Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


Resources for Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga

There's lots of people--librarians included--who don't know much about comics. But even if you consider yourself an expert, here are some resources that can come in handy when people start talking about Civil War (no, nothing to do with the North vs. the South) or whether Batman Begins or Hellboy is the better movie.


There are several professional journals that review graphic novels and manga, like Library Journal and Boolist. I really like Voice of Youth Advocates, because not only do they review several graphic novels in each issue, they also have a GN column, called "Graphically Speaking," written by expert Kat Kan.

Another good resource is the comics magazines themselves. Wizard has tons of graphic novels and comics news. It's truly one of the best places to get news about all facets of comic creation.

For the anime and manga folks, there's Newtype USA, which has all the newest manga and anime news. While pricey, this magazine is worth checking out occasionally--and the teens at your library (and maybe even some adults) would love to see this magazine, too. Wizard also produces an anime magazine, called Anime Insider.


In the "more information than you ever thought was available" category, there's
Comic Book Resources, which presents a seriously dizzying range of news and information. This would be a great site to steer people to, who want more info on comics, graphic novels, and manga.

I'm a huge fan of comic book movies, or movies that have been made from comic book stories. I'm not alone in that, as so many movies within the last few years have been adapted from graphic novels. E.Favata's Comic Book Movies site helps you keep track of what's been released and what's coming, including plenty of interesting rumors.

Finally, there's two sites that are helpful for us librarians who are looking for info on what to buy for our libraries. No Flying, No Tights, run by librarian Robin Brenner, has three separate sub-sites, reviewing graphic novels/comics/manga for teens, for children, and for older teens and adults. There's also the Diamond Bookshelf, from Diamond Comic Distributors. Diamond is the one that supplies comics, graphic novels, and manga to pretty much any retail outlet that wants to sell comics, as well as to wholesalers like Baker & Taylor, BWI, etc. The Diamond Bookshelf features reviews and other information on including graphic novels in your library. They even have an e-newsletter now, called the Diamond Bookmark.

Hopefully, this is enough to get you started, either researching for yourself or for passing along to patrons. Have fun!

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