Ethan Hawke and Greg Ruth Present MEADOWLARK

The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to announce a virtual book event with author Ethan Hawke and illustrator Greg Ruth as they present their new graphic novel, Meadowlark. Filmmaker Richard Linklater will moderate this conversation, taking place on the same day the book is released. Every ticket will include a signed hardcover copy of Meadowlark and access to the live Crowdcast event.

When: August 10, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: Crowdcast

Ticket Price: $35, including a signed copy of Meadowlark and access to Crowdcast conversation.

*BookPeople will ship books on August 10. We cannot ship books to international addresses. Please contact with any questions.

Buy Your Ticket Today!

From the dream team behind #1 New York Times bestseller Indeh comes a graphic novel following a father and son as they navigate an increasingly catastrophic day.

Set against the quiet and unassuming city of Huntsville, Texas, Jack “Meadowlark” Johnson, and his teenage son, Cooper embark on a journey of epic proportions. Told over the course a single day, this electrifying graphic novel recounts Cooper’s struggle to survive the consequences of his father’s mistakes and the dangers they have brought home to his estranged family. As Cooper and his father desperately navigate cascading threats of violence, they must also grapple with their own combative, dysfunctional, but loving relationship.

Drawing on inspiration from the authors’ childhoods in Texas, their relationships with their own sons and from ancient myths that resonate throughout the ages, this contemporary crime noir is a propulsive coming-of-age tale of the shattering transition into manhood. While both father and son strive to understand their place in the world and each other’s lives, tension and resentment threaten to boil over. As emotionally evocative as it is visually stunning, this captivating graphic novel will appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and Terrence Malick’s Badlands.

Ethan Hawke‘s first graphic novel with illustrator Greg Ruth, Indeh, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in 2016. His other literary works include New York Times bestsellers Rules for a KnightAsh Wednesday, and The Hottest State. He has also acted in more than fifty films and is the director of three feature films and one documentary. He is a four-time Academy Award nominee.

Greg Ruth is the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator of The Lost Boy and Indeh and has been making books and comics since 1993. Greg has also created music videos for both Prince and Rob Thomas and children’s picture books including Pure Enduring Spirit (with Barack Obama), Red Kite, Blue Kite (with Ji Li Jiang), A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade (with James Preller), and his latest from Feiwel & Friends entitled Coming Home. His comics work includes Sudden Gravity, Freaks of the Heartland, Conan: Born on the Battlefield, The Matrix, and Goosebumps. He lives and works in Western Massachusetts.

Richard Linklater (writer/director) is a five-time Oscar nominee, two-time Golden Globe winner, two-time Bafta winner who has directed twenty feature films. His most recent credits include Boyhood (2014), Everybody Wants Some (2016), Last Flag Flying (2017) and Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019). He also serves as the Artistic Director for the Austin Film Society, which he founded in 1985 to showcase films from around the world that were not typically shown in Austin. The Austin Film Society has given out over $2,000,000 in grants to Texas filmmakers since 1996.

Announcing the 2021 Texas Book Festival poster artist

We are thrilled to announce the 2021 Texas Book Festival poster artist is San Antonio-based artist Clemente Guzman! The selected piece, Viva Texas Rivers!, will also be the cover of a book of essays by the same name from Texas A&M Press. Guzman’s career embodies this love of Texas wildlife and nature, which seems appropriate for 2021 as we have sought solace in our beautiful state, as well as in books.

See the full poster image

Guzman was a Texas Parks and Wildlife staff artist from 1988-2017. Career highlights include producing five Texas Conservation license plates (White-tailed Deer, Largemouth Bass, Camping, Diamondback Rattlesnake, and Lucifer Hummingbird), thirty-three Texas game stamps, and illustrated posters for the Texas Wildlife Expo, Great Texas Birding Classic, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Texas Game Warden Memorial, and Texas State Railroad. Guzman was the Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio poster winner, 1992, 1995, 2002 and the California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest winner, Sacramento, California, 2012.

Though Guzman was born in Martinez, California, he has always considered himself a Texan. “Three months before I was born, my family left Doss, Texas, as my dad was a cowboy looking for work in California,” he says. “Soon after I was born, we returned to Doss. I should have been born in Fredericksburg. We moved to San Antonio when I was in first grade.” Guzman currently lives and works in San Antonio and is honored to be selected as the 2021 Texas Book Festival poster artist. To learn more about Clemente, his love and respect for the natural world that he paints, and the poster image, check out this TBF interview with Clemente Guzman. Read the full press release here.

As always, we will have Festival shirts and posters for sale during the Texas Book Festival Weekend, on October 30-31. Please fill out the Festival poster preorder form, and shirts and posters can be picked up at the Festival or shipped in November. Please contact



Get to know our 2021 Festival Poster Artist: Clemente Guzman

Clemente Guzman is the 2021 Texas Book Festival poster artist, and we are honored to feature his work Viva Texas Rivers!. Clemente sat down (virtually) with TBF Deputy Director Claire Burrows to talk about how he became an artist, why he focuses on nature as a subject, and what this particular image means to him.

The Texas Book Festival places great value on the importance and value of storytelling which makes your painting a great choice for our 2021 poster art as the characters in your painting seem to be living different stories at seemingly different points in history.  What stories were you hoping to capture? How did you choose who to represent?

When I started this project in conjunction with the book, I was sent stories from different authors that covered many different rivers, like the Red River, Pecos, Comal, Guadalupe…

There was so much in the stories, that I had to create categories to help create clear ideas: plants and trees, activities, relationships, and many more. These categories helped me see themes that I could depict so that I could show how important the rivers are in Texas.

There was so much to work with, and it became a montage of different stories from different authors from different times. I hope it depicts the past, present, and future of Texas rivers.

What is the message you wanted to convey?

Rivers have supported, entertained, and brought us together. I’m personally so moved by this idea, of rivers bringing everything together.

Why are rivers so important to Texas storytelling?

A lot of the places like the Rio Grande, Guadalupe, and Nueces are being changed and destroyed, and we’re losing our natural habitats. We can’t forget that we’ve connected to the rivers, that’s where we came from.

How did you start painting wildlife and nature?

My first painting was actually in seventh or eighth grade, it was a sparrow on a branch. My dad was trying to get me to learn refrigeration as a career, but when I showed him the picture, he liked it a lot. He was impressed.

My family moved to Minnesota, and we worked in the fields. There are a lot of wildlife artists in Minnesota and galleries full of wildlife paintings. I would go to those galleries and be inspired by all this beautiful artwork.

Then a friend introduced me to artist Mario Fernandez, who paints lots of eagles and songbirds. I went to his house and he had original paintings, maybe 25 paintings, all over the house. On the couch, leaning against the walls, everything. I thought, “I could do this. I could make a living as an artist like him.”

What is your artistic process?

When I first start a project, I don’t know what it’s going to look like, I can’t visualize it. I do lots of research to educate myself. I have to learn about the markings of animals at different stages of their lives and where they migrate. I look at lots of other artist renditions of the animals and plants to see how other people have depicted them.

Then I start with simple sketches until I’m happy with the final layout. Then I scan the final sketch into the computer where I keep working on it and adding color.

Each process is a little different, but overall I try to put stories together then simplify. Key is learning how to simplify so it makes sense to someone else looking at it. I try to see it through other people’s eyes.

What is a memorable book or story from your childhood?

I remember a copy of Little Red Riding Hood. It had a bright red cover, beautiful drawings, and simple text. Two other books that stand out to me due to the art are The Fox and the Grapes and Curious George.

We all learn differently, and when I was in elementary school I learned visually and drew lots of pictures, paying attention to details.

What do you like to read today?

About twelve to thirteen years ago, I started studying my family’s genealogy. It started because my grandmother wanted to know more about her father’s family, where did they come from, what were they like. I said, I don’t know but I’ll try to find out. It can be overwhelming, but very interesting, tracing back.

Right now I’m reading Of Texas Rivers & Texas Art by Andrew Sansom.

What else would you like people to know?

I would like everyone to go outside and enjoy a river in your town. Pay respect, enjoy nature. Think, “my ancestors use to work here, live here, swim here.” Simply just go out and appreciate the river. If we all do that, I think we would do more for protecting our natural world.

Graphic Novels for Pride Month

There is a rich tradition of LGBTQ+ cartoonists and graphic novel authors, and you should read them all year long. Storytelling in comics has often been a place for voices that were suppressed, overlooked, and misconstrued, and these authors use the power of visual art and language to tell important, funny, and heartbreaking stories. So I wanted to highlight just a few titles for Pride Month and encourage you yto share your recommendations and favorites on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Allison Bechdel

I cannot rave about this graphic memoir enough. Fun Home was groundbreaking, along the lines of Art Spiegelman’s Maus. Bechdel tells the true story of her family home, a funeral home, and about all the secrets, memories, and tragedy found inside. This is also the story of Bechdel’s coming out, and the crucial role of literature in understanding herself and her family. Fun Home received numerous prestigious awards, and was adapted for musical theatre in 2013.

If you’ve heard of the Bechdel test, Allison Bechdel is the source. She also wrote the Dykes to Watch Out For comic series as well as Are You My Mother and The Secret to Superhuman Strength.

Lumberjanes, created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle StevensonLumberjanes comics book cover

This incredibly fun comics series follows a group of super cool girls through their summer scout camp as they encounter adventures and supernatural beings. The main cast includes trans and queer characters, and explicit inclusivity which is so important for a series that appeals to both adult and teen readers.

If you like Scooby-Doo and Adventure Time, you’ll love Lumberjanes, all 75 issues!


Spinning by Tillie WaldenSpinning comics book cover

Tillie Walden tells the true story of her child and teen years as a competitive figure skater, including a move to Texas. Walden negotiates all the familiar teen trauma, including bullying, loneliness, and romance. However, she also must learn about herself while bracing for society’s reaction to her being gay.

Spinning is a beautiful and honest coming of age story.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang dressmaker comics book cover

Jen Wang wrote and illustrated The Price and the Dressmaker, and it is a beautiful fairy tale about the fluidity of gender and fashion. The two young characters, Frances and Sebastian, become entangled through decadent dresses and secrets. I don’t want to say anymore and give the story away. However, know that it is a sweet story very reminiscent of Cinderella.

Flamer by Mike CuratoFlamer comics book cover

Flamer is a young adult graphic novel about fourteen-year-old Aidan, a Filipino American boy struggling to understand all the influences on his life and identity, including being gay and raised in the Catholic Church. Further, he struggles with self-acceptance in a blazing trial by fire, Boy Scout camp. While The Prince and the Dressmaker is a sparkly fairy tale, Flamer is so down to earth and truly captures the insecurities, hopes, and mercurial nature of adolescence.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei with co-writers Justin Eisenger and Steven Scott, and artist Harmony BeckerThey Called Us Enemy comics cover

They Called Us Enemy is George Takei’s firsthand account of years spent behind barbed wire at Japanese internment camps during World War II. It chronicles the fears and joys of childhood in the face of institutional racism.

Takei is best known for playing Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, but he has also spent decades advocating and fighting for human rights, especially emphasizing LGBTQ+ rights.


Graphic Novel Reading for AAPI Heritage Month

This year for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I wanted to take the opportunity to suggest a few graphic novels created by Asian American cartoonists, authors, and illustrators. Last year, Nicole Wielga suggested some fantastic graphic novels written and/or illustrated by Asian American authors and artists, check it out!

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I haven’t included many genre or YA books, so please share your favorite comics or graphic novels penned by AAPI authors and artists on our Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorites to kick off the conversation…

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

A student recommended this book to me about 15 years ago, and it reintroduced me to the joy and power of storytelling in graphic novels. American Born Chinese challenges and satirizes Asian stereotypes, as three unique characters converge. Yang, a former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, also wrote Dragon Hoops, Boxers and Saints, and Animal Crackers, and many more! Check out Gene Luen Yang’s website.


Good Talk by Mira Jacob

I know that I’ve already recommended Good Talk, a funny, honest, and scathing graphic novel by Mira Jacob, but you cannot miss this. This book was inspired by conversations Jacob had with her son about racism, and delves into the art of the conversation that reveals so much about relationships, beliefs, and love. I also love her novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing. More of Mira Jacob’s work and insight can be found on her website.

In recent days, Jacob has been drawing awareness to the healthcare and humanity crisis in India, and not only suggesting ways for us regular people to help but also holding accountable companies who have profited off Indian culture. Check out her Instagram for more information:

Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine is amazingly prolific. You may have seen his New Yorker covers, Brooklyn Book Festival posters, Optic Nerve comics, and many books and collections. So if I just had to choose one, it was Shortcomings. It is funny, insightful, and quiet, and filled with the precise beautiful art that Tomine is known for. Check out Adrian Tomine’s website to look at the scope of his artwork.


This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

While this may technically be Young Adult, it is such an authentic story of adolescence, that is should strike notes of nostalgia for many readers. The coming-of-age story follows two friends as their annual summer vacation is a turning point in their lives, as they grapple with family, mental health, sexuality, and tragedy. This One Summer is illustrated by Jillian Tamaki and written by her cousin, Mariko Tamaki. More of Jillian Tamaki’s work can be found on and check out Mariko Tamaki’s Twitter to check out her latest work and collaborations:


Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale by Belle Yang

In this memoir, Belle Yang finds solace and healing through her father’s stories of old China. The same stories that she dismissed as a child now give her strength in the wake of an abusive relationship.

Yang also has several children’s books, filled with her beautiful art:

Black History and Presence

During Black History Month, we want to not only remember Black history and literary classics but also recognize Black authors and storytellers today. Throughout the month we will be sharing special content that celebrates Black authors, literature, and culture in Texas and beyond.

This month, we’re looking forward to sharing cookbook recs, poetry, and community events — there may even be some Instagram takeovers on the horizon! While it may not be possible to feature the entire wealth of Black art in our community, this is a chance to introduce a few Black authors and storytellers, and, hopefully, open the door for readers to discover many more.

If there’s a Black author, past or present, that you would like the TBF community to know about, take a moment to share over on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages. If you’re interested in kicking off your reading this month with a Texas author and TBF alum, check out Bryan Washington’s Memorial, our February Book Club pick.

Lit Crawl with Desert Door

Even though we can’t be together this year at Lit Crawl, we will still gather around our authors, poets, and storytellers through the 2020 Lit Crawl Austin…virtually!

To help make this a special event, our friends at Desert Door will provice a Camp Mocha cocktail kit for the first 200 people who register for Literary Death Match and the Typewriter Tarot Brunch.

Register for Literary Death Match!

Register for Typewriter Tarot Brunch!

Cocktail pickup will take place on Saturday, November 7 from 12-5pm outside the Texas Book Festival office: 1023 Springdale Road, Building 14, Suite B, Austin, Texas 78721. All recipients must be 21 years of age or older, and we will check IDs. Please wear your mask! We will also have sparkling water from Rambler Sparkling Water.

Desert Door Texas Sotol is a distilled spirit from wild-harvested sotol plants and hand-crated in Driftwood, Texas. Desert Door is happy to provice Camp Mochas and additional goodies for attendees of the Literary Death Match and Typewriter Tarot Lit Crawl events.

Lit Crawl Austin is presented by Texas Monthly

2020 Virtual Kids Pass

Hi kids and families! We’re so excited that you’re joining us at the 2020 Virtual Texas Book Festival. This year we have created a free Virtual Pass with fun activities and storytimes.

Download and print the Virtual Pass below. Complete the Virtual Pass, take a picture, and ask an adult to email it to for a fun prize!

¡Hola chicas, chicos y familias! Nos sentimos muy entusiasmados de que participen en esta edición virtual del Texas Book Festival. Este 2020 creamos un pase virtual para chicas y chicos, gratuito, y lleno de actividades divertidas e información sobre la programación juvenil del festival. Favor de bajar e imprimir el pase incluido debajo. Llena tu pase, y con la ayuda de un adulto, tómale una foto, y envíala a para recibir un premio por correo.



Thank you to our Virtual Pass partners and sponsors!


BookPeople Day of Sales

Do you love reading? Books? Indie bookstores? BookPeople? Texas Book Festival? If your answer was yes to all of the above, then mark your calendar for Thursday, September 10, for BookPeople’s Day of Sales supporting the Texas Book Festival.

Every book you buy during the Day of Sales will keep the Festival free and open to the public, provide books for students through Reading Rock Stars and Real Reads, and will keep the bookshelves full through Texas Library Grants. You can shop online or at the store…socially distanced of course! Support the Texas Book Festival through our official indie bookseller, BookPeople!

RSVP for the BookPeople Day of Sales!

TBF staffers at the 2015 Day of Sales!

Graphic Novels for Every Mood

Whether you are new to comics or are an Austin Books and Comics devotee, there’s a graphic novel for you and your mood! As the Texas Book Festival team shelters in our respective homes, I’ve been getting reacquainted with my bookshelves, specifically my shelf of comics (featuring several TBF authors!). Here are just a few of my recommendations, and feel free to share yours on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Most of these are for adults and/or teens, unless noted. Links all go to, which will help support local independent bookstores.

Let’s start easy…

Calvin and Hobbes. All of them. Read them with the family, by yourself, during a virtual happy hour, to your dog. It doesn’t matter which collection you choose or where you start or if you finish. Personal favorites are the strips with Rosalyn the babysitter, and when Calvin’s dad drags them on camping trips.


For that food love: Lucy Knisley’s Relish

A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a graphic novel for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.


For some dark laughs (and cries): Roz Chast’s Can’t we talk about something more pleasant? A memoir.

Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.


For that brassy survivor: Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s Cancer Vixen

In vivid color and with a taboo-breaking sense of humor, Marisa Acocella Marchetto tells the story of her eleven-month, ultimately triumphant bout with breast cancer—from diagnosis to cure, and every challenging step in between.


For finding survival in art: Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Hey Kiddo

The powerful, unforgettable memoir from Jarrett Krosoczka, about growing up with a drug-addicted mother, a missing father, and two unforgettably opinionated grandparents.


For that YA angst: Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese

A tour-de-force by rising indy comics star Gene Yang, American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he’s the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny’s life with his yearly visits.


Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. it’s their getawy, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different.


For that adult angst: Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings

Lauded for its provocative and insightful portrayal of interpersonal relationships, Adrian Tomine’s politically-charged Shortcomings was one of the most acclaimed books of 2007.


Leslie’s Stein’s Present

Stein is a master storyteller, an urban explorer, and a loyal guide through dark days and simple, blissful encounters. Stein’s curiosity about and generosity toward the world around her come through powerfully: each colorful story flows with vivid watercolors and delicate ink lines.


Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This

A gorgeous graphic memoir about loss, love, and confronting grief.


To finally get the Bechdel Test reference: Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home

In this groundbreaking, bestselling graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. In her hands, personal history becomes a work of amazing subtlety and power, written with controlled force and enlivened with humor, rich literary allusion, and heartbreaking detail.


For all the feels: Mira Jacob’s Good Talk

Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions.