The increase in graphic novel sales has been one of the few bright spots in the firmament of American publishing, so it's not surprising to see that Book Expo America is devoting a day of educational programming to help retailers and libraries to gain a better understanding of how to stock and sell all types of graphic novels.  The brainchild of Kuo-Yu Liang of Diamond Book Distributors, Graphic Novel Day was created as a way to raise the profile of all graphic novel publishers and artists, not just those distributed by Diamond.  In addition to the seminars and workshops described below, individual publishers are sponsoring events at their booths on Saturday, May 31 to coincide with the overall graphic novel promotion -- Viz, for example, is hosting an appearance of characters from the DBZ manga.  Book Expo America will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 28 through June 1.


The Program 

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM  Shelving & Selling Graphic Novels: A Treasure Map For Booksellers -- Room 406A.   Who buys them and where should they be shelved are just two of the key questions that will be examined by panelists that include Chris Oliveros of Drawn & Quarterly, Paul Constant of Elliott Bay Books and moderator Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly.


1:00 PM to 2:00 PM  The Graphic Novel Youth Scene: What Works... Room 406A   With graphic novel publishers doubling their sales to bookstores and greatly increasing their offerings, what advice can industry leaders provide retailers?  Kuo-Yu Liang will moderate a panel that includes Stuart Levy of Tokyopop, Rich Johnson, Book Trade Sales DC Comics, Jeff Vaughn, Executive Editor, Gemstone, and Jeannine Wiese of Ingram Library Services.


2:30 PM to 3:30 PM   Understanding the Literary Graphic Novel.  Room 406A.   Calvin Reid moderates a panel that includes Gary Groth of Fantagraphics, Dan Frank of Pantheon Books, Terry Nantier of NBM, and Chris Oliveros of Drawn & Quarterly.


3:30 PM to 4:15 PM   Room 406A  Author's Panel.  Learn about this season's bestsellers from some of the top creators in the business including: Doug TenNapel (Creature Tech), Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), and Joe Sacco (The Fixer, Palestine).


4:30 to 5:15  406A   From Comic Book Writer To New York Times Bestseller: Neil Gaiman.  He's written the top-selling series of graphic novels of all time, the prose bestseller American Gods and he's got a new Sandman graphic novel coming from DC Comics, all of which makes Neil Gaiman the ideal figure to bridge the gap between the anti-iconographic past and the visually-stimulating future where illustrated literature is accepted on its own terms.