2009 Cervantes Awards

Miami Book Fair International’s Comix Galaxy Partners with Diamond Book Distributors to Celebrate Graphic Novels and Comic Books Nov. 13-15

One of the highlights of this year’s Miami Book Fair International is the Comix Galaxy presented in partnership with Diamond Book Distributors. The unique partnership will introduce comprehensive programs on graphic novels and the comics world that will celebrate its legacy and recent rise in popularity and integration into the mainstream via bookstores, libraries and educational curricula all over the country. Comix Galaxy activities will begin at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 13 and continue through Nov. 15, 2009, at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.

Some of this year’s Comix Galaxy activities include: a New York City-favorite Kids’ Comic Con, an instructional exercise for children and teens taught by renowned artists; an artist alley where comics creators from all over the country will draw and sell artwork; two shows of original comics and graphic novel art; a panel discussion on the life and art of Harvey Kurtzman, legendary cartoonist and MAD Magazine creator; comics art exhibits; and more than 35 comics and graphic novel artists, writers, and other industry professionals.

Additionally, experts in the field of education will participate in “The School of Comics,” a day-long program that includes six sessions for teachers, librarians, parents and others who want to learn more about the format. There will also be a special training session for creators.

For a complete listing of all Miami Book Fair International’s events, including Comix Galaxy, visit

Among the creators participating in 2009 Miami Book Fair International’s Comix Galaxy programs:

Anyabwile, Dawud, Brotherman
Bliss, Harry, Luke on the Loose (TOON Books)

Briant, EdDon’t Look Now
Chaison, Nicole, The Passion of the Hausfrau (Villard)

Craft, Jerry, Mamas Boyz

Drozd, Jerzy, The Front   
Dysart, Joshua, Unknown Soldier (Vertigo/DC Comics)

Felix, Ray, Runaway Slave
Fies, Brian, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? (Abrams)
Goldman, Dan, 08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail (Three Rivers Press)
Gownley, Jimmy, Amelia Rules (Simon & Schuster)
Hassler, Kurt, Publishing Director, Yen Press
Hamilton, Tim, Fahrenheit 451, (Hill and Wang)

Hayes, Geoffrey, Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! (TOON Books)

Jacobson, Sid, Vlad the Impaler: The Man Who Was Dracula (Hudson Street Press) and Che: A Graphic Biography (Hill and Wang)

Kleid, Neil, The Big Kahn (NBM Publishing)    

Kuumba I, Mshindo, artist for Ania, Defiant, DC Comics

Marchetto, Marisa, Cancer Vixen (Pantheon)

Mariano, Mark, Happyloo and O-Matics in Comic

Mishkin, Dan, editor/publisher, Sugary Serials
Monnin, Katie Dr., Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom (Maupin House)

Morishima, Janna, Director of Diamond Kids Group at Diamond Book Distributors
Nash, Eric, Manga Kamishibai:  The Art of Japanese Paper Theater (Abrams)
Neufeld, Josh, A.D. After the Deluge (Pantheon)

O’Brien, Anne Sibley, The Legend of Hong Kil Dong
Pitchetsote, Pornsak, Unknown Soldier (Vertigo/DC Comics)

Ruiz, Fernando, Archie Comics

Salicrup, Jim, publisher, Papercutz Co.

Sandell, Laurie, The Impostor’s Daughter (Little, Brown and Company)   

Sikoryak, R., Masterpiece Comics (Drawn & Quarterly)
Simmons, Alex, Founder, Kids Comic Con, and Curator, Color of Comics exhibition
Small, David, Stitches (W.W. Norton and Co.)
Sturm, James, Adventures in Cartooning (First Second Press) and James Sturm’s America: God, Gold, and Golems (Drawn & Quarterly)
Tyler, Carol, You’ll Never Know (Fantagraphics)
Van Peebles, Melvin, Confessions of a Ex-Doofus-Itchy-Footed Mutha (Akashic Books)
Weil, Bob, Vice President and Executive Editor, W.W. Norton and Co.

Comix Galaxy Panel Discussions:


The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics

The creator of MAD and Playboy’s “Little Annie Fanny,” Harvey Kurtzman was called “one of the most important figures in postwar America” by the New York Times.  Kurtzman discovered Robert Crumb and gave Gloria Steinem her first job in publishing.  Terry Gilliam started at Kurtzman’s side, met an unknown John Cleese in the process, and the genesis of Monty Python took place.  Art Spiegelman has said that he owes his career to Kurtzman and Harvey is one of Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner’s favorite artists.  Harvey Kurtzman was an astonishingly talented and influential artist, writer, editor, and satirist without whom treasures such as Saturday Night Live, Airplane!, and The Simpsons may never have been conceived. The Art of Harvey Kurtzman panel promises to be a lively discussion about the life and work of comics innovator and hero Harvey Kurtzman, featuring author of the new book The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics, Denis Kitchen; Harvey’s daughter, Nellie Kurtzman; longtime editor of MAD Magazine, who worked directly with Kurtzman, Nick Meglin; and moderated by Abrams ComicArts Executive Editor, Charles Kochman.


Does the Color of Comics Matter?

Is there a want or need to discuss race and multi-cultural representation in the world of comics?  Does the reflection of a people in an entertainment medium have any affect on public perception on a global scale? Is “looking for a face like mine” relevant at a time when this nation has a Black president? These and other questions will be explored when artists featured in the Color of Comics art exhibit sit down with moderator and show curator Alex Simmons, writer for Archie Comics, for this panel discussion. Panelists include syndicated cartoonist, Jerry Kraft, Mama’s Boyz; Ray Felix, Runaway Slave; Dawud Anyabwile, Brotherman; Fernando Ruiz, Archie Comics; and Anne Sibley O’Brien, The Legend of Hong Kil Dong.


Archie Married Whom?!!! 

Members of the Archie Comics team (Mike Pellerito, Fred Mausser, Jon Goldwater, and Fernando Ruiz) will present a no holds-barred, fun-filled, and an insider’s look at this season’s internationally hot topic Archie’s Wedding. Moderator Alex Simmons will lead a discussion on such topics as, did Archie make the right choice by marrying Veronica; and what surprises are in store for the Riverdale redhead and the Archie Comics Funhouse?  


Comix Galaxy Art Exhibitions

MDC Wolfson Campus’ Centre Gallery, Bldg. 1, Third Floor


The Color of Comics: Miami

The Color of Comics: Miami exhibition seeks to illuminate the diversity of characters of color in comic art. One criticism levied at comic books is their lack of multi-cultural images and stories. And while this truth cannot be denied, the world community does need to be more honestly represented in comic books and graphic novels, as well as in other art forms, as a source of knowledge and inspiration to all people, we should not ignore the variety of material that has already been created. To shine a light on that body of work is the goal of The Color of Comics, an exhibition of original comics artwork by artists from throughout the United States as well as other countries. More than 30 out of 70 pieces highlight characters representing varied cultures and ethnicities--African, African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and Middle Eastern, among others. Created in various mediums, including some digital art, these images were derived from books published throughout the globe.  


The stories range from sword and sorcery tales in Europe and Korean myths and legends to social issues in Africa and superheroes and science fiction in America. The show provides a positive platform for young people to see themselves represented in comics, inviting them to consider their own pathways in this industry. It arms educators with a rich source of images and cultural contexts for classroom discussions on diversity and differences, while also providing them with information on how comic books are used in other countries to discus politics, health, and other social issues. Curated by comics creator and educator, Alex Simmons, The Color of Comics reflects the ability to bring people together to create a different view of our global community, and provides people from all backgrounds with information on the variety of material that they can seek out for personal satisfaction, as well as educational purposes.


The Photographer

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and First Second Books present a unique exhibit featuring photos and illustrations from The Photographer, a graphic novel documenting MSF’s clandestine cross-border humanitarian operation to assist Afghans stranded without medical care in areas hardest-hit after the Soviet invasion in 1979. Photojournalist Didier Lefèvre became part of this massive humanitarian aid effort in 1986. Dodging Soviet aircraft and navigating treacherous terrain, Lefèvre’s journey nearly cost him his life. Over a decade later he collaborated with acclaimed graphic novelist Emmanuel Guibert to bring this story to life in The Photographer. The novel combines Lefèvre’s images and Guibert’s artwork in a rare collaboration that conveys a depth of honesty and commitment to the value of human life, while providing powerful and often heartbreaking images of a country still embroiled in conflict to the present day.


Comix Galaxy’s “The School of Comics and Graphic Novels”

Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Educational Sessions for Teachers, Librarians and Comics and Graphic Novel Creators

Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, Building 7, Room 7-128

*Comics have been an integral part of academic curricula for more than two decades. Now graphic novels are finding a place in elementary, high and middle school classrooms, too. Join us for a day of thought-provoking workshops and presentations for teachers and librarians.

Find out who is teaching with graphic novels, explore the science behind the art, and learn why graphic novels work so well for “challenged,” “reluctant,” or “gifted” readers. Facilitated by experts form the comics and literary field. The seminar is presented by This activity is free, however, registration is required. For more information and to register, call 305-237-3258 or e-mail [email protected].



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