Earlier this year we let you know about a contest from Gale, the winners of which would become lunchbox superheroes. The winners were announced at ALA, but only last week did actual lunchboxes make it to our door.

Superhero lunchboxes

They are awesome.

Throughout the process Gene and I several times remarked to each other that it was what we were born to do. Gale provided the winners' names, photos, and bios. Gene and I spent several days brainstorming their superhero name, powers, costumes, and origin stories, and I drew the fronts of the lunch boxes, with lots of input by Gene. The lunchbox designs were assembled and beautifully executed by Gale's John Boissy, who also created the pitch-perfect logos.

After the cut, pictures and comments for each lunchbox and information about how you can get one for yourself:

Nerd One lunchbox Nerd One lunchbox

This guy was dearest to our hearts, a librarian big on graphic novels and anime. We knew he'd either hate this treatment or love it (he loved it). Key to his costume is the helmet, a modified version of Luke's X-Wing helmet from Star Wars. I enjoyed drawing the different portals, which cameo appearances by some Unshelved characters and also my children.

Makeover lunchbox Makeover lunchbox

Makeover makes everything new, and I had fun coming up with little visual jokes. The "No Smoking" sign is updated to say "No Cell Phones", the PC becomes a Mac, and the "Alf" read poster becomes a "Dewey" read poster (and the font goes from Comic Sans to Helvetica). Even Makeover herself got a makeover - Gene searched fashion sites to find just the right look for her, a stylish pantsuit.

Social Mediator lunchbox Social Mediator lunchbox

I thought this was the cleverest name, and John made it better by using the Facebook font for the logo. Once again I worried what she'd think about being transformed into a cyborg, but fortunately she enjoyed it. My wife Sara is teaching a homeschool class in the bottom right, videoconferencing with some counterparts in Africa.

Fireball lunchbox Fireball lunchbox

For this character we highlighted her personality, the natural setting, and her nationality. With that giant maple leaf hanging from her neck she clearly belongs in Alpha Flight.

We have a small number of extra boxes, and until the end of the year we'll give one away with every order over $100 (before tax and shipping) from the Unshelved store, while supplies last. With the holidays coming it can either be a gift for yourself, or a something special for that librarian superhero in your life. If you have a lunchbox preference you can email us, but we can't guarantee it.

Our thanks to Gale for choosing us for this project, all the Unshelved readers who participated in the contest, and especially to the winners for having a sense of humor about themselves!

Our next appearances


Jan 25 - 28, 2019 Seattle, WA ALA Midwinter (Library COMIC Booth #726) (Gene)

March 1, 2019 Phoenix, AZ
Maricopa County Library District (Gene)

April 15 - 17, 2019 Austin, TX Texas Library Association Annual Conference (Library COMIC booth, Monday night event) (Gene)

June 21 - 24, 2019 Washington, DC
ALA Annual (Library COMIC booth) (Gene)

Check out our Full Schedule

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