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Episode 30 - Teachers, with Cathy G. Johnson

More and move all over America, comics are being used in schools -- in classes, in school libraries, in book reports and reading requirements. How are teachers working to bring comics into their classrooms? We talk to educator and graphic novelist Cathy G. Johnson about her work teaching comics to elementary, middle, and secondary school kids and teens in this episode. Want to know more about Cathy G. Johnson? You can find her on Twitter at @cathygjohn ( or at...


Episode 29 - Libraries, with Robin Brenner

Libraries! They're in every town in the United States -- and many of them have comics and graphic novels in them. How did that state of affairs come to pass? And how do librarians support graphic novels, both with buying them and adding them to their collections, and with promoting them to their patrons? In this episode, we talk with Robin Brenner, Teen Librarian at the Public Library of Brookline -- and one of the first librarians to begin advocating for comics in libraries in the US --...


Episode 28 - Distribution, with Julie Schaper

Distribution! What stores is your graphic novel in, and where is it displayed? Is it reaching the school and library market? Is it featured in museum stores and gift shops? Those questions are in part answered by what kind of graphic novel you've created, and what kind of critical acclaim it's receiving. But there's another major factor that goes into the mix, and that's distribution. Major publishers have their own distribution; smaller publishers will work with a larger distribution to...


Episode 27 - Sales, with Jess Brigman

One of the jobs most shrouded in mystery at a publisher (at least for an author) is that of a sales rep. Who are they? What do they do? Despite the fact that editors, marketing, and publicity people spend a lot of time talking to sales reps, often those reps don't interact at all with authors directly. Sales reps are responsible for being the intermediary between the publisher and the retail outlets the publisher sells books to. They're responsible for making sure that stores know that books...


Episode 26 - Bookstores and Comics Stores, with Jake Shapiro

We've talked about bookstores and comics stores before on Graphic Novel TK -- in fact, in our two episodes immediately prior to this! But how are bookstores and comics stores different? Are all their differences encompassed by the fact that one has books and comics and the other just comics? Or are there things that are different about the way they're structured and the way they operate? We talked today to Jake Shapiro, who has worked at both NYC's The Strand and DC's Fantom Comics, about...


Episode 25 - Bookstores, with Jessica Stockton Bagnulo

Bookstores! They're so full of . . . books. But what about comics? What's their place there? How can people who make comics work to try to find their work a home in a physical space that mostly reaches book readers? What is the audience like? Today we talk to Greenlight Bookstore co-owner Jessica Stockton Bagnulo about how she thinks about comics in bookstores, and how she and her staff to feature authors and books that they like. How big a part of her job is comics-related? Listen to find...


Episode 24 - Comic Stores, with Patrick Brower and W. Dal Bush

You're going to be an author! But how do you get your books to actually sell? After you've told your friends and family that your book exists, you still have to convince the rest of the people in the world that they should buy it. And your best allies on that front can be bookstores and comics stores, who spend all day every day talking to people about how they should buy graphic novels from them. Today, we talk to the co-owners of Eisner Award-winning comics store Challengers Comics +...


Episode 23 - Publicity, with Maya Bradford

Media! Reviews! It's amazing when you make a book, and then people start talking about it -- online, in print, on the radio, and sometimes even on television. It can seem like that happens spontaneously -- a book gathering praise like a snowball rolling down a hill and accumulating snow -- and that can sometimes be the case. But there's also someone whose job it is to build that snowball and give it a push: a publicist. Today we talk to the woman who coordinates the publicity for Abrams...


Episode 22 - Marketing, with Tucker Stone

Marketing is making sure that the people who would be excited for a particular book know about it, and about how great it is. How does a publisher makes sure that happens? Generally they employ someone whose job is to figure it out. Today we talk to Tucker Stone all about marketing. Until recently, Tucker ran the marketing, publicity, and sales at Nobrow, and now he works for the books and comics distributor Consortium. In today's episode, we discuss his experiences with how to get books out...


Episode 21 - Advocating for a Book, with Connie Hsu

Your editor will edit your book! But what else does an editor at a publishing house do? They're the first person at a publishing house to get excited about a book and how amazing it is. How do they work with all the rest of the people at the publishing house -- their boss, the other editorial and design staff, and the marketing, publicity, and sales staff -- to make sure that everyone realizes just how great a book they have on their hands? How much of their job is managing that conversation...


Episode 20 - Graphic Novel Printing, with Linda Palladino

Paper + ink = book! But how does that paper combine with the ink to make a book? What dread machine combines the two -- and how does it get them to look like a comic in all the right colors in the correct trim size and with a cover that has spot gloss in the right place? Today we take a trip inside the printer to find out the answer to all these questions (and so many more). Joining us on Graphic Novel TK to explore these mysteries is Linda Palladino, the Vice President and Director of...


Episode 19 - Book Blurbs, with Diana Pho

Sometimes when you pick up a book, you'll find a quote from an author (not the one who wrote the book) on the cover saying how great they thought the book was. That's a book blurb! And in this episode of Graphic Novel TK, book blurbs are the focus: we talk about how to get them, who to get them from, when to get them, and why (and if) they're important. We're so pleased to have Tor Editor Diana Pho join us to talk about book blurbs, outlining in great detail her whole process and philosophy...


Episode 18 - Comics as a Full-Time Career, with Jen Wang

Making comics full time is the dream for a lot of people in the comics industry! But what does being a full-time cartoonist mean practically? What do you do every day? And can you make enough to live on? We're excited to talk to Jen Wang, the creator of the graphic novels Koko Be Good, In Real Life, and The Prince and the Dressmaker, about exactly those things (and all the questions in between). And in addition to her graphic novel work, Jen also does freelance illustration and co-founded...


Episode 17 - Cover Design, with Colleen AF Venable

Can you judge a book by its cover? That's what cover designers aim for -- creating a cover so amazing that the people who would want to read the book are drawn to pick it up. And covers are probably the most-seen parts of books -- the book's visual identity. Today, we talk to Colleen AF Venable, Art Director at Odd Dot, about why cover design is important, and about how the process works for her and for the author (which as an author herself, she has a lot of experience with). Find out more...


Episode 16 - Production, with Alexa Villanueva

How do books get made? You might think that's a comprehensive statement about the theme of our podcast -- but for this episode, we're focusing specifically on how physical books actually get made: the process of working with a printer to produce physical book objects. Turns out: it's fascinating! And also complicated. Today we talk to First Second's Production Manager, Alexa Villanueva, about how she works with the team at First Second and the printer and a shipping company and a warehouse...


Episode 15 - Listener Q&A, with Alison and Gina

Comics and graphic novel publishing! It can be a strange and confusing landscape if you're not someone who has spent a lot of time working closely with the industry. (It can be a strange and confusing landscape even then!) For this episode, we asked GN TK listeners to send us any questions that you have about how publishing works -- anything that we haven't covered yet or is particularly topical, involved, or that we didn't get into enough depth about when we talked about it previously. So...


Episode 14 - Comics Design, with Hilary Thompson

Designers have one of the most visible jobs in comics -- someone puts the covers and the page layouts and the lettering and the page numbers and the files from the artist and the colorist all together on the page, right? But how does a designer's job work? What do they do on a day-to-day basis? In this episode, we talk to Hilary Thompson from Oni Press about all of these things. Hilary takes us through the process and timeline of creating graphic novels and pamphlet comics at Oni -- and...


Episode 13 - Managing Editorial, with Jill Freshney

There are a number of jobs in publishing that happen behind the scenes -- and one of them is the Managing Editor. In this episode, we talk to Jill Freshney about what's involved in being a Managing Editor (spoiler: it includes scheduling, data management, copy-editing, and a whole lot of other administrative management and process development/maintenance). Jill shares some information about how authors and Managing Editorial staff interact, how to deal with copy-edit changes, and thoughts on...


Episode 12 - Finishing a Graphic Novel, with Jenni Holm

So you're making your graphic novel -- and you're coming to the end. The final page/final panel is in sight. Yay! It is an exciting milestone you are approaching: soon you will be entirely done with your book. But is that really the end? When you put your pen down after inking that last panel, are you done with the process of making a graphic novel? Is there more to do after that? To answer those questions, we talk with best-selling, award-winning author Jenni Holm about what happens around...


Episode 11 - How to Make a Graphic Novel, with Carey Pietsch

You've got a book deal! Or a self-publishing plan! A graphic novel is your next project. Yay you! But how do you go from a book deal, or a plot idea, to a final finished book? What does your day-to-day work look like? How do you plan for the process that takes you from the blank paged to a comic? In this episode, we talk to Carey Pietsch about the creative and logistical process she embarks upon when she's creating a comics project. From scheduling to strategy, she has some amazing advice!...