Archive for DCC 2018

Pop Culture Classroom and KidLit TV Team Up to Unveil Finalists for Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards 2018!

Friends, mark your calendars and be sure to visit and bookmark so you know exactly where to go on the big day!

PCC and KidLit TV Team Up to Announced the EGL 2018 Finalists!We’re excited to announce that Pop Culture Classroom has partnered with children’s literature authority and content streaming site KidLit TV, granting KidLit TV the rights to stream Excellence in Graphics Literature (EGL) Awards announcements leading up to the awards ceremonies at Denver Comic Con 2018.

Announcing the 2018 Finalists

The first of these streams will occur at approximately 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 15 from the KidLit TV studios in New York City, hosted by Rocco Staino and Carol Fitzgerald of The Book Report Network.

During the event, Judging Committees Chairs for each of the EGL Award categories will present their finalist picks, reporting from libraries and bookstores in California, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Illinois and New York City.

To view the stream, visit at the date and time listed above and it should play directly in your browser (internet connection required). You can visit the page now to learn more and even set a reminder to have the site alert you when the event is about to start.

If your schedule won’t allow you to watch the event live, not to worry. You’ll be able to visit the same page after the event concludes to watch it at any time on-demand.

2018 Award Categories

We’ve made a few changes to the award categories since our last official press release, so here’s an up-to-date list for reference.

One particularly important addition is the Mosaic Award, which you can read about in detail in our blog post HERE.

  • Best in Children’s Books
  • Best in Middle Grade Books
  • Best in Young Books
  • Best in Adult Books
  • Mosaic Award
  • Book of the Year

Awards Ceremony at Denver Comic Con 2018

The inaugural year of the Excellence in Graphic Literature program will culminate in an awards ceremony at this year’s Denver Comic Con.

Finalists, award winners, luminaries and leaders from the publishing industry will be invited to the ceremonies scheduled for the evening of Saturday, June 16.  The event will also be open to attendees.

Denver Comic Con will have an even greater emphasis on literature, graphic novels and publishing this year, with more than 100 author and publisher guests scheduled to attend. You can view a complete list of guests announced to-date at

About the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards 

The Excellence in Graphics Literature program was begun by Pop Culture Classroom to help create a greater awareness of the value the comics medium and the graphic novel format brings the world of reading.

With these awards the intent is to grow legitimacy and respect for the graphic novel format, the comics medium and its creators, and drive growth for the graphic novel publishing category.

Learn more at

About KidLit TV 

KidLit TV (KLTV) is a winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, the Norton Juster Award for Devotion to Literacy, and one of the American Library Association’s Great Websites For Kids.

KLTV is available in over 600,000 schools worldwide via our website and video distribution partners. We’re a diverse group of parents, educators, librarians, kid lit creators, and award-winning filmmakers, working together to create fun new ways to reinforce an appreciation of reading that children will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Learn and see more at KidLit TV

For Next Time…

We can’t wait to unveil the Excellence in Graphic Literature Award finalists for our inaugural year and hope you can join us for the stream.

As always, if you have more questions or would like to suggest a topic for us to cover, feel free to write them in the comments below, post them on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages, or send them to

Future posts will continue to provide more updates on the awards process, plus guidance and resources to help make your exploration into the world of graphic literature (in, and out, of the classroom) the best it can be.

Be Well, Read More!

Introducing the EGL Mosaic Award

In our previous post we covered why we believe the time is right for the EGL Awards. In today’s post we begin our ongoing series that introduces each of the awards, and gives you more background on why and how we structured them as we have.

Why We Chose to Call It the “Mosaic Award” 

A mosaic is an arrangement of differently shaped and colored pieces, which creates a picture that has more depth and vibrancy than the sum of the separate parts.

Our communities — whether defined by location, or pop-culture tastes — are made up of individuals from different ethnicities, belief systems, gender, and sexual orientations. And therefore the books, comics and graphic novels they read should reflect the backgrounds of their readership.

In recent years, the entertainment industries — particularly in the areas of movies, TV and music — have made strides towards providing products that speak to this variety of populations, but the comics and graphic literature industries have lagged behind. This is not so much from a lack of desire to serve a diverse readership, but more due to their inability to understand what these readers want. Fortunately, that is beginning to change.

The Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards strives to bring together these variegated pieces to create that broader and deeper picture for publishers, educators and librarians — to create a mosaic. We hope that in turn the Mosaic Award will serve to illustrate what kinds of graphic literature their readers want, and which new works will appeal to those diverse communities.

Why This Award is So Important, Right Now 

You may wonder about this award’s focus and why it diverges from the fiction/non-fiction and age-group categories.

Works of graphic literature have been produced by women, creators of color, and members of the LGBTQ community for years. But, until there is a medium for spotlighting these creators and their works, their intended audiences might not ever know there is graphic literature that addresses their experiences, speaks to their needs and honors their concerns.

It is our hope that the Mosaic Award will encourage creators and their publishers to submit their works so that libraries and book stores will carry them and educators, parents and students may seek them out because of their common message as well as literary merit. 

The Mosaic Award Judging Panel and Process

We are confident that the Mosaic Award will maintain its integrity and accomplish the above missions, as the jurors who have volunteered for this EGL program come from a diverse cross-section of the publishing, library, educational, academic, retail and industry professions.

To help create this program, we purposefully reached out to find the best minds from the widest range of cultural backgrounds. They are: Asian American, African American, Native American, Hispanic American, Straight, LGBTQ, and come from every geographic region of the U.S.

It is our hope that eventually there will be no need for a Mosaic award, and each work will be judged solely on its literary value and artistic merit. However, until that day, we will continue to present the Mosaic Award to help break down the current barriers and amplify the voices of creators from the widest range of communities, so they are heard by the audiences that so desperately need them. 

For Next Time…

We hope this gave you a good introduction to the award, but as always if you have more questions or would like to suggest a topic for us to cover, feel free to write them in the comments below, post them on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages, or send them to

In our next post we’ll provide advice to the educators in our audience who may be interested in using graphic novels in their classrooms, but just don’t know how to start.

Be Well, Read More!

Announcing the 2nd Annual Educator of the Year Award

Pop Culture Classroom is excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for the 2nd annual Pop Culture Educator of the Year Award!

At PCC, we believe that pop culture is an incredible educational tool. The Pop Culture Educator of the Year Award is our way of recognizing innovative educators who are using pop culture as a way to engage students, inspire a lifelong love of learning, encourage diversity, and increase literacy in their schools and local communities.

Do you know an educator who fits this description? Be sure to nominate them today! An award will be given out for each of the following four categories:

  • Elementary
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Post-secondary Education (college/university)

All K-12 and higher education educators (including, but not limited to, teachers, librarians, administrators and informal education practitioners) are eligible for the award. Parents, students, administrators, and fellow educators may submit applications, and one educator can receive multiple nominations. You can even nominate yourself!

In addition to one of PCC’s own pop culture-based curricula, each award-winner will receive two 3-day passes to Denver Comic Con 2018 (June 30- July 2, 2018), a DCC’18 prize package, and even a special spotlight on PCC’s website. One Honorable Mention from each category will also be chosen and featured on our website.

We look forward to hearing about the wonderful educators in your lives and the great work they’re doing to support students using pop culture!

Why It’s the Perfect Time to Recognize and Celebrate Graphic Literature

When we came together to create the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards, the first question we asked was whether there was a need for such a thing; would it be different from all the other comics-industry awards? The answer is an unwavering yes.

Why We’re Doing This

We need to recognize the best in comics and graphic novels because there is nothing like the EGLs, whose purpose is to cast light on those works of graphic literature that the public should be reading – especially teachers and librarians, parents and their kids.

We may implicitly understand the education and communication value of graphic literature, but most people don’t. The time is now to help fully inform the public through the teams of publishing industry professionals who are currently submitting, scrutinizing and voting on the best of the best.

Why We Think Now is the Perfect Time

Readership tastes are constantly evolving, and the publishing industry has started to recognize this fact. As the previous generation of creators started increasing the length and broadening the topic of their stories, the current generation of student readers have come to expect a variety of books that reflects their culture and beliefs.

Both comics and book publishers have recognized this paradigm shift and are working to hire the hottest creators and publish the best books for this growing audience. Simultaneously, educators and librarians are eager to learn about the sheer scope of these offerings and feature the best of the best for their students and readers.

But the current review and ordering process is outdated, leaving these parties frustrated by the lack of accurate information about what readers want and what is available to fill their needs.

Through our year-long submission, judging and awards process, the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards will shine a spotlight on these superior works.

Our hope is the award will establish a recognizable high-water-mark of industry credibility and quality, helping publishers more quickly identify the best creators, help educators more confidently choose books they present to students, and help eager students discover their next great read.

Why We are Calling it “Graphic Literature”

Why not just “comic books” or “graphic novels”? While we are grateful that comics are finally getting their due as a legitimate art form having literary merit, the term “graphic novel” is in danger of becoming so overly-broad that it is misleading.

For example, while they are certainly graphic, seminal literary works such as Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Rep. John Lewis’ March, relate factual stories of profound historical significance and as such are anything but novels.

In addition, we want to give publishers and creators the ability to submit for peer review works that don’t neatly fall into the GN or comic book categories, such as illustrated works that may contain as many words as pictures.

The key is that these will be works of literary and educational merit, that children and adults can enjoy and benefit from, that parents and educators will be confident of their literary value, and that students will enjoy at the same time they are learning.

Each jury will consider fictional works, but unlike other awards programs, works of non-fiction will have their own category to raise public recognition and awareness in a way that helps educators justify their use in classrooms.

In addition, even more than 60 years after Dr. Frederick Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, great works like Maus and March have not been able to diffuse the stigma of the term “comic book”.

Our goal, therefore, is not only to highlight the year’s best graphic works with the greatest educational and literary value, but also to help publishers and educators undo the damage of seven decades of “bad press”, by highlighting those creators and their works of the past year which have the most literary and educational merit.

For Next Time…

We hope this helped answer some of the questions you may have, but as always if you have more questions or would like to suggest a topic for us to cover, feel free to write them in the comments below, post them on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages, or send them to

Keep an eye out for our next posts coming in a few weeks. We’ll be introducing the major award categories, along with general topics regarding the awards and advice on how to get more involved with graphic literature both in and out of the classroom.

Be Well, Read More.