Graphic novels make a difference


Graphic novels are increasingly being used as a way to keep library services relevant and interesting to teens by providing a visual connection to the story. Read more about the rising popularity of graphic novels in ALIA's inCite.


From what I see, our graphic novels fly off the shelves. We just had a bunch donated by the Friends, and a young man came in and asked me for Cowboy BeBop 1 the other evening. It's was in cataloging, and I told him to come back in a week. I hope the poor kid can get it, as it is one many are clamoring for. Kids (and some of our staff, I might add) check out about six at a time and devour them all in an evening.

Kinda puts Harry Potter to shame. At least the kids can get updates to their series before they're four years older...

(A Yu-Yu Hakusho fan myself)

I love the term "graphic novel." At some point in my life, when I wasn't paying attention, someone came around and gathered up all the old people, handicapped, and comics; cleverly replacing them with senior citizens, disabled/differently abled, and graphic novels!

In all seriousness though, some of these books are pure artistic genius. For those who just "can't seem to get it" when it comes to the funnies, you've gotta check out Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. I finished it a few days ago. It's the history, theory, and art of comic books as seen by a comic artist and writer, and told in a comic book format. It's enthralling, well researched, and superbly written. For brilliant examples of graphic novels, check out Blood Song, Persepolis, or Love Hina for something a bit lighter than the first two. You'll pretty qucikly find out that comics are more than just pictures with word balloons.

So...anyone care to guess how inadequately graphicnovels are cataloged? Sure anyone can come in and find em if they are all shelved in a highly visible in your face location... but what if you tried to find one by searching the catalog?What if you were searching for a theme or a character's name or subject or series or style or genre?Only Sandy Berman and his crew and/ or Randall Scott who is the guru of comic and graphic novel cataloging, were responsive to the content of this kind of media and Berman's catalog was removed from the Hennepin County system.

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