Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Honey, I Love

..I love how, until the other fellas post again and Jent gets his internet back, this is totally my site. Yeah!!

Having total power makes me feel like talking on one of my favorite subjects: library stuff. I'm a librarian in a big city, and the individual at the top of the library system decreed several years back that comics, graphic novels, etc have no business being in libraries, so we were not going to have any. The rule has relaxed a little since it was imposed; the central library has a decent selection of classic and current books, and most of the local libraries have things like Dark Knight and Watchmen. We also have some collections of popular syndicated strips. And oh yes, we have Tintin. But there's no collections of comic books, no manga (very popular with the kids these days), and we represent only a fraction of the many wonderful graphic novels out there.

It's pretty sad. When I was in library school (about a year ago), I needed some young adult books during a visit to the folks and found that the library in my ultra-conservative little hometown has a solid collection of graphic novels. The shitty library at which I did a two-week stint before Jesus himself outstretched His hands and personally delivered me into a good job was pretty great with the sequentials; they had a large selection of graphic novels and collected strips, and also a full rack of plain-old comic books (X-Men, Superman, Bone etc).* So, basically, if we take these two little suburban libraries as a bellwether for what's going on in the whole country, like I'm doing, our big fancy cityfolk library is way behind the times.

It's also pretty hypocritical. If I swivel my head about 40 degrees to the left I will be looking at one of the largest collections of children's picture books in the city. The definitions for sequential art/graphic novels and picture books are scarily similar: stories told in both words and images, where neither words nor images could convey the story alone. It's just that one is intended for kids and the other is not.

So, why is it that sequential art is beneficial for kids and not for adults?

That is a topic for another blog, plus we're closing so I have to go.

*Both of these libraries kept their graphic novels in the young adult sections, even if they weren't necessarily for young adults. The librarian at the shitty place told me the only one she had qualms about giving to teenagers was "Preacher," because it is so violent. I am currently reading "Preacher" and can attest that this is true, although I'm sure it's no worse than a video game.

1 comment:

lucretius said...

Is the goal to steal a car and kill a street evangelist?