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ALA Midwinter: The Rise, Fall, and Trends in YA Comics

Wonder Woman reading poster
Wonder Woman Read poster available from the ALA Store!

The year 1953 was the height of comics in the United States. Children that year bought 1 billion new comics — that’s just over 30 comics per school-aged child. Most comics sold at 10 cents a copy, had a first run of around 500,000 copies, and would end up in the hands of five to eight different children per copy. Want to take a guess at how that compares to the top-selling children’s book that year? Black Stallion Returns was the top-selling book in 1953, and it sold only 60,000 copies.

Yet the American comics industry as we know it today — and that includes all types of graphic novels and comics and manga — sold only 80 million new comics in 2012. That’s fewer comics sold than in a single month of 1953.

This rise and fall of comics in the United States was the topic of an outstanding talk by Carol L. Tilley on Saturday, January 26 at the ALA Midwinter meeting. She delved into the reasons for the decline in comics readership, the state of the comics industry today, and the relationship between librarians and comics over the years.


How to Host a YMA Viewing Party

yma-2013-alertWith less than a week to go until the Youth Media Awards (YMAs) are announced, it’s time to get serious about your plans for the morning of Monday, January 28. If you’re lucky enough to be at Midwinter, you can skip the rest of this post: obviously you’ll be at the announcements in person. If, like me, you couldn’t make it to Midwinter, don’t worry! You can still celebrate the biggest day of the year in children’s and YA literature. I’ve got you covered. Here are the basic ingredients for hosting your own YMA viewing party.

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