Jenni Holm Joins the CBLDF
In early January, bestselling and award-winning author Jenni Holm (who creates the phenomenally fun Babymouse series along with her brother Matt) joined the Board of Directors of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Holm will help promote CBLDF and its main issues, particularly when it comes to youth and education. We talked with her about what she’ll be doing for the organization. (By the way, don’t forget to check out Extreme Babymouse, the 17th excellent adventure in the series, now out.)
Congratulations on your new role with CBLDF! They’re an important organization doing great work in the industry. How did you first become involved with them?
My brother, Matt Holm, and I were exhibiting at Stumptown in Portland a few years ago and met Larry Marder (Beanworld). Larry is on the board and he started telling us about all the great stuff that CBLDF does and introduced me to Charles Brownstein (Executive Director of CBLDF). The more I saw what they did, the more I realized that CBLDF is the soul of the comics industry.
What do you plan to do with them?
I see my mission as helping to open the lines of communication between librarians and educators and parents to talk about the importance of graphic novels as a literacy tool and help them to understand the medium. Comics are frequently misunderstood and challenged, which is why CBLDF is a partner in the Kids' Right to Read Project. My aim is to help create more and better understanding about comics so that we can help reduce the number of challenges they face.
What are some of the upcoming events and activities you have scheduled?
We've just started organizing for this year, and I will definitely be at San Diego Comic-Con. But I'm going to be focusing a lot on talking about CBLDF at education and librarian conferences. Check back at www.cbldf.org to find where I'll be.
What are you hoping to accomplish as you begin working with CBLDF?
I'd really like to bring in the kids-comic part of the conversation. Comic creators for younger readers are helping to grow the next generation of comic book fans. But they also face unique challenges and censorship. CBLDF is ideal to support them and keep comics in the hands of kids.
With your broad readership, you’re well-suited to bring attention to kids’ comics. What challenges do you currently see in the realm of kids’ comics?
Fighting historical perceptions that comics aren't appropriate for kids or that comics aren't "real" reading material is an ongoing challenge. We've come a long way, but there's still a lot of fear and that can lead to censorship.
What are some current CBLDF issues you would like readers to be aware of right now?
It's always a good time to support CBLDF! There's a great Babymouse poster for your library or classroom wall that you can get for donating to CBLDF (hint, hint). http://cbldf.myshopify.com/collections/prints