Images and Issues Beyond the Dominant

Images and Issues Beyond the Dominant: Including Diversity in Your Graphic Novel Collection, YALSA YA Lit Symposium, November 6

Presenters: Robin Brenner, Francisca Goldsmith, Gina Gagliano

I really enjoy working at a library for the blind and handicapped. One drawback? The collection is primarily audiobooks and Braille; so no graphic novel collection. Still, it’s a format I really enjoy reading and learning more about, especially when it comes to diversity.

I love presentations based on booklists, and this had plenty of books. Reasons for my love: gatekeeping. No, really — I go to presentations like this confident that I’ll be hearing from people who have done the work to create a useful booklist so that I don’t have to do that work. I also love to see the different styles of booktalking people do, what is emphasized, what hook is used. I like it when the lists include books I know because I think “yes, I know that, I’m doing a good job keeping up on the literature!” with a side of “oh, because I know that is a good book, I can trust what is said about the other books.”

Titles discussed by included Bayou by Jeremy Love, an alternate history/Song of the South retelling and Incognegro by Mat Johnson, about “passing” as white to investigate lynchings. Other titles included ones featuring a Hispanic Teen as a superhero (Blue Beetle: Shocked by Keith Giffen) and Hereville by Barry Deutsch, “yet another troll fighting twelve year old Orthodox girl.”

The handout with the books from the presentation is at the Yalsa NING and Yalsa wiki. Also try this link (to a PDF), at Brenner’s No Flying No Tights website. I’m not going to repeat that list here, even though it would be very, very tempting. I began with those four titles and wanted to go on and on! Click through to the whole list, which includes titles that address ethnicity, gender, weight, class, mental health, disabilities, a whole range of areas.

Thanks to RIF for making it possible to attend this!


One thought on “Images and Issues Beyond the Dominant

  1. Trickster’ is on a long ballot of nominees for the 2011 Children’s Choice Book Awards. Voting is open to the public; closes Jan. 31. Here’s the link:
    Remember to vote and get fans of the book to votes as well!

    The book also just received an honorable mention in the 2010 Publishers Weekly’s annual critics’ choice for graphic novels:–s-fifth-annual-critics-poll-.html
    It may not seem like a big deal, but the book has had a hard time cracking into comics circles (i.e., comic shops and comics critics), so it’s nice to get recognized among the more well-known graphic novel publishers and hopefully entice some more retailers to buy the book.

    ‘Trickster’ was on one of Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of the Year 2010 lists (Teen Fiction: Peoples and Cultures):


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