Banned Comic Books

Who’s afraid of comic books? Book bans across Missouri and the U.S. have often targeted graphic novels and comic books, especially those that depict issues of gender, sexuality and race. New Missouri laws will punish educators and school librarians who provide restricted materials to students with fines and jail time. This event considers banned comic books from the perspectives of the artists who create them and the advocates who defend them. Panel lineup includes:

  • Jerry CraftNew York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the graphic novels New Kid and Class Act. New Kid is the only book in history to win the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature (2020), the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature (2019), and the Coretta Scott King Author Award for the most outstanding work by an African American writer (2020).
  • Molly Carney, ACLU MO. Carney joined the ACLU of Missouri as a Staff Attorney in 2020. As a member of the legal team, she engages in all aspects of strategic litigation efforts to protect civil rights and liberties, including her current work on litigation and advocacy against book bans across Missouri.
  • Phoebe Gloeckner, graphic novelist. Gloeckner’s book The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2002) was praised as “one of the most brutally honest, shocking, tender, beautiful portrayals of growing up female in America.”

Discussion moderated by Rebecca Wanzo, professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Washington University. Wanzo is author of The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belongingwinner of the 2021 Eisner Award for Best Academic/Scholarly Work and the 2021 Charles Hatfield Book Prize from the Comics Studies Society.

Organized by Left Bank Books, St. Louis Public Library, and the Center for the Humanities and Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Arrangements for the appearance of Jerry Craft made through HarperCollins Speakers Bureau, NY, NY.

Banned Book Essay Contest

Essay contest details: 

Topic: What is your favorite banned book? Why?

What’s a banned book, you ask? Check this out: American Library Association list of banned books

Who can enter?: Current High school students in Brevard County, Florida

Evaluation criteria:

  • Understanding of the topic

  • Original thinking on the topic

  • Effectiveness in presenting a point of view

  • Literary style, grammar, and spelling

Length of essay: 500-800 words

Format: Double-spaced PDF document, including name, phone, and email address so we can contact you should you win (we will not contact you for any other reason, nor will we share your information with anyone for any reason).

How to submit your essay: Email your essay to helloagainbooks@gmail.com

Deadline to apply: All essays must be submitted by 11:59pm (ET) on Saturday, September 24, 2022, and it is free to enter. All essays will be considered.

Judging and announcing the winners:

Several cool folks from the Brevard community have agreed to serve as judges and will evaluate submissions based on the criteria above.

What you could win:

Contestants have the chance to win one of several awesome cash prizessponsored by the law firm, Goldman, Monaghan, Thakkar, & Bettin, P.A.:

  • One 1st prize: $500

  • 2nd prize: $250

  • 3rd prize: $100

  • 3 Honorable mentions: $50

***All winners will also receive a copy of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and a free banned book of their choice. All winners will also receive a $20 hello again books gift certificate from an anonymous donor. A BIG thank you to our sponsors!!!

Notice of results

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges, all members of the Brevard County community. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at 1pm on Saturday, October 8, at hello again books, 411 Brevard Ave, Cocoa, FL 32922.