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Graphic Novel Readers Advisory


Presented at Rutgers University, SCI program colloquium 2011

Presented at Rutgers University, SCI program colloquium 2011

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  • Laverne Mann, Branch Manager and Outreach Librarian at Piscataway Public Library. Also @redheadfangirl on twitter. Thank you to Rutgers SCILS, especially Nicole Cooke for asking me to speak on this panel.
  • Bookstores and libraries tend to group graphic novels in one place, but some feel that GN’s like Spiegelmann’s Maus should be with Eli Weisel instead of next to X-men Some research -"demographics for 'Maus' overlap with the ones for Spider-Man," so that it is theoretically easier to lure the reader of one to the other than it is to lure a reader of Elie Wiesel to "Maus.“
  • The goal is to use comics to promote a love of reading and help in teaching. The Legitimization of comics as a form of literature. Sequential art. Mysteries, serials, even Charles Dickens once derided as not ‘real’ literature
  • Peppered with photos from comicons Some elevated GNs – Asterios Polyp , Stiches Others for reluctant readers, ESL, dyslexic students to overcome text difficulties
  • 1978 Will Eisner’s A contract with God gets credit for being first ‘graphic novel’ Comic book like – Justice League of America Trade- Chew, Locke and Key Previously published as comics compiled
  • Full frontal blue male nudity Sex crime noir Zombie carnage Protect from challenges by putting in certain area Collection Development- Is “Kick Ass” OK for your teen section? Know your community, administration Politics – Cuba my revolution, How to understand Israel in 30 days
  • The iPad was introduced in 2010. It became obvious immediately that comics would translate well on this device. Swiping from side to side changes pages. The reader can zoom in for a closer look at panels. The comic book can even be read panel by panel in a special automated mode. My iphone wasn’t replicating comic page experience- but Ipad does
  • Main site or app for digital comics – pull list, featured, previews, your library, some free
  • In 2011, the big three comics publishers all have titles that appear as digital items the same day as in print. This has been an important trend in 2011, as consumers now have a choice with how to buy and read brand new comics.
  • When we begin to think about comics and graphic novels being made digitally available to library customers, can separate distribution channels get in the way? Dark Horse Apps just for properties like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Umbrella Academy
  • But what does the future hold for the comic book? And how will future generations want to get comics and graphic novels and collections from libraries? Digital comics accessible by mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) are becoming increasingly popular. Day and date has begun for DC and other companies. But will digital replace print?
  • The comics industry, the library profession and the bookselling industry are all headed toward different versions of the same inevitable crisis. The bookselling industry is already seeing the fallout of growing ereading preferences.
  • NJLA membership! Learn more during annual conference, adult and youth services forums, professional and social experiences!


  • 4. Reality of graphic novels; breaking some myths  The average age for a graphic novel reader is 30  In other countries, graphic literature is widely accepted for all ages  Many graphic novels require the reader’s ability to take both written and drawn cues in order to fully comprehend the writer’s/ artist’s meaning, thus requiring a higher reading levelPawuk, Mike. Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, MangaandMore. Greenwood Publishing, Conn. 2007
  • 5. FLOPPY, TRADE, GN Comic book (Pamphlet, Floppies) -can be on own or part of series, title Trades or Trade paperbacks -multiple issues of a series (Fables, vol 1) Graphic Novel (Blankets, Persepolis, Fun Home) -published in this format first, not serialized Manga (Naruto, Bleach) “A graphic novel – a long comic that you would need a bookmark for” Art Spiegelmann on Maus
  • 6. Criteria for selection  Language  Imagery – Violence, Sex  Content – politics, drug use.  Theme – “real world”  Synthesis of drawn and written cues  ADULT YOUNG ADULT/TEEN JUVENILE
  • 7. THE PUBLISHING DIRT.. Graphic Novel Sales grew first half of 2011  First time in several years  ICv2 says sales 7% bookstore (w/Amazon)  Decline 6% comic book stores  Scott Pilgrim, Walking Dead from cult hits to mainstream  “Kids and Tweens” GNs increase in number of titles  Manga declined 15% in 2010 - insider’s guide
  • 8. The iPad was introduced in2010. It became obviousimmediately that comics wouldtranslate well on this device.
  • 9. COMIXOLOGY  In 2011, digital comics have really taken hold as a choice for consumers.
  • 10. Day and date digital comics
  • 11.  DC Comics, Image, Marvel Marvel has own iPad app, uses Comixology interface Dark Horse own apps
  • 12. Comics and libraries Print Comics? How to get digital comics from libraries? Mobile devices and comics
  • 13.  The library profession is trying to adapt, but some factions are not trying hard enough to make inroads to serving the digital natives. The comics industry is headed in the right direction with the variety of digital services that exist now, but an inevitable confrontation will take place eventually that will mean the life or death of the printed comic book. Will this be the final collapse of the print comics industry? Simply put: We’re predicting that print comics as we know them cannot profitably exist in a generation that does not prefer them. And this makes digital comics that much more important, because that medium will keep this native American literary form alive for future generations.
  • 14. Graphic Novel collections in NJ libraries ( Ewing Public LibraryLong Branch Public Library
  • 15. GN FOR KIDS Biggest change in library collections for graphic novels boost in juvenile titles
  • 16. Tween/Teen MANGA SALES DROP Declined from $210 million peak 2007 to $120 million Economic downturn affected purchasing power of manga’s younger audience more than older comic/GN crowd Less manga related Anime series on Cartoon Network Doing well: Vampire Knight, Black Bird, Naruto, Bleach, Blue Exorcist
  • 17. COMIC BOOKS AND READING Assist Poor Readers Connect with visual learners Strong language arts skills Unmotivated and ‘dormant’ readers Educational messages Explore other literature Engage Adult Readers
  • 18. SELECTION GUIDELINES Popularity Tie-ins to TV shows, movies, games, toys Age level, target audience Genre Superhero, fantasy most prevalent [sci fi, humor, graphic nonfiction] Writing quality and artistic quality Artistic style- manga, cartoon art Writers and artists with strong fan following (Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Brian Michael Bendis)
  • 19. AWARD WINNING GRAPHIC NOVELS Eisner Finest stories, publications and creators in the medium. Will Eisner, creator of GN format. Harvey Voted on only by industry professionals. Named after Harvey Kurtzman, co founder of MAD magazine. Kirby President Obama is a Spider-Man and Conan comics fan!
  • 20. REVIEW AND GRAPHIC NOVEL SOURCES: [Graphic Books] Library Journal School Library Journal Booklist Voices of Young Adults (VOYA) Baker and Taylor ( Comic Store News (CSN) (manga)
  • 21. For more information aboutgraphic novel collection development in m Presenter Materials Core Collection Lists Updates Links to comics & graphic novel news sources
  • 22. Bestsellers New releases Reviews Lesson plans Library articles
  • 23. HOT PROPS 2011 The Walking Dead Chew Smile YA Batman, Green Lantern, Avengers, Thor Kids: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Smurfs, Simpsons Shonen: Black Butler, Naruto Shojo: Black Bird, Vampire Knight
  • 24. PROGRAMMING  Star Wars 501st  Comic artist visits/ workshops  Anime clubs  Mini comicons  Book discussion groups- all ages  Comics to Film viewings --
  • 25. GRAPHIC NOVELS TO FILM Road to Perdition (Max Collins) A History of Violence (Vince Locke) Watchmen, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore) Sin City, 300 (Frank Miller) Ghost World Wanted Superheroes: X-men, Spider-Man, Superman, Daredevil, Iron Man.Coming… The Avengers, Spider-Man reboot, Superman reboot
  • 27. THANK YOU!Twitter: @RedheadFangirl Laverne Mann Become an NJLA Member!Digital Comics and Libraries: David Lisa, Michael slides: Sophie Brookover, David InabittDiamond Comic DistributorsZenescope comics
  • 28. CREDITS, BIBLIOGRAPHY DC Comics Marvel Comics Image Comics Dark Horse Comics Zenescope Comics Archaia Comics TokyoPop IDW Comics Pantheon Comics Toon Books Abrams Graphic Novel Sales grew in the first half of 2011 – The 13 Can’t-Miss Graphic Books of 2011 (so far) August 2011- IDW has over 1 million apps in circulation Kids comic publishers: movers and shakers Using graphic novels in book clubs, Jesse Karp Booklist March 15, 2011 p 36 Pawuk, Mike. Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga and More. Greenwood Publishing, Conn. 2007,8599,542579,00.html#ixzz1eqrV0ns4