November 16th, 2009

IBBY comics conference

Hooray! These annual conferences are usually about picture books, but this year they spent the whole day discussing COMICS!!! Things are changing in children's book publishing, I tell you... The conference was the 16th Annual meeeting of British IBBY (International Board on Books for Young people) and NCRCL (the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature).

Look, one of the coordinator's daughters sent me a comic! This one's by Emilia Lamkin, who just turned nine. Isn't it great? Thanks, Emilia! (Click to read a larger version!)

I was having a bad day with technology, so I didn't take hardly any photos. The climax of this was when my phone went off in the middle of Paul Gravett's talk on French comics. I hate my mobile, I try to use it as little as possible, which means I never think about it. I'm one of those people who tutt like mad when someone's phone goes off in the middle of the opera, and now I am one of them... THE SHAME. To make matters worse, I was so embarrassed when I came back in that I stumbled my way back across everyone's legs into the WRONG ROW. I started to pick up someone else's stuff on the wrong chair when I suddenly realised I was doing, and stood there, petrified, wondering if I could jump over the seat in front of me until the whole back two rows burst into wild snickering. (Oh my goodness, I'm going red all over again. Sorry, Paul!!!)

Paul's talk was great, he focused a lot on things that Cinebook are putting out. I was sitting next to the DFC's Jim Medway, who had read several of the books and recommended The Bellybuttons: it's Ugly out There! by Maryse Dubuc & Marc Delafontaine, and First Second's Klezmer: Tales of the Wild East by Joann Sfar.

My big discovery of the day was at the Newham Bookshop stall, where John and Julie Newman was selling copies of German creator Wolf Erlsbruch's Duck, Death and the Tulip. This book is brilliant!

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Related DFC person news: Did you know that Woodrow Phoenix is on a book tour in India for his remarkable graphic novel about road safety, Rumble Strip? You can see photos from his trip here and read his blog about his trip on the British Council website here. Oh, and you know how I was talking about Marcia Williams letting the storytelling dictate the format; Woodrow touches on some similar issues in his blog post here.