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What was likely the busiest New York Comic Con ever, this year’s highly anticipated fall extravaganza, once again, drew an energetic array of Graphic Universe authors, illustrators, agents, and fans to Big Apple’s Javits Center.

A frenetic scene at the Graphic Universe booth at the heart of Comic Con

All the way from Denmark, came Lars Jakobsen, creator of the greatly enjoyable GU series Mortensen’s Escapades. Lars’ talent was on full display Friday as he illustrated and signed images of his eponymous time traveling main character. He feverishly drew so many original vignettes in the hour that he could have probably completed a new volume.

Eager fans lining up for autographs from Mortensen’s Escapades author-illustator Lars Jakobsen (left) and Guinea PIG author Colleen AF Venable (right)

The next day, and perhaps the most frenetic of the weekend, saw two memorable GU signings. First, the prolific author Dan Jolley provided autographs for several of his recent titles—The Girl Who Owned a City and My Boyfriend is a Monster series. It was followed that afternoon by the Eisner-nominated dynamic duo of author-illustrator Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue who captivated the crowd with their latest Guinea PIG title Raining Cats and Detectives.

Graphic Universe author Dan Jolley handing over a signed copy of his book (left); Little White Duck Illustrator Andrés Vera Martínez with Lindsay Matvick, Lerner Senior Publicist (right)

Sunday was designated “Kids Day’, which was a perfect fit for the Illustrator-author husband and wife team of Andrés Vera Martínez and Na Liu who showcased their starred reviewed book Little White Duck. Fitting because their delightful young daughter, Mei Lan, was there to sign books too. And I must say she demonstrated an early gift for the activity.

Kathleen Clarke, Lerner Trade Show Manager with Robyn Chapman, Graphic Universe Editorial Assistant (left picture); Convention goer chatting with Carol Burrell, Graphic Universe Editorial Director and GU author Dan Jolley (right)

In addition, Spanish agent and friend Eduardo Alpuente, who represents many GU contributors (illustrators, colorists, and letterists) overseas made several appearances at the GU booth. The most memorable one was when accompanied by a friend, Alberto, a master magician, who mesmerized us with an impromptu card trick.

A young Guinea PIG fan (left); One of thousands of eye catching costumes at Comic Con; and Lars Jakobsen posing as Mortensen (pictured right) with Kasper Bent Rasmussen, Assistant Cultural Officer of the Royal Danish Consulate General (left)

And, of course, the convention couldn’t have been carried out without the tireless efforts and well-honed skills of the Lerner staff, including Lerner VP, Director of Marketing Terri Souter, the very pregnant Senior Publicist Lindsay Matvick, Lerner Trade Show Manager Kathleen Clark, GU Editorial Director Carol Burrell, and GU Editorial Assistant Robyn Chapman.

 (above) A variety of fans gathered for autographs at the Graphic Universe booth

In an adjacent hall was “Artist Alley”, a venue where independent artists showcased their works.

Carol Burrell, Editorial Director, participating on a panel discussion (left); A quiet moment at the GU booth with The Little Prince display in foreground

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Graphic Universe’s much anticipated and beautifully produced new book Little White Duck: A Childhood in China received a star review from Kirkus. The book is about sisters growing up in Wuhan, China immediately following the Cultural Revolution and Chairman Mao Zedong’s decades-long reign. Kirkus calls Little White Duck, “a striking glimpse into Chinese girlhood during the 1970s and ’80s.”

Based on the early life of the book’s author, Na Liu—now a doctor of hematology and oncology—and illustrated by her husband, Andrés Vera Martínez—an award-winning artist and graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the School of Visual Arts—this page-turner is described by Kirkus as “beautifully drawn and quietly evocative.” The book explores, in eight stories, the childhood of the author—who was nicknamed Da Qin (Big Piano) and her younger sister, Xiao Qin (little piano), in Wuhan, one of the nation’s largest cities, right along the Yangtze. Different aspects of China’s history are weaved into the book—from the “Four Pests Campaign” (a time in the late 1950s and early 1960s when the country fought back against the ravages of rats, flies, mosquitoes, and cockroaches) to the observance of the Chinese New Year—Na’s favorite holiday and a time of national pride and great celebration.

Judging by its initial reception, this book’s universal appeal has the ability to educate and inspire young and old and people from a wide range of ethnic and religious backgrounds. In other words, this book is a clear winner.

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