novel collection.”

Movie nights

The list of movies and TV shows inspired by comic books and graphic novels is long.

Author signings

“One of the really fun things I enjoy is when libraries invite their local roller derby team to come in for my visit,” says Victoria Jamieson, author-illustrator of Newbery Honor-winning graphic novel Roller Girl, and a roller derby skater in real life. “It’s great to see the team skating all around the stacks of books—but it makes some librarians nervous.”

Graphic Novel Book Clubs

“Make Your Own Comic” Workshop

Throw a Costume Party

Host a Comic Con

In 2015, kids’ graphic novel publisher Papercutz launched a program through which libraries hosting comic-cons and other events supporting comics programming can receive 100 free copies of its revamped Nickelodeon Magazine. Librarians must make their request six to eight weeks in advance of the event through Papercutz’s v-p of marketing Sven Larsen. Larsen notes that Nickelodeon recently ceased publication, but that Papercutz is creating a new publication that it will send out libraries when all current Nickelodeon stock is depleted.