Middle Grade Graphic Novels: Cats vs. Dogs

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Michelle Mee Nutter
Allergic, Monday, October 18 | virtual

Michelle Mee Nutter graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, 3x3 Illustration, Creative Quarterly, and more. She lives in Boston. Her latest work can be seen in Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd.

Colleen AF Venable
Katie the Catsitter, Monday, October 18 | virtual

Colleen AF Venable is the author of the National Book Award–longlisted Kiss Number 8, a graphic novel co-created with Ellen T. Crenshaw. Her other books include the indie bestseller Katie the Catsitter with Stephanie Yue, Mervin the Sloth is About to Do the Best Thing in The World with Ruth Chan, The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom with Lian Cho, and the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series, also with Stephanie Yue and nominated for the Best Publication for Kids Eisner. Previously the sole designer for First Second Books, Colleen now works for Epic! Kids as Associate Director of Original Content.

Stephanie Yue
Katie the Catsitter, Monday, October 18 | virtual

Stephanie Yue draws things. They grew up in Atlanta, Beijing, and Hong Kong, and studied illustration in New York City and got their start working at game design and animation studios while publishing their own comics. Yue has been working as a freelancer since 2008, taking on everything from comics lettering to sketch cards to coloring to website design. In 2010, they signed on with Barry Goldblatt Literary and have been illustrating graphic novels, picture books, and chapter books for kids. You may even find Yue's work in issues of SpongeBob Comics! In their other life, they're an extended overland scooterist, dedicated martial artist, itinerant blogger, and professional wanderer. Yue likes riding two-wheeled things, eating and drinking all the things, and climbing things that probably weren't meant for climbing.

Jef Czekaj
Little Ghoul Goes to School, Monday, October 18 | virtual


Jef Czekaj is a cartoonist, children's book author and illustrator, and musician. Jef has written and/or illustrated fourteen books with titles like Hip and Hop in the House!, Cat Secrets, A Call for a New Alphabet, and his latest, Little Ghoul Goes to School. His books have been named Junior Library Guild selections, designated "Must Read" by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and won awards with names like the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award and the Young Hoosier Book Award. His comic, Grampa and Julie: Shark Hunters, ran in Nickelodeon Magazine for more than ten years and was collected in a graphic novel of the same name.


Are you a cat person or a dog person? This fun and interactive session is open to both! Artist Michelle Mee Nutter, illustrator of Allergic, a graphic novel about a girl whose desire for a dog is foiled by her allergies, will square off against author Colleen AF Venable and artist Stephanie Yue, whose graphic novel series opener Katie the Catsitter is about a girl who winds up sitting for 217 cats! The perfect impartial host for this session is, of course, Jef Czekaj, author and illustrator of Cat Secrets and Dog Rules, not to mention his latest picture book, Little Ghoul Goes to School. Bring the family dog or your 217 cats to learn more about these funny graphic novels during this fast-paced session that will include draw-offs, audience voting, and a surprise or two! Sponsored by Simmons University.

Donations made during registration or during the session will go to support the Boston Book Festival's Shelf Help Partnership, providing brand-new books and an author/illustrator visit to Boston-area public schools. This year's recipient schools are Josiah Quincy Elementary School in Chinatown and Chelsea High School in Chelsea. Thank you for your support!

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