With Comic Books and Graphic Vovels!
By now I’m sure you know that this summer at the library is all about superheroes. Of course, it’s almost impossible to think about superheroes without your thoughts also turning to comic books. When was the last time you picked one of those up? For me, comic reading is a regular activity, but I know a ton of people haven’t read words and pictures together, outside of glancing at the colorful pages of the Sunday newspaper, since the last time they read a kid’s picture book.
I’ve read and heard many critics over the years bemoaning people reading comics and graphic novels, saying that they take away time from “real reading.” It’s a very closed-minded viewpoint. A comic is its own form of storytelling. It engages your mind is a different way than a novel or a film, inviting you to pick your pace. You can dash along caught up in the story or take your time and examine each picture for the little details that can say so much about the characters and the world they live in. Think of this year’s Summer Reading Program as an inspiration to check out our graphic novel sections. Even if superheroes aren’t your thing, we may have something for you. Let me give you a few examples:
Our graphic novel collection is home to acclaimed works of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Comics excel in these genres, able to pack each page with world-building details without slowing the pace of the story, as often threatens to happen in written works. I often reread these. The first time I go at a running pace to find out what happens. Then, I read it again to pick out the little details that I was too caught up to notice before.
Plenty of artists have taken to using comic format to relate history in a moving and visceral fashion. Often these works are able to place historical fact side-by-side with visual metaphors to give a clearer sense of the impact those facts had both at the time and down the road.
A big trend in publishing right now is comic adaptions of classic literature. These books are a great way to familiarize yourself with the old stories, especially if you find the antique language of the originals a bit much for light reading.
Of course we also have plenty of superheroes
And collections from the Sunday funnies.
If you like to do your reading on a screen, I’ve got some exciting news for you. We talked about our Hoopla database before, and you may have watched videos on it already, but Hoopla now has a comics section too! Just like our print comics, the selection has something for everyone, from kids to adults.
All of this is just a taste. Come visit and see what grabs you!
Post by Catherine, Reference Librarian