Raina Telgemeier’s GHOSTS Wins McDuffie Award, PLUS Surprise Book Giveaway!

June 19th, 2017

Ghosts - Raina

The third annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids Comics was given to Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival on June 17. In accepting the award, Telgemeier turned a spotlight on ten other excellent books for young readers, all of them by diverse creators. Those books were:

NewsPrints by Ru Xu
Lowriders in Space Book 1 by Cathy Camper and Raul the Third
The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
Little White Duck by Na Liu
Lola: A Ghost Story by J. Torres and Elbert Orr
Giants Beware by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre
Phoebe and her Unicorn Book 1 by Dana Simpson
Lucky Penny by Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
How to Find a Fox by Nilah Magruder

Raina giveaways

After describing the ten titles, Telgemeier surprised the audience by announcing that she had purchased one hundred books—ten each of the ones she had just highlighted—to give away to young people in attendance. Following the award ceremony, the giveaway table was mobbed by young readers.

“In the spirit of sharing the love of comics,” Telgemeier said, “I decided to take this opportunity to share some of my favorite comics with the audience at A2CAF, in the hope that they will find more amazing work to discover.”

Svetlana Chmakova’s AWKWARD Wins Dwayne McDuffie Award

June 21st, 2016

The second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics was presented to Svetlana Chmakova’s Awkward this weekend at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (A2CAF).

Awkward tells a story that is very much of this moment but at the same time ageless—a story about the missteps of middle school, about rivalries and hurt feelings, and about the many twists and turns of friendship. Of the scores of comics from 2015 read by the judges, Chmakova’s book best met the four main criteria for selection: Quality, Timelessness, Originality and Diversity.

Those four values represent core concerns of Kids Read Comics, the nonprofit that sponsors A2CAF and the McDuffie Award. They also fit the man the award was named for. Dwayne McDuffie was a comics and animation writer, a winner of the Humanitas Prize, and the creator of Static, the teenaged superhero who first appeared in 1993, and Static Shock, the animated series based on the comic. McDuffie was an enthusiastic supporter of Kids Read Comics who believed in comics and believed in kids. He shared KRC’s belief that comics can expand young minds and change young lives for the better.

There is no more appropriate name to attach to an award that showcases the incredible variety of outstanding comics currently being created for kids and teens.

In accepting the award on video, Svetlana Chmakova said, “When I heard about the award, I was so happy to see that one of the four judging criteria was diversity. When I create my work, inclusion is something that’s always at the forefront of my mind. And not just because I think it’s actually overdue…but also because I was an immigrant, and I experienced it. I experienced inclusion.” Recapturing what that experience meant to her, she added, “I was a kid and it was so important.”

“While I’m truly, truly thankful to be the recipient of this year’s award,” Chmakova went on to say, “I’m even more thankful that this award exists.”

Judges for this year’s Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics were Edith Donnell, a Kids Read Comics cofounder and youth and teen librarian; Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, manager of Little Island Comics, a comic shop exclusively for kids; Eva Volin, a children’s librarian and comics-in-libraries advocate; and Marv Wolfman, a comics and animation writer and editor whose storied career goes back nearly half a century.

The Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival is held annually at the Ann Arbor (Michigan) District Library, and features over fifty artists alley guests ranging from national bestselling authors and award winners—this year including Cece Bell, Kazu Kibuishi, Nathan Hale, Tom Angleberger and Ben Hatke—to teenaged cartoonists and even younger students from local cartooning classes. A2CAF programming focuses largely on hands-on workshops and interactive drawing games, allowing event attendees of all ages and skill levels to participate. The event attracts approximately 3,000 visitors each year.


May 13th, 2016

Check out the Programming page at the A2CAF website to learn about all–and we do mean all–the fantastic and fun events you can take part in at this year’s show!

Starting with the A2Inkubate preconference/unconference for educators, librarians and cartoonists on Friday, June 17!

It’s all free!!

Drawing Events


A2CAF Guest List Is Live!

April 27th, 2016

A2CAF Guests 2016

Wondering who you’ll find in Artists Alley at A2CAF this year? Well wonder no more!

Our complete list of over 50 artist and writer guests (way more than we can feature in this small space) is available right here!

So check them out now…and meet them June 18 & 19 at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library!

It’s FREE!

Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics – 2016 Shortlist

April 24th, 2016

Kids Read Comics is proud to announce the shortlist for the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics, which will be handed out at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (A2CAF) on June 18.

The Award honors the pioneering comics and animation writer and Humanitas Prize winner Dwayne McDuffie, who cofounded Milestone Media and created the teen superhero Static among others. Judges seek out excellent comics aimed at children through age thirteen, scoring the work on four main criteria: Quality, Timelessness, Originality and Diversity.

After reading more than 100 volumes published in 2015, the judges narrowed the field to a list of ten that showcase today’s amazing variety of comics for young readers: fiction and nonfiction; of both American and international origin; fantasy adventure and slice-of-life realism; human and animal (and skeletal) protagonists; and work intended for readers from beginners to middle school.

On this year’s shortlist are the following:

McDuffie Shortlist 2016

AWKWARD, by Svetlana Chmakova, introduces Penelope (Peppi) Torres, a new girl at middle school who makes an embarrassing first day worse by hurting the feelings of another social misfit — and soon compounds a rivalry between the school’s art-nerds and science-nerds. (Yen Press)

CHI’S SWEET HOME, VOL.12, by Konami Kanata, concludes the story of the lost kitten adopted by Yohei Yamada and his family — as mischievous Chi finds her mother and faces an important decision about the future. (Vertical)

COURTNEY CRUMRIN VOL. 7: TALES OF A WARLOCK, by Ted Naifeh, tells the tale of Courtney’s Uncle Aloysius as a young man — joining the Anti-Sorcery Society’s crusade against witches and warlocks, while hiding his own magical ancestry. (Oni Press)

FLOP TO THE TOP! by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing offers a modern-day fable of fame and fandom — when the picture young Wanda posts of her floppy-eared bulldog goes viral and brings all the celebrity she’s ever dreamed of…but for the dog, not for her. (Toon Books)

THE FLYING BEAVER BROTHERS AND THE CRAZY CRITTER RACE, by Maxwell Eaton III, continues the adventures of Ace and Bub, and this time they’re tangled up in an island-hopping race with more at stake than the grand prize…as a fast-growing vine starts to entangle them all! (Random House)

HUMAN BODY THEATER, by Maris Wicks, gives readers a front-row seat for a theatrical revue of each and every biological system of the human body — courtesy of a skeletal master of ceremonies who puts on a new layer of her costume (that is, her body) with each act. (First Second)

LUMBERJANES, VOL. 1: BEWARE THE KITTEN HOLY, by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen, follows butt-kicking best friends Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley as they spend their summer at Lumberjanes scout camp…where yetis, three-eyed wolves and giant falcons await! (Boom Studios)

NATHAN HALE’S HAZARDOUS TALES: THE UNDERGROUND ABDUCTOR, by Nathan Hale, uncovers the true-life story of abolitionist Harriet Tubman — who was born into southern slavery and escaped to the north, embarking on a lifelong career to help other enslaved people find their freedom. (Abrams)

ULTRAMAN, by Tomohiro Shimoguchi and Eiichi Shimizu, is the story of Shinjiro, an ordinary teenager who inherits a family legacy that leads him to take on the role of Ultraman and defend planet Earth against a deadly alien invasion. (Viz)

THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL, VOL. 1: SQUIRREL POWER, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, collects the first five issues of the comic series that takes a whole new look at the Marvel universe of heroes and villains, as seen through the eyes of the nuttiest and most upbeat superhero in the world! (Marvel)

The judges for this year’s McDuffie Award are Edith Donnell, a Kids Read Comics cofounder and youth and teen librarian; Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, manager of Little Island Comics, a comic shop exclusively for kids; Eva Volin, a children’s librarian and comics-in-libraries advocate; and Marv Wolfman, a comics and animation writer and editor whose storied career goes back nearly half a century.

Kids Read Comics hosts the annual Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival — a free, weekend event for kids, teens and adults that features over 50 artists and writers and a full slate of interactive programs including many hands-on workshops — in collaboration with the Ann Arbor District Library. Guests at the 2016 show include Newbery Honor winner Cece Bell (El Deafo), bestselling children’s author Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda), and Eisner Award winner Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet).

A2CAF is immediately preceded by A2 Inkubate, a one-day conference for educators and librarians that’s aimed at helping them use comics successfully in their professional settings, and that connects them with cartoonists to work on advocacy for comics.

Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival has its own website!

January 30th, 2016

A2CAF Tumblr AvatarFor all the latest information on the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, check out the A2CAF website at (here’s a shocker) A2CAF.COM or A2CAF.ORG.

Comics creators who are interested in having a free Artists Alley table at this year’s A2CAF can find a link to the application form in the navigation area of the site. (Note that the deadline for applications is February 29.)

A2CAF Special Guests: Cece Bell and Tom Angleberger

December 18th, 2015

We’re thrilled to announce that our special guests at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival held on June 18 & 19, 2016 will be Cece Bell and Tom Angleberger!

In addition to her 2015 Newbery Honor Book, El Deafo, a comics memoir about growing up with hearing loss and an oversized hearing assistance device, Cece is an author and illustrator of children’s books including Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, Bee-Wigged, I Yam a Donkey, and the Sock Monkey series.

Tom has delighted elementary and middle school readers with books like Fake Mustache, Poop Fountain!, The Rat with the Human Face, Horton Halfpott, and Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run, as well as the popular Origami Yoda series (complete with folding instructions), which he also illustrated.

Cece and Tom are married (to each other!) and collaborated on the book Crankee Doodle.

At A2CAF, they will give the Saturday morning keynote presentation and participate in programming throughout the weekend. They’ll also be available for signing and for chatting one-on-one about comics and kids’ books.

Be sure to mark your calendar!

Kids Read Comics Presents: Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival!

December 18th, 2015

A2CAF Logo - tranparent bg

Beginning in 2016, Kids Read Comics’ annual two-day comics celebration, hosted by the wonderful Ann Arbor District Library, will have a new name: Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (A2CAF for short).

The Festival will still feature dozens of comics artists along with workshops, demonstrations and interactive drawing games. It will still be as kid- and family-friendly as ever. And attending the event will be free as always.

What we hope the new name makes clear is that young children aren’t the only ones who can enjoy a fun-packed Ann Arbor weekend filled with comics and creativity. We welcome teens and adults (always have) and offer a slate of guests and activities to meet a wide range of comics-related interests (ditto).

So join us as Kids Read Comics celebrates eight years of bringing comics excitement to Michigan libraries, when we inaugurate the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival on June 18 & 19, 2016 at the Ann Arbor District Library.

Keynote speakers at A2CAF 2016 will be Cece Bell, whose comics memoir El Deafo was named a Newbery Honor Book, and the children’s author Tom Angleberger, writer and illustrator of the bestselling Origami Yoda series.

Search #kidsreadcomics this weekend!

June 18th, 2015

Hashtag word balloonIf you can’t make it to Ann Arbor for the Kids Read Comics Festival this Saturday and Sunday, you can still check out the action on social media by searching the hashtag #kidsreadcomics.

Organizers, guests and fans have been invited to use the tag when they post photos and reports from KRC. And while it’s not quite like being there, you’ll be able to get an eyeful of what you’re missing…and maybe consider making plans to visit us at next year’s show.

So look for #kidsreadcomics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and wherever fine hashtags are used!

Cast Your Vote in the Kids’ Comics Revolution! Awards!

May 18th, 2015

The Kids’ Comics Revolution! Awards have become a big part of the annual Kids Read Comics festival, and voting has already begun. So it’s time for YOU to get in on the action!

The KCR! Awards celebrate everything you love about comics…including categories for “Best Hair,” “Grossest Thing” and “Most Tricked-out Ride” in your favorite comics. And you can vote for those — as well as favorite hero, webcomic, cartoonist and more — in three different ways:

  • Print out and mail in a ballot
  • Fill out an online ballot at comicsaregreat.com
  • Pick up your ballot at the Kids Read Comics information table at the Ann Arbor District Library on Saturday, June 20

Awards will be presented in a fabulous, fun, full-of-surprises ceremony on Sunday, June 21, at the conclusion of the Kids Read Comics weekend event!

More information and links are available right here! So what are you waiting for???