Banned Comic Books

Panel discussion moderated by Rebecca Wanzo, professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Washington University

NEW: Livestream available at this link

Who’s afraid of comic books? Book bans across Missouri and the U.S. have often targeted graphic novels and comic books, especially those that depict issues of gender, sexuality and race. New Missouri laws will punish educators and school librarians who provide restricted materials to students with fines and jail time. This event considers banned comic books from the perspectives of the artists who create them and the advocates who defend them. Panel lineup includes:

  • Jerry CraftNew York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the graphic novels New Kid and Class Act. New Kid is the only book in history to win the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature (2020), the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature (2019), and the Coretta Scott King Author Award for the most outstanding work by an African American writer (2020). 
  • Molly Carney, ACLU MO. Carney joined the ACLU of Missouri as a Staff Attorney in 2020. As a member of the legal team, she engages in all aspects of strategic litigation efforts to protect civil rights and liberties, including her current work on litigation and advocacy against book bans across Missouri.
  • Phoebe Gloeckner, graphic novelist. Gloeckner’s book The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2002) was praised as “one of the most brutally honest, shocking, tender, beautiful portrayals of growing up female in America.”

Discussion moderated by Rebecca Wanzo, professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Washington University. Wanzo is author of The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging, winner of the 2021 Eisner Award for Best Academic/Scholarly Work and the 2021 Charles Hatfield Book Prize from the Comics Studies Society.

Organized by Left Bank Books, St. Louis Public Library, and the Center for the Humanities and Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Arrangements for the appearance of Jerry Craft made through HarperCollins Speakers Bureau, NY, NY.


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