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YES. Are Graphic Novels Right For You?. Text. Text. Text. by: Nick, Krista, and Tabatha. What is a Graphic Novel?. Author Will Eisner first used the term “graphic novel” in his 1978 work Contract with God only as a marketing term to stick-out from other comics (Rothschild, 1995)

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Are Graphic Novels Right For You?




  • by: Nick, Krista, and Tabatha
what is a graphic novel
What is a Graphic Novel?
  • Author Will Eisner first used the term “graphic novel” in his 1978 work Contract with God only as a marketing term to stick-out from other comics (Rothschild, 1995)
  • According to Goldsmith (2005), “the graphic novel is a complete within itself and provides a beginning, middle, and an end to the story or information it places before the reader. However, it shares the earmarks of sequential art that comic books incorporate: image and word are bound together in order for the narrative to unfold.” It is basically a comic in a novel length.
  • Art Form, not Genre
how old are you
How old are you?
  • Golden Age:1938-1944
  • Atomic Age:1944-1956-Comic’s Code Authority
  • Silver Age:1956-1972
  • Bronze Age:1972-1986
  • Modern Age(Iron Age):1986-Present
  • With the recent sophistication of this medium, many believe there needs to be a redefinition of “graphic novel” and “comic.” Some argue, such as Alan Moore (author of Watchmen), that “comic” should be applied to all (Kavanagh, 2000).
historical context
Historical Context
  • Definition Overall need reformatting:
    • “A well done graphic novel offers the immediacy of the prose reading experience, with the pictures and the words working simultaneously, making a graphic novel not only something one reads but something one sees as well, like reading and watching a movie at the same time” Griffith 182).
  • GRAPHIC Novel term (word graphic being associated with Porn).
  • School Libraries-applicable to school libraries, more credibility
maus a survivor s tale part i my father bleeds history 1986 part 2 and here my troubles began 1991
Maus: A Survivor’s TalePart I: My Father Bleeds History (1986)Part 2: And Here My Troubles Began (1991)
  • Written by Art Spiegelman; story about his Jewish father and his survival in the Holocaust. Jews are depicted as mice (Maus is German for “mouse”), Germans as cats, and Americans as dogs.
  • Pulitzer Prize in 1992, the first graphic novel to ever do so
  • Classical Comics Puffin Graphics: MacBeth and Wizard of Oz
  • Image literacy: a complex understanding of image within a context.
  • Media literacy: related to Internet and new technology literacies.
  • Semiotic modes: connecting graphic novels to the study of signs and symbols
  • New literacy studies: examine and understand the kinds of literacies.
  • Multiple modalities: comprehending a fused text/illustration format.
public school libraries
Public School Libraries
  • Motivates Students to Read
  • Exceptional Students
  • Molds to the Curriculum
building a credible collection
Building a Credible Collection
  • The graphic novel format is new and the presence in libraries is newer. Therefore, collection development for graphic novels is a newer science.
  • Important to note that “graphic novel” is a format and does not define age, taste, or aesthetic interest (Goldsmith, 2005
  • More graphic novels are published for adults than the juvenile audience
  • Libraries should start with a small core collection, and then circulation will tell where to build (Heaney, 2007)
  • Will the collection serve children, adults, teens, ELL?
  • If targeting teens, does the library treat the community’s teens as sophisticated or as older children?
  • Budget?
  • Does library already accommodate the graphic novel format, or will new policies need to be addressed?
bibliographic resources
Bibliographic Resources
  • Booklist, Library Journal and School Library Journal – offers shorter reviews. School Library Journal focuses on age-appropriate material.
  • Diamond Comics Bookshelf – online site featuring reviews by Kat Kan, an experience librarian and graphic novel fan. It is updated regularly and supplies professionally written reviews. (
  • Comic’s Journal – focuses on comics and graphic novels as an art form
  • Artbomb – Reviews newer released graphic novels and comics (
  • Grovel – British website that provides information on new Amercican and British graphic novels (
managing maintaining and promoting your collection
Managing, Maintaining, and Promoting Your Collection
  • Since many graphic novels are divided by series rather then one whole book, it is hard to keep the collection in order
  • Theft is a big issue: if one issue in a volume is missing, that one individual issue needs to be replaced or story is incomplete
  • Cataloging challenges: there may be many authors to one work (i.e. X-Men has 14 different authors); manga, which are Japanese comics, have to be cataloged differently as well
  • It is recommended that libraries adopt a bookstore shelving model for their graphic novels
  • Public Libraries: Intermediary, Ed. Connection, & Appeal
  • Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF): non-profit organization for comics, cartoonists, and access and intellectual freedom issues
  • School Library Advocacy
  • Cornog, Martha, and Perper, Timothy, ed. 2009. Graphic novels: Beyond the basics. California: ABC-CLIO.
  • Weiner, Robert, ed. 2010. Graphic novels and comics in libraries and archives. North Carolina: McFarland and Company. =
  • Lyga, Allyson, and Lyga, Barry. 2004. Graphic novels in your media center: A definitive guide. Conneticut: Libraries Unlimited.
  • With RefWorks
  • Edwards, Buffy. 2009. Motivating middle school readers: The graphic novel link. School Library Media Activities Monthly 25, no. 8: 56-58,;
  • Frey, Nancy and Douglas Fisher. 2004. Using graphic novels, anime, and the internet in an urban high school. English Journal 93, no. 3: 19,; http://www.ncte.journals/ej/issues.
  • Griffith, Paula E. 2010. Graphic novels in the secondary classroom and school libraries. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 54, no. 3: 181-189,;
  • Harris, Violet J. 2008. Selecting books that children will want to read. Reading Teacher 61, no. 5: 426-430,
  • Haynes, Elizabeth. 2009. Getting started with graphic novels in school libraries. Library Media Connection 27, no. 4: 10-12,;
  • Irwin, Marilyn and Robin Moeller. 2010. Seeing different: Portrayals of disability in young adult graphic novels. School Library Media Research 13, ,
  • Lyga, Allyson A. W. 2006. GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR (REALLY) YOUNG READERS. (cover story). School Library Journal 52, no. 3: 56-61,
  • Nylund, Carol. 2007. Selecting mangas and graphic novels. Library Media Connection 25, no. 5: 30,;
  • Ranker, Jason. 2007. Using comic books as read-alouds: Insights on reading instruction from an english as a second language classroom. Reading Teacher 61, no. 4: 296-305,
  • Rudiger, Hollis Margaret and Megan Schliesman. 2007. Graphic novels and school libraries. Knowledge Quest 36, no. 2-: 57-59,;
  • Seyfried, Jonathan. 2008. Graphic novels as educational heavyweights. Knowledge Quest 36, no. 3: 44-48,
  • Smetana, Linda, Darah Odelson, Heidi Burns, and Dana L. Grisham. 2009. Using graphic novels in the high school classroom: Engaging deaf students with a new genre. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 53, no. 3: 228-240,;
  • Rothschild, D.A. (1995) Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide To Book-length Comics, Libraries Unlimited, Englewood, CO.
  • Goldsmith, Francisca. (2005) Graphic Novels Now. American Library Association: Chicago.
  • Kavanagh, Barry. (2000) Alan Moore Interview: Northampton / “graphic novel.” (accessed October 17, 2011)
  • Heaney, Mary J. “Graphic Novels: a Sure Bet For Your Library.” Collection Building 26, no. 3 (April 2007): 72-76
  • Crowley, Bill. 2008. Renewing Professional Librarianship: A Fundamental Rethinking. Westport: Libraries Unlimited.
  • Serchay, David. 2008. Graphic Novels for Children and Tweens. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, INC.
  • Goldsmith, Francisca. 2010. The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • Pawuk, Michael. 2007. Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga and More. Westport: Libraries Unlimited.
  • Mouly, Francoise. 2011. Visual LIteracy. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Services to Children. ALA.
  • Create Your Own Comic: Marvel Super Hero Squad. 2009 <19 October 2011>.