Monday, November 09, 2009

In Our Mailbox - "Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics" and "IJOCA 11.2"

It's a good day here at the offices (okay, office): Today's mail brought two all-new, all-different publications. First up is Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics: Insights and Issues for Libraries, edited by Martha Cornog & Timothy Perper. We'll be adding an info page to our bibliography for this book soon (edit: here it is!), but in the meantime, here's how the publisher's website describes it (handy, because I just walked in the door and haven't had time to begin to read the book yet):
This study of the graphic novel and its growth in the library helps librarians utilize and develop this extraordinarily popular format in their library collections.

One of the few bright spots in 21st century print publishing, graphic novels have moved from their stereotypical fanboy niche to the bestseller list, profoundly influencing movies, television, games, music, design, and fashion along the way. The phenomenon has reached libraries as well, with librarians collecting a variety of graphic novels for patrons of all ages.

What does the surge of popularity in graphic novels mean for libraries? Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics: Insights and Issues for Libraries goes deeper into this subject than any other volume previously published, bringing together a distinguished panel of experts to examine questions librarians may encounter as they work to enhance their graphic novel holdings.

Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics begins by introducing librarians to the world of the graphic novel: popular and critically acclaimed fiction and nonfiction titles; a wide range of genres including Japanese manga and other international favorites; recurring story and character archetypes; and titles created for specific cultural audiences and female readers. The book then offers a series of chapters on key issues librarians will face with graphic novels on the shelves, including processing and retention questions, preservation and retention, collecting related media such as Japanese anime films and video games, potential grounds for patron or parental complaints, the future of graphic novels, and more.
Check out the link above for additional information; we'll update this entry once we have the table of contents on our website. The contents are wide-ranging, covering genres, readers, resources and more, all designed with library collections in mind.

The second publication in today's mail was the International Journal of Comic Art 11.2 (Fall 2009). As always, editor and publisher John Lent has assembled an embarrassment of riches: This issue is more than 500 pages long, begins with a symposium on comics in India, contains almost two dozen additional essays, includes about 70 pages of reviews, and ends with a 14-page international cartoon portfolio. And yes, this is a typical issue.

If your library doesn't already subscribe to IJOCA, do all you can to convince them to. For just $70 per yer, they get three giant-size issues, two traditional issues plus a third, all-bibliography issue - this is a steal compared to almost any other journal. And individual subscriptions are only $45 per year (all three issues). If you're counting along at home, that's about 1,000 pages of content per year, not even including the new bibliography issue (I'm curious to see how massive these volumes will be).

For more information about the International Journal of Comic Art, visit the journal's website and blog.

Happy reading!

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Pop Phenomena: A Comic Book Exhibition (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Some how I missed the announcement of this exhibit's opening, dangit. However, even if you won't happen to be in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area between June 30 and September 20, you can page through these books virtually by visiting the exhibit's website.
Broward County Main Library's Bienes Museum of the Modern Book is pleased to present its new exhibition: POP PHENOMENA: A COMIC BOOK EXHIBITION, June 30- Sept. 20, 2009.

The exhibition showcases approximately 60 vintage comic books (and their precursors: Big Little Books and early Blue Ribbon pop-up books) from the collections of the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book. The comics and other items date from the 1930s to the 1980s, and includes titles such as The Amazing Spider-Man; Archie; Betty and Veronica; Daredevil; The Defenders; the Fantastic Four; the Incredible Hulk; Iron Man; Jughead; Marvel Tales; Marvel Team-Up; the Sub-Mariner; and Star Wars.

Image credits: From the exhibit website.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

CFP: Graphica in Education (Fordham University; Jan 31, 2009; Proposals Due Dec. 1)

Graphica in Education:
Bringing the Discussion of Graphic Novels
Out from Under the Desk

January 31, 2009
Fordham University
Lincoln Center Campus, New York, NY
Hosted by the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University

General Information
The inaugural Graphica in Education conference is designed to open a discussion among educators about the place of graphica in the field of education. It will serve teachers, instructional designers, administrators, librarians, and other interested individuals who would like to explore the use of graphic novels and other graphica in the classroom. Participants in the conference will have the opportunity to hear from authors, teachers, and researchers about the nature of writing, reading, and teaching graphic novels.

The conference will offer a full day of workshops to complement a keynote address and panel discussion. The conference will also include sponsor presentations and exhibits. Lunch will be included with conference registration.

Invitation to Respond to the Call for Proposals
The Graphica in Education Conference planning committee seeks interactive and engaging proposals for presentations in the breakout workshops of the conference. Workshops will be approximately 60 minutes in length. Paper presentations may be combined into panel discussions. Proposals from practicing teachers about pedagogical methodologies and from researchers about application of graphica in the classroom are encouraged.

Proposals should include:
  • The type of presentation (e.g., paper presentation, teaching demonstration, panel discussion)
  • A brief description (50 words or less) of the presentation or workshop
  • A summary (500 words or less) of the workshop, including rationale/theoretical grounding, practical application, and participant involvement (the benefit to participants)
  • The name(s), contact information, and affiliation of presenter(s)
Proposal submission deadline: December 1, 2008

Proposals should be submitted electronically to krturner [at]

Conference Registration
Presenters for accepted proposals will receive free registration to the conference.

For More Information
For more information on the proposal submission process or the conference in general contact Kristen Turner at krturner [at]

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Be a Library Intern at Marvel Comics

If I lived near New York city, were enrolled in an MLIS program, and 20 years younger, I would jump at this opportunity...
Library & Inventory Intern
Marvel Entertainment, Inc

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is looking for MLIS students interested in an internship for school credit. Potential candidates must be local to or able to commute to New York City. Interested candidates should apply online:

Purpose of Position
The purpose of this position is to assist with the inventory, the re-organization, and the cataloging of items in Marvel's library. The Library & Inventory Intern will be responsible for completing inventory of books and mixed media against data in a database and manually cataloging books for which no data exists. Cataloged items will be re-organized in the library according to the standards agreed upon by the Publishing Department and the Archivist. This position requires great attention to detail, superior organizational skills, ability to work independently with little supervision and the ability to lift 30-40 pounds. This internship is within the Publishing Department and is unpaid, but qualifies for school credit.

1. Complete library inventory and catalog
  • Scan UPC codes and match to Oracle data to add quantity to inventory
  • Search titles/ISBN for books without UPC codes for a match and add quantity to inventory
  • Manually catalog books without pre-existing data
2. Reorganization of library
  • Weed any material that does not comply with retention standards
  • Shelve books according to established standards and record location
Candidates must have the following experience or qualifications:
  • Enrollment in a Library Science program
  • An interest in cataloging and special collections
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access
  • Must be able to work independently with little supervision
  • Must be organized, analytical, and reliable
  • Must be accurate and able to ensure data integrity

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Oh, I Wish I was in D.C. (ICAF and SPX)

What a weekend to be in the Washington, D.C. area! First up: Yesterday saw the start of the 11th annual International Comic Arts Festival, located at the Library of Congress and running through tomorrow. ICAF brings together scholars and cartoonists from the world over, this year featuring cartoonists like Jules Feiffer, Rupert Bazambanza, Ellen Yamshon, Phil Jiminez, and Denny O'Neil, and academic presentations and special events on topics as diverse as Cultural Exchanges in French Comics, Editorial Cartoons by Herb Block, step-by-step production of a mainstream US comic book (Firestorm), comic art concerning the Rawandan genocide, and much more.

I began attending ICAF from its 2nd meeting, joined its Executive Committee, and even Chaired the event in 1999 and 2000. In 2002 I had the great honor of interviewing Art Spiegelman at an evening program (as captured for posterity in The Comics Journal), an interview which will be published next year in a collection edited by Joseph Witek (Comic Book as History). I've not been able to attend the last two ICAFs, so I haven't had the opportunity to experience their new collaborations with the Library of Congress's Prints & Photographics Reading Room and especially its Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon. I miss the presentations, the discussions, and all of my ICAF friends. Next year, though, I hope!

Also in the area - well, actually in Bethesda, MD, but close enough to do both - SPX, the Small Press Expo, runs today and tomorrow. A comics convention for alternative / small-press - self-published comics, SPX offers a one-stop wonderland of print, from the most obscure mini-comics to the latest offerings from publishers like Drawn & Quarterly, Top Shelf, Fantagraphics, and of course many, many more. ICAF and SPX were partners for several years, so I often experienced the sensory overloads, wallet-draining, and Ignatz-Award ceremonies that are SPX. Now on its own again, SPX also offers programming and guests, this year including Megan Kelso, Ted Rall, Scott McCloud, Gabrielle Bell, and lots of others.

It's wonderful that these two events run simultaneously, but think of the tough choices to make! Well, maybe next year I'll have the opportunity to face these difficult decisions...

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

OSU Cartoon Research Library on NPR

I missed the broadcast, but Sunday's "Talk of the Nation" on NPR featured a ten-minute interview with Lucy Shelton Caswell, curator of the Cartoon Research Library at The Ohio State University. The segment focuses primarily on the CRL's collection of original American cartoon art, the largest such collection in the world.

I've been lucky enough to visit the library twice (1998 and 2004), each time in conjunction with their triennial Festival of Cartoon Art. The Festival is always worthwhile, and unlike any other comics event I've attended. Lucy gathers a wide range of cartoonists, scholars, collectors, and afficianados to give presentations and occasionally to assemble exhibits. In 1998, for example, we enjoyed a huge collection of memorabilia from and about MAD magazine. And that was just a suplemental exhibit; the main focus that year was a breathtaking exhibit of orignal art by Winsor McCay, one of my favorite cartoonists. The next Festival will be held October 26-27, 2007, and "will celebrate the centennial of the birth of Milton Caniff." Barring any unforseen complications, I'll be there!

The NPR story is archived on the web, and it's definitely worth your ten minutes. For more on Lucy and the library, you can read "OSU Cartoon Research Library Celebrates Ohio Natives," a newspaper article from a few years back, for which I was happy to contribute some laudatory quotations. And be sure to visit the Cartoon Research Library's website (the source of these images).

Thanks to Eagle-Eye Kate for the tip!

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