Comics Alternative for Young Readers: The Eisner Award Nominations for Early Readers, Kids, and Teens

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:27 – Introduction
  • 00:02:57 – Context of the 2017 Eisner Awards
  • 00:06:14 – Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
  • 00:57:02 – Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
  • 01:49:53 – Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
  • 02:52:17 – Wrap up
  • 02:53:05 – Contact us

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Jam-Packed

This month, Gwen and Paul discuss the three Eisner Award categories that focus on comics for young readers. And this is a jam-packed, extra-long episode! As they work through each set of nominees, Paul and Gwen discuss the value of prizing in general and the challenges faced by the judges when they must cull such a small number of texts from a pool that is increasingly deep. Inevitably, they mention many other texts that felt were strong contenders for recognition, making this episode a great resource for any parent, child, teen, or teacher who is eager to learn about this year’s great comics.


Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

Comic News Insider Episode 744 – CNI’s Best of 2016!

Comic News Insider: Episode 744 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

It’s our Best of 2016! And just like last year, Jimmy sits down with The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald and good pal Jon Hoche to go over their 2016 favorites in comic books, TV and film. They didn’t read or watch everything released that year, so it’s just the Best of what they did read/watch. Fun discussions on great comics, their creators, TV shows, films, actors and more. What were your favorites last year? Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comics Alternative for Young Readers: Reviews of The Backstagers #1 and Snow White

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Discussions, Old and New

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Time Codes:

  • 00:27 – Introduction
  • 03:22 – Context for listeners
  • 06:02 – The controversy surrounding Ghosts
  • 30:26 – The Backstagers #1
  • 40:12 – Show White
  • 59:04 – Wrap up
  • 59:28 – Contact us

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This episode of the Young Readers show begins with a special feature: Andy and Gwen return to a comic that they reviewed for the August YR show, Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts. They present a revised review of that comic, based upon a number of issues that have been raised in the last month by scholars and librarians regarding cultural appropriation and Telgemeier’s status as an outsider writing about the California missions and about the Dia de los Muertos celebrations that are a common feature of Mexican and Mexican American cultural life. Although the two PhDs typically try to avoid spoilers in their reviews, in this case, they mention specific events in the comic, so if you would like to wait until you have read Ghosts to listen to this segment, know that it occurs between the time codes 6:02 and 30:26.

As part of revisiting their discussion of Ghosts, Gwen and Andy bring up a number of resources that readers may wish to consult regarding issues of cultural appropriation, including Dr. Debbie Reese’s blog, American Indians in Children’s Literature; Dr. Laura Jiménez’s blog, Booktoss; and the Reading While White blog that is the creation of a number of librarians who are “allies for racial diversity and inclusion in books for children and teens.”

During the regular review portion of the podcast, Andy and Gwen discuss The Backstagers #1, written by James Tynion IV, drawn by Rian Sygh, with color by Walter Baiamonte, and lettering by Jim Campbell. This exciting, fast-paced comic, published by BOOM! Studios, has a lot in common with another BOOM! Studio’s hit series, Lumberjanes, so whether one is a veteran of theater productions or just likes ensemble comics that feature an eclectic cast of characters, then The Backstagers will fill the bill. For his part, Andy applauds Tynion and Sygh’s depiction of the people who do all of the hard work behind the scenes of a theater production, often without acclaim, and Gwen gives the series praise for its inclusion of a number of gay characters who are part of the stage crew. The Backstagers also includes supernatural elements that would appeal to young readers who have an interest in science fiction characters and settings.

Next, the two PhDs discuss Matt Phelan’s graphic novel, Snow White (Candlewick Press), an adaptation that is steeped in elements of film noir, and even silent film, while managing to comment on contemporary debates about the ethics of the pursuit of wealth. Set during the Great Depression, the evil queen becomes the Queen of Ziegfield Follies, and all of the energy and emotion of the era is expressed in Phelan’s exceptional watercolor panels that are intricately shaded and carefully colored. Andy discusses Phelan’s impressive career as an award-winning creator of such texts as The Storm in the Barn, which won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and he praises Phelan’s decision to allow the often sinister and gritty aspects that characterized eighteenth- and nineteenth-century folktale and fairytale variants to emerge in this version of Snow White. Although readers would not need to be familiar with the origin text, both Andy and Gwen agree that much of the power of the narrative comes from the way that Phelan translates familiar tropes such as the talking mirror into a Depression-era setting.

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Comics Alternative for Young Readers: Reviews of Mighty Jack and Ghosts

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All happy families…?

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Although some kids may not be so excited to be heading back to school, Gwen and Andy (the Two People with PhDs) give young readers cause to rejoice this month with the upcoming release of two new graphic novels: Mighty Jack (First Second) by Ben Hatke and Ghosts (Graphix/Scholastic) by Raina Telgemeier.

Andy starts things off with Mighty Jack, the story of a kid named Jack who’s not having a very fun summer. To make ends meet, Jack’s single mom finds a second job, but that means Jack will have sole responsibility of keeping an eye on his autistic sister Maddy. Maddy never speaks, until one day at a flea market she shocks Jack by telling him that he must buy a box of seeds from a sketchy-looking man. Later, as Jack and Maddy plant a garden with their new seeds, weird, magical, and dangerous things begin to happen.

Next, Gwen introduces the highly-anticipated new book by Raina Telgemeier, Ghosts. It’s the story of Catrina and her family as they move from Los Angeles to the Northern California coast, hoping the climate will agree with Cat’s sister Maya, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. Cat is shocked to discover that everyone in their new town seems obsessed with ghosts, even Maya. Cat just wishes they could just go back to L.A., but her parents — and perhaps the ghosts — have other plans.

Gwen and Andy point out elements common in both books: parental issues, sibling rivalries and bonding, freedom, danger, and fear of the unknown. Both books are multilayered, superbly told, and they should appeal equally to readers young and old (something of a rarity these days). Although their art styles are quite different, these two books demonstrate that Hatke and Telgemeier are both masterful storytellers. These creators are producing what are perhaps their best works. It’s an exciting time for comics readers of all ages, and these are two books to pick up with confidence.

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Comic News Insider Episode 702 – SDCC Recap w/ Raina Telgemeier/John Layman/Jeffrey Brown/Dr. Andrea Letamendi!

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Comic News Insider: Episode 702 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Jimmy was at San Diego Comic Con and all we got was this lousy t-shirt! It was a crazy busy time and he covered a ton of press rooms from Orphan Black to Supergirl to The Walking Dead. He also had a chance to do some 1:1s. You’ll hear him chat with the awesome Raina Telgemeier about her upcoming graphic novel, Ghosts, as well as her past work. Jimmy talked to Jeffrey Brown about the first book in his new series Lucy and Andy Neanderthal. He also talked to old buddy John Layman about the Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens comic he’s writing as well as wrapping up his big hit Chew. And finally, you can sit in on Jimmy’s annual therapy session…uh…interview with psychologist friend Dr. Andrea Letamendi. They talk about the psychology of some recent superhero films and more! No news or reviews or Top 3 in this episode as he’s still recovering from it all. But you get a quick recap with some highlights!

Over the next few weeks, there wont be a regular format show. You’ll get a lot of special episodes covering the press rooms for Arrow, Animaniacs, Agents of SHIELD, The, Flash, Gotham, Supergirl, The Walking Dead, iZombie, Justice League: Action, The Powerpuff Girls, We Bare Bears, Teen Titans Go, Legends of Tomorrow, Orphan Black, Rick and Morty, Riverdale, Steven Universe, and Wynonna Earp. Special thanks to Kelly Bedard of My Entertainment World for partnering up and covering some of the rooms that Jimmy couldn’t cover.

Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comic News Insider Episode 682 – Raising the Batt Signal!

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Comic News Insider: Episode 682 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Black Panther Vol 6 #1, Empress #1, The Fix #1, Grizzly Shark #1, Fear the Walking Dead

Jimmy is joined in studio by good pal/animator Jim Batt. They discuss his awesome Kickstarter project with Neil Gaiman. They also chat about the Star Wars: Rogue One trailer as well as the new Suicide Squad one. Jimmy talks about a couple of deaths on big TV shows last week but stays mostly spoiler-free. News includes: Gerard Way gets new comic imprint at DC called Young Animal, Image Expo announces a slew of new comic projects, Dark Horse is bringing Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens, Image announces Creators for Creators initiative, Garth Ennis/Darick Robertson’s The Boys is becoming a live action show on Cinemax, Freeform is developing a Cloak and Dagger series, Archie is publishing a new Betty and Veronica series along with a new Kevin Keller series, and Animaniacs is finally on Netflix! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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