in General, Libraries/Info Sci

ALA 2005 – Graphic Novel Pavilion

When: Sunday, June 26 2005
Where: McCormick Place, Chicago IL
My Role: Attendee
The Graphic Novel Pavilion was a very high traffic area throughout my two days visiting the ALA exhibits. This probably had much to do with the normally rather expensive freebie samples, but I do think that graphic novel collections are also becoming larger in public libraries – so that couldn’t have hurt attendance.

Marvel and DC each had booths, as did Dark Horse and a number of smaller publishers. Manga was the name of the game at most of them – there were piles of books to take back to your library from every publisher. Some attendees had brought their kids, who were having a ball in this aisle!

Not everything was Manga, however. DC gave away some #1 issues which I picked up: Identity Crisis, one of the most contraversial super hero stories of last year; and Ex Machina, one of the few comics I read regularly. From Marvel I picked up the collected edition of the modern Amazing Spider-Man vol.1, which normally has a $15 retail price. But these were limited – Manga is where the circ stats are in library graphic novels, from my experience. If I’d wanted samples, I could probably have filled a whole extra suitcase. DC alone was giving away most of their newly launched CMX line of Manga.

DC also brought in some artists for signings on Saturday – Alex Ross and Gene Ha. Each has done a poster for the ALA at some point, so there was a legitimate reason to bring them in. I could only afford one poster to get signed, so picked the Ross Batman one. While I didn’t get any pictures, Ross seems like a really nice guy. Or maybe he was just glad to not be at a ComiCon for once – not nearly as many fanboys 🙂 Gene Ha, on the other hand, seemed to have been found by the one fanboy in attendance. The poor artist was signing a gigantic stack of comics the attendee had brought with him. Ha was a good man to put up with it. But the lines for both were remarkably short, so maybe it had no real effect on things.

If you’re still at ALA and reading this, check out the pavilion on the exhibitors’ floor! Especially if you work in YA/Teen services – the samples alone could start a collection from scratch.