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On November 19, the fifth annual Children’s Book Fair took place at the Brooklyn Museum. Graphic novelist Laura Lee, author of Page by Paige, shared a table with Graphic Universe’s ebullient Colleen AF Venable, author of our Guinea Pig: Pet Shop Private Eye series. Laura offers a full report on her blog.

Colleen was on hand to meet and greet the youngsters. And not just that–she also elicited their participation by having the kids fill out blank Guinea Pig comic strips. Laura Lee did one too!

images from

The Saturday event featured more than thirty Brooklyn authors and artists. The day culminated with a special performance of Peter and the Wolf.
The Brooklyn Museum proved to be an ideal venue for this festival. Sometimes unfairly overshadowed by the venerable Manhattan museums, the Brooklyn Museum has witnesses a major resurgence in popularity, becoming a bastion for art lovers and aficionados this past decade. The beautiful Beaux-Arts Building, erected in 1895, underwent a significant renovation in 2004 with an addition of its entrance pavilion.

This event is the sort that cements ones sentiments about the greatness of publishing and reinforces all the reasons why one is a part of it.

Thursday night I got some news my brain couldn’t understand or accept. Rosalie Lightning Hart was dead. The words just didn’t make sense.

Rosalie was the daughter of two dear friends of mine, Tom Hart and Leela Corman. Tom and Leela are both cartoonists, much-loved by the comics community. Earlier this year they set off for Gainesville Florida to start a new cartooning school, SAW. I’ve had the good fortune to teach with Tom on several occasions. He’s more than a friend, he’s a mentor. He’s shown me what it means to be a diligent and passionate comics educator. I’ve tried, and still try, to learn from his example.

Rosalie was almost two years old. She died in her sleep. It still doesn’t make sense. This is not how the world is supposed to work.

Since news of this tragedy broke, comics fans all over the world have shared their grief. Cartoonist Lauren Weinstein started a fund to support the family in this difficult time.

I will be hosting the Annual Post Thanxgiving Comix and Graphic Novelist Night here in New York City. It’s a duty I inherited from Tom, who hosted it for several years. The event will be held in Rosalie’s memory. We will be holding a raffle to raise funds for the family. If you can, please stop by and show your support.

Comix and Graphic Novelist Night at KGB Bar
Sunday November 27 at 7pm
85 E 4th St, New York, NY


Josh Bayer, Raw Power and Suspect Device
Josh Bayer is a Cartoonist/Artist/illustrator living in Harlem, NY. He began publishing his comics in 1988. Since then, he has collaborated with Raymond Pettibon, been listed in Best American Comics, been rejected by The Yes Men’s Fake NY Times project. He is an advisor at the Sequential Art Workshop and a teacher in schools all over New York.

Jeffrey Lewis, Fuff
Born and raised Lower East Sider Jeffrey Lewis leads a double-life, as both a comic book writer/artist and a musician (or is that a triple-life?). His critical writings on the comic book Watchmen have led to Jeffrey lecturing all over the world. Jeffrey’s most recent self-published comic book Fuff is an anthology series combining biographical pieces, fiction, and travelogues, and is currently up to issue eight.

Jason Little, Motel Art Improvement Service
Jason Little’s Jack’s Luck Runs Out was the first Xeric-funded comic book to be printed in color. His first graphic novel, Shutterbug Follies won two Ignatz awards. His second book continues the “Bee” series with Motel Art Improvement Service. Jason teaches cartooning at the School of Visual Arts and curated three exhibits of comics-as-installation-art at the Flux Factory.

Morgan Pielli, Indestructible Universe
Morgan Pielli has self-published his short fiction series Indestructible Universe Quarterly since 2008. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies; including Sundays and Funny Aminals, and newspapers such as The Vermont Commons and Bash Comics Weekly.

MK Reed, Americus
MK Reed is the author of Americus, drawn by Jonathan Hill & released this fall by First Second, and draws the web comic, About a Bull. Americus first appeared as a short story in Papercutter #7 and was nominated for a 2008 Ignatz for “Outstanding Story”.

The 3-day biannual Baker & Taylor CATS (Children’s And Teen Services) Publisher Presentations for Winter-Spring 2012 took place in Branchburg, New Jersey this week. On Wednesday, Nov. 16th the large conference room at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) was packed with about 200 librarians as Carol Burrell, Graphic Universe’s Editorial Director and presenter extraordinaire, went into high gear showcasing Lerner’s exiting new list of books. The spirited presentation, utilizing PowerPoint and two large screens flanked at her sides, was met with enthusiasm and interest from the seasoned crowd. A mounting sense that Lerner’s new book lineup are strong contenders in the highly competitive publishing field is rapidly taking shape, yet again this year.

Other publishers (and competitors of Lerner) on hand Wednesday to present their lists were Candlewick, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster. In addition, raffle tickets were drawn, awards handed out, and a charming new picture book titled M.O.M. (Mom Operating Manual) by New York Times Bestsellers Doreen Cronin and Laura Cornell (published by Simon & Schuster) was presented with a subsequent signing.

Lunch followed and the Graphic Universe team (Carol, Robyn and Danny) were delighted to discover that the sandwiches and desserts tasted unusually good on what was a wet and dreary autumn New Jersey day–albeit a successful one.

The GU Blog… written, scribbled, drawn, and tweeted by GU's editorial director and stalwart editorial assistant.

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