Graphic Novels and Comic Books

H.W. Wilson. (Reference Shelf). 2010. 195p. ed. by Kat Kan. illus. ISBN 9780824211004. pap. $35. REF
A resource rather than a how-to, Kan's anthology begins with the background behind graphic novels' recent spike in prominence and moves on through to literary, literacy, and library relevance. Sources range from newspaper articles and scholarly essays to online features and blogs. Comics veterans will find much familiar and spot quite a bit of overlap in the content; however, they will discover new approaches, e.g., Allyson Lyga's discussion of how "reading" a wordless comic like Owly essentially requires the reader to create the story and dialog. Or, consider Stephen Tabachnick's rationale for comics' revival: "Since 9/11...we are living in a comic-book world...and its elastic rendering in comics seem to duplicate our own explosive experience better than any other medium does."
VERDICT The wide disparity in graphic novels savvy among both patrons and librarians lends this background collection special relevance as a resource for internal library issues as well as for outside researchers and students of the format. Kan, who selects the titles for Wilson's Graphic Novels Core Collection database, is a trusted presence on conference panels. Recommended for all libraries.—M.C.
, Jan 01, 2011

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