Graphic Novels: Beyond the Basics
edited by Martha Cornog and Timothy Perper
More and more libraries are looking to expand their graphic novel collections but lack the resources to do it. Graphic Novels: Beyond the Basics offers some immediate help in the form of a dozen essays , extensive bibliographies and case studies, and suggestions for further reading.
The book is composed of 10 chapters and four appendices (two of which—Robin Brenner’s excellent Graphic Novels and Games and coeditor Martha Cornog’s Guide to Graphic Novel s in Special Topics—I count as essays, and two others that provide more resources for librarians). The 10 main chapters provide a massive lesson in how to talk about graphic novels, research them, build a collection, and handle the major issues that come with maintaining a graphic novel collection. The chapters, in order: The Allure of the Superhero; Japanese Manga; Girls, Women, and Comics; American Comics: Beyond the Superhero, Part One, Genre Fiction and Part Two: General Fiction and Nonfiction; Graphic Novels: A Global Literature; A Place in the Library; Comics and Graphic Novels in the Academic Library Collection; Japanese Anime; and Censorship of Graphic Novels in Libraries.
Cornog and her coeditor, Timothy Perper, have undertaken a huge endeavor here, one that will help librarians all over North America. With so many libraries attempting to build their graphic novel collections, the timing of this book is perfect, and its ability to reach a receptive audience is enviable. While no book of this kind could possibly address every single possible problem and issue a library could face, the two editors take on the biggest and most important ones and provide solutions that are much-needed. This will be a helpful resource to many librarians.