Penguin Sues Iowa, Dwayne McDuffie Genius Grant Award Launched, Anyone Comics Closing (And Reopening) | Comic Book Club News For December 1, 2023

Comic Book Club News December 1 2023 dwayne mcduffie anyone comics penguin random house

Penguin Random House is suing Iowa over its book ban. Dwayne McDuffie’s widow has launched the Dwayne McDuffie Genius Grant Award. Anyone Comics in Brooklyn is closing, and then reopening. All on Comic Book Club News for December 1, 2023.


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Episode Transcript:

Penguin sues Iowa.

Dwayne McDuffie Genius Grant Award launched.

Anyone Comics closing (and reopening).

This is Comic Book Club News for December 1, 2023.

Penguin Random House Sues Iowa Over Book Ban:

A few weeks back, we reported the story about Scholastic segmenting books they were worried might get banned into their own category, leading to outrage from authors and some quick backpedaling from the publisher. Penguin Random House is taking things a step in the opposite direction, and is part of a lawsuit in Iowa attempting to reverse the state’s book ban.

As reported by the Des Moines Register, along with Penguin Random House, the Iowa State Education Association, and four authors — Laurie Halse Anderson; John Green; Malinda Lo; and Jodi Picoult — filed the lawsuit on Thursday. Also included are parents and educators who say they were forced to remove books from shelves.

While the authors listed are all prose novelists for the most part, multiple Penguin Random House graphic novels have been banned from Iowa schools: Flamer, by Mike Curato; New Kid and Class Act, by Jerry Craft; The Cardboard Kingdom, by Chad Sell; and The Magic Fish, by Trung Le Nguyen. Oh, and also Maus by Art Spiegelman.

The law in Iowa bans books that have “depictions or descriptions of sex acts,” and the lawsuit is hoping to declare that law a violation of First and 14th Amendment rights.

Penguin Random House CEO Nihar Malaviya said in a statement: “We know that not every book we publish will be for every reader, but we must protect the right for all Americans, including students, parents, caregivers, teachers and librarians, to have equitable access to books and to continue to decide what they read.”

To that we here at Comic Book Club News say: heck yeah.

Dwayne McDuffie Genius Grant Award Launched:

Dwayne McDuffie, the late, great comic book creator, is getting his own honorary grant award. Named the Dwayne McDuffie Genius Grant Award, and run by McDuffie’s widow Charlotte McDuffie, the annual scholarship is being awarded to a young African-American student entering The Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where McDuffie attended as a child.

McDuffie is probably best known to comic book fans as one of the architects behind Milestone Comics, and Static, in particular. He also created Damage Control at Marvel, among other properties. Though he passed away in 2011, his wife and many others have continued to blaze the torch of education he championed, through comic books and otherwise.

Instructions on supporting the fund were shared on The Dwayne McDuffie Page on Facebook. A ceremony honoring McDuffie’s memory will be held at the school in February 2024.

Anyone Comics Is Closing, And Then Reopening:

Sad news: Brooklyn’s beloved Anyone Comics is closing. Good news: it’s reopening around the corner on December 13.

As reported by The Beat, though the overall new space of the shop, which is guided by rules of inclusivity — per the name — will be smaller, the show floor should be bigger. And more importantly, costs will be reduced by 43%. At a time when the industry is all once again lamenting how comics are dying or whatever, this is a rare bit of positive news.

So there you go! Hooray.

For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And sad news this is our last Comic Book Club News podcast. For the week. There’s a new one on Monday!

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