Star Wars All-Ages Graphic Novels Coming, Scholastic Under Fire For Siloing Diverse Books | Comic Book Club News For October 24, 2023

comic book club news october 24 2023

Dark Horse Comics is launching a line of all-ages Star Wars graphic novels. Scholastic is under fire for siloing diverse books at its Book Fairs. All on Comic Book Club News for October 24, 2023


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Episode Transcript:

Scholastic is under fire.

All-ages Star Wars graphic novels coming.

This is Comic Book Club News for October 24, 2023.

Scholastic Under Fire For Separating Diverse Books At Book Fairs:

Hot on the heels of Banned Books Week, and increasing calls to ban graphic novels like Heartstopper and Gender Queer, Scholastic has decided to throw flint on the fire. Or rather, books.

In a message posted on social media as well as their News Room, Scholastic explained their decision to create an additional collection for their Book Fair titled Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice. They explained that they are not “putting all diverse titles into one optional case… There is now enacted or pending legislation in more than 30 U.S. states prohibiting certain kinds of books from being in schools – mostly LGBTQIA+ titles and books that engage with the presence of racism in our country. Because Scholastic Book Fairs are invited into schools, where books can be purchased by kids on their own, these laws create an almost impossible dilemma: back away from these titles or risk making teachers, librarians, and volunteers vulnerable to being fired, sued, or prosecuted.”

So instead, they are creating an additional collection, which schools can decide to include; or not. However, as many critics of the move have pointed out, while not all diverse or LGBTQ+ friendly books are on this list, it does make it much easier for bigots and racists to exclude those books by not including the volumes in their Book Fair.

Graphic Novels On Scholastic’s List:

More to the point of this podcast, Scholastic’s list of 64 books includes a number of graphic novels: Booked by Kwame Alexander; Freestyle by Gale Galligan; The Tryout by Christine Soontornvat; and Parachute Kids by Betty Tang; two Dragon Prince graphic novels; Because of You, John Lewis by Andrea Davis Pinkney; and Into the Heartlands: A Black Panther Graphic Novel by Roseanne A. Brown.

Hundreds of authors and illustrators have already spoken out about the move. We’ll continue to follow this story as it develops.

Dark Horse Launching All-Ages Star Wars Graphic Novels:

Dark Horse Comics and Lucasfilm are launching a line of original, all-ages graphic novels set in the THX-1138 universe. Just kidding, they’re Star Wars comics.

Titled Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories, the OGNs will each focus on a single Star Wars character, with the line kicking off with every child’s favorite, Qui-Gon Jinn.

Said writer George Mann: “I’m thrilled to be getting my hands on Qui-Gon at long last! He’s such an icon of the Prequel era, and it’s a real joy to be able to add to his story. Expect everything from lightsaber battles to creepy investigations, from dark side sects to familiar faces, as we check in on Qui-Gon at three pivotal moments in his life, venturing to the streets of Jedha as a Padawan, to the distant world of Cerosha as a lonesome Jedi Knight, and deep into the wreck of an ancient spaceship as a Jedi Master. Count Dooku! Young Obi-Wan! It’s all here!”

The initial line-up of characters includes Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Rey, General Grievous, Kylo Ren, and Darth Vader, as well as the aforementioned Qui-Gon. As well as Mann, the books are by Cecil Castellucci, Justina Ireland, and Michael Moreci. Art will be handled by Andrea Mutti, Lucas Marangon, Michael Atiyeh, and Nick Brokenshire.

The 80-page Qui-Gon Jinn book will arrive in bookstores on April 23, 2024, and in comic shops on April 24, 2024, for a suggested retail price of $19.99.

Podcast Outro:

For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And just to throw it out there, how about an all-ages Watto graphic novel? That would be so wizard.

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